Panfish Fishing

Panfish size?

5/27/16 @ 11:23 AM
User since 1/20/09

With the new regulations on some WI lakes, does anyone feel there should be a size limit? I have my personal sizes at 7.5" for bluegills in the winter and 8" in the summer. I ask because I have seen people with buckets of bluegills around 5" then brag about how they caught their limit without any mention of the size. As for crappie and perch, I usually aim for 9" or bigger. I also know it's everyone's right to keep what they think but I personally prefer quality over quantity.

Displaying 16 to 30 of 48 posts
5/10/22 @ 6:44 AM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14

15 statewide I'd be all in on.  The people that whine about "you don't know what i need for a fish fry" is just comical.  I've seen the size of your average panfish go down in the last 15 years and zero doubt in my mind that its way down from 30 years ago.  The days of the 9 inch bluegill is not as common as it once was.  fishing pressure,  newer technologies,  social media...there aren't many bites that go unnoticed like they did back in the GOOD OLE DAYS when people actually fished rather than jumped on the internet and checked a facebook group every 4 seconds of the day.  

5/10/22 @ 6:35 AM
PRO MEMBER User since 1/22/21

That’s another way to look at it. I’m sure the hammered lakes could use a “Max per Boat” limit for a couple years or permanent, depending on spawning % of given lakes. The lakes I go to though don’t seem like a lot of people hammering. People will always debate how this situation is to be addressed.
Some like to pig out on fresh fish, and some want just a little.
Great topic ! 

5/10/22 @ 6:25 AM
User since 3/23/20

I do like the change to 15 on the Mississippi. The lake we have our place on in northern Minnesota last year changed to 5 gills a day and total possession of 20 I'm all for it. It still allows plenty for a meal my family of 4 catches 5 each that's 20 for fry which is more than enough. And if it was 25 limit my family would be allowed 100 gills this is the problem. enjoy what you got and those slob females full of eggs always go back to spawn. I do catch my limit alot but rarely keep a limit. In the end if your keeping 5" gills what's the purpose.

5/9/22 @ 6:35 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 1/22/21

25 panfish is not too much for a fish fry. I really enjoy people who think they can regulate everything including no more fish fry’s for entire family. They believe every family is 1 or 2 old people without an appetite. Lol

5/9/22 @ 9:39 AM
ol sarge
ol sarge
User since 3/8/04

No need to add more regulations. Throw the big ones back so the genetics are maintained in the population. Bluegills (all panfish) are prey items and go thru boom and bust cycles depending on fishing pressure and predator pressure. I wish people would just keep what they need and throw the rest back. I am lucky that I have places to fish that see little to no pressure so I don't have to deal with the runts. I don't think it takes to long to clean a population out when you are taking them off of the beds and the fry get eaten. But to each their own. I just enjoy the fight and then seeing them swim away when released.

5/8/22 @ 9:15 PM
User since 9/13/13

After fishing for near 50 years I have gone through many feast and famine cycles both on lake Michigan, green bay, winnebago, devils lake, n. d, and local lakes such as  mendota. They all have had lean years, but I guess the older we get the less likely we are to panic and just let mother nature have her way. I don`t  feel making a new rule for each and every cycle will turn people away from our sport. If your having problems on a certain lake or to try different baits. maybe try relying less on a locator and just enjoy life.

5/7/22 @ 7:25 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 11/5/17

Mmmmm.  Thumb nail size fillets, need around 50 for a meal.   CARPIO 

5/7/22 @ 5:45 PM
User since 1/19/07

Studies have shown that keeping the larger bluegills is what leads to stunted gills. So if anything, there should be a max size limit. The people keeping 5" bluegills are helping more than hurting, so more power to them

5/7/22 @ 4:08 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 11/5/17

Why not go 1 step further?     1 gill limit, 12” min. Length .  Lots of 10-11” ers for CPR!       CARPIO 

5/6/22 @ 9:08 PM
User since 8/29/06

My favorite bluegill lake gets hammered every year, relentlessly. Every year is different. Some years they are everywhere and perfect 7-8.5 inch eaters. Other years there are less fish but average 8-9 inches. On a rare year, they will be very hard to find, and I attribute that mostly to weather patterns that possibly reduce spawning opportunities resulting in poor recruitment for that particular year class. It seems that pressure on this particular very popular lake has a negligible effect on panfish. At least bluegill, which is the panfish I target 95% of the time. Just my observation from 20+ years of fishing one particular lake.

Tight lines gentlemen.

5/6/22 @ 2:41 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 1/22/21

I agree. Panfish don’t need a size regulation. 

5/6/22 @ 11:41 AM
User since 5/3/22

I wish everyone would just stop overthinking it I have been fishing for over 40 years  and to me it seems like lakes cycle, so  your panfish are ever changing sizes, most people are catching most of there panfish during spawning anyway, everybody has there own catch and keep size, so in the end lets let the fisherman make their own decision its been working that way for years, I say stop over regulating us.

5/6/22 @ 11:25 AM
User since 8/2/01

I think research shows that as you remove those larger gills, and liberal limits persist mother nature compensates by enabling younger and smaller fish to spawn, over time you go from very healthy 9-10in fish spawning to 5-6 in fish capable of spawning to replace the overharvest.

Probably a daunting task but if there is ever any hope of returning lakes with decent panfish size and populations you do need to not only reduce the bag limits.  But you need to restrict the number of larger fish say over 8.5 or 9in that are harvested to keep growth rates up.  Once those smaller 5-6 in fish start to spawn their growth rates become much slower. 

5/5/22 @ 9:14 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 7/6/05

i believe it should be bluegills over 8 in no keep and all limits for panfish  15 fish thats it no more 

Displaying 16 to 30 of 48 posts
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