Best Time of Day to Catch Bluegill

By Get Fishing •  Published: 04/30/23 •  7 min read

Fishing for bluegill is an exciting experience. It is a freshwater fish that is often found in ponds, lakes, and streams. If you’re a bluegill enthusiast, you have probably wondered when is the best time of day to catch bluegill. Well, as it turns out, the time of day plays a significant role in catching this species of fish. So, let’s dive in and explore the best possible times to go out and catch bluegill.

best time of day to catch bluegill

The Best Time of Day to Catch Bluegill

The best time of day to catch bluegill is during the early morning or late afternoon. Bluegill are generally active when the water is warm, and the sun is not so bright. Therefore, the ideal time to catch them is when the sun is low or when it is still rising. Calm and overcast days are also great times to fish for bluegill. These conditions make the fish more comfortable, and they are more likely to bite your bait.

Bluegill feeds on small insects, worms, crickets, and other small creatures, so it makes sense that they will be most active when these creatures are also active. In general, their feeding times are mainly in the early morning or late afternoon, so that makes these times ideal for fishing.

It is also important to consider the location where you plan to fish for bluegill. Bluegill are often found in shallow waters, such as ponds, lakes, and streams. They prefer to stay close to the shore and near structures such as rocks, logs, and weed beds. Therefore, if you want to catch bluegill, it is best to fish in these areas.

What Time Do Bluegill Stop Biting?

While bluegills can be caught throughout the day, bluegills stop biting during the middle of the day. During the early morning hours, bluegills are often found feeding near the surface of the water. This is because the water is cooler and the light is less intense, making it easier for them to spot their prey. As the sun rises higher in the sky and the water temperature increases, bluegills tend to move to deeper water where they can find cooler temperatures and more cover.

In the late afternoon and early evening, bluegills become more active again as the sun begins to set. This is a great time to try your luck at catching these fish, as they are often found feeding near the surface once again.

It’s important to note that their feeding patterns can be affected by a variety of factors, including water temperature, weather conditions, and the availability of food sources. If you’re having trouble catching bluegills during the day, try changing up your bait or fishing in a different location.

What is the Best Bait for Bluegill?

When it comes to bait, bluegill are not picky eaters. They will bite on a variety of baits, including worms, crickets, and small jigs. However, it is important to use the right size and color of bait. Bluegill have small mouths, so using small baits is recommended. Also, using bait that matches the color of the water can increase your chances of catching bluegill. Here are some of the best baits for bluegill:


Worms are a great bait for bluegill because they are easy to find and use. You can find worms in your garden or purchase them from a tackle shop. Bluegill are attracted to the scent of worms and will often strike as soon as they see them. To use worms as bait, simply thread them onto a hook and cast your line.


Crickets are another popular bait for bluegill. They are readily available at most bait shops and are relatively easy to use. Bluegill are attracted to the sound of crickets and will often strike as soon as they hear them. To use crickets as bait, simply hook them through the body and cast your line.

Small Minnows

Small minnows are also effective in catching bluegill. They are a natural prey for bluegill and are readily available at most bait shops. To use minnows as bait, simply hook them through the lips or back and cast your line.


Grasshoppers are a seasonal bait that is most effective during the summer months. They are easy to catch in fields and meadows and are a natural prey for bluegill. To use grasshoppers as bait, simply hook them through the body and cast your line.

Artificial Bait

If live bait is not available, artificial bait can also be effective in catching bluegill. Small jigs and spinners are popular choices among anglers. The key is to use a small bait that mimics their natural prey. To use artificial bait, simply cast your line and retrieve it slowly. Our favorite bluegill rig is a Jig Spinner rig like the Donkey Tail Jr on a Mule Jig and Bronco Blade (you can see it in the picture above).

Mule Fishing Donkey Tail Jr.

Mule Fishing Donkey Tail Jr.

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What Color Attracts Bluegill?

When it comes to fishing for bluegill, understanding their color preference can make all the difference in your success on the water. Bluegills have a natural affinity for bright colors as well as natural colors. This is because their eyes are highly sensitive to light, and bright colors stand out in the water. Anglers have long known that baits in shades of pink, chartreuse, and yellow are particularly effective at attracting bluegill. These colors mimic the natural food sources of bluegill, such as insects and small fish.

Another factor to consider when selecting your bait color is the time of day. Bluegills are more active during the early morning and late afternoon, when the light is low. During these times, baits in darker colors such as black, brown, and dark green may be more effective. These colors are less visible in low light conditions and can appear more natural to the fish.

What Do Bluegill Eat the Most?

Bluegill feeds on a variety of small invertebrates throughout the day. Some of their favorite food include worms, insects, small crustaceans, minnows, and larvae. Bluegill is also known to be opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything, including small artificial baits like jigs and spinners.

How Do You Catch Bluegill Fast?

The key to catching bluegill fast is to use live bait. As mentioned above, worms or crickets make great baits. Another effective technique is to use a small jig or fly. You can also use a bobber to keep your bait at the right depth, making it easier to catch bluegill.

Do Bluegill Bite Better on the Full Moon?

There’s a popular belief that bluegill bite better during a full moon. However, there’s no scientific evidence to back this up. Bluegill are known to feed throughout the day and depends mainly on water temperature, light intensity, and cloud cover. Therefore, while a full moon may make it easier to see the fish, it doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of catching them.

Tips for Fishing for Bluegill at the Best Time of Day

  1. Use live bait, such as worms or crickets, to attract bluegill.
  2. Use small jigs or spinners with bright colors to catch bluegill during the best time of day.
  3. Be patient, and don’t rush the process; it takes time.
  4. Use a bobber to keep your bait at the right depth
  5. Pay attention to the weather and water temperature; bluegill is more likely to bite when the sun is not so bright, and the water is warm
  6. Be mindful of the fishing regulations in your area, fishing times and restrictions can vary depending on the location.

Bluegill Seasonal Patterns

Bluegill is active mainly during spring and summer. During this time, males are busy building nests, preparing for spawning season. This period is typically from mid-April to mid-June. During the winter months, bluegill moves to deeper waters where they become inactive. Hence, you’re more likely to catch them in the shallows during the warmer months.


In conclusion, when it comes to the best time of day to catch bluegill, early morning or late afternoon are the most ideal. Bluegill are attracted to live baits, crickets, worms, and small jigs with bright colors. Be sure to pay attention to the weather and time of year, as bluegills are more active during the warmer months. With these tips, you can head out with confidence and catch some great bluegill.

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