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JUNGLE JIM 1

Bucket list panfish

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Each year except last year when I was recovering from shoulder surgery I've been heading west to California to visit friends and fish for a trophy gill at Lake Perris. 2015 was my best year ever catching my biggest bluegill just under 2lbs. on a bugger jig at Lake Skinner. The year before we had a trip to Lake Havasu lined up but that fell through so we set it up and went as soon as the wind started to die down. We only fished Havasu a couple days total but it was a trip of a life time for me. We waited for friend with boat to arrive so we fished off a dock the first evening. Big fish was a redear just under 2lbs., still easily my biggest ever. This was mid May so by then the bluegill and redear were off the beds so we fished deeper water structure. We fished a hump that dropped off to 12-14 foot deep. I caught a smallie on the first cast using a a live crawfish. I threw out again and the craw never made it to the bottom when I saw the line jump, set the hook and the fish took off. After a couple deep runs it came to the top and seen this huge redear circling the boat. After a couple of shorter runs we got it into the net. Friend said you got a 4lber for sure and I started shaking. We didn't have a scale so we took a couple of pictures and put it on ice. The very next cast with  a 1/16th oz. craw that I tied I caught another big redear, but not nearly as big so I didn't even take pictures, which I regret now. A few hours later when we got off the lake we dug out a scale and weighed the two bigger fish.  The first one weighed 4-09 and the smaller one weighed 3-02.  Big one was a post spawn female that was 17 inches long with an 18 inch girth. She would have weighed more if we had gotten to weigh them on the boat. The next morning we fished the same spot and I got one that weighed 2-07, a little one. We did catch a bunch of smallmouth bass in the couple of days as well. Biggest one was 3-10. I had a replica of the big redear made so now I have a nice mount to help me remember the trip when I'm older. Here are some pictures of the trip. I really like my trips out west but there really is no place like home.013.JPG019.JPG088.JPG091.JPG092.JPG093.JPG098.JPG108.JPG115.JPG122.JPG128.JPG

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Man that is a beast!  I love learning new things on here.  Never knew a gill would get that big.  Bet they put up a great fight too when they get over that 2lb mark.  I've caught some slabs before out of a pound, but don't think I've broken the 2 lb mark.  Congrats and great pictures!

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My folks and brother, nephews etc live out that way. I think that lake is like our LOZ.  Party Cove etc.      But I WILL make it a point to check the fishing out.   What great fish!

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078.JPGI'm sure they are throughout the lake but we were fishing the southern end within sight of the dam, don't remember the name of the dam. Lake was crowded that weekend due to a two day striper tournament. Occasionally you could look across the lake and see schools of stripers busting shad on top. No party coves where we were fishing.

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I live in California and the fishing in this state is outstanding. From Trout and Salmon to Bass and Crappie, it has been the best two years of fishing of my life. LOTS of water this year, rivers are raging. Next on my list is Kokanee and Stripers.

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After not fishing out west for a few years I'm heading out to California on Monday to give it another go. Mainly fish Lake Perris for bluegill, redear and crappie, friends have been catching bluegill up to 12+ inches with lots of 10-11 inchers. Lot's of fun on ultralight. Would like another crack at Havasu  but temps there in April are supposed to break 100 so maybe not going to happen this year. Hopefully lot's of pics when I get back.

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1 hour ago, JUNGLE JIM 1 said:

Mainly fish Lake Perris for bluegill, redear and crappie, friends have been catching bluegill up to 12+ inches with lots of 10-11 inchers. Lot's of fun on ultralight. Hopefully lot's of pics when I get back.

Can't wait for the report! Love seeing slab sunfish.

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