Ice fishing basics: Tips and tactics for bluegill

INDIANA – While different fish can be caught while ice fishing, targeting bluegill will provide the most consistent ice angling success.

  • Start fishing at locations where you successfully caught bluegill in the fall. The edge of plant beds or near a drop-off are good locations to find roaming fish. Drilling multiple holes ahead of time in likely locations will give you a good start.
  • Use a small ice fishing jig baited with a single bee moth (or wax worm). Since most fish during the winter are oriented toward the bottom of a body of water, drop the jig to the bottom and raise it a few inches. Twitch the rod tip 1 to 2 inches to attract the fish. Pauses often trigger the bite.
  • Start fishing each hole for 10 to15 minutes. Stay if you’re catching fish but move to catch the most active fish at each location. Try different types of habitat when searching for active fish.
  • Bluegill often bite throughout the day, but action slows near dark.
  • If you are keeping your catch, put the fish in a bucket with a water/snow mixture to keep them from freezing. The fish will be easier to fillet when you get home.

Public waters and many lake depth maps can be found on the Where to Fish Map

To find out more click here.