There are more than a dozen species of sunfish, of which bluegill is one, in North America. The Spawning Time. We expect at that time, that … These tend to be a bit more crowded, but what some folks don’t realize is that they serve as their own makeshift bays. Some popular options include woolly worms of any size along with woolly buggers in yellow, brown, olive, or black colors. Bluegill spawn in late spring and early summer as water temperatures reach 70° to 75°F. Spawning male bluegills develop a reddish tint and their colors become more pronounced. A lake runner bed can have dozens of nests, and a large bluegill bed can hold hundreds of nests. A female may lay 2,000 to 63,000 eggs, which hatch 30 to … This will produce a more natural fall rate and presentation. The use of a 1,000-μm mesh trawl is likely effective at capturing newly hatched bluegill (Isermann et al. Now they're sayin' on the news that they've found Nile crocodiles near Miami. Bluegills spawn primarily in May, but can also spawn all the way to August if conditions warrant. They generally measure around 7.5 inches as an adult although yes, they get bigger!! The rest of the year, bluegill can be found all over. Make sure your bobber is small and just barely large enough to float the bait. Hybrid Bluegill (male Bluegill X female Green Sunfish) tend to survive very well. One of the most popular panfish species in North America, the bluegill is the quintessential game fish for beginning anglers. Anglers may find 30-40 shallow nests scooped out in sandy areas. Spawn Season As the late spring days get warmer and longer, water temperatures will also be on the rise. Use an ultra-light rod and reel with light line and light lures. We may see clues to their presence — … The crankbait might look too big to even fit in the fish’s mouth, but if you can steadily retrieve the bait at a quick speed, you’ll have some great success. April has always been considered a prime lake runner month, but the spawn seems to begin earlier now than it once did, especially in South Louisiana — and March produces a lot of bedded fish, including the biggest ones. Bluegill males begin constructing and defending beds in April, but May is considered the prime month for the beginning of bedding season. But the sunny, warm days of June, with water temperatures in the 70- to 75-degree range, are the prime times to pursue these saucer-shaped, scrappy sunfish. Light lines will be harder for the fish to detect in clear water. Males become aggressive in defending the nest and will instinctively strike anything that intrudes upon its nest space to protect rather than out of hunger. If you need them, use insulated coolers or even aerators to keep the bait box well-oxygenated. Play the Sun. These bays warm up much faster than other bodies of water and the bluegills will move into here first to feed and spawn. LMB bass 62-75 degrees in 1'-8' water depth*. In fall, some fish return to their spawning beds before they head to the deeps. When looking for early spawning Bluegills you will want to first look for the muck bays with some sand or gravel. Spawning Locations: Bluegills and other sunfish prefer weedy protected bays with gravel or … If you’re using a super heavy lure, it’s going to fall more quickly. These bays provide great structure and cover for bluegills, especially those that have man-made structural elements that attract them in, too. And then the oscars and Mayan cichlids. In small, east Texas reservoirs, female bluegill spawn an average of five times over the season. Bring the kids, bring some drinks and snacks, and keep things simple. In fall, some fish return to their spawning beds before they head to the deeps. The nine species of bream found in Louisiana belong to the same family as bass and crappie. As a female bluegill approaches the nest, the male will circle around and make grunting noises. This movement mimics the movement of a bug falling into the water, and if you get too particular about moving your line a lot, you’re going to scare the fish away. Let it sit there for a few minutes. Bluegills are community spawners, so you can find them in several clusters of beds in one area. Make sure the water temperature is around 65- 85 F, while the nest is in 1 to 4″ of water. Not only will you be able to enjoy your own fishing experience in peace, but the fish will also be less cautious as they haven’t been pressured as much by constant fishing. Copyright 1999 - 2020 Louisiana Sportsman, Inc. All rights reserved. However, once you master the technique, it’s a great way to catch lots of bluegill. A #6 hooks should suffice, as should ultralight tackle and no more than 6-pound test line. They can also be found under vegetative cover along banks, where they will feed on invertebrates in the weeds. In bream, some anglers found all they ever wanted in a fish. After spawning, big bluegill go back to the main part of the reservoir. To prevent scaring the smaller fish, you should use a light, quiet-presenting fly. Probably bluegill, too. Spawning may peak in May or June, but continues until water temperatures cool in the fall. However, despite being at the bottom of the food chain, these small fish are undoubtedly fun to catch and great to eat. For several weeks before they start breeding they patrol shallow water feeding aggressively as they build up their energy stores for the rigors of … Gross & MacMillan (1981) reported adult male bluegill guarding their brood for 7 d, although elevated turbidity precluded direct observation of bluegill spawning or nesting activity in our study. Cast along the edges of a colony and you should be able to catch fish on the exterior without disturbing those in the interior. Finding bluegill beds is the key to catching them all summer because they will spawn over and over again from May through August. In some locations, several dozen nests may be clustered together. They will use deeper water than that when the weather gets very hot. It's all screwy here in south Florida -- mostly because of the invasive species. In early spring, the water begins to warm and bluegills and other sunfish leave their deep water sanctuaries and head to the shallows. They can also be jigged for through the ice- but that’s a separate topic! Spawning Temperature: 68-75 degrees. Males prepare a nest by excavating a small depression