Best Way To Catch Crappies & Bluegills – Best 2017 Crappie Action

How To Catch Crappies & Bluegills

The techniques used for catching Crappies and Bluegills are the same across the United States, but depending which state you’re in some baits work better than others. But, I have found these two baits, one for Crappies and one for Bluegills work great throughout the US. I would go as far to say you will not find a better bait combination than these in any part of the US, especially in the Midwest!

The Crappie & Bluegill Bait Combinations

For Crappies it’s the Crappie Tube Jig Hook with a 2” Gulp Minnow and for the Bluegills it’s our 1/64 oz Gum-Ball Jig with light blue flashabou skirt.

Catching Crappies

For Crappies start with a tube bobber, 2.5 feet of monofilament line, a crappie tube hook, a crappie tube (black or silver), and a 2” Gulp Minnow (Black Shad or Smelt).

Catching Bluegills

For Bluegills use a tube bobber with 2.5 feet of monofilament line, our homemade jig with the flashabou skirt, and tip the hook with a pink Gulp Maggot or Waxie.

Striped Bass to Speckled Bass – Catching Crappies & Bluegills

For this trip I flew back from Anderson South Carolina, fishing for Striped Bass, picked my wife up and head up toward Duluth Minnesota. Once on the lake we headed for a nice weedline and started catching fish, I focused on the Bluegills as she went for the Crappies. After two hours we had all the fish we wanted. Here is a small video our our action.

Where To Find The Bluegills – 2017 Tactics For Big Bluegills

Catching Bluegills In Open Water

Let’s start by focusing on the open water season and exclude Winter this time. So where do we find the Bluegills from mid May to late October? And what type of fishing method is best for catching those tasty Bluegills and Sunfish?

Catching Bluegills During The Spring

The season from Early May to Mid May is a great time to catch the large male bluegills in 3 to 4 foot of water, feeding heavily right where the weeds are growing. The main reason they are feed so aggressive is that Winter is over and they are preparing for the spawning season, which is soon to start. Here you will find the Fly Rod with a Dry Fly will out fish any other method. If you prefer a wet fly, since it does seem to attract the larger gills, then switch over to that once you have located their feeding area.

The season from Mid May to Mid June is the time you will find the Bluegills on the beds. Here the gills will be in water from 6 inches to 7 feet, spawning and very aggressive against any predator or insect that comes into their area. Using a dry fly for the shallow beds is best, while the wet fly works great for the deep beds. I prefer the dry fly for the deep beds also, as I like to see the action, as you will see in this video. And when you get 2 or 3 large gills coming up from deep water all at the same time what a rush, the water just explodes.

Catching Bluegills During The Summer

The season from Mid June to Mid July is a great time to catch the Bluegills just outside the weed line on a nice drop-off. Now a fly rod will work, but I have found that our homemade Bluegill Jig, tipped with a Pink Lady (Gulp Maggot – pink) , 2.5 feet behind a tube bobber works much better.

Catching The Fall Bluegill

The season Late July to October is the time to fish deeper for the Bluegills. You will want to find those quick drop-offs closes to the weed lines. Fish 8 to 11 feet deep using a bluegill jig with; worms, Gulp Maggots, Crickets, or even a Live Large Black Ant. A cane pole will bring a lot of fun during this fishing season.

Fishing For The Shellcrackers Now The Midwest Bluegills

Catching The Shellcrackers – Now The Bluegills

Just a few weeks ago I was down in Tavares Florida fishing over the side of the boat for the Big Daddy Bluegill, the Shellcracker. Now we are in Northern Wisconsin hammering the Bluegills and Sunfish on the Fly Rods. The Bluegills we found were not on the spawning beds since it’s too early, but the dry fly or spider is still the best method for catching bluegills in early Spring to early Summer. So don’t miss out on catching large Bluegills & Sunfish quick and easy.

Catching Bluegills One After Another

So I hired a another young engineer this year who is new to Minnesota and fishing. Knowing he is far from home I wanted to help him feel comfortable in his new surroundings and invited him to join me on a Bluegill Fishing trip. Eric accepted the offer, so I picked up one of my sons and we headed just North of Chippewa Falls Wisconsin, home of the Leinenkugel Beer. And yes I do know Jake & Peggy Leinenkugel, unfortunately I do not drink beer.

Once on the lake my son pulled out the fly rod and began to work the shoreline and weeds while I maneuvered the boat slowly along. Within 30 minutes we found a spot in a small bay where the big males were very active. The spot was in the shape of a half moon with an arc or radius of 10 feet reaching out toward the shoreline. The Big Male Bluegills were feeding aggressively in 4 foot of water. Now this type of feeding happens all summer long, but as the days get hotter they will go deeper due to the warm water. So you will need to fish at Sun Rise or just before Sun Set in these shallow areas to catch them. Now in this particular spot we were fishing, if any of our spiders landed outside this small moon shape area we would not get a hit, but anything inside the area would catch a Bluegill on every cast. The larges Gills o this trip were running up to 9.5 inches long, which is a very nice Bluegill in the Mid-West.

