The Legendary Bluegill Bill

Posted by MNAngler On March - 6 - 2011

I was at a neighborhood gathering tonight where the guys were in the living room talking fishing and the ladies were in the kitchen playing Yahtzee. I was definitely in the right room.

During our conversation, one of the guys mentioned that one of his co-workers brought in an article for him about a local panfish fisherman known as Bluegill Bill. Much like Kermit Wick, Bluegill Bill has been fishing for most of his life. And he’s been ice fishing for 75 years.

He’s seen a lot of changes in ice fishing in his time, as he mentioned in a recent interview, but he’s also done his part. He created the “Bille Bait” which catches Bluegill (and other panfish) like you wouldn’t believe (see the St. Paul Pioneer Press article for pics of Bille Baits). He used to sell them, but thought it was too much trouble, so he started giving them away.

Unfortunately, Bluegill Bill has cancer and has fought the good fight, but has ceased his treatment. Let’s hope he still has another season or two in him, but from the sounds of it, this may be his last.

It’s great to see these lifetime fishermen enjoying the sport they love and making contributions to it along the way. Gentlemen like Bluegill Bill silently go out to the lake, catch a ton of fish without fanfare, and go home as humble as the day they started fishing. They don’t have the recognition of those like Dave Genz, but they are legends in their own right.

We ice fishermen tip our hats to you, Bluegill Bill, and hope to see you out on the ice again next year.

[ Photo above by Chris Niskanen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. ]

2 Responses to “The Legendary Bluegill Bill”

  1. kmurray says:

    Bill sounds like a great guy! I love the fact that the lures were too much trouble to sell, so he just gave them away! Too cool!

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