The happiness of angling is always 100 upon 100 in an angler’s heart and mind, no matter what fish they have hooked, small or large. But the happiness shifts several folds when one can hook a quirky-looking fish, that too easily. At least, that is what our experience says. Amidst all the fishes in the different water bodies that actually look like a typical fish, silver bodied, even shaped, mostly in the longer side with fins and tails, anything different from that seems to be a little distinct and quirky.
Bluegill fishes are one such specimen that is what we called quirky-looking. The odd one out, yet so pretty and colorful to look at. Though distinct, they are in abundance in different water bodies all across the USA. Bluegill fishing, hence, is one true-blue favorite activity for anglers all across, considering it is a panfish as well as a fish that is not very easy to catch.
Bluegill – The Quirky Creature
Bluegill is a freshwater fish, so quite naturally is found in the rivers, lakes, ponds, lagoons, and streams. It is native to North America; from Canada to Northern Mexico, it is abundantly available. Hence if you live in that region, you can enjoy angling Bluegill to the fullest. This panfish is often referred to as a bream, sunny, or copper nose and is a prominent member of the sunfish family.
It is not a gamefish per se but a delicious but healthy panfish to eat which puts up a good fight satisfying the fishermen’s inner desire of facing a challenging fish. The fish work as an enticing bait for large fishes like bass, trout, walleye, and pike as well. However, first, inquire whether the location you have chosen for fishing allows you to use Bluegill as bait.
Because not in all places is it legal to use Bluegill as bait for angling larger fishes. So, if you are not into any legal trouble and are within the rules, getting a Bluegill fish is a great achievement because you can use it in many ways. Eat it, land it back, use it as bait to hook bigger catches, or enjoy pure, unadulterated angling.
All That You Need to Know About Bluegill Fishing
Best Place to Find Bluegill
Bluegill fishes are not found in one particular area. They change their habitat depending on different seasons. If you have caught multiple Bluegills in spring at one specific location, do not expect that there will be Bluegills right there in the summer as well. The chances are high that they have gone onto a new site due to the weather and season change.
However, the good part about Bluegill fishing is that you can easily catch multiple Bluegills within a short time if you have chosen the right location due to their significant presence in the freshwater. Now, the only question that remains is whether you could successfully find the correct place or not.
Bluegill fishes prefer roaming and staying around the shore. So it’s not like you have to go out of your way to catch some. You can simply stand near the shore and cast your fishing rod hanging the most basic of baits.
This omnivorous creature is a sight-feeder. It will eat just about anything that looks decent to eat to it. The small-mouthed fish eat small baits like worms, any type; let us get that very clear, insects, larvae, and small minnows. It will not work hard to feed itself; in that regard, it is called an opportunistic eater where the food has to be close to it, and it must get attracted to the food.
Only then will it eat what is in front of it. So, if you can somehow manage to appeal to the Bluegill fishes with your bait, get ready to catch a lot of them in the exact location. And the best part is Bluegills like the basics of lures to get attracted.
Best Bait to Catch Bluegill
We have already mentioned a few of them right above, but if you ask us the best of the best, we will zero in on the red worms. If you hook the red worms in your fishing hook, Bluegills will take the bait for sure. However, please make it certain that the red worms are alive, writhing, and looking natural even when they are pinned and hooked. Otherwise, it will not be too enticing to the Bluegills and might leave the bait even if they have it close to their mouth, and you will miss out on catching them.
Besides the live baits, small artificial lures like black jigs are also great to catch the Bluegills in abundance. Also, the artificial lures that make constant noises attract the Bluegill like no other. So, if you can’t manage live bait, try crankbaits and buzz baits to catch some. You will not even have to change the bait again and again while angling multiple because, hey, they are artificial.
Best Time to Catch Bluegill
When you are at the right location, Bluegills could be angled all year round. Fall, winter, early summer, late summer, spring, every season is a Bluegill season at the proper location.
Spring to early summer is the spawning season for Bluegills. The female Bluegill is busy spawning, and the male is busy creating nests around it. So when you are angling, make sure to cast a little far from the nest and not make the male Bluegills warry and alert. If they know, they are not in much danger, be sure that they will take the bait propelling towards it to clear the spawning area.
Unlike the spring and early summer and residing in shallow water, Bluegill finds its habitat in deep water in the late summer. The same happens during the fall as well. And in winter, it almost prefers lazing around way deeper, about 15-20 inches deep in the water.
However, no matter what the season is, Bluegill prefers low-light conditions to feed themselves. So, in the early morning and during the dusk, and also when the temperature is pretty low, these are when you should target angling the Bluegills.
Size Range of Bluegill
The average size of a Bluegill fish is 7 inches. The range starts from 7 inches, and you can get a 15 inches Bluegill when lucky and make the world record. The biggest Bluegill that was caught in 1950 was actually 15 inches in length and above 4-pound, and the record is still not broken. Therefore, if you have angled a 10-inch Bluegill, be happy considering it a large, proud catch. In most cases, the Bluegills will be no bigger than your hands, which makes it adorable.
Best Gear to Catch Bluegill
- 5-6 feet ultra-light fishing rod with a fast, sensitive tip
- 4 or 6-pound test fishing line
- Spinning reel, light open-faced ones work the best
- Size 6-10 fishing hook, colorful well-preferred
- Split shot
Easiest Way to Catch Bluegill
You can apply multiple fishing techniques to catch Bluegills. The rule is super flexible in that regard. The only condition is you will have to be good at it to angle them quickly and plenty.
Bluegill Fishing Techniques
You can catch Bluegill by adding a small bobber to the fishing gear so that the line moves slowly but constantly, or you can hop on your boat and let the current take you, your boat, and the fishing hook towards a specific area at a nice but constant pace. You can also try fly fishing; we have already talked about how much Bluegills love black jigs. Or simply try our favorite bottom fishing.
Fishing Rod –
A long, light, extra fast fishing rod with a sensitive tip is the best for catching the Bluegill. Keep in mind that Bluegills are not an aggressive being, they will bite the bait mildly too, so if you do not have the sensitive tip, you will hardly realize that the fish has taken the bait or not.
Reel and Line –
Fill your spinning reel with a fluorocarbon fishing line and get it through the rod rings. We prefer fluorocarbon due to it being the best in staying out of sight. Also, it’s not too flexible and sinks better. And bottom fishing required that quality from its equipment. Even if you are using monofilament for cost-cutting, make sure to use the fluorocarbon fishing line as your leader line.
Make sure to use the small fishing hooks to angle this small but sharp-sighted creature. A size 6 to a size 10 fishing hook will be just enough. With the most basic of knots, tie the fishing hook to the dangling fishing line end. Now you have to keep the fishing line as stable and well-balanced as possible because Bluegills are spooked pretty easily with vehement movement.
Add a decent weight by locking a split shot, 10-12 inches above the hook. The added weight will assure the fishing hook sunk deeper into the water, stable, which, by the way, will be a requirement because unless it’s not spring or early summer, Bluegills are deep in the water.
However, do not keep it too still, and after every few seconds, just give the line a slight twitch. This step will work as a sharp move and will induce the Bluegill to take a bite from what you have offered it to feed itself.
Have your best bait; our favorite is, of course, the red worms. We prefer hooking two on the same hook to double up the luring game. And that is how we catch Bluegills one after another in the easiest way possible.
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For every fishing noob, Bluegill is the best choice to start learning the fishing techniques. They are plenty, are easy to catch after a great challenge. Moreover, you can expect to hook a few largemouth bass or trout during the whole learning and practicing session. Bluegill, indeed a great catch.