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Panfish: Some more on limits

By Dale Bowman

As I noted here last week, Indiana is considering a 25-daily bag on sunfish, which includes bluegill.


I find that those questions stir a lot of opinions on both sides, as anybody who has been following the debate on Stray Casts' Facebook page can note. So much so that I did my Sunday column for the Sun-Times on the broader question.

I found the discussion interesting, but then I also had a faithful reader, Sean Hayden, send his take with a suggestion for a slot limit on panfish, which I find interesting:

Dale, Regarding Sunday's article on a Indiana's bag limit for panfish, it should be put in place in Illinois as well. Minnesota has a bag limit of:

  • 20 sunfish

  • 10 crappie

  • 20 perch (40 in possession)

I ice fished L Geneva this morning and caught 2 Pumpkinseed 9" and 8 " - threw them both back. We need more of those larger panfish in the population. I not only support Minnesota's limit structure for Illinois - I think we need to take one more step and put a slot on panfish. Limit of 20 fish with two over 8 1/2 " . It is a lot harder to get a master angler for Blue Gill ( 11 inches or better) than a smallmouth ( over 20) I know. I have several smallmouth over 20 but biggest bluegill is 9 1/4". The IDNR needs to make more of an effort to improve the BlueGill and panfishery in IL. After all it is the state fish! And don't get me wrong I love eating the fish I catch. But is a crime to fillet a 10 +" sunny. Best regards- keep up the good work. Your column is awesome! Sean

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