Bluegill Fishing Guide

Bluegill fishing is something the whole family will enjoy and they put up a fantastic fight for their size.

Fishing for Bluegill is fairly easy to catch, they can be found almost anywhere and you can pretty much catch them any time of the year.

Bluegills are also great to eat, and traditionally have been viewed as more of a food-item than a sportfish. You can strike the mother lode of bluegill from farm ponds, lakes, and rivers close to home.

Bluegill are know as a "Great fish for kids to catch."



  • Bluegills are not perch a common misunderstanding
  • Bluegill are part of the sunfish family

How to Identify a Bluegill

To identify if you have a Bluegill or not is looking for the main feature of the Bluegill, which is it's ear. The Bluegill has a dark oval that covers its gills. It's not anctual ear, but where you would think an ear would be. Basically, the your looking for the Bluegills dark oval flap that is located above its pectoral fin. This is really easy to spot and sets it apart from other panfish.

How to Catch Bluegill in Various Seasons

As with all species, there will certainly be times of the year when the bite is more aggressive.

Please be responsible angler. If you catch lots of bluegill, please be fair to others who want to fish as well. Once you’ve reached your take-home limit of catching Bluegill, practice catch-and-release or fish for something else. This helps preserve the population of Bluegill.


  • Spring is primetime for Bluegill fishing as Bluegill have migrated to shallower waters for spawning, which makes it the best time to catch these Bluegills.
  • As the female Bluegills are spawning which can extend into June or July in 3 feet of water or less and the male Bluegills are protecting the nest it's super easy to catch loads of bluegill when they’re “on the bed”
  • But keep in mind that bluegill are vulnerable during this time.
YouTube video


  • As male Bluegill are still protecting the nests the females are out finding food and is a great time to fish for Bluegill.
  • Target deeper waters, weedlines and mudflats.
  • During spawning the male Bluegills will head to deeper waters with female Bluegills and will feed more aggressively during early morning and evening hours.


  • Early to mid-fall is an ideal time to fish and a great chance to catch a trophy size Bluegill. As the temperature begins to cool during the Fall months you can use a combination of Spring and Summer Bluegill fishing strategies and techniques to help you catch more Bluegill during this time.
  • To prepare for the Winter months, Bluegill will tend to feed in the shallow areas or closer to the top of the water line for the smaller Bluegills, but the deeper you go the better the chance for a bigger reward.
  • Trying fishing for Bluegills on the
  • shorelines, dropsoffs, points, weed beds, brush and other structure are hotbeds for bluegill, but as the water temperature approaches around 50 degrees, lake bluegill go deeper.
  • Fish for Bluegills at depths of 5 – 15 feet, but note that the big male Bluegills enjoy the high oxygen levels of deeper fall waters.


  • At the beginning of winter, Bluegill will still feed in the shallows, but will go deeper in the Winter months.
  • Try fishing for Bluegill in coves, bluffs and dock edges and you can also cast your line into the edge of weeds and fallen trees, which is an ideal place for Bluegills.
  • Once the water temperature gets to 42 degrees and below, the Bluegill will start biting less as their metabolism slows.

Best Places to Fish for Bluegill

You can fish for Blue in most large to small lakes, ponds and rivers throughout North America. Bluegill is one of the most common fished species and tend to be in large numbers.

Bluegill usually cumulate near structures and aquatic plants. As with most fish Bluegills prefer being in or near vegetation and cover.

Bluegills prefer being in shallower waters but will head to deeper waters depending on the water temperature.


Blue (photo via toyohara/Flickr)

Bluegill are pretty much everywhere.

Best Bluegill Fishing Rods & Reels

Bluegill Fishing Rods & Reels

One of the nice things about fishing for Bluegill is that you will not need fancy or heavy-duty gear to catch these fish.

Ultra-light rods and lighter reels with lighter weight tackle and bait accentuate the already-aggressive fight.

Bluegill Fishing Line

As for Bluegill Fishing Lines goes, you can catch Bluegill on pretty much any type of fishing line. The most popular fishing line today is fluorocarbon as it is hard for the fish to see, but make sure you use a lighter line weight (2lbs - 6lbs). Using the 4lb fishing line is the the most ideal when you're fishing for Bluegill.

Bluegill Fishing Hooks

As for Bluegill Fishing Hooks goes, you you really need to take great care as Bluegill have smaller mouths making it harder for them to take the bait, but harder to pull the hook out once the Bluegill has swallowed the bait.

The best Bluegill Fishing Hook we like to use is the Aberdeen style hooks with a hook size of #6, #8, or #10. These Aberdeen style hooks are longer and prevent the whole hook being swallowed up by the Bluegill making it easier to remove the hook from the Bluegill.

Best Bluegill Fishing Bait & Tackle

Best Live Bait

To catch Bluegill using live bait you have a variety of options from using Minnows, Red Worms, Wax Worms, Meal Worms, Maggots, Crickets, Snails, Crayfish. You can also use nightcrawlers, but you will want to break them up so you don't attract larger fish. Please  note that Bluegill have smaller mouths so the bait doesn't have to be as big.

  • Nightcrawlers
  • Minnows
  • Meal Worms
  • Wax Worms
  • Maggots
  • Red Worms
  • Crickets
  • Snails
  • Crayfish
  • Tadpoles

Best Artificial Bait

If you prefer fishing for Bluegill with artificial baits you could use  spinners, jigs, and flies to catch Bluegills with.

Please note that Bluegills have smaller mouths and you should avoid using the same size jigs you would for Crappie fish as Crappies have larger mouths.

  • PowerBait
  • Dead Minnows
  • Corn
  • Hot Dogs
  • Bread
  • Cheese

Absolute Some of the Very Best Bluegill Fishing Tackle, Lures and Bait! Period!

Other Great Bluegill Fishing Tackle & Tools


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