Range and Habitat
Bluegills are at the northern edge of their range in Minnesota. They are found across the state. They live in weedy areas in lakes, ponds and slow-moving rivers.
Bluegills grow slower in Minnesota's cold water and shorter growing season than they do farther south. They can still grow large, however. The state record bluegill was caught in 1984. It weighed 2 pounds, 13 ounces.
Bluegills are easy to catch in spring and early summer when they move shallow to spawn. After the spawn, anglers catch bluegills in slightly deeper water in weed beds, along lily pads and under docks. Worms, pieces of nightcrawler and artificial flies catch fish.
Ice Fishing for Bluegills
In winter, anglers ice fish for bluegills after the ice is thick enough to walk on. Bluegills relate to the same structure in winter as they do in mid-summer, such as deep weed edges. Fish are less active in winter, so anglers use tiny jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms.
Anglers 16 or older must have a license to fish in Minnesota. There is no closed season on bluegills. As of 2010, the limit is 20 bluegills per day with no minimum size limit. Exceptions apply on certain waters. Consult the Minnesota fishing regulations.