What fisherman doesn’t have fond memories of catching bluegills as a child? An easy fish to catch, the bluegill is one of the most popular fish in North America. Though native to the eastern half of the United States, the bluegill can be found across our nation. Catching the smaller ones is an easy task, but getting a bigger bluegill can be a challenge. Here are a few of our tips for bluegill fishing!
Before you start fishing, know how to identify the fish. Bluegills, part of the sunfish family, are often called bream, brim or even copper nose, depending on the area of the country. Bluegills usually grow to about 12 inches and can weigh up to four pounds. They have a compressed, round body, a color that ranges from bluish-purple to dark blue to yellow, a small mouth and pointed pectoral fins.
Bluegills can be found in creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes, but they prefer shallow waters. There are more bluegills in shallower waters during their spawning period. Since they are prey fish, they are hunted by a number of predatory fish like bass, walleyes, trout and even snapping turtles. Look for them hiding in or around old tree stumps, grassy areas or other underwater structures.
May is prime time for larger bluegills. Due to their spawning period, they are more active and aggressive during this month. Fish in shallower waters between late May to early August for trophy bluegills.
Bluegills can be caught from a variety of fishing methods. Whether fishing from a boat or from the middle of the river, bluegills are sure to bite. Don’t forget a quality vest if you are fly fishing! You can pick one up at a quality retailer like Carhartt, along with other fishing essentials.
Baits and Lures
Bluegills strike at almost anything, but that doesn’t mean you should use just any bait or lure. Bluegills love live bait, so if you are fishing with kids and want non-stop biting, try using live bait. Crickets and flies are great choices: thread two or three on a hook and fish them two to four feet deep. If you are angling for a larger bluegill, try using minnows.
If using an artificial lure, go small. Use tiny crankbaits and spinner baits to attract these fish. The smaller bluegills will strike at almost anything, but larger and older fish will tentatively bite before taking the bait. Be patient and stay alert for small nibbles.
Bluegills are sensitive to noise. The bang of a paddle against the boat, the crash of a tackle box against the floor of the boat or even the rumbling laughter of fishing buddies can send bigger bluegills to the depths. Remember that these fish are prey fish. They bolt at the first sound of danger, so fish quietly. You will be able to enjoy the sounds of nature with this method.
Now that you have some basic tips, get out there and find some bluegills!