Every species of fish spawns when the water temperature is right, and bluegills are no exception.
They are so widely distributed and can thrive in any new environment, so timing the bluegill spawning is not as easy as simply marking a calendar.
Predicting the spawn is not a matter of luck. By measuring the temperature trigger for bluegills, you can make sure that you are ready to fish when the fishing’s hot.
Continue reading to find out more about bluegill spawning!
Lepomis microchirus can be easily identified by looking for dark blue spots on its gill plates.
Bluegill is easy to identify with those gill plates.
These little monsters are tough and hardy, and will eat anything and everything that they can get their hands on. This includes minnows and crawfish, leeches, worms, plants, insects, snails, and worms.
Spring is a time when fish shed winter’s torpor to prepare for spring.
For anglers, timing is everything!
Bluegills – When do they mate?
The ideal temperatures for spawning are between 68 and 75 degrees. Once the water reaches the bottom of this band, the males will begin to mate with the females.
However, the water is moving towards that mark and there are many things going on below the surface.
The males will be the first to move. They’ll stage from the deeper water where they stayed over the winter to the shallower water to start spawning. They will search for a good nest site, usually in very shallow, clear waters.
After each male stakes out a territory, he will dig a depression measuring 6-12 inches in diameter and start grunting. Now it’s his turn. She’ll pass to see how he looks. Bigger bodies with gill plates make them more attractive. If she likes what she sees, they will begin courting.
This ritual will continue until the moment when the water temperature signals the spawn.
What does this mean for you?
You can fill a cooler quickly by checking the water temperature on your fishfinder’s display, or taking precise measurements with a suitable thermometer.
You can track the water’s rise to 68 degrees and prepare for pre-spawn. While the males are preparing their nests, they become aggressive toward potential threats and will strike at any disruption.
These large spawning areas are easy to find.
It’s a great time for small lures to be run over spawning sites, since the odds of them being hit are high.
My favorite rooster tails are the 1/32-ounce sizes. It works best to use bright colors!
It is almost impossible to resist a tiny rooster tail buzzing at a nesting spot.
The nest building is going on, but the females are still in deeper water than the spawning areas. While they wait for their summons, they are gaining as much weight as they can.
It makes sense to stake out a spot in the shallows immediately next to the clear one, then find the males building their nests and work the slope.
There is a good chance that the large females will accept your bait.