Bluegill are one of the best baits for largemouth bass.  In ponds, this may be one of the easiest ways to target quality bass on a consistent basis.  The key is to not go too big when fishing with bluegill as bait.  Try to stay with bluegill in the 3 to 4 inch range if you’re looking for action and some quality fish.  As you go bigger, you will usually get less bites, however, those bites may be real nice bass.

Popular Techniques

Casting to Cover

Cast a lively bluegill next to a weed edge, along a dock or around some wood and you have a very good chance of catching a bass.


Anglers a live bluegill can be very effective, especially around deeper weed edges and drop-offs.

Slow Trolling

Slow trolling live bait is more popular with smallmouth bass anglers, but it works well for largemouth bass too.  You can fish shallow this way, but anglers typically do better when using this technique along drop-offs.

Still Fishing

The most common way most anglers fish with live bluegill is to just still fish under a bobber.  You can also still fish down deeper with a drop shot rig, Carolina rig or split shot rig.

Best Live Bait Rigs

A live bluegill under a bobber or slip bobber is one of the better ways to target largemouth bass that are suspended in the water column.

This rig is a great live bait rig.  Most anglers use the Carolina rig when fishing deeper water.

The drop shot rig is an awesome way to fish a lively bluegill.  Fish it shallow, deep, in open water or around cover and you can have a lot of success.

A simple jighead and bluegill is super effective when fishing hard bottom with minimal cover that you can get snagged on.

The split shot rig is a great rig when you just need a little extra weight to get your bluegill down farther through the water column.  Most anglers use this rig when the bass are shallow and it can be super effective.

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