Part Fifty-nine

Redbreast Sunfish

Fishing Bluegills [Bream] in Summer, Part 2

By Tom Keith
Excerpt from: Fly Tying and Fishing for
Thanks to Frank Amato Publications!

More on SUMMER
You can catch bluegill right through the heat of the day, even during the hottest part of the summer, if you can locate a weedbed submerged in water at least 3 feet deep. The water does not have to be very deep, in fact, most weedbeds used by bluegill are found in 12 feet of water for less. During summer, extreme heat can cause a loss of dissolved oxygen in some parts of the lake. When the percentage of dissolved oxygen in the water is low, fish move to other part of the lake where it is higher.

Weeds absorb carbon dioxide and return oxygen to the water, making weedbeds the most oxygen-rich areas in the alke, and consequently, a comfort zone for fish. Weeds provide shade from direct sunlight and water temperatures there are cooler. Weedbeds also attract and produce insects and vegetation bluegill eat, making it an ideal spot for fish to spend the summer months.

To catch fish from submerged weedbeds, cast weighted Wooly Worms, weighted wt flies like the Improved McGinty, and weighted Girdle Bugs along the deep water side of the bed, and retrieve them erratically to entice the fish.

Boat docks and bridges provide constant shade, plus algae and moss grow on the posts or piling. Bluegill use the shade of these structures to avoid direct sunlight and feed on insects associated with algae and moss, as well as the vegetation itself.

To best take advantage of bridges and boat docks, cast wet flies or Girdle Bugs into the shade beside and under the dock. Allow the fly to sink awhile before starting the retrieve, then retrieve it in short, erratic spurts. Sometimes boat docks and bridges produce excellent midday bluegill fishing and are certainly worth exploring with a floating/sinking line and weighted flies.

Even during the dog days of summer many fish move to shallow water in the evening to try to scare up a free meal. There are always plenty of insects available in the evening, and fish get into the habit of taking them from the surface. If you are fishing and see activity on the surface, tie on a dry fly and get in on the action.

As summer wears on, grasshoppers, crickets and other terrestrial insects appear everywhere at once. Many are blown or fall into the water and are quickly consumed by fish. Bluegill love all types of terrestrial insects, so if you've noticed that grasshoppers and crickets are out, try using a size 10 or size 12 Sponge-bodied Bug and a size 10 or size 12 Letort Cricket. The Sponge-bodied Bug will float on the surface forever while its thin rubber legs jiggle and vibrate seductively. The Letort Cricket floats well and is to light each tiny ripple in the water gives it action.

Because most terrestrial insects are blown or fall into the water from vegetation growing along the shore, cast to places where insects would normally land if that happened, because those spots are the places where fish will be looking for a free meal. ~ Tom Keith

Next time AUTUMN!

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