Taking your entire family on a fishing trip is a great way to spend time together and enjoy some 101 fishing classes. Whether you’re an experimented angler or an amateur yourself, the easiest way to learn how to catch fish is to start with the most common ones, panfish. So put on your brand new fishing waders, get the rest of your fishing gear, and prepare for an entire day of fun.
You will often find bluegill together with other small species of panfish, including crappie, perch, and rock bass. Moreover, these fish are used to living in large families so, once you found one, you can rest assured the others are nearby.
Most bluegills don’t exceed a pound but, if you’re an experienced angler, you can probably stretch for 2-pound fish as well. These fish usually take cover in secluded and shady areas and can be mainly found in slower moving waters.
Expect to find bluegills in sunken logs, under a large boat, near docks or weed beds. They feed on minnows, small insects, and zooplankton. And, because of their big appetite, you can easily catch them even without investing in a professional fishing rod and reel combo. If you plan on cooking a light dinner, here are some easy-to-follow tips on how to catch bluegill.
Use small hooks and baits
These fish have small mouths so you won’t need to use larger baits or hooks. Grasshoppers, worms, and crickets are good options when it comes to fishing lure for bluegill. You can also replace the live bait with small woolly buggers or worms.
Where to find bluegill
Although you can catch bluegill all year long, you can start in late winter or early spring. You will easily spot the fish in deep waters with warmer temperatures. When the temperature of the water drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, bluegill will seek warmer places to swim in. When this happens, they will usually head to the center of a lake.
Therefore, you will probably require the help of a small boat or a kayak to find bluegill instead of waiting for it on the shore. The best time to look for bluegill is in late spring or early summer when water temperatures reach 65-69 degrees Fahrenheit.
At this time of the year, the fish will head to shallow waters, and you can easily find them in waters no more than 2.5 feet deep. Early summer is also the spawning season for bluegill fish, meaning they will be more active and even easier to catch.
Revisit familiar spawning sites
Bluegill fish are creatures of habit, meaning they are more likely to reuse the same spawning sites years in a row.
If you are fishing in a reservoir or a lake you are familiar with, chances are you will find bluegill in the same spot as the year before. Try revisiting the same places every other week, and you’ll easily improve your fishing technique and catch plenty of fish.
If you weren’t lucky in finding your favorite fish in familiar places, you could search for new catching techniques using the right fishing tools.
Bluegills enjoy crayfish as part of their diets. These creatures are noisy and easily attract the attention of the fish, so you can use them to your advantage. Just make sure to use a suitable rod and reel to test the water and catch your dinner.
Don’t overlook ponds
Although you will most likely find bluegills in reservoirs or lakes, ponds shouldn’t be neglected either. In fact, they represent an excellent opportunity for capturing big bluegills of over four pounds. From irrigation ponds to the industrial ones or rural livestock watering, all these waters have a high potential for housing bluegills.
Once you get a permit or a license to fish in these private properties, you’ll have to identify the key fish-holding spots. As previously mentioned, start with the outskirts of the pond, weed patches and other hard-to-reach parts of the pond.
The best thing about fishing in a pond is that you won’t need a boat or a kayak to head away from the shore. Even amateur anglers can score some nice bluegills by efficiently fishing from the shore.
How to attract bluegills
If patience is not your number one quality and you don’t want to spend an entire afternoon waiting for the fish to bite the bait, you can speed things up by using the right lures and baits.
Bluegills are known for eating anything, so catching them shouldn’t be a problem. You can even throw breadcrumbs or chips into the water and wait for fish to come. If you are fishing in the right spot, you will see dozens of bluegills gathered around your boat in just a few minutes. This will make them easy targets, even for the most inexperienced anglers.
Use the right equipment
If you want to catch fish faster, finding the right fishing line and rod is crucial. Opt for lightweight and small equipment that is not only easy to handle but also appropriate for these small fish.
Unless you have problems with snagging, a monofilament fishing line weighing up to four pounds is exactly what you need.
Don’t forget to have fun
Although fishing is all about patience and technique, there is no reason why you shouldn’t turn a regular fishing trip into a fun outdoor activity for the entire family. Take your kids with you and teach them how to fish and cook their own dinner. Bluegills can be captured even by inexperienced anglers.
And, if fishing is not your child’s favorite cup of tea, you can at least have her or him help with preparing the meal or storing the caught bluegills. A large ice box to store the fish represents a better choice than a simple water bucket, especially in the hot summer days. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing, too. If you’d like to find out more on that, check out our recent article.