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Bluegill bite on a wide range of bait and lures, making them an ideal game fish for introducing first timers to the sport of fishing. The fish is abundant in Indiana's lakes and grows to about 10 inches, with tasty meat enjoyed by novice and expert anglers alike. Bring your pole and bobber, print your license from the state's web site and head out to one of the state's best lakes for catching the fish.
Catch Your Limit
Catch plentiful bluegill at J.C. Murphey Lake at the Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area in Newton County. Fish from shore directly below the park's picnic area on the lake's west end or from two nearby fishing piers. Fishing in the shallow areas is best during spring and early summer when fish spawn. Put your boat on the lake during late summer to cast into reedy waters where the fish hide after spawning concludes, or drop your hook in during winter ice fishing season. The lake enforces the state's only catch limits on bluegill, allowing you to take up to 25 fish per day.
In northeastern Indiana, fish from shore in downtown Rome City at the west end of Sylvan Lake. Bluegill ranging from 7 to 9 inches long proliferate in the lake's waters, and there are no catch limits for the fish. Fish from shore at Lakeside Park or Sycamore Park or from the dam embankment at Northport Feeder Dam. Drop-offs of 8 to 10 feet just offshore provide a good place to fish when temperatures are warm and the fish seek the cooler deep water. Ice fish in winter and you'll be within walking distance of the town's restaurants to warm up with hot chocolate or coffee.
Big Fish in a Small Lake
Tucked away in the Ferdinand State Forest in the southern part of the state, Ferdinand Lake's 42 acres of water doesn't mean you won't catch big bluegill. Anglers regularly pull 7 to 9 inch bluegill from the lake. Fish from shore or rent a kayak or canoe and explore the lake's waters. Make a weekend of it and camp at one of 69 primitive sites. Grills and picnic tables are provided at each site where you can cook up your catch. On-site amenities at the lake include vault toilets and running water.
Where the Big Fish Swim
Catch the biggest bluegills in the state at Clear Lake, nestling up against a town by the same name in northern Indiana. While bluegills are not as populous at the 800-acre lake as at some of the other lakes, bluegills ranging from 8.5 to 10.5 inches are common. Private property surrounds the lake, so put your boat on the water at the marina at the west end of the lake to gain access. You'll find more 10-inchers at Big Long Lake in northeastern Indiana's LaGrange County, with the average catch measuring 8 inches. Access the lake at a state-owned access site on the north shore of the lake.
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources: 15 Best Indiana Panfishing Lakes
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources: Fishing Regulations
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources: Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area
- Sylvan Lake, Indiana
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources: Ferdinand State Forest
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources: Long Lake Report
Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.