Ice off bluegill

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by TB, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. I've never specifically targeted bluegill, right after the thaw, but think I might this year. We have some water around here with too many bluegill, and my daughter just got a fly rod for Christmas, so, I figured I'ld cut her teeth on them.

    Anything different about bluegill fishing in the early spring, as opposed to when the water warms up?
  2. I need some tips on the subject also. I can't seem to catch them until the water warms up. I start catching bass long before the panfish action starts.
  3. Plus one. I'm curious to hear what the experts say about how early success can be had on a predictable basis. I tried a few casts last week on my favorite mid-commute roadside ditch to no avail. Not that I expected anything, but I want to get in as many casts on that water as I can this year before the weeds choke it out.
  4. Try small flies deep and real slow. These things are pretty loggy until the water warms up and don't seem to be willing to move very far to take a fly. Crappie seem to be a little more active in the colder water.

  5. I caught some last year pretty early on a small wooly bugger looking thing tied on a jig head....and jigged on the bottom...not really fly fishing.
  6. I don't think that you will encounter much action just after ice out, but if you wait until the water warms up it will be a whole different experience. My favorite time is in August and in the evening. I use a popper and the game is called "no guts no glory." The lake that I fish has lots of lily pads where the Bluegill live and access to them is in the small patches of water between the pads. You aim your cast to one of the openings and if your accurate, more than likely you will be hooked up. Then it your job to keep the fish's head up, because once he goes under the pads he will tangle up and often break off. Otherwise you will have to go to the fish, putting them down. And if you miss the opening chances are you will be hooked into the pads requiring the boat to move to the spot and putting the fish down. On this lake the action starts the moment the sun drops behind a bluff, casting a shadow on the water. Action continues until dark. Fishing for Bluegills is fun and a great way to teach kids to fly fish.
  7. Early in the season I have caught bluegill incidentally fishing just off the bottom with chironomids and bloodworms

    Later they are on nests in a few feet of water

    After that, schooling near surface and they take stripped soft hackles and damsels

    These are observations, never really focused on it though

  8. Sounds like the ticket to me and use a colorful bobber she can watch for good measure if she's at that age where the attention span goes quickly.
  9. Love catching trophy bluegill and crappie.

    A big bluegill, over a lb, is much more difficult to fool than big brown IMO.

    Decent success with blood worms, McGinty, woolly worms
  10. I remember fishing for them years ago in early March in some ponds south of the Potholes. You could see them in the top few inches of the water trying to bask in the rays! Really fun and we caught tons of fish. can't remember what flies.
  11. Boy, thanks for all the responses. I remember catching them ice fishing too, but I never especially targeted them before. I'm getting antsy to go fishing though and likely will be out there before the water warms up enough for the action to begin. I don't want to jump the gun too much and wind up with a board kid (She's 12, but if they aint biting fast enough she'll loose intrest). Is 40°- 45° water too cold, or do the action start close to that?
  12. the earliest i have targeted bluegill has been the first week of april,water is still way high in the ponds,way off color but they seem quite active after the first sunny/warm day. i would fish a size 12 possie bugger nymph on a floating line and just slowly strip it back. seems to work fine for me.
  13. In VA we could go after really any warm water species once the water hit 45 degrees on still water or really slow stretches of rivers. Not sure if that translates out here, but Crappie got the most active the earliest it seemed. Used to slow strip on sinking lines in small lakes and ponds very effectively with dark streamers with a little flash added. Lots of fun. It was really eye opening how even if the water is in the mid 40, a strong sunny day will result in catching all 3 major species of bass, as well as crappie, blue gill, pumpkin seeds, the warmest part of the day in the sunniest spots. I am assuming the sun warms the rocks even a little on the bottom which turns the food chain on.
    Patrick Gould likes this.

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