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Phil Lilley
Phil Lilley

Blue Gills

At least once a year, I love to get up to the upper lake (Table Rock) and fish for big gills and this morning was it, so far.  It took us a while of course to find where they were hiding but when we found them they bit and they were big.... they did not disappoint.

9 am - Put in at State Park.

Tried a couple of spots close to the Branson Belle that have been good to me in the past - nothing.  Then we went to an old favorite... the high line point in close to Moonshine Beach.  We tried our pieces of night crawlers in 12-20 feet all places but this time we ventured out a little deeper and caught a few.  Still bored, we went on over to the main point there, on the inside (east of the point) and fished in 22-28 feet on the bottom and found them.

They weren't fast and furious but it kept us on our toes.  Ended up with 15 between the 3 of us, about evenly distributed.  I hadn't had my son Greg out BG fishing since he was a kid and for Coy, he's an old pro.  Number 8 hook, small split shot, #4 pound line and drop it to the bottom, reel up a little bit.  That's about it.

The fish I cleaned, most had eggs so I don't think they've spawned yet.  I was told they were 15 feet deep but we found them deeper, at least in those spots.

How long?  The board doesn't lie :)

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Nice and I think it is somewhat early for the traditional BG spawn.  There was a thread a couple of weeks back with folks saying they saw them nesting, but I think its usually closer to the last of June before they really start the boy/girl thing.

As long as I remember Beck, he guided a guy that came every year the last week of June and they just slayed them.  Billy guided him in the Wolf Pen area on the deeper timbered points and I can remember a lot of days they had a basket full of the really big ones.  Bill thought they were spawning around the deep trees or were just post spawn fatting up. 

He never cleaned them but he would do his best to show you where they lived and if you wanted to keep them you had better have your own knife sharp.

I'm going to try some of those deep timbered points up the White after seeing this to see where they are.  As always up there 18 to 25 ft. seem to be a magic number for the biggins.

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