How To Catch Bluegill In Summer

Bluegill Fishing In Summer, How to catch Bluegill in Summer, Bluegill Summer Fishing

After the spawn Bluegill can be more difficult to locate but once you do find them the cooler can fill up quickly!

America’s Most Popular Fish!


Bluegill, bream, brim, sun perch, doesn’t matter what you call them, Lepomis macrochirus is still America’s favorite fish!  They can be found in our largest lakes and rivers on down to the tiniest streams and tributaries.  No matter where they are you can bet, if it’s daylight bluegill are actively feeding.

The problem with many anglers are that they can catch fish during the spawn but struggle to locate the larger fish once they vacate the shallows and get back to the creek channel to travel looking for food sources.  Typically when the water reaches 80 degrees this will signal the end of the spawn.

This is actually a great thing if you’re willing to do some searching as the fish will gather into much larger schools than they were in when guarding their beds.  You can really smash them this time of year and I’ll share what I’ve learned from more than thirty years of chasing bluegill on the hottest days of the year.


What Bluegill Feed On In Summer?

string full of bluegill, catching bluegill, bluegill in summer, mess of bluegill
Once located, bluegill come fast and easy!


Bluegills are omnivores but definitely lean more to being carnivores.  Their high metabolism from being a dual-purpose predator and prey is on overdrive until wintertime when they aren’t being chased as regularly. 

This means that they will always be looking for an easy meal, and when you’re competing against anywhere between 20 and 100 of your peers if it falls in the water and you’re closest then you eat!

People believe that Bluegill go straight to the bottom to feed but that really doesn’t happen so much as it does in winter.  There are just way too many opportunities at the surface for falling insects, spiders, grasshoppers, and don’t forget about those crazy mayfly hatches where you can’t take a breath without inhaling one!

This is why you have to keep your eyes open for a small bust at the top.  Once you see this, one fish has literally given up the entire school!


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Where To Locate And Catch Bluegill In Summer?

summer bluegill, locating bluegill in summer,
Sometimes you have to fish in the wide open. Use your eyes and ears to locate these tasty fish!


In summertime start your search in a calm bay so that you can cover it quickly with both your eyes and ears.  Bluegills suspend inches under the surface this time of year and will feed on the first fly that lands near them.  Once you see this rush over to the area keeping back a casts length.  Almost 100% of the time this fish was not alone and has just given up the entire location of the school!  This means they could be out in the very middle of the lake or right up against a small overhang in inches of water waiting for bugs to drop down from the heavens.

I will use a Shelton’s Bluegill Bug head in 1/32oz and carry a few different colors in the 12pk.  There are two ways to rig it.  First you can cast the bait directly in the middle of the fish and swim it back just below the surface waiting for a tap.  My favorite is to take a small bobber and rig the bug no more than 6 inches below it.  I will then cast past where I saw the fish surface reeling the bug in with intermittent stops.  There’s nothing like seeing your bobber go under, I don’t care how long you’ve been doing this!

Yes, bluegill can be suspended in deep water this time of year but will almost always be near the surface especially in stained to muddy water.  The only time I’ve found this method to not be working is when winds are up making it difficult for bluegill to find surface snacks.


Where To Locate And Catch Bluegill In Summer On Windy Days?


There is a two-pronged approach to fishing the wind.  If you can’t find a calm bay, then we need to look two places.  The first is the most obvious once it’s broken down and that is bridges.  Current gets pulled through a lake and the current is always strongest in a bottle neck area like a bridge.  This means that any small larvae or dead insects will have to pass through here on its way downstream.  Bluegill know this instinctively and will stack up on piers waiting to ambush these easy meals. 

Bluegill caught in summer, summer bluegill, fishing in summer
If the current is ripping through, make sure to check bridges to find active bluegill!

The next place to focus on is the windy side of riprap.  As waves crash into the bank it frees up all kinds of prey for bluegill to eat.  Often times you can catch fish in inches of water as they patrol the silt stirred area looking for an easy meal.

I will always use a bobber in these two situations.


Don’t let hot weather keep you from doing what you enjoy most.  If you’re dressed for the occasion, get out there and use your eyes and ears.  Fish fast until you come upon a school and the only thing, you’ll have to worry about is cleaning fish!


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