So I went to explore a new pond that is blocked off by dense cattails. On a previous trip, while searching for bass, I noticed a substantial volume of large bluegill in the area. So, for this trip, I decided to grab my ultralight and beetle spin and go back to try my luck. In just a couple hours I caught over 70 bluegills. The bluegill are a lot of fun, especially on light tackle. It has always amazed me how small but aggressive they can be.
I wanted to use this trip as an opportunity to talk with you about bluegill fishing and the artificial lures/bait I think will serve you best out on the water.
While bait fishing is just fine, with bluegills, you can often find yourself running short as soon as things start heating up. Plus, the larvae, grubs and worm’s bluegill enthusiasts employ can also be a turn-off. Using bluegill-sized lures can often be more productive and less of a hassle than using natural baits.
Anything that wanders into a bluegills territory is going to be inspected, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting bites.
What makes them a top lure? A series of “Metal blades shaped to spin like a propeller when in motion, creating vibration that mimics small fish or other prey.”
Beetle spins really make wake and they shimmer and shine. If you can find the right color combinations, you can really catch fish for hours on end. The colors and vibrations they put out do a fantastic job of attracting curious bluegills. The best colors tend to be white, chartreuse, black and greens.
Soft plastics have long been a favorite for bass and various game fish, the same applies to the feisty bluegill. Use a jig head to adjust the sink rate, and you got yourself a nice phony larva just asking for bluegill to bite it. You want the bodies to be bright and visible.
There are a bunch of worm and larvae style soft plastic lures to choose from. My favorites include Berkley Alive Fish Fry, Power minnows and Berkley Gulp Waxies.
Use the smallest and lightest jigs you have. 1/32-ounce lures will be optimum. Tip with a small plastic grub and these lures are tough to beat.
The weight of a jig can help you probe deeper waters on slow days as well.
Poppers/gurglers are fantastic topwater baits that attract bluegills through their unique motion. The design of the lure creates a significant surface disturbance on the water, drawing the attention of the fish. I prefer to throw the poppers in low light scenarios especially in lakes or ponds that have an abundance of flying insects.
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