The Best Bait for Bluegills Fishing

by Larry Anderson

Bluegills are a fish species that anglers target frequently. While bluegills make excellent table fare, they are perhaps more popular because of the relative ease with which they are caught. As a result, bluegills are a popular species for beginning anglers to target. Still, bluegills are popular among even the most experienced anglers because catching large bluegills is considered a challenge. But novice or veteran, most anglers agree that live bait is the best bait for fishing bluegills.


Worms are perhaps the most frequently used bait for catching bluegills. There are many different types of worms, but the best are those worms that come from the ground. Anglers can find their own worms by searching through the dirt in an area that is shaded and damp. Another easy way to find worms is to look on the concrete during or after a rain shower.

Worms also are sold in bait shops and other retail outlets that sell fishing tackle. Nightcrawlers are another, larger type of worm. Anglers should cut nightcrawlers into multiple pieces before using them for bluegills. Other types of worms that are productive for bluegills are manure worms, which can be found in cow and horse pastures, and meal worms.


When leeches move in the water, they do so with an undulating motion that is irresistible to fish. While leeches are available in many sizes, anglers targeting bluegills should fish with small leeches, or medium-sized leeches that are on the small side. Leeches should be hooked just below the larger sucker on their tail and allowed to swim naturally through the water.


Small crappie minnows are best for catching bluegills. While bluegills may attempt to eat larger minnows, anglers have their best shot at catching bluegills by using minnows that are about 3 inches long. Minnows can be hooked through the mouth, the tail or just behind the dorsal fin. The important thing to remember is to make sure the minnow is lively and swimming around.


Bluegills will eat a wide variety of insects, including ants, grasshoppers and crickets. Many anglers like to use such baits because they are readily available and, since anglers usually can find them on their own, insects cost little if anything for fishermen to procure.


Yellow kernels of corn, like the kind people buy in the grocery store, can be fantastic baits for bluegills. The bluegills may be attracted by their coloring, or perhaps by the way kernels of corn taste, but whatever the reason corn catches bluegills. Impale a piece or two of corn on a hook and bluegills likely will eat them readily.

About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.