Summer Bluegills

It’s HOT outside! Many of us want to continue fishing, but are afraid that all the fish have moved into deep water. In my opinion this is false. Yes, many fish do move deep, but there will still be a large concentration of fish in shallow water.  I want to share with you some proven techniques I have used in many different lakes and ponds for catching bluegills in the summertime.

bluegill cooler edited

First, pay attention to the moon phase.  If there is a full moon, there is a big chance you can find bluegills on their nest. Bluegills will spawn throughout the late spring and summer. If there is in fact a full moon, target flat areas of the lake. Look at the slope of the banks for this. A long slow sloping bank into the water is perfect for spawning bluegills as long as there is a hard bottom where they can make a nest. If the water is too silty then move to another area of the lake because they will not spawn in silt. One mistake people make is not fishing shallow enough. I have caught many bluegills in 12 inches of water!

bluegill 4

Are there weeds in the lake? If so target these areas. Bluegill love to prey on insects, larva, and minnows. Find irregularities in the weeds. This could be holes in the weeds, points where the weeds stick out further, rocks, brush, or boat docks. Many times bluegill will congregate in one area, so don’t spend too much time sitting in one place. Move along the weed line until you start catching fish.

green sunfish

Use your electronics while fishing from a boat. Target humps and drop offs. Again, I have caught bluegills where the water depth may drop from 2 to 5 feet. Anywhere you can find structure along these drops such as brush, rocks, or weeds will make the chances of having a school of bluegills much better.

Remember it is much easier to catch shallow fish than it is to catch deep fish. Try these suggested areas and I think you will be happy with the results.

Fishing Trips · Tips

Fun Afternoon of Fishing

We recently had a fun afternoon fishing for bluegill in a neighborhood pond. We were able to catch a ton of small bluegill with a few larger ones mixed in.

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It took us a little while to find some decent size bluegill. We found that the big bluegill were located on one corner of the pond. Originally we had the bobber sit too shallow and only caught little ones. Once we made this adjustment, we started catching bigger bluegill.

family bluegill 1

The tackle we used was a closed face reel and light action pole. We had the reel spooled with 8 lb Berkley Trilene XL  line, just in case we caught a catfish or bass. We used Berkley Gulp Crickets with a Split Shot Sinker and Balsa Spring Bobber to keep the cricket in the strike zone.

family bluegill 2

We had a great couple of hours of fishing.


Getting the Kids Started

Some of my earliest memories are of fishing with my dad. He always took me with him and made this time very special for both of us. It’s important for me to take my kids fishing. I’ve come up with a few tips to get you started if you’re interested in teaching your kids this classic past time. I feel spending quality time with your kids is one of the best things that a parent can do.

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There are a few basic questions you need to ask. Where are going to fish, what species are you targeting and how much do you want to invest in this adventure? Here are some recommendations that won’t break the bank.

Where are you going?

Maybe the neighborhood you live in has a pond or small lake. Maybe there is a stream near by; these are often great places to fish that often get over looked. Make sure you have permission to fish these properties. There is nothing more embarrassing than being yelled at by an upset neighbor.

What are you fishing for?

I would target bluegills, sunfish, and crappies. The nice thing here is these species are usually very willing to bite and makes catching them easier than other species.  Kids are concerned about catching fish, they don’t care what kind they catch. They want immediate action with the least amount of effort needed.

small blugill

What do you need to bring?

I would suggest a packaged rod reel combo. They make sunfish specific combos. You can get these for around $30. These come ready to go with line already spooled for you. Go with the closed face combo. These are much easier to use for the beginners. Additionally you will need some bobbers, sinkers, hooks, bait, and a small utility box to store this new gear. I use the smallest bobber that I can as long as it will float my bait. The sinker and hooks should be very small as well.

Panfish Combo (Open Face)

Panfish Combo (Closed Face)

This is simple and cheap. Live bait is an easy option. Most of the retail stores I listed above will carry wax worms and night crawlers. This is all you need. If the thought of live bait creeps you out, no worries. Berkley makes many jar baits called “Gulp”. These baits come in many different shapes and sizes. I would recommend the minnow, maggot, or cricket. They are a little messy, so take a towel to wipe your hands. The nice thing here is you won’t be killing any worms because you are using artificial bait. Yes, they are just as good as live bait.

Berkley Gulp

Good luck on your fishing adventures!