We are the only guided fishing service in the country that started for the sole purpose of putting anglers on oncein-a-lifetime, trophy bluegill. There are thousands of fishing guides across Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama who specialize in trophy largemouth, but if you want to catch an eleven-inch bluegill, there aren’t many places you can go and know that the odds are in your favor to do so in a day of fishing. We have guided dozens of anglers from nine different states over the last eight years, and in that time only one guided fishing party has failed to catch at least one bluegill either over eleven inches or a pound-and-a-half.
Bluegill are often pejoratively referred to as a, “great fish for kids to catch.” There was a time thirty and forty years ago when bluegill were treated as a serious gamefish by the very best freshwater fishing magazines; there was a publication in that time period called Fishing Facts (not to be confused with the regional publication now offered under that name) that regularly published in-depth, full-length articles geared exclusively toward finding and catching trophy bluegill, fish over one pound in weight. These articles featured methods entirely different from the simplistic ones you’ll find in most any article these days on the species; they utilized sophisticated gear and techniques and were written by anglers who chased big bluegill as their species of choice and not just an occasional diversion from bass or some other glamour species; oftentimes they were printed in issues that also featured photos or illustrations of bluegill on the cover of the magazine. Bluegill were never, ever lumped in with crappie under the term, “panfish;” the editors of those magazines esteemed the fish too much to treat it that way. (Crappie are as different from bluegill as largemouth bass are from channel catfish.)
I used to be a bass hound myself; I bought my first baitcasting rod and reel when I was in the ninth grade, and in high school I spent thousands of hours chasing largemouth on small public lakes within an hour’s drive from my house. Then one day my senior year of college I caught my first legitimate one-pound bluegill, on a forty-acre public lake thirty miles from my hometown, and my bass obsession was obliterated on the spot.
When you go guided fishing with us for a day for trophy bluegill, you won’t just likely catch the biggest bluegill of your life; you’ll also learn techniques for catching these fish that just aren’t covered anymore in magazines, and certainly aren’t available on Youtube. While these techniques won’t make the fish on your own water bigger, they will afford you greater success on said water, and just generally increase your enjoyment of this awesome fish.
As thrilling as catching a one-pound bluegill is, there truly is nothing in all of angling like catching a two-pound bluegill. Unfortunately, bluegill management on public water in the U.S., in most states, is forty years behind the management of nearly every other popular gamefish in this country. You’ll never find a state, for example, that has no limit on largemouth bass, or trout, or walleye; most states even have limits these days on larger specimens of the main three species of catfish. And yet every southern state, the states where bluegill have the longest growing season and where in decades past the largest fish were caught, has either no limit whatsoever on bluegill, or excessively high limits of 25 or 50 fish that effectively function the same as no limit at all. Forty years ago, it was the consensus among biologists that bluegill could not be overharvested, and further that underharvest was the chief cause of stunting in bluegill populations; now it is accepted as scientific fact that the opposite is true, and overharvest is the chief cause of poor size structure in bluegill populations on public lakes. If you have ever dreamed of catching a trophy bluegill of eleven inches or more, your only realistic shot of doing so, outside of a handful of lakes in southern California, is on carefully-managed private water or a guided fishing tour with Trophy Pond.
Just this year, in the same week in August, two bluegill were caught from ponds we manage that were bigger than most anglers will ever see apart from mounted fish. There was this one:
That’s a two-pound-fourteen-ounce bluegill. As in two ounces shy of tying the Tennessee state record, three ounces shy of breaking it. But I mentioned another fish:
The above fish wasn’t weighed. Who knows but it would have been the new state record?
Here are some smaller fish that have been caught by our guided fishing clients in the last five years…
We provide the boat and all the tackle. Your party will have the ponds all to yourself, just us and lots of big fish. If you’d like to fish water where three-pound bluegill swim, give us a call for a guided fishing trip.