Where Do Bluegill Go in the Winter! (Drop Fly Panfish)

where do bluegill go in the winter

Where do bluegill go in the winter? If you’re like me, you love bluegill fishing. However, when winter arrives, we wonder, where do bluegill go? This blog post will explore some potential locations for bluegill during the colder months, whether you’re a drop fly panfish angler or enjoy tossing a few baits for these tasty fish.

Where Do Bluegill Go When It’s Cold?

Where do bluegill go in the winter? While some people might say, the bluegill is always around, hidden under the ice. I must admit you’re probably right. That being said, When the water cools, bluegills move to deeper structures like creek channels and bluffs. The best spots have timber with an undercut bank or crevice between rocks where they can hide from predators.

During the summer months, bluegill can be found in all kinds of exciting places, whether it’s a weed line in the back of a deep-water lake, near a river channel, or in a sun-soaked pond. Bluegill will use some structure as their “home” for most of the summer.

Can Bluegill Survive in Cold Water?

The bluegill is a popular fish for many anglers, especially those living in areas where the temperature often drops below freezing.

They prefer water between 65°F and 80 degrees Fahrenheit but can survive with much wider ranges of temperatures, including 95° F on hot summer days when there’s not much else to eat.

Bluegill is popular among ice anglers because they’re active in winter. They also fight hard when hooked, making them fun to catch on tackle.

Which Are Better for Winter Fishing, Live Bait or Lures?

Bluegills are most active when the water temperature is between 45°F and 55° F. You can catch bluegill early in the season using deep diving crankbaits, jigs, tubes, and other soft plastics.

The best choice for these fish is a tube jig, or a weightless Texas rigged worm in conjunction with a slip bobber.

As the water warms, you can catch bluegill by using live minnows. The most common way to rig up with a live minnow is by attaching it to a bottom rig with a split shot above the weight.

Once you’ve caught some bluegill, you can use them for live bait when you go out fishing in the future.

How Deep Do Bluegills Go in the Winter?

Unlike the rest of your pond or lake, bluegill will go deeper in winter. While you might find them up around three feet deep in the summer, they’ll likely move to depths of six feet or more.

general principle is that the deeper the water, the better the chance of finding these fish. Bluegill is often found around cover, whether it’s brush piles, stump fields, or creek channels.

They typically sit near the cover and dart out to grab prey. Your best bet is vertical jigging using a slip bobber rig if you’re ice fishing. A good tip is to use a very light jig to detect the strikes.

Do Bluegills Bite in the Winter?

Yes. Bluegills are always hungry and ready to eat, but they can be harder to catch during the winter months. Instead of fishing near the food source, go to where bluegills are.

Bluegills are schooling fish that thrive in lakes and rivers. Bluegills feed heavily during the summer months, but their metabolism slows down significantly when it’s cold outside, so you’ll want to use a slower fishing approach for these!

How Do You Catch Bluegill in the Winter?

You can use the same techniques in winter that you’d use for any other time of year. The key to finding bluegills is near deep water and structure, such as creek channels, deep fishing hole, or hidden brush piles.

Suppose you fish a lake, fish near the edges. A good tip is to start at the deepest water you can find and then work your way up to shallow water and deep holes.

The best baits for bluegills are worms and nightcrawlers. Set your hook instantly when you feel a hit. Bluegills are aggressive, typically striking quickly after the initial impact.

When fishing with worms, cast and slowly pull them along the bottom. Set the hook right away if you feel a tug on your line. This is a common mistake that anglers make, but bluegills have small mouths, so you need to set the hook quickly.

What Are the Best Baits for Bluegill in the Winter?

Bluegill will eat just about anything they can get their mouths on, but the best options are live bait such as worms and night crawlers. In winter, they’ll be more active and aggressive.

The best way to get those pesky bluegills is by using natural bait. When they’re looking for smaller food items in the winter, they prefer not to be caught on your hook or line too quickly.

Use pieces of raw worms that will entice them into thinking it’s still alive so you can reel in one big meal!

What Are the Best Months to Catch Bluegill?

Typically, bluegill will spawn in the early spring and then grow and eat in the summer months. May, June are the best months to catch these fish.

Bluegills can be caught all year long and throughout the season, but generally, the best months to catch Bluegills are from May To July.

Bluegill fish will spawn in the early part of spring, so you’ll catch some on your hook during this time.

However, if you don’t want to catch their parents, you should avoid the spawning sites. Spawning can be hard on bluegill, so if you’re going to catch them at their best, you should wait until it’s all over.

What Time of Day Is the Best to Fish for Bluegill?

Make sure you’re at the lake early to find some bluegills. The best time for fishing Bluegills is between 4:30 and 7 pm, but don’t wait too long before sunset, or it will be more complicated than necessary! 

Bluegills don’t move much in the winter, but if you’re looking for the largest bluegills, you should aim to fish during the day. Smaller sunfish will be more active at dawn and dusk.

How Do You Catch Giant Bluegills in Ice Fishing?  

Ice fishing can be an excellent way to catch some big bluegills, but it can also be frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

If you’ve ever been ice fishing, then you know that there’s a lot of waiting around for the fish to bite. And when they do, it’s often hard to tell if you’re catching anything.

This video offers a step-by-step guide on catching big bluegills in ice fishing. You’ll learn everything from choosing the right spot to bait and tackle selection.

Commonly Asked Questions about Winter Bluegill Fishing (FAQ)


Bluegills can survive in cold water as long as they have a warm place nearby to hide from predators like northern pike fish, which come out during the winter months due to colder temperatures. They may also be found deeper than usual because there is less competition with other fish species hibernating underground or underwater during cold months. We hope you’ve liked this blog post on bluegills and that it was able to answer some of your questions. If not, please do not be shy to write your query in the comments below. Before we go, we want to make sure our readers are aware of where do bluegill go in the winter season for those interested in Bluegill fish. Check out our complete article, and we hope you enjoy it!

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