In-Fisherman: Bull Bluegills

Fishing Tips & Tricks from the In-Fisherman

Bull Bluegills
By In-Fisherman

Bull bluegills cruise in gangs, swarming around a jig like bees, and riding herd on anything they can rip a chunk from.

Bluegills fill many niches – shallow, suspended, hovering on weedlines, and deep – and usually return to the same patterns every year. Gills that wander into deep water remain if something holds them there. Rocks often are that something, because crustaceans, nymphs, larvae, and tiny minnows live near rocks. But deep is relative. Consider 15 feet deep in a shallow prairie lake with weedlines at 4 feet. In big reservoirs, sometimes 25 feet isn’t deep enough.

The best bluegill waters, however, tend to be lakes with large bays. Concentrate on environments where rock bulls hold 15 to 30 feet down. In lakes with a shallow fertile end and a deeper more sterile end, bulls live in the fertile end. By summer, big fish have left shallow bays, seeking deep rocks on major structure in that most fertile region of the main lake.

These area include rock slides off major points, rock fingers extending beyond a weedline, and particularly rock piles on flats near sharp breaks leading to large weed flats. Rock and gravel slopes on main-lake bars and humps and rock ridges on secondary flats near the mouths of spawning bays attract fish.

To quickly pinpoint bluegills concentrated in deep water, use a trolling motor to backtroll a small spinner rig behind a 1/8 to 1/2 ounce bottom bouncer. Bouncers snag less often than conventional sinkers.

Tip a small double-hook harness with a red worn or half a crawler. Spinner blades should be #00 to #0 in hammered silver for clear water, hammered brass or gold for stained water, and fluorescent orange or chartreuse in dark water. Use light-action 5-1/2 to 6 foot rods rated for 2 to 4 pound test for both techniques.

Tips & Tricks Courtesy of In-Fisherman
7819 Highland Scenic Road
Baxter, MN 56425