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Bluegill

Lakes by County

Adams County

  • Cow Lake
  • Shiner Lake
  • Sprague Lake
  • Benton County

  • Columbia Park Pond
  • Mitchell Pond
  • Mound Pond
  • Palmer Pond
  • Switch Pond
  • Yellepit Pond
  • Chelan County

  • Black Lake
  • Dry Lake
  • Roses Lake
  • Wapato Lake
  • Clark County

  • Battle Ground Lake
  • Horseshoe Lake
  • Klineline Pond
  • Lacamas Lake
  • Vancouver Lake
  • Cowlitz County

  • Kress Lake
  • Silver Lake
  • Douglas County

  • Big Bow Lake
  • Hammond Lake
  • Hideaway Lake
  • Pit Lake
  • Putters Lake
  • Franklin County

  • Clark Pond
  • Mesa Lake
  • Powerline Lake
  • Thompson Seep North
  • Thompson Seep South
  • Worth Lake
  • Grant County

  • Banks Lake
  • Billy Clapp Lake
  • Evergreen Lake
  • Long Lake
  • Lower Goose Lake
  • Moses Lake
  • Potholes Reservoir
  • Soda Lake
  • Stan Coffin Lake
  • Upper Goose Lake
  • Grays Harbor County

  • Duck Lake
  • Jefferson County

  • Leland Lake
  • King County

  • Fivemile Lake
  • Lake Dolloff
  • Lake Geneva
  • Lake Killarney
  • Lake Number 12
  • Trout Lake
  • Kitsap County

  • Horseshoe Lake
  • Kitsap Lake
  • Kittitas County

  • Fio Rito N
  • Klickitat County

  • Horsethief Lake
  • Lake Umatilla
  • Rowland Lake
  • Spearfish Lake
  • Lewis County

  • Fort Borst Lake
  • Plummer Lake
  • Riffe Lake
  • South Lewis County Park Pond
  • Mason County

  • Phillips Lake
  • Okanogan County

  • Leader Lake
  • Palmer Lake
  • Patterson Lake
  • Spectacle Lake
  • Washburn Island Pond
  • Whitestone Lake
  • Pierce County

  • Bay Lake
  • Florence Lake
  • Harts Lake
  • Lake Kapowsin
  • Ohop Lake
  • San Juan County

  • Hummel Lake
  • Skagit County

  • Lake Campbell
  • Skamania County

  • Ice House Lake
  • Little Ash Lake
  • Snohomish County

  • Cassidy Lake
  • Gissburg Ponds
  • Lake Ketchum
  • Lake Roesiger
  • Spokane County

  • Liberty Lake
  • Newman Lake
  • Silver Lake
  • Stevens County

  • Franklin Roosevelt Lake
  • Thurston County

  • Hicks Lake
  • Lake Lawrence
  • Long's Pond
  • St. Clair Lake
  • Ward Lake
  • Whatcom County

  • Lake Fazon
  • Lake Terrell
  • Whitman County

  • Rock Lake
  • Information & Facts

    Bluegill - Duane RaverSpecies Name
    Bluegill
    (Lepomis macrochirus)

    Common Names
    Bream, Brim, Copper nose, sun perch, sunfish

    Size Range
    Average 48 inches. Bluegill can grow to 611 inches in quality populations.

    State Record
    2.33 lbs; Ron Hinote; Tampico Park Pond, Yakima County; June 10, 1984

    Description
    Bluegill is one of several "panfish" species in Washington which is very popular across the state because they are easy to catch, they are a great "family fishing activity" and they make excellent table fare. Often mistaken for pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill are distinguishable by a darkened blue spot on the posterior edge of the gill plate. The sides of the head and chin are often a dark shade of blue and there are 59 vertical bars along the sides of the bluegill; however, these are not always distinct.

    Where to fish for Bluegill
    Bluegill can be found statewide, however, quality bluegill lakes are often tough to find and size distributions within lakes can vary quite significantly over the span of a few years. Historically, the lakes, ponds and reservoirs of the Columbia Basin Project have produced excellent bluegill fishing. In addition, numerous lakes in western Washington provide excellent bluegill fishing. For a complete list of Washington bluegill waters, search "Fish Washington" by species.

    Bluegill Lakes Managed with Special Regulations
    In the majority of lakes statewide there is no minimum size or daily limit on bluegill. The following lakes in Washington have special regulations for bluegill. In most cases these regulations restrict harvest due to low abundance of bluegill. Regulations may change from year to year, so make sure you consult the latest regulations pamphlet for accurate information on the water you intend to fish.

    • Alkali Lake (Grant County): No min. size. No daily limit. Up to 5 over 6" may be retained.
    • Lower Goose Lake (Grant County): No min. size. No daily limit. Up to 5 over 6" may be retained.
    • Moses Lake (Grant County): Min size 8". Daily limit 5.
    • Potholes Reservoir (Grant County): No min. size. Up to 25 bluegill and crappie combined.
    • Sprague Lake (Adams/Lincoln County): No min. size. Up to 25 bluegill and crappie combined.

    How to fish for Bluegill
    Bluegills are a popular panfish that can be caught with live bait (worms, maggots, crickets, grasshoppers) flies, crappie jigs, pieces of corn, small crankbaits and spinners. During their spawning period (water temperature >70F) bluegill can be caught on almost anything (even a bare hook) cast near their nest. While catching bluegill in general is easy, catching quality-size bluegill is more difficult. Quality-size bluegill are not found in every water bluegill live in because their populations are quite cyclic with regard to the abundance of large fish. Bluegill fishing is best in spring and summer as fish congregate to spawn.
    Bluegill feed mainly on aquatic insects, which are slow-moving creatures. Rarely will a bluegill chase food items; therefore, it's important to fish very slowly. This is true whether you use artificial lures or live bait.
    Bluegills have small mouths and a small hook is essential: sizes 6 or 8 seem best. Hooks with long shanks are easier to remove from their small mouth, especially if the bait is swallowed. Thin wire hooks are the choice with live bait because the bait will stay alive longer and will be more enticing to fish as it squirms on the hook.
    Artificial baits suitable for catching bluegill are numerous. One-thirty-second and one-sixty-fourth ounce lead-head jigs with a plastic skirt, although tough to cast with anything but ultra-lite gear, are exceptional bluegill catchers. Leadheads tipped with marabou feathers, rubber grubs, or twister tails all work well. A small piece of worm or maggot attached to the lure will often increase bites when the fish are exceptionally choosy. All colors catch bluegill, but black is preferred by the most ardent 'gill fishermen. Tiny spinner-baits, spinners, and weighted flies can be used with spinning gear to catch big bluegill. Fish these baits as slowly as possible for best results. Dry flies and small poppers can be used with a spinning rod if a small float is attached about 4 feet from the lure. Long casts with a jerky or twitching retrieve will take bluegill when they are feeding on the surface.