Bluegill fishing

I am going to go fishing with my son this weekend. This will be his first fishing ever. We will be fishing for bluegills. I bought him an 4.5ft lightweight spincasting rod and reel combo and it’s got 4 lbs test line on it. I am not very good at fishing either and was wondering which artificial lure setup works the best. thanks in advance

THE classic baits for bluegill are a tiny piece of worm, a cricket, or a wax worm/maggot on a #10 Aberdeen hook - but those aren’t artificials.

Get a few 1/16th ounce jigs in white or yellow. You can tip the hook with a Berkely GULP artificial maggot, or one of their tiny 1" minnows. Fish under a small float.

Two tips for fishing with kids: Don’t try to fish yourself - you’ll have a full-time job helping out with casts, tangles, baiting up and unhooking trophy fish. And don’t plan to stay long, especially if the fish don’t cooperate. Kids have an attention span measured in picoseconds, so if he wants to throw rocks or run around instead of holding the rod, let him. And come back another day.

Bluegill Fishing

– Last Updated: Apr-17-13 10:32 AM EST –

For artificials, it's hard to beat a good fly on a fly rod. Bluegills are very enthusiastic on flies. I've always done best with a Black and Orange, or Black and Yellow Chernobyl Ant pattern, but they hit foam spiders and poppers as well. For subsurface, they love small Woolly Buggers.

On a spinning rod, the best blugeill lure I have ever used is a small black and chartreuse grub. Don't use the curly tail ones, because they will just bite the tail off. It helps if you spray some Nightcrawler Baitmate, or other scent, on them.

Use a fly

– Last Updated: Apr-18-13 9:39 AM EST –

I am a fly fisherman, but my youngest daughter has no interest in fly fishing. One day we found ourselves at a lake and she wanted to fish. I don't keep live bait in my truck, obviously, so while I had tackle in my truck I didn't have any live bait. Like most parks, this one discourages people from digging up worms out of their fields. Instead, I tied a weighted hare's ear nymph out of my trout box under a bobber and my daughter caught far more bluegills than she ever did with worms.

Bluegills aren't fussy. I've since used any of a variety of small beadheaded nymphs and they all seem to work well. You can get commercially tied ones cheaply at nearly any big box store that sells fishing tackle.

If that doesn't work for you, or if you want to use a cast and retrieve approach rather than bobber fishing, the classic bluegill lures are the Beetle Spin (also available nearly everywhere) or small inline spinners. I'd discourage you from using the inline spinners at first. The treble hooks can have some unpleasant repurcussions when used around excitable small children holding thrashing fish.

Good luck. I hope you and your son have a blast. Remember, the little guy may not have too much of a span of concentration. If he wants to go off chasing grasshoppers or kick a ball or whatever, let him. Let it be fun for him. It's amazing what all activities fit into the category "fishing" for a small child.

- Big D

Powerbait crappie niblets - looks like pencil erasers, come in different colors like white, yellow, pink. Thats all I use for my girls and they do a great job.

Small poppers if the water is clear.
Kids like to see fish rise to the surface. Add some spray scent or a small piece of worm.

dude go get some 3" trout worms made by berkley. natural works well. fish them with as little weight as possible. If you can find any beds you will catch close to the edge in 2 to 5 feet of water. you can ty a bobber as well .

Poppers on a 4 wt
A buddy of mine and I had an hour to kill and were near a pond. We grabbed the 4 wt out of his truck and cast poppers for bluegills. He caught a small bass. I caught two large bluegill. We each caught several small bluegill.

Two grey beards laughing like kids with bluegills hitting poppers. You’re darned right about it being a lot of fun. Kids would LOVE it. I’m buying two 4 weights for my kids to use.

  • Big D

about 41 yrs. ago …
… by chance caught the largest Bluegill ever .

Also it was the very 1st time I ever fished the Shenandoah , it was even the very 1st fish I ever caught from the Shen. .

That’s a triple header …

This Bluegill came out of the Shen. at Thunderbird (before any houses were built there and the road to the river could swallow a truck whole in it’s ruts) , just outside Front Royal , VA.

It’s body would have covered a note book size piece of paper , an orange chest so wide (like the width of my heel - #12’s) … caught it from shore just before I stepped into the Shenandoah for the very 1st time to go wading . Returned to that place (camp/wade fishing) about 2-3 times a year for the next 17 yrs. .

No other Bluegill since has even come close … but so many other great things happened there over those years .

My biggest bluegill
I call it Moby Bream. I caught it on the Potomac on my first solo kayak fishing trip. I put in just before dawn at Brunswick and paddled upriver towards Knoxville. The rock garden below the falls there has always been good to me. (Sorry if this is precise information on line - if you want other sources for this exact same precise information, go to Virginia Fish and Game, and any number of books on fishing in Virginia, it’s hardly a secret spot) Anyway, I got tired fighting the current and tucked in behind a rock. The eddy was small, but it was enough to tuck in lengthwise. I made a few casts while I rested, and darned if I didn’t hook into a fish that pulled my kayak right out of that eddy and into the main current, then continued to fight as we went downstream. When I landed it, it was a bluegill. I thought I had a catfish. It must have been an inch and a half across the back and while not enough to cover a notebook page, it beat the several citation sized bluegills (12" or 1 lb in Virginia) I had caught the previous season by half. I caught it on a 3" tube I had been catching smallmouth bass on.

Bluegill lures
I use the smallest rapala floating lure they sell. It’s just about foolproof for catching all sorts of panfish and since it floats it also is less likely to get snagged on anything.


completely understand D …
… you caught a fantastic amazing Bluegill !!

Incredible isn’t it ?? Maybe we’ll catch another like our previous one someday … maybe not . It will be a fluke , pure luck , or whatever it’s called when you/I catch a Bluegill that size (again) , but once was enough , again would be great but still … once made the memory .

A 3" tube , wow that’s wild !! Caught mine on a Rebel Brokenback floater (blue & silver) .

Fishin with the nephew Tues. , I took 8 Largemouth (nice sizes) , Culprit 7.5" worm (purple) and #3 Mepps Aglia (gold/yellow) . Missed 1 Muskie (teeth cut the line) … Piney Run Res. - Eldersburg .

Ordering three 8’6" 5 weights today
The neighbor kids all want me to take them fishing. I don’t want them busting up my good rods, so I’m ordering a few of the Cabelas Cahill outfits while they’re on sale. They’re not bad rods - a lot better than any “kid” rod out there - and the price is right.

I’ve got a few spinning rods for those who would rather throw beetle spins. But I think if they can catch some bluegill on a foam spider or a cork popper, then I’ll have a neighborhood full of children who fish.

  • Big D

"Toooo much fun"
Big D sounds like YOU were having too much fun. Me and my buddy shoved off from the ramp at our favorite lake. My buddy went several hundred yards away and I stayed in the shallows close to the ramp. I was there for three hour with a popper and a fly rod. I caught so many fish and laughed so hard, I had a big time just catching a mess of bluegill. Latter that evening my buddy came back to to the ramp and asked me “well how many did you catch” I told a few!