Compared to other game fish bluegills are typically small, usually measuring less than ten inches from tip to tip and weighing around one to two lbs. There are larger bluegills which can grow up to more than 15 inches and weigh up to four lbs., though they’re quite challenging to find. Despite the rather small size, many anglers still get hooked into bluegill fishing. For one, catching one bluegill after another can be pretty exciting and encouraging, and second, they do make for a nice meal after a long day of fishing. Although they’re relatively easy to catch, there are some anglers (especially those who are just getting started with fishing) who are interested in learning how to catch bluegill effectively. If you’re one of them, the following tips are for you.
Fish during the Spawning Season
Many experienced anglers agree that the spawning season is the best time to fish for bluegills. During this time, it is pretty normal to catch a dozen or more bluegills in one fishing trip, even for those who are just getting started with fishing. Bluegills tend to be very aggressive during this season and will attack anything that comes close to their nest including bait- or lure-laden fishing lines.
Their mating season is also longer than most other fish, usually lasting from late spring into early fall. That should give you more than enough time to enjoy fishing for them. If you do decide to fish during the spawning season, it is best to let the small bluegills go and keep only those that are large enough to eat. Let the large bull bluegills go as well so that they can continue mating and fill the water with more bluegills for your future fishing trip.
Know Where They Nest
During the spawning season, bluegills are known to build their nests near rock or mud banks and prefer places with some type of covers like overhanging trees or large rocks. You’ll also want to look for void areas or circular or baldy patches in submerged weeds as they also prefer to nest in such areas. Needless to say, these are the places where you’ll want to be casting your lines.
Do Your Research
Whenever you go fishing for steelhead, pike, or trout chances are that you do your research first before embarking on your adventure. Fishing for bluegills should be no different. There are many ways to learn about how to fish for bluegill and where to find them. For one, you can go online and read about bluegills on websites and forums. Second, take some time to talk to anglers in your locality. Ask them about their experiences, where they caught the largest or the most bluegills, what equipment they used, and the methods they employed. Be sure to take note of their tips and advice by writing them in a notebook so you can refer to it when planning your fishing expedition.
Keep Fishing the Same Spot
Bluegills are schooling fish, and one school can have as many as 20 fish or more at any given time. Thus, if you catch bluegill in one particular spot, continue fishing in that area since other bluegills are surely nearby. However, most of the trophy-sized bluegills won’t be swimming with large schools of bluegills. That said, follow this advice only if your goal is to land tons of bluegills regardless of size.
Go Where Others Won’t
We’ve all been told that if you want to catch more fish, then go to those places where there’s plenty of them. The problem with this is that such areas are often filled with other anglers, causing a lot of disturbance in the water and scaring the fish away. Also, if there are anglers who came earlier than you, there are chances that most of the trophy-sized fish have already been hooked.
That said, you may want to take your kayak or canoe and go to those less-frequented areas like small ponds, rivers, or streams. Although there may be fewer fish here, it is usually where trophy-sized bluegills can be found. This is because they have less competition for food and can live longer since their habitats are typically ignored by most anglers.
Bring the Kids
As mentioned earlier, bluegills are relatively easy to catch even with the simplest of fishing equipment. This then makes them the perfect game fish for children as they give a decent fight which can challenge the kids without intimidating them. That said, if you want your kids to learn how to love fishing, you’ll want to stick with bluegills first instead of fishing for pikes and other large fish. The challenges of angling for large, predatory fish may be too much for young anglers which in turn may discourage them from pursuing this activity.
When it comes to choosing a fishing spot to take your kids, consider small ponds or slow-moving rivers and streams for safety purposes. Also, look for locations that have good populations of bluegills to make sure that your kid will land several fish during the trip.
Go with a Pro
Fishing with a veteran is always a nice idea. You can learn a thing or two when you hang out with them, and they can even point out some nice fishing spots where they’ve been successful in the past which you may want to consider visiting.
Wintertime Bluegill Fishing
The warmer months of the year offer great opportunities to catch bluegills, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t catch any during winter. Should you decide to go fishing for bluegills during winter, here are some tips to help keep you safe and your fishing adventure productive.
- When ice fishing for bluegills (or any other fish for that matter), you may want to scale back to smaller baits. Waxworms and mealworms are excellent choices for live baits, while small jigs and tiny spoons can be pretty effective as well.
- Use an ice fishing fish finder to search for bluegills under the ice.
- You’ll want to make several holes and fish a little while in each hole, then move to other holes until you find good-sized bluegills. If you do, continue fishing that area since bluegills of the same size will be schooled together.
- Smaller bluegills tend to stay higher in the water column whereas the larger ones tend to stay close to the bottom.
- If you plan to go ice fishing for bluegills as the winter goes on, be sure to go back and visit those spots where you’ve been successful. More often than not, the fish were there because of the abundance of food, and for all, you know they may still be there or maybe some other schools of bluegills are now feeding in that area.
Best Time to Ice Fish for Bluegills
Accordingly, the best times to go ice fishing for bluegills are just when the ice is starting to build up and when they’re starting to go out. However, be very careful since these times are also when the ice is at its thinnest.
Whether you’re ice fishing for bluegills or any other fish, try to go with a group or have some friends accompany you. This will make your fishing adventure much safer, not to mention that it’s much more fun having someone to talk to while you’re trying not to freeze out there.
Globo Surf Overview
Bluegill fishing really isn’t that much different from fishing for crappie or panfish. Bluegills in general are easy and fun to catch for anglers of all levels and ages without the need for high-end and expensive fishing gear. You simply need to familiarize yourself with their holding locations and behavior. Knowing those things should help you to land some trophy-sized bluegills or at least get enough for a tasty dinner. Sure, it may be challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be pulling bluegills out of the water all day long.