Growing up, my family owned a 21-foot boat that we took out almost every weekend fishing when weather permitted. Depending on the time of year, we spent the day on Lake Erie catching either walleye or perch – quite the delicacy and times I fondly remember. Recently, my husband and I had plans to fish on a charter boat for walleye. However, because of the always unpredictable Ohio weather, the captain canceled the trip. Since we both had a craving for a fish fry, we packed our gear in search of bluegill instead.
Our quest began at a local private quarry. Clear, cool water, quiet and quite peaceful. Unfortunately though, the bluegill decided not to bite. Not a problem! We packed up our small amount of gear and drove about 30 minutes north to another private pond. Lucky for us, these babies were hungry! Not only did we save over an hour drive each way to Lake Erie, we also avoided spending an entire day on a boat and all the costs involved.
If you haven’t gone pond fishing, you really should give it a try. You don’t need a whole lot of gear and usually won’t have to travel far. Here are some tips to get you started.
When you first arrive at the pond, try casting near weed beds, cattails or other grasses. Bluegills also like to hang out near fallen trees and logs protruding from the water. And if you see branches hanging over the water or other objects that create a shadow, cast right into it. The fish like to hide there and ambush the bait.
Also, consider the time of day and season of the year. Successful bluegill fishing trips often happen in the morning, or late in the afternoon, closer to the evening. The bluegill seem to enjoy a little siesta around lunch time. Also, just as fish in larger lakes that head to deeper water when the whether gets warmer do, so do bluegill. If the weather gets really hot, and they stop biting along the edges, try casting toward the center of the pond. Perhaps they moved into the cooler water.
Sure, if you spend enough time researching online, you’ll find all kinds of “do’s and don’ts” for pond fishing. But honestly, try to keep it simple. Bring the entire family along, pack a lunch and enjoy the outdoors. Oh, and don’t be disappointed if the youngest fishermen with you decides to play with the bait or the caught fish instead. My sister and I spent most of our time conducting worm and minnow circuses, while our dolls watched on.