Catching Bluegill off the Beds with PFGFishing and my724outdoors.com!

Catching Bluegill off the Beds with PFGFishing and my724outdoors.com!

Catching Bluegill off the beds is fun fun fun! When the bite heats up, they are ferocious. Join us for a little fun fishing for slab gills in Southern Illinois! We are dumbing things down today, jigs and waxworms and red worms are on the menu, and the fish were loving it!

Catching Bluegill off the Beds with PFGFishing and my724outdoors.com!
Bluegill

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Bluegill are prolific breeders and normally spawn in late spring and early summer when water temperatures rise within the range of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21.0 to 23.8 degrees Celsius). A male bluegill will sweep or fan out a dish‐shaped nests. Once the bluegill nest has been established, male bluegill will aggressively defend their nests against any intruders that come near the nest.

Lepomis, the generic name, is Greek and means “scaled gill cover”. The species epithet macrochirus is also Greek and means “large hand” which may refer to the body shape or its size. Bluegills may be distinguished from other sunfish by the dark spot at the base of the dorsal fin, vertical bars on their sides, and a relatively small mouth. The spiny dorsal fin usually has 10 spines (but may have as many as 11 or as few as 9), and is broadly connected to the soft dorsal. The anal fin has three spines. The back and upper sides are usually dark olive green blending to lavender, brown, copper, or orange on the sides, and reddish-orange or yellow on the belly. Colors are more intense in breeding males, and vertical bars may take on a reddish hue.

Bluegills begin spawning when water temperatures reach about 70°F. Spawning may peak in May or June, but continues until water temperatures cool in the fall. Because of their long spawning season, bluegills have very high reproductive potential, which often results in overpopulation in the face of low predation or low fishing pressure. Nests are created in shallow water, one to two feet in depth. Gravel substrate is preferred. Fifty or more nests may be crowded into a small area, thus creating a spawning bed. Males guard the nest until the eggs hatch and fry leave. Young fish feed on plankton, but as they grow the diet shifts to aquatic insects and their larvae. Up to 50% of their diet may consist of midge larvae.

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