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Bluegills and Crappies

Bluegills and Sunfish



Bluegills are my favorite fish, them and Catfish. Every time I go to Rock Creek I always come home with a stringer full of bluegills and sunfish. I don't catch many crappies, but I know a few secrets about catching them too.

There are many baits to choose from when you are fishing for bluegills. Bluegills eat snails, fish or fish eggs, insects, and nymphs. The best live bait to use for bluegill fishing include earthworms, crane flys, grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches, catulpa worms, mean worms, gall worms, and maggots. You want to use large baits during the summer when there isn't much action, and probably give the fish a good mouthfull. The whole shank of the hook should be covered so the fish won't see a flash.

When fishing live bait use a small bobber with enough weight so that every time a fish bites the bobber goes under. Size 10 or 12 hooks are good for bluegills and sunfish, but you probably want to use size 6 or 8 when fishing for crappies or other panfish.

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Crappie Fishing is growing by the day, and anglers are finding how fun it is to catch a stringer full of slab sized crappies. I think the that live bait works the best, like minnows especially. Try fishing a minnow under a slip bobber with a jig hooked through the lips or the spine. But if you don't have minnows, don't worry. There are many other jigs and lures that work well for catching slabs.

Artifical Baits

Artifical baits sometimes work as good or a lot better than live bait. One of my favoites is a marabu jig. I like to either fish it under a bobber or just drag it along the bottom. You might want to try adding a little Berkley Powerbait to the jig if the crappies arn't bitting as well. In the MARCH/APRIL, 1996 edition of Fishing Facts magazine Larry Ordway said "For me, the bobber and jig combination is most effective from ice-out through the spawn when the fish are shallow. A float allows any small jig to be suspended at the critical depth."

That is very true and it really works.


There are many different methods for catching crappies, and more are being discovered every day. But I'll give you a few pointers on how and when to fish for crappies.

In April, crappies move in and become active, but you must make sure that you never fish in a cold rain because fish hate it when it's cold. The fish move up close to shore to feed, and that's probably where you will find them. Try fishing 1/16 - 1/32 ounce jigs with white, blue/white, or red/white. Or there's always a minnow on a size 8 hook or smaller. A popular crappie rig for this time is a 1/4 ounce slider jig with a 4 inch minnow below a slip bobber will bring you fish. Another rig that really works is a 2 inch grub texas style in red, black, or white. When you are fishing the slider rig you should lift the rod tip than give it some slack, but always try to keep some tension on the line so you can feel every bite. If you are fishing in merky water try useing the colors black, brown, dark green, red, yellow, chartruse, and white all work good.

What do you do when there isn't any cover, or the fish arn't biting near cover? I always try using a 1/8 ounce spinner with a silver blade. Try fishing the spinner on shallow flats with stumps and stuckups. If you don't get any action with the spinner I like to switch to a small crankbait. Poppers under 2 "are effectuve when the crappies are shallow. This is a time when you would want to fish on the outside of a weed bead.

Even though April is a good time to fish, May and half through June is a much better time for crappies. This is when you would use a bigger jig, like a 1/16 or bigger. Fish may even stay shallow for up to 2 weeks. Good places to fish include brush piles, fallen tree limbs, stumps, logs, stickups, or right next to a spill-way. One thing you won't want to do when you are fishing for crappies is fish near a weed bead. It will probably produce some fish, but it's not at all as good as fallen timber and other cover. It is a good idea to look for shallow dark botttomed bays that warm up faster because they attract a lot of fish.

If you want to learn more about crappies, visit My Links Page

Email me at if you want to swap fishing secrets or if there's anything you want me to add to this page to make it better. Hope to talk to you soon.

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