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Ben Michlig/For

After walleye season shuts down for the year, it's typically time to explore all the smaller centarchid lakes that have been in the back of my mind all winter - in search of mondo gills.

I like to hit lakes that I've never fished before. They usually are under 200 acres and are loaded with largemouth bass. Lakes that have only bass as the apex predator will have an over-abundance of stunted, one pound bass. An extremely high bass density will always keep bluegill populations lower, creating an environment that yields enormous individual bluegills.

Because there are less gills to catch, I have to work hard to catch them, but ridiculously overgrown humpbacks are usually the bounty.

More on fishing: Fishing news from around the state | Your fishing photos | Build a map | Read fishing reports

Read more posts from Ben Michlig.

Ben Michlig has a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries from the University of Minnesota. He currently works for the DNR in Minocqua and is an accomplished professional fisherman and fishing guide. Ben writes informative outdoor articles weekly. If you would like to hire Ben to guide your next hunting or fishing trip, he can be reached at 715-432-9440 or at For more information, visit his website at

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