If you’re trying to make sense of what the title of this editor’s log means, you might be at a loss considering the fact that bluegills and bluefish live in two entirely different ecosystems. Even more so, one of these fish grows in excess of 20 pounds while the other will only get as big as a dinner plate. And that’s a big specimen! Well, the correlation between bluegills and bluefish might just be a personal one to me and maybe it will make sense to some others after I give a proper explanation.
My truck during the fishing season sees such a variety of tackle. One moment it can have the necessities for bucktailing fluke and the next, it can have a fly rod with an assortment of flies suitable for striped bass. Whatever the case may be, the inside of my vehicle is always changing based on what’s currently biting or what I’m going after during specific times of the year.
I fished for bluegills as a kid but never really targeted them specifically. It wasn’t until my tackle shop days that some of the avid freshwater fishermen kept mentioning they couldn’t wait until the “gills” were bedding. This was when my curiosity was piqued about these fish that were typically regarded as a target for children new to the sport. After a few trips targeting these spunky little fish and experiencing their hard-fighting spirit, I found out I was wrong about them.
Recently, I went into the back of my truck and found tackle for two different species of fish—bluegills and bluefish. I’m not talking about snapper blues either or else the tackle would look a little more similar. I’m referring to an ultralight setup with 3-pound braid and Marabou Jigs intended for bluegills versus a 9-foot medium-power surf rod for casting lures of to 3 ounces long distances for finning gator bluefish over 10 pounds.
Some might scoff at the idea of using a rod as thin as a pencil when hard-fighting bluefish are out and about ready to be caught on a surf rod but in my mind, something is to be said about targeting bedding bluegills with ultralight tackle. Pound for pound, bluegills fight quite hard and when you do scale down tackle to the appropriate size, it makes a world of difference and becomes very enjoyable. Part of what I’m trying to get at is it’s not the size of the fish that mattered in this case but more of the challenge associated with the specific species.
Both styles of fishing present their own cahllenges and fun once the challenge is figured out. In the tangled mess of a rod for bluefish and a rod for bluegill along with 3-ounce poppers and 1/16-ounce jigs came a thought—it didn’t matter what I was going for but more of the fact to appreciate each type of fishing for what it was. If you’re an angler who has been fishing for bluefish recently, try going for bluegills or if you’re someone who does a lot of freshwater fishing, give bluefishing a shot. You might find yourself just like me and have both types of rods in the back of your vehicle in the near future.