Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Spawning Cycles of the Bluegill


As I was fishing one of the bluegill spawning beds the other day on Walker County Lake, I wondered if these beds would be used during the next spawning phase of the full moon in June. After doing a little research, I discovered that the bluegill will sometimes use the same beds from one full moon to the next during the spring and summer. I know this is true in some Smith Lake and Walker County Lake areas. I have fished Smith Lake and Walker Lake for years now and found that the fish are often not in the same area bedding each year. Several factors affect their location from year to year, such as changes in water level, vegetation growth, temperature range, and fishing pressure, which can influence their choice of spawning sites. 

As for the depth, I have found bluegill spawning in water as shallow as a couple of feet or less. If they are pressured from spawning cycling to spawning cycle, then they will move to deeper water to avoid spawning beds from being seen. This is especially true in small lakes where there is heavy fishing pressure. The 15-acre lake my son lives on is a prime example of what I am talking about. The bluegill in this lake always spawns in shallow water and always in the same area of the lake each year. They choose the same bedding areas in this lake each year because of less fishing pressure on the lake. The lake is there mostly for the beautiful scenery around the lake, and the walking trails next to the water's edge. In other words no one is interfering with the spawning process of the bluegill here but me and my son. 

The bluegill was probably the first fish a small child landed while using live bait, such as a cricket or redworm. That is how I got interested in fishing years ago as a youngster fishing our small farm pond. The fish was easy to catch, even with cane poles and live bait. Once my dad taught me how to land the fish using a fly rod, there was no turning back, I was hooked for life, and will be until the day I retire from fly fishing, and I hope that is years from now. For me, landing a large bull bluegill or an average-sized bluegill on a lightweight fly rod is the ultimate in warm-water fly fishing!


  1. Thank you for praising fishing for bluegills. Before I started flyfishing, I used to use a spin bubble, attach a leader and a popper. Many many hours spent doing that. But, the flyrod was discovered and the spin rod and bubble was replaced. I cannot tell you how many hours are spent chasing the "bulls". SO MUCH FUN. When I tell other fishers that I target bluegills and other panfish, you get that look. Sorry for them, they do not know what they are missing. Thank you for your blog. Long time reader. It is great!

    1. Skunkedalot
      I'm glad to interact with guys who love landing bluegill. Thanks for giving a shout-out for my blog and thanks for the comment

  2. Yep, bluegills on a fly are about as much fun as anything out there. I've caught a lot of different fish but always find time for some 'gills.

  3. Al
    I look forward to fishing for the bluegill each spawning cycle, which only lasts two to three months. It gets me primed for the rest of the fly fishing season. Thanks for the comment