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Dog Day Bluegills!!

Jim Uran

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Late summer bluegills keep the doctor away, it’s a proven fact. Well maybe I stretched the truth a little but they sure can make a person happy this time of year. Even during the dog days of summer, these tanks are more than willing to bite, and they are as easy to find right now as ever


Weeds seem to be the key location year round for bluegills. And as the summers water temp has peaked and is slowly on the downfall the fish certainly have a lot of options to hide in out there. What I look for out there is a weed bed that isn’t too thick, has openings for casting, but enough cover to keep the fish hidden. In a perfect world I will look for a mixture of cabbage and coontail in the 8-12 foot range, and anchor on the outside edge of it. I’ll slip bobber the area or cast small jigs tipped with plastic.

The best soft plastic baits I have found are the lineup of Impulse from Northland Fishing Tackle. Over the past couple months, and even this past winter it has earned a spot in my tackle box. The combination of attractant and movement in these plastics gained my attention, and obviously the attention of many of the bluegills that I’ve caught this year. My favorite styles so far this summer are the 1” Mini Smelt, the Waterbug, and the Tapeworm. All three styles come in a variety of colors and they all impart an awesome action while attached to a small jig that has proven itself with numerous big ‘Gills.

I’ve been casting Impulse in and around this scattered coontail and cabbage when the fish are active they will come up and just smash it. During active periods I’ve just been fan casting the area with light jigs tipped with the bigger profile Waterbug. As the action slows or if I’m not getting anything higher up in the water column I’ll drop down to the bottom with a Mini Smelt or a Tapeworm and get the bait working with a slight twitch of the rod tip just like I was ice fishing. The action and profile of these baits are what gets those neutral or negative fish to bite, but they will also hold on to these Impulse baits longer than any other plastic I have ever used.

If you haven’t tried out these Impulse soft plastics yet, I suggest giving them a try, you won't be dissapointed!

A dandy inhaled an Impulse Waterbug!


Another quality bluegill caught on Northland Impulse!!


More videos at HSOshow.com

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Great read Jim.

I have been on a fantastic gill bite for close to a month in SC MN. Most of my fish have come from 6-10fow just off a break line. Must have been a recent bug hatch as they have now moved to deeper water over the mud from 19-23fow. For me, it's been a 1/32nd oiz jig, exude plastic tipped with a piece of crawler and it's been game on every trip out. Catching some of the nicest gills this last month I have for years on the lake I have been fishing.

I'll have to try one of those waterbugs to see if the southern gills will inhale them.

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Great info as always Jim!

I like the fact that there are so many options in plastics for gills/crappies . Companys like Northland and Lindy have come a long way in the last few years in the panfish market.

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