Even though a wide variety of fish are active right now, this is a great time to catch those scrappy Fun Fish, the Bluegill. We call Bluegills, Fun Fish since they provide some of the best fishing action and the best family fishing fun. Some of the most enjoyable spots are in small lakes or farm ponds with abundant shore access,
where bluegill are very prolific being found in big numbers. You may have found catching them during summer to require fishing in weeds or other areas of cover. However, spring can offer some of the best fast action for those larger spawning bluegills as this is when they will expose themselves in or around the cluster of spawning beds or nest.
Bluegills are a real social species as they move in to prepare these spawning spots or nests. These are the circular depressions cleared by the males that can be seen while walking around a pond. The depths of these nests or beds will depend on water clarity. As water temperatures approach 70 the males will start moving into shallow areas of lakes and ponds to fan out their spawn beds on flats and the spawn will be on when temps get into the 70s. During the spawn is a time when bluegills are a little less interested in feeding as the males are at or on beds and females will hang out around edges of the beds, but all will bite and can be caught. With temps in mid 70s eggs hatch in 2-3 days and the males will guard the fry from predators trying to make a meal. After a few days and once the egg sack is absorbed the young fry will swim off to hunt their first meals.
Always approach these likely shallow areas very carefully so not to disturb or spook fish making them move out deeper. In a boat means to approach slowly and keep your distance and if on shore, walk or move softly and stay low and I even sometimes kneel down. When moving, we will move up away from shoreline before moving along to new spots. If you are not catching fish shallow during this time of the season you may find a need to go out deeper to catch good fish.
As we mentioned last month, little tackle is needed for catching bluegills and as for presentations, keep it simple with light and small tackle. A light to medium/light rods, 4-6 pound line will make it easier to cast the light baits. Since bluegills have small mouths, keep your baits or lures small with small size 6 or 8 hooks. If you use any weights, make it a small split shot and always use a small bobber and we mean as small as possible to suspend your baits.
You may find our unstable spring weather and cold front can throw a curve into the spawn causing fish to move out deep delaying their spawn. Just wait till conditions improve or become stable and they will return.
This a Great time to fish those ponds and to introduce a kid to the enjoyment of fishing and a good experience with photos and take some fish home for dinner. There is some need for conservation, maybe resist the urge to take too many of those 10 inchers home.
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Till Next Time, GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING.!