Bluegill Fishing in Michigan

Bluegill Fishing in Michigan
Bluegill are one of the many diverse game fish that can be found in Michigan. Bluegill prefer slightly stained to murky water and are closely related to largemouth bass. This panfish is abundant in many of Michigan's lakes, ponds, rivers and reservoirs.

Big Fish Lake

Big Fish Lake is a panfish hot spot year-round, including the winter months. The lake is located in Cass County and spans 340 acres. Good-sized bluegill are caught at the lake, according to the "Michigan Sportsman Magazine." Anglers can expect to find an abundance of bluegill in the 8- to 9-inch range. The coves and bays of Big Fish Lake's north end are excellent spots to cast lines for bluegill. Public access is available on the lake's southwest corner.

Big Fish Lake
Cass County, MI

Austin Lake

The 1,090-acre Austin Lake provides an excellent fishing destination for those looking to catch bluegill. The lake is relatively shallow but has a few spots deeper than 10 feet, which means panfish can be found just about anywhere throughout the lake. Ice anglers will find that the lake is especially good for bluegill fishing during winter months. According to the "Michigan Sportsman Magazine," a bluegill hot spot is at the center of the lake, which reaches 11 feet. Austin Lake's bluegill routinely top 8 inches.

Austin Lake
Kalamazoo County, MI

Gull Lake

Gull Lake is located in Barry County and has a surface area of 2,050 acres with a maximum depth of 110 feet. This lake has a healthy population of panfish and specializes in bluegill along with other game fish such as Northern pike and largemouth bass. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Gull Lake has a good fishery specializing in large and abundant bluegill. Midland Park is the closest town to the lake. Anglers can use the public boat access located on the lake's north shore at Prairieville Township Park.

Gull Lake
Barry County, MI

Fishing License

Anglers 17 years and older must have a state fishing license, and a valid Michigan driver license is required to purchase one. Those who are under 17 may fish without a license. A Michigan fishing license is valid from March 1 of the issue year through March 31 of the following year. There are different types of fishing and prices for the licenses including a 24-hour license, senior, restricted (all species except salmon and trout), all species and military.


Lures that are effective for bluegill include spikes or mousies. Bluegill tend to lurk along drop-offs that taper from 5 to 20 feet and spike worm lures and mousies work well on those areas. For winter, anglers should opt for spikes, wax worms and tiny minnows to effectively lure bluegill, according to Mike Gnatkowsk from "Michigan Sportsman."

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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