Putting Bluegills to BedBy Dave Duwe - June 1, 2014
This time of year, the preferred bait is leaf worms or wax worms. I will use a small Thill fixed spring bobber and an ice jig. I like the Snyder Lures, Waxie Rig. This jig provides the bait in a vertical presentation. For a horizontal presentation, I use the Froggit, also by Snyder Lures. By presenting the bait in two different presentations, it doubles your chances of catching fish. You always want to use the smallest bobber you can get away with to keep the bait off bottom. Occasionally, you need to add a few split shots to keep the bobber very neutral buoyancy. Gary Snyder, of Snyder Lures thinks that the most important thing is to keep the jigs as natural as possible. Most of the baits the bluegills are eating fall slowly as would something natural in their environment. If you find that your jig is falling too fast, you can slow the fall by adding a small piece of plastic to the jig. Small plastics can even entice more fish to strike adding a different color and wiggle to the presentation.
On occasion when the fish are deeper I will switch from the fixed bobber to a slip- bobber. Make sure when attaching the slip-bobber knot you don't pull it too tight on your line for this can weaken your line in that spot. I like to position the bait about six inches or so off bottom or the vegetation. When using slip bobbers, pole length is critical. I will always use a 6 foot 6 inch or longer pole. This helps with longer casts while allowing good hook sets. I have my reel spooled with 4 pound test line.
The lake I guide on the most is one of the best bluegill lakes in Wisconsin. Delavan Lake is in southeastern Wisconsin, about 1 hour Southwest of Milwaukee and 1hour north of Chicago. Delavan Lake has a maximum depth of 52 feet with a plentiful supply of shallow bays and points which are excellent locations for bluegills to spawn.
All fish are vulnerable during spawning and bluegills are no exception. We need to protect our resource and return the females into the water. Enjoy the start of the summer and some of the best bluegill fishing of the year.