How to Fish for Blue Gill

by Alyssa Ideboen

Bluegills, also known as bream, sunfish or sun perch, live in freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers throughout North America. They prefer a water temperature of between 70 and 75 degrees and spawn in late spring. The bluegill does not get very big, the largest weighing in at a little less than 4 pounds. These fish make for a great catch for the beginning fisherman as they often congregate near the shallow areas of the water. Learn what tackle and bait you need to hook yourself a fish fry of bluegill.

Items you will need

  • Light to medium fishing rod and reel
  • Light fishing line
  • Size 6 to 10 fishing hook
  • Worms
  • Bobber
  • Grasshoppers, grubs or artificial bait, optional
Step 1

Find a fishing spot. Contact the headquarters of the park or reserve where you plan to fish to find out if bluegills are bred or live within those waters.

Step 2

Stake out a fishing area. In spring and early summer, bluegills come together in large groups to find a mate, spawn and protect their nests. Look for shallow, sunny areas around weeds, tree stumps or along shallow bays. During late summer and early fall, bluegills move away from the nest and seek deeper, cooler water. In the winter, you will find bluegills in the deepest parts of the water, coming to the shoreline only to feed.

Step 3

Pick out your gear. A light to medium weight rod with similar fishing line will do the job. The lighter the rod and reel, the easier it will be to feel the tug, or bite, of a bluegill sampling your bait.

Step 4

Choose a small hook. Bluegills have small mouths, so a hook of between sizes 6 and 10 will work the best. Too large of a hook will get your bait eaten but will not allow you to catch any fish.

Step 5

Use the right bait. These fish feed on a variety of insects, but one of the most common methods to catching bluegills is with earthworms, night crawlers or meal worms. Thread a hook with only a small part of the worm, just enough to cover the metal without leaving any meat hanging off the sides.

Step 6

Attach a bobber. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to attach a bobber to your line. It will give you a visual signal for when something is biting at your hook and it also can be adjusted to any depth, making snags minimal. Use a small bobber to avoid alarming the fish.

Step 7

Practice patience. Fishing for bluegills is a quiet sport and requires dedication of casting and reeling to find out where the fish are hiding. Once you have cast your line out and feel a bite or a gentle pull, wait for your bobber to go completely under the surface of the water before reeling in your fish.

Tips & Warnings

  • A gentle tug to help set the hook on your fish can be beneficial in snagging your quarry.
  • Other bait such as grasshoppers, rubber grubs, real grubs or artificial flies can be used as a substitute for worms.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images