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Everything You Need to Know About Bluegill Fishing

Everything You Need to Know About Bluegill Fishing
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: July 24, 2023

Sunfish, bream, brim, or copper nose – whatever you call them – the bluegills are the fishes you must consider catching if you are a full-time freshwater angler. Ask any angler; everyone will suggest that you have your first fishing experience with the bluegills. You can catch them from various freshwater areas throughout the country. Besides, bluegill fishing will give you plenty of action, and it can fill your frying pan with delicious filets. Let’s explore more about bluegill fishing.

Identifying a Bluegill

Bluegill is arguably the most favorite pan-fish in North America. It is small fish measuring around 6 inches but can grow up to 12 inches. Pectoral fin is the most distinguishing characteristics of the Bluegill .  The bluegill fishes are also famous for their dark-blue operculum flap that wraps their gills. The usual color of a blue gill’s body is dark olive-green on its back and yellow/reddish-orange on its breast and belly.

Catching Bluegill Throughout the Year

Bluegills are always in a romantic mood. No season ruins their mood. Their mating cycle lasts throughout the year, and a female bluegill can breed at least nine times a year. Yes, you read that right! Nine times. It explains the abundance of bluegill throughout the year. So, you don’t have to skip fishing any season of the year if you know how to catch bluegill.

Know the Places Bluegills Build Their Nests

For spawning, bluegills often choose the hardest bottom available; however, they can spawn on anything that is rocklike. Bluegills build their nests near the corners of the ponds or anywhere that gives them a cover. Most of their nests are 1 to 4 feet deep but not in the clear water. On larger waterways, bluegill nests are found 2 to 7 feet deep. Bluegills of the larger reservoirs build their nests on either mud or rock banks and sometimes under some wood logs.

Know the Places Bluegills Build Their Nests

What Do Bluegills Eat?

As bluegills are always in the romantic mood, they do not show any disrespect to any food. They eat almost everything. However, in the big lakes and rivers, they feed on worms, insects, zooplankton, and small fishes. They also eat the human food scraps that are thrown into the water. To be honest, they have some favorite food too, such as crickets, worms, grasshoppers, and zooplankton.

Choose the Baits for Bluegill Fishing

Artificial flies are good baits for a spawning nest of bluegills. However, remember while casting the bait cast the bait outer part of the nest and do not disturb the inner part. The best artificial fishing lures for catching bluegill include the medium-size    woolly worms or woolly buggers. The color of these fishing lures should be black, yellow or. olive hues.

You might also use the live baits for nesting bluegill. Crickets, worms, and grasshoppers are the best live baits for bluegill fishing. Bluegill baits must be small enough to fit the hook so that they can be swallowed by the fish.

Bluegill Fishing in the Summer

In the summer, bluegills search for food in deeper water in the big reservoirs and rivers. However, in the small reservoirs such as ponds and small lakes, they remain shallow due to oxygen depletion. Fishes of the small reservoirs do not usually go deeper than 10 feet because of the oxygen depletion.

A useful tip for bluegill fishing in the summer is using cricket baits vertically into the flooded trees or wood logs along secondary points. If you want to catch the biggest bluegills, you might want to cast a little heavier bait that goes deeper than the smaller baits.

Bluegill Fishing in the Winter

Bluegill fishing is a popular pastime in the winter. Professional anglers also do not waste their time at their homes; they make camps and catch the bluegills from the frozen lakes. Wax worms and mealworms are bluegill’s favorite food under the ice. You might also use the small jigs, artificial flies, and tiny spoons if the live baits are not available.

Bluegill Fishing in Winter

The fun of bluegill fishing is that you will get plenty of fishes under the frozen lakes. It can change your gloomy winter to a livelier one. So, drill some holes and get the best ice fishing reel to overwhelm your fishing bucket.

Though bluegill fishing is common freshwater fishing in America, you won’t find it boring at all. With the right techniques and tools, it becomes easy to target and catch bluegills in the freshwater reservoirs and waterways. So, get your fishing reels and rods and go for bluegill fishing.

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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