Bluegill Ice Fishing Tips

Bluegill Ice Fishing Tips
Bluegill are one of the most popular panfish in the United States. Though the weather outside may be frightful in winter, catching bluegill while ice fishing may be easier than doing it during the summer. Many anglers go after this species only after the ice has cleared from local bodies of water, but those who opt not to go out fishing during the winter months are missing a great opportunity. Before venturing out on the ice and looking for bluegill, there are some important things to keep in mind.


Difficulty: Moderate

Ice Fishing for Bluegill

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bucket Ice fishing rods Baits or lures Auger
  • Bucket
  • Ice fishing rods
  • Baits or lures
  • Auger
Step 1
Choose a body of water. Bluegill are often found in many northern climates where ice fishing is done. However, there are some lakes and rivers where bluegill may not be. Check with local bait shops or fish the same bodies of water you normally fish during the other seasons.
Step 2
Before heading out to fish, check the ice. This is true any time you go out ice fishing. Being out on the ice can be dangerous, and you should make sure the ice has a thickness of at least 4 inches before you decide to venture out and try to fish on it.
Step 3
Find a fishing spot. Though bluegill generally live in shallower water throughout much of the year, the cooler winter temperatures will push them into deeper water, especially around grassy areas and points. Therefore, adjust your winter fishing strategy and drill holes in ice that is over deeper water.
Step 4
Use an ice fishing pole. Ice fishing poles, by design, are generally ultra-light. They usually have no greater than a 4-pound test line, which is more than adequate for bluegill. Also, bluegill tend to bite in a very subtle way during the winter, and having a lighter pole will help you feel that bite a little easier.
Step 5
Move around. Fishing is often hit or miss, and this is especially true when ice fishing for bluegill. The fish tend to stay tightly bunched in the winter. Also, bluegill do not tend to move around as much in the winter. If you have no luck in one spot after 15 minutes, try a different spot.

Tips & Warnings

Use the bucket as a seat while fishing, and it can then be used later to carry your catch home.
Ice under 4 inches in thickness may not be able to support the weight of a person and should not be traveled on.

Article Written By Kenneth Black

Kenneth Black has been a freelance writer since 2008. He currently works as a staff writer for "The Times Republican" in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel. Black holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.