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5 Fall Bluegill Fishing Tips (For Catching More Bluegill!)

Catch More Bluegill This Fall With These Tips and Techniques

The fall is a great time to target massive bluegill. They eat more before winter, and the bigger ones begin to separate themselves from the little guys. So, you don’t have to worry about bait thieves as much. However, to really do well this fall, you’ll have to fish for them a little differently than you would in the warmer summer months.

large bluegill fish in mans hand

The cooler fall month are still a great time to catch bluegill.

Related: How To Setup a Bluegill Fishing Rig

5 Fall Bluegill Fishing Tips and Techniques

Here are five tips and techniques to catch more bluegill this fall!

1. Use A Fish Finder

Water clarity has a huge impact on your ability to consistently catch big bluegill, and fall is usually the season that has the worst water clarity. Plants in the water begin to die off in the fall which increases the overall amount of plant debris suspended throughout the water column. And along with it, the soil begins to loosen enough for it to break off into the water, too. So as you can imagine, things get pretty murky fast. 

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Shore and Ice Fishing

Castable fish finders like the Deeper Pro+ are perfect for bluegill fishing from shore.

Since you won’t be able to simply look into the water to find the bluegill, you’ll want to use a fish finder. If you’re using a boat, chances are you already have one.  If you fish from the bank, you can buy a castable fish finder that attaches directly to your line, too. That’s a good choice if you’re fishing from the bank. Look for groups of fish in the deeper areas of the water. They’re most likely large bull bluegill.

2. Fish Deeper

You can find bluegill right next to the surface during the spring and summer months, but big bluegill tend to dive towards the bottom of the body of water when the temperatures begin to drop. That’s because there’s just not enough oxygen towards the surface when the plants start dying, and they start to get uncomfortable up there. Try to search for pockets in the fourteen to fifteen-foot depth range. If your local fishing hole isn’t that deep, just fish the bottom where you can.

Again, a fish finder like the Deeper Pro+ is going to help you out significantly when searching for those deeper pockets where the bluegill are just hanging out.

3. Jig For Bluegill

I’m going to be honest here…jigging isn’t my favorite fishing technique.  But it happens to work wonders during the fall months. Bluegill are less likely to charge across ten-feet of water to nab your bait when the water is cold, but they will bite something if you bounce it around in their face. That’s because the fish are conserving energy in the cooler water and are much more selective at what they’ll spend their energy on.

jigging for bluegill

If you have access to a boat, it’ll help you out quite a bit in getting out to those deeper holes. You can still jig if you can find a pier or something, but you won’t be able to get to the bluegill that moved out to deeper areas when the temperatures dropped. To jig for bluegill, just put a piece of bait on the tip of your favorite jig head, choose an area where you think the bluegill are, and drop it right on top of them. I’ve had more success slowly bouncing this type of rig with long pauses between bounces. If you move it too quickly, the bluegill might not think it’s worth their time and energy. 

4. Use A Sensitive Rod

I personally believe that you should always use an ultra-light or light rod for bluegill fishing, especially in the cooler fall and winter months. In warmer weather you can get away with using slightly heavier rods since the fish are more active. Just remember that using a heavier rod with bluegill is not as much of a challenge and can quickly become somewhat boring.However, a lighter rod is necessary when the temperature drops. Bluegill get a little lethargic when it’s cold, and they bite extremely lightly. To be honest, they bite so softly that you probably wouldn’t even feel thee bite on anything heavier than a medium-light rod.

5. Use Their Preferred Bait

I’m usually a huge advocate for only using lures against bluegill. It’s just what I prefer to do. However, lures are a lot harder to use in the fall unless you’re using a jig head that is tipped with bait. If you’re not using a jig, your best bet is to simply slide a worm onto your hook. The fish might be really hungry, but they’re just not going to want to waste energy chasing lures around the pond.

Using worms or other premium bluegill baits will draw the bluegill in. And they see that it’s something that’s worth expending their energy on, they’ll attack it!

boy putting worm on hook

Final Thoughts

Fishing in the fall for bluegill is a great choice if you plan on targeting the big guys, but it is a little different. In the warmer months, you can do just about anything and expect to catch a bluegill. In the fall, your approach has  to be a little more tactical. 

If you follow the five fall bluegill fishing tips that I listed here, you should end up with buckets full of bluegill on your next trip, and your average catch should be a lot bigger than normal.fall bluegill fishing tips

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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