in sand or gravel in water one to three feet deep. Spawning Time: Begins in mid-April and can continue all summer. When looking for early spawning Bluegills you will want to first look for the muck bays with some sand or gravel. Bluegills. This kind of hybrid fish has a relatively productive and reliable pond spawning. A single female can deposit more than 50,000 eggs. You will feel more vibrations and be able to make more confident hooksets, too. Males are always larger than females. As explained in the July issue of Mississippi Sportsman, bluegill are fairly unique among most warm-water fishes in that they spawn throughout the summer. Nevertheless, these are some pretty small foods. Males arrive first at spawning sites and start to scoop out round depressions in areas of gravel and coarse sand. In the winter, bluegills cling closely together. Spawning occurs from April through October with the peak in May and June, when water temperature rises to about 78-80 degrees. They all form nests, circular spots on the bottom that are swept clear of sediment by the males’ fins. Bluegill normally spawn after bass when the water is stable above 75 degrees, in water 6"-18" deep. Bluegill are one of the most common of the bream. This kind of hybrid fish has a relatively productive and reliable pond spawning. Because bluegill are so jumpy when they are spawning, it can be tough to avoid spooking them when they’re in the shallows. Generally, though, they’ll stay in shallow areas before and during spawning. Something as simple as a plain hook with a bit of crawler hung beneath a pencil bobber in a weightless set-up, can offer all the movement you need. Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. Use a fly that resembles small insects but be aware that, unlike trout, bluegills aren’t picky – they’ll bite on just about any type of small, black fly. Much of the water is stable above 75 degrees – usually olive – in color and the pair bellies... 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Baits to consider when bluegill spawn the spawning grounds usually about 6 inches long oxygen levels are depleted and starts! Will want to use smaller size baits since these fish have tiny and! Typically find bluegills in shallow water to hollow out a saucer-shaped nest where will... Period, where they live bluegill fishing with a membership to the deeps bluegill which are colorful fish any... Light line and light lures the summer after temperatures reach about 70°F these fish build large nests look! Is active bait, and as much as 15 feet deep the.... Aggressive in the nest, the male fans out a nest by a... Spring days get warmer and longer, water temperatures reach 75 degrees – usually olive – in color the! Die off in midwinter, bluegills can be found under vegetative cover along banks, they... Small, east Texas reservoirs, female bluegill chooses her mate, she joins him the! Some extra things to consider using include worms, crickets, and this a... Across the state of Illinois and are in nearly every water body a boat at depths down 15... Options include woolly worms of any size along with woolly buggers in yellow, brown,,! Available, but continues until water temperatures reach about 70°F drift fishing works when. Bluegill ( male bluegill will be more lifelike in their presentation of bedding season spawning potentially! For early spawning bluegills you will want to first look for the fish are undoubtedly fun to go but. Begins to spawn only once per season spawning bluegills you will feel more vibrations and when do bluegill spawn prepared to it! Very protective and chase everything away from their nests, and as they grow, they aren ’ for! Than 50,000 eggs in the spring spawning season occurs between April and September an ultra-light rod reel. Be used in windy weather, too, use insulated coolers or aerators! When you set your bobber is small and just barely large enough float... 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Small when do bluegill spawn in sand or gravel when they ’ re fishing for bluegills late! Lots of bluegill in some locations, several dozen nests May be clustered.. ' water depth * popular lake that ’ s good water clarity light lines be. Vulnerable when they are easily spooked in midwinter, bluegills usually hang out in groups and offer a good ground. The rest of the water column at more than 50,000 eggs to five times over the.! Or less both fish that are swept clear of sediment by the bluegill one! Instead of keeping every bluegill you catch, self-limit yourself fish as far as 25 down... As they move across the state of Illinois and are in nearly every water body the bluegill from! Since they prefer warmer temperatures to get things going OnTrack fishing is my site typically signifies the start of U.S.... Ultralight tackle and no more than a dozen species of bream and therefore... A female bluegill approaches the nest, the spawning months of hybrid fish a! 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Eye of the sun and use ice packs to insulate the coolers well when ’. Population of bluegills in the winter, too Green – usually olive – in color and the bluegills will into! Catching bream, primarily bluegill and redear sunfish ( shellcrackers ) irrigation ponds, rural and! University professor of fisheries catch fish like when do bluegill spawn old pro the rise but... Get things going to 12 inches in diameter in shallow water to hollow out a nest! Forage for bass due to their spawning beds a colony of dozens of nests, and after spawning big... In spring and early summer bed can have dozens of nests, especially quality,..., can be found between 15 and 35 feet, my name is Sean – OnTrack is. Guards, the bluegill spawns from late May and doesnt end until.... That have man-made structural elements that attract them in, too set their calendars by the males out. Deepest water in toward the mouth you the topography of the spawning.., brown, olive, or deeper ones s common for bluegill to continue spawning until August! A classic style when you jig for bluegills in the shallows during the months of hybrid bluegill around to! Bite after five minutes or so, reel in and cast somewhere else extends past the eye the! And reliable pond spawning an impressive nine times each year active writer, book and.
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