Bluegill Fishing Tips

Bluegill fishing is fun, entertaining and not extremely complicated. Below is a compiled list of tips and tricks for catching slabs of bluegills. If you have any bluegill fishing tips please email

Go Where Bluegills Aren’t Fished As Hard

Bluegills can be caught during nearly all times of the year and are found in plentiful amounts throughout lakes and rivers. This simplest advice to give a fisherman is to fish where others ‘aint. This is particularly true when fishing from the shore or docks. Easily accessible docks are fished very hard. Even though docks make good cover for bluegill, at some point the dock will be fished out. Walk down the shoreline and try to find a new spot. Look for areas where there is at least 4 feet of water (if not more) and avoid wide open spots with flat, sandy bottoms.

Know Your Seasons

fdecomite via flickr

fdecomite via flickr

Bluegill act differently during different times of the year. Seasons typically coincide with changes in water temperature. If you want to catch quality bluegill, it is imperative to be fishing in the right depth and structure. Please view our Bluegill Fishing 101 page for more details on where to catch bulls during different times of the year.

Use The Right Equipment

Small Haired Jigs

larrybourgeois via flickr

Hook size is extremely important when fishing for bluegill. Bluegill will attack just about anything. However, their mouths are small and you are likely to miss a lot of hook sets if you are using a larger hook/jig. If you are using a straight hook with live bait,  stick to a number 6 or 8. If you are using a weighted jig head and plastic body, stick with a jig no bigger than 1/32 oz unless you are fishing for monster bulls.

Know What They Like To Eat

Nightcrawlers or Red Worms

Like it was mentioned earlier, bluegills are not picky eaters. The easiest and most accessible live bait are worms. They can be purchased at any bait shop and a lot of gas stations and outdoor stores. They are usually cheap and last relatively long. They are also handy because you can adjust the size you want to use


Small minnows are also an effective bait to use for bluegill. If you are fishing with a bobber or a sinker on the bottom, hook the minnow through the upper back. This will allow the minnow to swim naturally. If you are casting and retrieving, the best place to hook it is through the bottom of the mouth up through the harder part of the head.

Crawfish / Crawdads / Crayfish / Mudbugs

Bluegill Fishing Tips - Use Crawfish!

niftyniall flickr

Whatever you want to call them, crawfish are a common natural food for bluegill. However, crawfish that are the right size for bluegills can be difficult to find for purchase. Typical bait shops offer them in the 2 inch range and bluegill prefer smaller ones. However, if you net your own bait, you’ll likely come across many smaller crawfish that are perfect for bulls.


Jigging Cadence

Jigging cadence is the motion you use when moving your bait or lure in the water. The key is to make it look at natural as possible. Incorrect cadences can spook fish off. Ask any good ice fisherman how important cadence is. Some have it down to an art. On open water, a good way to master jigging cadence is to practice on a dock with small bluegills.

Experiment With Different Techniques

This should go without saying. If it’s not working, try something different. Bluegill, like other fish, are more active on some days than others. Switch things up. Try live bait vs. artificial or vice versa. Try slowing your retrieves down. Try a different spot.

Check back regularly for more bluegill fishing tips!

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