Spring is one of the best times of the year to tie into hearty bluegill. The increase of spring sun and warmer weather will elevate the water temperature. This change encourages the bluegill to make their way into the shallow waters from the deeper hollows where they spent the frigid winter. The temperature change also makes the fish more active and sparks the desirable spawn season. In Spring, the bluegill spawning season is in, so you should be fishing.
During this time, know as pre-spawn season, the feeding habits of bluegill will make a drastic change. Biologically, their bodies know that they must prepare for spawn season; the work of building a spawn bed and defending their bed is a lot of work. This means an increase in food consumption and an increase in their aggression levels.
In this time period (and spawn season), bluegill are more likely to strike small moving baits than at any other time of the year. Since bluegill are not sitting in a pocket like they are predominantly during spawn season, you need to adjust your fishing tactics accordingly. Working the shoreline with 1/16 ounce jig and skirting the weed beds tends to be the most effective approach. The bluegill are slightly more picky about what they will attack during this time then they will be during spawn season, so keeping a variety of jigs on hand is recommended.
As the late spring days get warmer and longer, water temperatures will also be on the rise. A consistent water temperature above 70 degrees typically signifies the start of the yearly peak in bluegill fishing: Spawn Season. Once spawn season hits, you will be able to easily identify the likely spots where the bluegill will be sitting. The spawning beds the bluegill create make dark crater like spots in the shallow areas of the lake or pond, often times connecting to one another. Aggressive males will be the ones guarding the beds once the females have laid their eggs. This means that you are going to want to get your bait; be it red worms, bee moth, wax worms, etc.; as close to the beds as possible. The bluegill will be aggressive and hungry so catching them will be easy work.
In many areas, it is possible for a rash of cold weather to hit after spawn season has started. This will decrease the water temperature and change how the male bluegill bite. While they will still be on their spawning beds they will not be nearly as aggressive. To prompt a bluegill to strike in less than perfect weather during spawn season, you are going to need to put out some effort to irritate them, provoking a hit. To do this, simply attach a small spinner rig to your jig. The movement of the spinner will create reverberations in the water, erratic movement and noticeable reflections.
There are a few fishermen who discourage fishing for and keeping bluegill during spawn season because of concerns for the bluegill population. Studies have shown that over 90% of bluegill caught on spawn beds tend to be male, so there is a minimal risk of endangering the eggs of the next generation. The males’ role of fertilizing the eggs occurs fairly quickly, so by the time he ends up in your basket there is a good likelihood that he has already contributed to the continuation of the species.
If you already enjoy bluegill fishing or are just looking forward to trying it out this year, be sure to set some time aside during pre-spawn and spawn season.
Thanks for checking out Bluegill Fishing Tips for Pre-Spawn and Spawn Season. If you enjoyed this post about bluegill spawning, please share it and comment. We would love to have your feedback! You may also be interested in other articles on Lake Fishing Tips Blog.
Author: Brian Ward
Mar 10, 2013