Fly fishing gear

How To Catch Bluegill | meat eater peach

They say we should enjoy the simple things in life. Well, in the world of angling, there is no other simpler fish than bluegill. These little bluegills are easy to find, eat almost anything, and are one of the most populous fish in North America with a range that stretches from southern Canada to northern Mexico. While there are certainly many other popular anglerfish species, bluegill sunfish is unique because I don’t think there’s an angler who hasn’t cut their teeth pulling a few gills out of a pond. farm or slow-moving stream when he was a child. .

Almost all of us have caught at least a few bluegills over the years, but many anglers only know one or two ways to catch them. Also, when most of these anglers have no chance of catching bluegill with their usual methods, they simply ignore it and move on to another species of sunfish. However, if you’re as big of a bluegill fan as I am, you’ll want to be able to catch them all season long. It’s totally possible, as long as you use the right bait at the right time of year.

The Best Baits for Bluegill

When it comes to bluegill bait, there is no doubt that the most popular and commonly used is the worm. In summer, the short stop at the gas station to pick up a pack of dillies or crawlers is almost synonymous with going out to the bluegill pond. These worms are rigged simply, with small earthworms threaded entirely onto the hook or with small pieces of larger night owls pierced on the point of the hook. Worm rigs for bluegill are usually suspended a few feet below a bobber and then tossed haphazardly into fishy looking water around weed beds and spawning areas.

While this is an effective method because a few fish can still be found in shallow water, many true bluegill sunfish aficionados know that true slabs are found in deeper water. In mid-summer, when the water temperature has climbed, most of the larger bluegills present in a given body of water will move from the shallow sandbars and grassy shelves they inhabit in the spring. and early summer and will congregate in depths of 10 to 20 feet of water immediately adjacent to their source lairs.

These fish are real meat eaters, and while they can be caught on worms and bobbers, you’re much better off using bigger, livelier baits like leeches or minnows mounted on small jigs or a small weighted size 8 or 10 hook. with some split shots. Using your electronic device, locate the deep edges of weed lines or small sandbars where you saw or caught bluegill early in the season and drop your bait to the bottom. Reel them in so that they are a few inches from the bottom, then start jigging your baits with a small twitching motion using only the tip of your rod. You’ll have a cooler full of greasy sunfish before you know it.

Besides worms, leeches and small baitfish, bluegill also have a special affinity for terrestrial insects such as grasshoppers and especially crickets. If you don’t have a lot of deep water or weed beds in your local bluegill spot, these can be a great option for increasing your bluegill catches. Crickets and grasshoppers can be purchased at many bait shops, or you can easily catch them yourself. Arm the insects by pushing the tip of a small hook through their thorax, then add a bee skewer pulled onto the line about 5 to 6 inches above the bait. Throw these platforms at the edges of shallow structures such as docks or traffic jams on lakes and ponds or in swirling eddies on rivers or streams. Let them sink slowly to the bottom of the water, shaking them occasionally as they fall until they are slammed by a hungry crappie.

Best lures for bluegill

Few anglers realize how effective certain lures can be for bluegill. Lesser sunfish are generally considered to be rather docile and opportunistic feeders who only eat live bait, but they also have a serious predatory side when the mood strikes them.

The best time to use lures for bluegill is either when they are on or when they are leaving their spawning grounds in early spring or late fall when the fish are aggressively feeding in anticipation of the winter. During these times, a wide variety of lures can be effective as long as they are fished near or on the surface of the water.

The best bluegill lure is a small rubber worm like a 1 to 2 inch Squirming Grub or a Mister Crappie paired with a 1/64 to 1/4 ounce jig head. Thread the larva onto the hook so that the tail extends completely behind the rig, then cast it in a spot that seems likely. Let the larva sink a few centimeters below the surface before bringing it back with a quick recovery that keeps the platform just a few centimeters below the surface.

Although the larva is most effective when you know where the fish are, when covering the water for bluegills, it’s hard to beat a small line trout spinner like a Panther Martin or Roostertail. These flashy little lures can be cast a long distance when using a light action rod and light line and spooled in at a rapid pace just below the surface. Any cruising shoals of gills that catch a glimpse of the moving spinner will be unable to resist.

If you need more intense bluegill action in your life, you need to chase them to the surface. Using small lures like the Micro Popper and Tiny Torpedo is the ultimate way to hunt Bluegill, especially when the fish are congregated in large schools in the shallows. Hitting these lures among the congregated fish and jerking and bouncing them to the surface can pull off some truly explosive catches and make you look at the docile little bluegill in an entirely different light.

Best Flies for Bluegill

Fly anglers have a ton of options when it comes to hunting bluegill. The fish eat a wide variety of small nymphs and surface insects like a trout and will even chase and crush a small streamer like a Woolly Bugger if given the chance. Combine these flies with a 2 or 3 weight fly rod and light tip and bluegill fly fishing can become one of your favorite activities.

My favorite way to hunt bluegill on a fly rod is with a tandem nymph rig. This is a fairly simple setup that involves attaching a pearl-headed nymph like a pheasant tail or hare ear to the end of your leader, then adding a tip section to the rod of the hook. Attach a second, unweighted nymph like a prince nymph or soft hackle to the end of the tip like a dropper, then drop it into the water. Retrieve the two nymphs with short, pointed strips like you would a streamer and hold the line tight because it’s going to be completely slammed.

As mentioned earlier, bluegills have a particular affinity for surface lures and terrestrial insects. Therefore, fly anglers looking to catch them on the surface will easily find success on small foam grasshopper and beetle models like the Foam Park Hopper and Flash Beetle. These flies can be splashed and left floating along the shores of lakes and ponds or tossed to the surface of the water in the evening when bluegills are more aggressive. Tiny poppers like the Mini Pop and Bett’s Bream can also be very effective at this time, especially if you’re looking for very large bluegill fillets for the freezer. Hit one of these poppers among the lily pads or brush the stacks on a deep hole in midsummer and try not to be too surprised when a bluegill the size of a frying pan soar from the bottom to swallow it up.

keep it simple

There comes a time in every fisherman’s life when fishing gets quite complicated. Whether it’s buying the newest lure, pursuing a new species, or adopting a whole new method of fishing, it seems the more advanced and involved we become in the sport of fishing, the more it can become stressful. I’ve spent much of my time swinging flies for winter rainbow trout, casting for hours in search of muskellunge, or trying to trick a crafty old trout into she is eating my dry fly and being quite stressed about it. I found getting out and fishing for bluegill once in a while was a big relief.

There’s a simplicity and innocence to casting a line for a couple bluegills that few other fishing methods have. The willingness with which fish take the bait and the strong floating pull they give during the fight can be almost therapeutic. It takes you back to a time in your angling life when your whole being was focused on a gently floating bobber, waiting for it to disappear. Because at this point in your life, all the happiness in the world could be found by simply having a struggling little Bluegill on the end of your line and once in a while, it’s good to remember that.