How to Catch Bluegill TODAY – Easy and Tasty

man holding bluegill fish

Bluegill fishing is quite popular​ as they provide plenty of action and have a delicious taste.

​​Many anglers ​catch bluegill with their young kids as it is ​an excellent way to get their children hooked on the sport! For youngsters, the first ever fish they end up catching is the ​bluegill.​

So, you're interested in bluegills but you're not sure where to start. Not to worry, this article will teach you ​how to catch bluegill in no time!

The Rod, Reel, and Line to Catch Bluegills

spinning rod on a pier


While you can catch a lot of bluegill with fly fishing, this article will focus on the spinning rod ​technique as it's extremely easy to pick up and newbie friendly.​

Due to the bluegill's small size, you need a 5ft-7ft ultra-light power rod with slow (Some companies use the same labels for action and power. So, slow action is the same thing as light action) or medium/moderate action.


With the above spinning rod, the best combination is an ultralight spinning reel. This will allow you to cast small baits and lures farther​ which sometimes can be the difference between fish or no fish.

Both closed and open-faced reels work perfectly.


Since bluegills are small fish, a ​2lb-4lb test line is perfect. As we said above, the light line (with the help of an ultralight spinning reel) ​allows you to cast farther than if you're using a heavier line.

The Bait and Lures to Catch Bluegill

image of bluegill hooked with worm

​The best way to catch bluegill is with ​bait but they will often go for lures as well.

​When choosing your baits and lures, you ​must ​remember that bluegills have​ small mouths so ​use small bait, hooks, and lures.​

​Use number 6 to 8 hooks​. Anything ​larger is going to make it hard for the fish to ​​get hooked.


​The best ​baits for bluegill are nightcrawlers, earthworms, crickets or grasshoppers. ​Don't hesitate to use them if you can  get them.


In addition to live baits, you may also use queasy and imitate lures. They also work great in most situations and in different seasons.

​Regardless which lure you go with, always move them slowly as bluegill usually spend some time observing lure before striking. ​Therefore, fast-moving ​lures are usually ignored.


They are the best lure to entice bluegills instantly. Go with jigs with 1/100 to 1/33-ounce heads and around 1inch bodies. A good rule of thumb is to use dark and bright colors on dark and bright days respectively.


Use small spinners for bluegill. They are best for long rocky points and open water areas such as gravel-bottom spawning beds. If you use them with proper technique, they can also be used to fish in the sparse brush, alongside woody cover and weed tops like trees and stumps.


These are high bluegill catchers. The mini plugs of around 1 to 2 inch imitate natural bluegill forage like small crayfish, grasshopper or tiny fish.

Square Bill Crankbait

Bluegills spends a lot of time in shallow water and near heavy cover hence square bill is an ideal option to coax a bite. It easily tempts them and a great choice to boat plenty of bluegills at once.

​Bluegill Fishing the Different Seasons

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This is a great time for bluegill fishing in shallow areas of rivers and lakes. They’re here to spawn and quite aggressive because of it.

If you’re at a clear water lake you can easily see their beds. Every bed comprises individual nests which are made by a particular bluegill. In rock or sandy bottoms, they may appear discolored. Use a bright lure with slow movement to catch the attention near these nests.


This is a good time to catch some large size and quality bluegill. After spawning, these fish travel to deeper water for feeding. The best depth is around 10 – 15 feet. Look for weed beds and similar structures.

Use grubs, crickets or grass shrimp to catch bluegill during summer. To catch big fish, troll or cast a good combination of lures and baits in the deep water.


During the fall season, bluegills generally make a move. Typically, they might travel to mid-depths that are close to their spawning site. Being a predictable fish, you may find them near weeds, sunken logs or boulders. Here you can get some good quality fish. Use lures like jigs and especially night crawlers to boat plenty of bluegills in the shortest span of time.

As the weather cools down during fall, the big fish come to shore near the man-made structures and vegetation. If you find heavy rain or wind during fishing, use a bit heavier lure or flies to overcome the wind.


During the winter season, the bluegills ​move into deep water. So look for depths around 20 feet, however, depending on the river/lake, even a few feet may make a big difference. It’s good to follow the fishing reports before leaving for your fishing trip​. This will help you to hunt at the right spot.

​Bluegill fishing can be plenty productive during winter if you find it offshore or wait for these small fish to come inshore during the afternoon. Use natural baits in winters as they are less aggressive with low metabolism during this period.

The Final Word

Now you know how to catch bluegill. Follow these fishing tips and tricks and get the most out of your bluegill fishing trip.

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