Were these Bluegills and Sunfish On The Spawning Beds

These Big Bluegills were not on the beds, but you will find throughout the spring and even into late June you can find the large gills in shallow water feeding. And any dry fly or popper will light-up the water. This is why I have my fly rod in the boat all year long, ready for those gills and crappies feeding in shallow water.

Best Bluegill Bait On This Trip

The baits we used on this trip was once again our homemade top-water spiders, with the best being our brown body with rainbow flashabou legs. You will see the sunlight sparkle off these legs easily in our video.

The Bluegill Catch

Well I tell you, teaching an Engineer (Eric) how to fly fish is not as easy as you might think, I sure hope he’s a better engineer than a fly fishermen… The best thing is we had fun, and we caught plenty for a good meal or two.

How To Catch Bluegills, Bass, & Walleyes – The Best Fish Fry of 2016

Fishing For Bluegills, Bass, & Walleyes On The Same Trip

Last week I was asked to take two young couples fishing for the weekend, so I asked them what they wanted to fish for? Everything was the reply, so I pulled out the Fly Rods and we caught large Bluegills for the first 1.5 days. The last part of the second day, the rain picked up and the temperatures dropped, so we then turned to the Open-Bail Spin Casting Rods and started to fish for Bass, Northern, and Walleyes.

Best Baits For Catching Bluegills, Bass & Walleyes – A Great Fish Fry

My plan for the trip was to have fun, catch all three fish types, catch enough Panfish for a fish fry, and to teach these two very attractive young girls how to use a Fly Rod and Spin-Casting Rod.

For the baits I stayed with artificial since I wanted to use something that would create a visual strike for the Bluegills, Bass, & Northern. For the Bluegills we used my homemade Dry Flies (Spiders) and for the Bass and Northern we used our homemade top-water poppers. Both of these baits worked well giving us lots of top water action. For the Walleyes we had to go deeper so I went with the 200 Bandit and the Ice Fishing Rapala, which is my number Walleye bait.


The Fish Fry

The fishing was great and we kept plenty of fish for our fish fry. We prepared the fish by first filleting them, then cutting the fillets into bite sizes, soaking those in buttermilk for a few minutes, rolling them into floor with a little seasoning, and then dropped them into hot peanut oil. Oh so good!

Chicks With A Pole- Women Fly Fishing For Bluegills

Catching Bluegills & Sunfish – 2016 Sexiest Chicks Fishing

It’s was a rainy weekend in Duluth Mn and I was hungry to try for some Walleyes. But before I could make my plans I was approached and asked if I would take two very attractive young ladies, new to fishing, fly fishing for Bluegills. Now the hard part here was not finding the Bluegills and Sunfish since they were just starting to form the beds for spawning, but to teach them how to use a Fly Rod versus a Spin Casting Rod, while not getting my wife upset.

To help I had one of my son’s, Andrew work with Brooke while I helped Lorna and did what video taping I could. The action and fun turned out to be one of the best weekends I have experienced. The excitement, frustration, competition, and smiles just made me laugh and you will see some of that in my videos.


Naturals with the Fly Rods – Catching lots of Bluegills

It did not take long for both of these young ladies to become novice on the fly rod and not need any help, other than touching the fish and taking them off the hook. Both Girls were good at laying the line out, pulling up on the strike, and generating the biggest smiles I have seen for sometime. It was obvious they were having the best fishing adventure of their life. What a way to get anyone hooked on fishing. Young men take note as the saying is; best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, maybe the best way to a woman’s heart is through Fly Fishing!

Best Fly Fishing Baits On This Adventure

To make it as easy as possible for seeing the Bluegill strikes and knowing when to pull the Fly Rod up I used the Dry Flies (Spiders) I made on the bench rather than a Wet Fly.

The dry fly (spiders) colors that worked best on this fishing adventure were Saturday; Green and Blue Body Spiders with White Rubber Legs, Sunday; Light Brown Spider Body with Rainbow Flashabou Legs and the Red Spider Body with White Rubber Legs. The spiders that held up the best were the ones I made with no tying involved, only epoxy used for gluing the body to the hook and legs to the foam body. You can see my article and video on how to make these.

How To Use A Fly Rod

The Fly Rod methods I stressed with three fly rods being used on one pontoon, my wife joined us, was the 1 o’clock to 9 o’clock and the roll over for line bundled up closely to the boat. During the two outings we had no one getting hook, zero tangles with each other, caught a lot of fish, and generated a lot of smiles, I call this success!

The Bluegill & Sunfish Catch

During this expedition we had multiple doubles, two fish on at the same time, but could not get that triple. We kept thirty very nice Gills from the first trip and fifteen on Sunday, which made for a good fish fry. The beds were 15 to 20 feet from the pontoon and in 6 to 8 inches of water, making it easy to see the beds, the gills swimming around, the strike, and handling the fly line. In the video on Bluegills boiling the water I slowed the action down for an incredible view of the action.