The first fish you probably ever caught was a bluegill. Bluegills have been hooking kids on fishing for years. These fish are notorious for being easy to catch, but what do you do when these fish won’t cooperate? Go weightless.
Bluegills go through times when they are very fickle and hard to catch. When I encounter this situation, I go very basic in my rigging and it almost always catches them.
The tackle I use is 6 pound Berkley XL line, a small bobber, and a #4 Aberdeen hook. Wax worms or crickets are my bait of choice when bluegill are in a negative mood and won’t bite anything else. The light line paired with this hook allows the bait to fall very slowly. Bluegill can not resist the slow fall of a wax worm or cricket.
This technique works the best when the fish are located in shallow clear water. The fish need to be able to see the slow fall of the bait in order for it to work. This is also ideal to use in the spring when the fish are spawning.
Bass fisherman talk about “finesse” fishing all the time. This is an ultra “finesse” way to catch bluegill, but I guarantee you it will produce fish when nothing else will.
I enjoy all styles and techniques that catch fish. One style of fishing that I rarely use is fly fishing. Fly fishing catches fish that are easily spooked, and it can be exciting at times. When I do flyfish, I like to use cork poppers for bluegill and bass.
Seeing fish come up behind your popper and explode on it is one of the most exciting strikes you can have. Bluegill usually will sit and look at the lure for quite some time before they strike it. Bass on the other hand will bite it almost immediately when they see it.
When choosing colors I like to mimic the color of grasshoppers or of other insects hovering near the water. I have seen times where fish can be picky and may only nibble at your lure, but once you find the right color, they will swallow the popper.
The little hooks are great for catching small bluegill. If you are tired of using wax worms and night crawlers for bluegill, try this style as another alternative.
It’s HOT outside! Many of us want to continue fishing, but are afraid that all the fish have moved into deep water. In my opinion this is false. Yes, many fish do move deep, but there will still be a large concentration of fish in shallow water. I want to share with you some proven techniques I have used in many different lakes and ponds for catching bluegills in the summertime.
First, pay attention to the moon phase. If there is a full moon, there is a big chance you can find bluegills on their nest. Bluegills will spawn throughout the late spring and summer. If there is in fact a full moon, target flat areas of the lake. Look at the slope of the banks for this. A long slow sloping bank into the water is perfect for spawning bluegills as long as there is a hard bottom where they can make a nest. If the water is too silty then move to another area of the lake because they will not spawn in silt. One mistake people make is not fishing shallow enough. I have caught many bluegills in 12 inches of water!
Are there weeds in the lake? If so target these areas. Bluegill love to prey on insects, larva, and minnows. Find irregularities in the weeds. This could be holes in the weeds, points where the weeds stick out further, rocks, brush, or boat docks. Many times bluegill will congregate in one area, so don’t spend too much time sitting in one place. Move along the weed line until you start catching fish.
Use your electronics while fishing from a boat. Target humps and drop offs. Again, I have caught bluegills where the water depth may drop from 2 to 5 feet. Anywhere you can find structure along these drops such as brush, rocks, or weeds will make the chances of having a school of bluegills much better.
Remember it is much easier to catch shallow fish than it is to catch deep fish. Try these suggested areas and I think you will be happy with the results.
We recently had a fun afternoon fishing for bluegill in a neighborhood pond. We were able to catch a ton of small bluegill with a few larger ones mixed in.
It took us a little while to find some decent size bluegill. We found that the big bluegill were located on one corner of the pond. Originally we had the bobber sit too shallow and only caught little ones. Once we made this adjustment, we started catching bigger bluegill.
The tackle we used was a closed face reel and light action pole. We had the reel spooled with 8 lb Berkley Trilene XL line, just in case we caught a catfish or bass. We used Berkley Gulp Crickets with a Split Shot Sinker and Balsa Spring Bobber to keep the cricket in the strike zone.
We had a great couple of hours of fishing.