Ice Fishing 101: Bluegills
If you’re new to ice fishing for bluegills, now is the perfect time to start. With the right gear and techniques, they’re relatively easy to catch at any time of the year.
However, be aware that the limits, size restrictions, and locations for fishing for bluegills can vary from place to place, so be sure to check the regulations.
While there is no single answer to where to find bluegills, they are typically located in deep holes, vegetated structures, shallow weedy flats, narrows, and points that jut into deeper water. They are often found in and around underwater vegetation, especially cabbage-like growth and coontail. If you’re looking for an advantage, using an underwater camera or sonar unit can help you determine the locations of these fish.
When it comes to augers, the RAZR Scout in 5" and 6" sizes are both great options for anglers targeting bluegill. However, those who are looking for the lightest and most durable auger on the market should consider the RAZR Synthetic Ultra or Lite models in a 6" hole size. These augers are not only incredibly lightweight, but they are also built to last, making them an excellent investment for anyone who wants to spend more time fishing and less time worrying about their equipment.
When ice fishing for bluegills, the most common technique is jigging, where you twitch or lift the rod to entice a bite. Remember to avoid over-jigging, as it can scare fish away rather than attracting them to your lure. Large jigging motions work best for attracting distant fish, while more subtle motions work best for enticing fish already near your lure.
To increase your chances of catching bluegills, it's recommended that you fish with two lines, one that is jigged, and one that is left untouched. Experiment with different types of lures, as some may work better than others on specific bodies of water. You may also want to fish just over the tops of weedbeds or along their edges rather than in them.
When it comes to lures, start with smaller sizes that appropriately match the size of bluegills' mouths and their preferred prey. Line diameter is also important, as you want your line to be as invisible as possible, with 2- to 4-pound test line being the most successful.
Finally, timing is everything. Fishing for bluegills is best near dawn and dusk, the times of day when fish are the most active.
Before heading out, be sure to check the regulations for the specific lake you plan to fish in, as some have special regulations that restrict the harvest beyond the normal statewide regulations. And if you need any advice or tips, don’t hesitate to ask the local bait shop owner – they’re usually happy to help!