We focus a lot on trout and shad imitators out West but we all know that bass love to eat bluegill. When the water begins to warm the bluegill becomes a major forage base for bass and you shouldn't overlook them. This week Matt breaks down his Top 5 Baits to best imitate a bluegill so you can begin to catch those big summer bass.
The key to successfully imitating bluegill is to find baits that not only get bites but are also slim enough to have a high hookup ratio. There's nothing worse than getting giant bites and not hooking the bass! Below you'll find a breakdown of Matt's favorite bluegill imitating baits and the reasons he chooses them.
The first category is the Squarebill crankbait. Bluegill eaters spend most of their time shallow and around heavy cover so the squarebill is a great option to coax a bite. Matt's favorite all around bluegill imitating squarebill is the River2Sea biggie. You might remember our squarebill debate from THIS VIDEO.
The second category is the swim jig. When imitating a bluegill I love to use a keitech fat swing impact as a trailer on my California Swim Jig. This combination creates a wide thumping action that imitates a bluegill's tail really well. Quick tip: a chartreuse/blue keitech paired with a very natural looking jig adds a little chartreuse flash and really looks nice in the water! ...see picture below.
The third category is the soft swimbait. The two most widely available baits that best fit this category are the Mattlures Bluegill and the All American Sunfish. Both baits have a very natural profile and are great around cover. Quick Tip: The All American Sunfish needs to be rigged on a swimbait hook of some kind. My preferred hook for this bait is the 5/0 trokar.
The fourth category is topwater. My favorite large bluegill topwater is the MS Slammer. Its not perfect, but its good enough to get those monster bites and that's what counts! Another great option is the Jackall Gantarel. If smaller baits are your preference, you can't beat the popper. Personally, I'd throw the yellow magic though there are many other great options out on the market.
The fifth and final category is the Senko. I hate to say it but the senko works incredibly well on bluegill eaters! They're ambush predators and the slow fall of the senko , especially when wacky rigged, really lures them out. Color comes down to personal preference but something with a bit of a chartreuse tail should get the job done.
I hope you find these tips helpful! As always, we love hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment with your own experiences or even a topic idea for a video you'd like to see us do. Thank you for your continued support of tacticalbassin!