Bluegills live in waters throughout the United States. Bluegills can provide hours of fishing action nearly anytime of the year. Bluegills have a streamlined body shape that allows them to put up a very scrappy fight once hooked. Bluegills feed on crustaceans, tiny minnows, insects and worms. This allows the angler to have many types of bait at her disposal to catch these fish.
For the best action with bluegills, anglers employ ultra light fishing rods and reels. They spool the reel with light line, typically within the 2 pound to 6 pound test range. This is more than sufficient to handle a bluegill, which rarely will exceed a pound. Anglers use regular monofilament but try to use one of the lighter colors so the bluegill cannot detect the line in the water. The hooks bluegill experts tie on their line are small but with long shanks. This allows the person to get the hook out of the bluegill's mouth more easily since the mouth does not open very wide. No. 6 through 10 hooks work well for this purpose. Some anglers will use a fishing float while others will fish their bait on the bottom using split shots to keep the bait down.
Night crawlers are the ultimate bluegill attractor. These will catch bluegills whether suspended under a float or while sitting on the bottom. Anglers thread a tiny piece of a night crawler onto the hook and cast out the line. Bluegill will waste no time biting, often with many competing for the same morsel on the hook. This allows the angler to keep her bait small. Bluegills are skilled at nibbling a worm from a hook. Those people that bait their hook with an entire worm will quickly find this out as the worm completely disappears in a short time. Using small chunks of the worm is the key as this makes the fish bite closer to the hook and winds up getting it caught when the angler sets the hook. A typical worm rig for bluegills will be a float attached 18 inches above the hook. This rig allows children and those new to fishing to see the float pulled under or moved around by the bluegill and is a visual prompt to set the hook.
Ice Fishing for Bluegill
Anglers will frequently target bluegills while ice fishing. The fish is a favorite of people that crave their sweet tasting meat and many ice fishermen will try to bring home a bucketful for supper. Bluegills stay in the shallows of a lake or pond when the ice first forms. The fish then move out into the deeper waters as winter comes in full force. Before the ice leaves, the fish will come back into the shallower areas. Anglers seek bluegills in less than 8 feet of water in the early and late winter; they will set up in over 20 feet of water in the middle of winter. Bluegills in deeper water school together near structures. Anglers will use electronic fish finders to locate these schools and then drill holes over the spot to fish through. While tip-ups can catch bluegills when baited with small minnows or larvae baits like grubs, most people will use smallish hand held jigging rods to catch bluegills through the ice. They lower down tiny jig heads tipped with a grub or a sliver of a minnow. This presentation attracts the fish. The angler raises it up slowly and lets it flutter back down, keeping the lure in a small vertical area where the fish feed. Bluegill slow down considerably in the cold weather and bite much less enthusiastically than in the summer. Light tackle allows the fisherman to feel the slightest bite, hook the bluegill, and reel it to the surface.