Bluegill Fishing in Michigan

Bluegill Fishing, it often means more than just Catching a few Fish

Bluegill Fishing in northern MichiganThe life of a fisherman begins with the thrilling excitement of catching your first fish and for some of us that inauspicious beginning imbues us with a memory that we will take to the grave.  Go back in time with me to the year 1953, I was four years old. My mom and dad were visiting my Grandma Kaufman up at her small red cottage on Long Lake near Hale Michigan. I was lucky enough to join my two brothers, my sister and my dad in a row boat out on the lake bluegill fishing. My dad was a genius as he manipulated the boat to a secret water lily covered spot that my uncle had recommended The equipment we used was quite simple a couple of cane poles that we shared. The terminal tackle included a hook with a worm and about three feet above the hook was a bright yellow balsa wood stick bobber. Such exuberant enthusiasm as we caught fish and lifted them into the boat brought squeals of delight. We caught a bucket of sunfish and bluegill. Just watching the twitch of the bobber while bluegill fishing and the inevitable phenomenon of a bobber rapidly disappearing into the depth of the cold blue lake still makes my heart beat faster.

Fast forward sixty years later

I can hardly believe that over half a century has passed and I still remember those moments on Long Lake. Perhaps more importantly a lot has transpired in the intervening years. I now have four children of my own and nine grand-children.  Just yesterday Spencer and Harrison, Mallory and Marissa as well as Elizabeth Grace were up north with me fishing off the dock in what has become known as the first fill or the Black Creek Channel of Sanford Lake.  The vicarious thrill of watching my Grand Children catch a fish actually makes me feel about fifty years younger than I am. There is no drug that can have the elevating impact of watching someone you love engaged in an innocent and naive approach to fishing as though their lives depended upon being successful. My youngest grand child is three and the others that were with me are all less than one tenth my age.  In unison they make a lot of noise as they cast their lines next to the dock and give each other advice about how to land the big one. Whenever someone connected with a bluegill no matter the size everyone dropped their poles and ran over to support the lucky fisherman. My wish for you is that you could feel the love and joy of sharing the success of those you love and perhaps feeling as though you really do make a difference in their life and ultimate happiness. Grandma is worse than me when it comes to spoiling the grand-kids but just for the record this one time, I got to be the hero.

I have a pontoon boat with a forty horse Johnson on it. It will take us comfortably anywhere on the lake we desire to go. A boat isn’t necessary to catch fish with, but it sure helps to get out on the lake where some of the summer bluegill hide from predator fish.  As Bluegill Fishing from a Pontoon Boattemperatures change in the summer it is sometimes difficult to find the bull bluegills. I am going to suggest a strategy that might work for you as it has for me many times.  The following strategy if embraced with an earnest effort will pay off handsomely in big fish results almost any time of the year. The first consideration is the line that you are using. I am convinced that some bluegill will be tempted to bite on some baits regardless of the line. If you are really after the discriminating bigger blue gills than you might consider using a gossamer thread like a flouro-carbon two pound test line.  This line is virtually invisible in the water and if you are using this line while your fishing buddy is using bass strength line left on thinking it does not matter, just watch how statistically you out fish him by seven or eight to one or better.  The next consideration is the terminal tackle. I suggest you get some very light 1/64 oz brightly colored jigs, they should be a size 12 at most and if possible a size 14 or 16 hook. On the hook of your bluegill lures place a small piece (one quarter to one half inch) of night crawler.  You may choose to pinch a small lead sinker about one foot up from your jig as this will help get the bait down to the bottom faster and hold it in place while you wait for a strike. As to where to fish, if it is July or August, the fish will be in deep water near the bottom especially in areas where there is some cover for them to escape to. Let’s say for the sake of discussion at least ten foot deep and deeper if possible. The thermoclines of a lake provide ideal temperature and oxygen levels for bluegill fishing for large schools you are seeking. Find some encouraging bottom cover and get ready for some amazing fun. Drop your line straight down to the bottom and crank the line in about six inches and then hold on and just stare at your rod tip as you lay it on the gunwale of your boat.  Our lake has stumps as well as weeds in places and my depth finder and fish locator helps to identify promising spots. For you the biblical admonition seek and ye shall find is right on.

There are other very effective ways to harvest your share of fillets bluegill fishing. In a future article I will feature a method that will maximize the fight of the fish while simultaneously providing some of your best moments on the water. I promise to make it brief enough to honor your investment of time and profound enough to change your attitude and tactics regarding gill fishing forever. Warm Regards, W.C. III

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