How To Catch Big Bluegill (Tips & Techniques For Giant Bluegill)
How To Catch Giant Bull BluegillThe gear required for targeting big bluegill is very similar to what you would normally use, but there are definitely a few key differences. I'm not going to talk about lures and baits right now. I'll talk about those when we talk about the two different techniques that I personally use when targeting large bluegill.
The RodWhen you're going after normal bluegill, you probably want to use an ultra-light rod. If you don't, they're not really a challenge.
The LineI typically tell people to use line that is rated at either two pounds or four pounds for bluegill. When you're targeting bulls, I suggest using a four-pound test or an eight-pound test.
The ReelYou want to use a light spinning reel for these. The heavier reels will make it difficult to throw some of the lures I recommend. You also don't want to overpower the fish. So, don't bust out your Abu Garcia baitcaster to catch these. Even if you can throw light lures on it, it'll cheapen the experience quite a bit.
Using Live Bait To Catch Massive Bluegill
Keep The Bait AliveTry to use small minnows, and make sure you keep them alive. You want minnows that are big enough to entice the bluegill, but you also want them to be too small for bass to pay attention to them. Monster bluegill share a lot in common with bass, and they're usually in the same spots around feeding time. You'll have to try your best to keep the bass off of your bait. That's not something you hear a fisherman say everyday.
Keep The Bait ActiveRegardless of which bait you use, you need to make sure your bait is very active. Larger bluegill have gotten to be so big because they're not afraid to pick a fight. They're not swimming around and looking for an easy meal. They want something satisfying. If your bait dies on your hook, replace it immediately.
How To Spot Large BluegillYou want to pick the same spots as you would for regular bluegill. The big guys swim around with their smaller siblings. However, they tend to stick to cover a bit more, and they might dive slightly deeper if there isn't anything they like towards the surface.
Using Lures To Catch Giant BluegillLures are a lot more interesting to use against these guys, and they give you a little more control over your fishing experience. After all, lures don't die, and they don't swim around on their own.
- BeetleSpins: If you use these, use the slightly bigger ones that come with several two-tailed grubs. That's the size you want for big fish.
- Small Spoons: Don't use the big spoons that you use for bass. Choose a little spoon with a shiny finish, and tip its hook with a chunk of a worm, leech, or minnow to add a bit of smell to the spoon.
- Inline spinners: Inline spinners are great for trout, but they'll work well for bulls, too. Use a small one, and pick one that's relatively flashy. The fast-paced flashes drive big bluegill nuts.
Lure Retrieval SpeedAll of those lures can be used in various ways. You don't have to use a specific retrieval method with any of them. I recommend starting with a fast retrieval. Try to make the fish angry, and force them to bite. Don't reel it in so fast that the bluegill can't catch up, but don't pretend that you're an 80 year-old man with arthritis in both hands, either.
Throw Behind The Bull BluegillIt's important not to throw your lure directly at a bull. Obviously, you can't help it if the water is muddy, but try not to if you can see it. You want to throw your lure behind the fish, and then work it into the bluegill's view. It's a much more natural presentation. You can't expect an old bluegill to believe that smaller fish are simply falling out of the sky.
My Favorite Bluegill Lures
Fishing Tips For Giant BluegillCatching bulls isn't like catching normal bluegill. You'll have to try a bit harder, and you'll have to be a lot more patient. Here are a few tips that I think will help you get better at it.
1. Spot Them FirstWith normal bluegill, you can randomly chuck your bait in the water, and you'll probably catch something. There aren't a lot of bulls in most bodies of water, though. Bluegill are constantly getting eaten by bass and catfish, and they don't usually live long enough to grow more than a few inches.
If you don't want to blindly chuck your bait into the water, try to spot schools of bluegill before you start casting. If you can spot a big bluegill, don't hesitate to start targeting it.
2. Get Some Help With A Fish FinderIf you're fishing in a particularly murky hole, there's no way you can spot anything worth seeing in the water. Invest in a fish finder that you can cast from your rod. Obviously, you can use your boat's fish finder if you have one, but bank fishermen will need one that can be cast into the water.
Try to find one that gives you actual pictures of the environment you're fishing in. The ones that use simple symbols to differentiate between different fish can be hard to read, and it'll be very difficult to tell what you're looking at. If you get one that takes detailed pictures, you'll be able to see the big bluegill.
They're a bit expensive when you compare them to the lures you use for bluegill, but they're a worthwhile investment when you're targeting the big guys. You'll be able to see where they're at, and you won't waste as much time by blindly fishing.
3. Don't Waste Time On The Little Ones
If you're catching a bunch of small bluegill, increase the size of your lure or bait slightly. The smaller fish won't go after things that they can't swallow, and you won't have to waste your time removing them from your hook all the time.Be careful not to increase your lure size too much, though. You'll easily cross into bass territory, and your chances of catching a good bluegill will drop dramatically.
Final ThoughtsIf you're looking for a new challenge, and you're looking for a break from fishing for bass and catfish, I recommend targeting the bigger bluegill in your local pond. They're hard to find, and they put up a great fight.
Some of the biggest bluegill ever caught were big enough to fill a large dinner plate, and they weighed as much as an average-sized bass. If you take the time to perfect your fishing skills, you might just beat that.