Find the bluegill beds
Ideally, bluegill beds make for great summertime bass locations as most people fail to realize that bluegill spawn four or more times per year, and their beds make for great areas, in the heat of the summer, to find active bass. Most bluegill beds are easy to find. Just look for hard-bottom areas in two to six feet of water; you can’t miss them. Areas like scattered grass, stumps, shell beds and water-soaked wood make great areas for them to bed.
Bedding areas aren’t always the same size, as they take on different areas from as small as 10 or so beds in a given area to hundreds in others. The thing to remember is, the beds will generally be near deep water, ranging from 10 to 12 feet, and sharp drops with beds on them make for the best bass fishing, especially if the bottom structure is a hard bottom.
One of the best ways I catch fish over bluegill beds is using top-water baits, the noise and motion of buzz baits, or popping baits make for great top action and catching plenty of bass. One key to me is making several casts and covering the area inch to inch. The key is not disrupting the beds so you don’t run the bluegill off them. Rather, covering them from a distance away so you can somewhat be unnoticed and a ways from the beds.
You accomplish that by keeping your boat positioned away from the beds, preferably in deep water where your trolling motor won’t scare away the bluegill; if the bluegill stays in the area, so will the bass. It’s also important to not overwork an area. Develop a pattern to cover the bedding area, so you are not pounding the same piece of wood over and over. Cover the area with a plan and move on to another bedding area if you don’t get a bite.
Lastly, look for activity on or near the beds. Many times, the gar move over and around the beds as they feed in these beds also, or there are schools of bait fish in there with the bedding bluegill The more active the bedding area is, the more chances you have of getting your line stretched and having a fun day!
-Captain Mike Gerry