Numerous members of the sunfish family which include yellow perch inhabit almost all the warm waters of America. The most important member of this family that rarely weighs more than one kilogram, but can be remarkably caught with ultralight tackle is the bluegill.
In many places there are quite numerous populations, and it is not difficult to catch it in large quantities. It does not require complex equipment or special skills. It is no wonder that in view of this the bluegill is particularly popular in the USA.
The bluegill prefers quiet and slightly plant-filled waters where it can feed on aquatic insects and hide from the perch and pike which prey on it. At the beginning and at the end of the season, as well as at the beginning and at the end of the day this fish usually stays in more open areas, closer to the shore. It mostly is the catch during the winter ice fishing. However, spring is the best time to quickly catch enough of this fish for the great banquet.
When water starts warming up in lakes, the bluegill gathers in the shallows, where there is often barely enough water to cover the backs of the fish. There it dugs dimples and arrange nests that are similar to honeycomb, clearly visible in the clear water. Then it lays eggs and guards its nests for two or three weeks.
If you throw any kind of the trout green-fly nearby, bite will emerge immediately. In fact, this often leads to overpopulation of many reservoirs, and as a result, to the cease of growth of the fish. Weight of the largest bluegill ever caught (it was caught in Alabama) was 2.15 kilograms.
Tackle for the bluegill fishing
The key point in catching the bluegill is matching the equipment to surrounding conditions, as well as the size of the fish which you are catching.
Equipment should include ultralight tackle consisting of a short and light fishing rod, 1.2 m long to heavier one, up to 6 m, and a small coil with a thin fish line (with breaking load of 0.9-2.7 kg).
Some anglers specializing in angling the bluegill prefer to use a very thin fish line with the breaking load of 0.45 lb. The thinner is fish line, the bigger is the likelihood that you miss the fish if a big fish nibbles, but bites happen more often.
Bluegill tips and fishing tactics
The best time to catch it falls at the breeding season. In the southern regions of the United States, spawning begins in early February and lasts until August. In the northern and western states spawning occurs from mid-May to mid-September.
The best time to find spawning area of the bluegill is a 5-day period during the full moon. For some reason, it mostly spawns during the full moon, which is noted by biologists and experienced anglers.
If you want to discover the spawning areas, then pay attention primarily to sand and gravel areas, which have large rocks, vegetation or other types of underwater shelters. Spawning areas are often located at the depth of 0.6-1.2 m, but they are sometimes found at the depth of 4.2 m.
These fish are kept among snags and sunken trees. Anglers usually find such places, anchor their boats near them and lower gudgeon live bait nearby. In practice, some keen anglers create underwater debris themselves, piling up twigs of old trees on the ice in winter, which then fall to the bottom when ice melts. They sometimes mark location of such shelters of the bluegills with small buoys for subsequent fishing. Night fishing especially in the height of the summer often gives better results than in the afternoon.