by Mike Gerry
Most people fail to realize that bluegill spawn four or more times a year, and in the heat of the summer their beds make for great areas to find active bass.Bluegill beds are often 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 and water with wood make great areas for them to bed. Bedding areas are not always the same size as they cover different areas from as small as 10 or so beds in each area to hundreds in others. The thing to remember is the beds will generally be near deep water, ranging from 10 to 12 feet. Sharp drops with beds on them make for the best bass fishing.
One of the best ways I catch fish over bluegill beds is to use a whacky rigged sinko by letting it drop into the beds around the hard-shell bottom. Also, top water baits are effective. The noise and motion of buzz baits, or popping baits make for great top action and catch plenty of bass.
One key, to me, is to make several casts and cover the area inch by inch. Bass tend to be focused on the beds so making lots of presentation will get their attention. The key is to not disrupt the beds. Do not run the bluegill off them. Rather, fish them with accuracy and consistency. You accomplish this by keeping your boat positioned away from the beds, preferably in deep water where your trolling motor will not scare the bluegill away. If the bluegill stay in the area, so will the bass.
It’s also important to not overlook the edges around the beds. Often bass will move to the edge, near the deep water, for safety, so they can quickly move deep or feed along the edges where the hiding spots are located.
Lastly, look for activity on, or near, the beds. Many times, the gar are moving over and around the beds or there are schools of bait fish in there with the bedding bluegill.
The more activity in the area, the more of a chance the bass are feeding. This activity is movement with feeding bass and gives you more chances of getting your line stretched.