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Best Time For Bluegill…Now

Posted: August 19th, 2015 by Bill Dance

Bluegill are spawning in my region and it’s a wonderful opportunity for anglers. These sunfish, often collectively called “bream,” provide a heck of a fight for their size, and anglers have lots of fun fishing for them, especially with ultra-light tackle.

During the spawn, the males guard the nurseries/beds so aggressively that they nip or bite anything that comes close to the saucer-sized and crater-shaped nests. This, of course, bodes well for anglers.

It’s an excellent opportunity to carry youngsters or newcomers to the sport, because these fish are so willing to cooperate. The bluegill spawn is really a lot of fun and they also provide excellent table fare, which I will talk about later.

There are several keys to successful fishing for bluegill during the spawn. The first of which is located the beds. There are often several in one area. Comb the shallows and look for bubbles and even movement. Fancast until you find a bed and if they are there and cooperative, it won’t take long to know you are in the right spot, because the bites will be immediate and repetitive. Typically, bluegill make their spawning areas in the same area again and again. So, once you find beds, note their location and remember to return the next time the spawn comes around.

Throughout the summer bluegill spawns often coincide with the full moon. So if you have limited time to fish, concentrate your efforts via the lunar calendar.

I think the most important thing to remember when fishing bluegill spawning beds is this: Fish the outside in. Basically, this means start on the outside and work your way in. If you don’t do this, and you hook a fish in the middle of the bedding area, it could run through the entire area as you fight it, and as a result, it disturbs or frightens the other fish in the area. This could slow the bite. But, by fishing the outer-edge of the bed, and then working in, you have a better chance of catching more bluegill.

Table Fare

Bluegill are excellent table fare and because they are so plentiful and prolific, this is an excellent specie to remove from a pond or lake.

Sure, you have to catch some really nice ones if you want to put them under the fillet knife, but there are plenty of people that still prefer to eat their fried fish with bones. There is some claim among us old folks that the bones give added flavor. You can settle that argument at your next fish fry!

But here is a different twist on cooking them. Many people call this the “po’ man’s shrimp” recipe. Basically, what you do is take bluegill fillets and boil them for a couple of minutes, remove, ice down and store in the fridge, and a few people even put them in the freezer for a little while. The main idea here is to have the fish firm for dipping and eating. Some people add shrimp or crap boil to the water before boiling. Others add sea salt. There are several processes for this, all of which you can find online.

As always, catch one for me!

Bill Dance



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