Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

So, I'm in central Virginia and I know in small ponds the bream are probably spawning already, on larger impoundments maybe in prespawn mode. I have caught several 'gills and 'crackers with roe in their bellies. But I went the other day to a medium sized impoundment which I already know where they bed every year, and I didn't see any beds yet. Still, I caught a couple of fish with roe in them. I was thinking that with the full moon coming, they would be bedding soon, but then our temp dropped from mid 80s to upper 60s. Is it worth trying that lake again with the full moon tomorrow but in a minor cool front, or should I wait a few days? When they are on the bed, that lake is on FIRE. When they aren't on the bed, the bite is pretty bad from the shore (don't own a boat.) 

FYI, it was almost a week ago when I caught some there with roe but the beds weren't fanned out yet.

Thanks folks!

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Hey Sean this is exactly what we're seeing on the Northern side of the Albemarle down here in North Carolina........we got to 60 degree water temps in mid April but it has gone up and down since then and the gills have been reluctant to start......Some people argue with me but I don't post for public view looking for that, I just state what I've seen........I've kept detailed records on weather for 25 years here and some years it has been as late as the third week of MAY which is not common.....what is interesting is we had a mild winter but these spring cold fronts keep the Florida strain bluegill at bay around here.........I have access to ponds and small lakes and the gills are piled up shallow for the Flower Moon..........I still fish often and look for gills first every trip starting on the first of May but it's easy to shift to a spectacular crappie bite that is the result of colder shallows......the crappie have been shallow for seven weeks on most of my rivers........Good luck Sean and let us know how you do.....Just my two cents........Jeff

Thanks Jeff. Well, I went, but no beds yet. I caught a few tiny gills and a scrappy little pickerel. Having some bait left (garden worms) I went to the swamp close to my house and did much better, caught a mess for dinner. We should get a warning trend for a few days next week with very little rain, hopefully thatll put them on the beds.

shellcracker are just now starting to bed here.  shouldnt be long for bluegill.  water temps are just now getting close to 70 degree and until that happens around 70-72 bluegill wont bed on KY or Barkley.

theyve been up near the trees and bushes the last couple of weeks feeding on the black caddis hatch.

Thanks for the info Tracy. I went day before yesterday, and the beds I was looking for weren't there, but I was catching quite a few very small fish just a touch further from shore than where the beds should be. I walked around to the boat ramp to fish some lily pads and I saw 5 or 6 VERY scattered beds, but only two being guarded that I could see. Fished that area for awhile and caught nothing but pumpkinseed...mostly small, but a few looked like they were full of roe. So I'm thinking the pumpkinseed and the crackers spawn at about the same temps, so maybe the 'gills will start soon here too. For now, I think I'm heading to the swamp. The best fishing of the year is already gone at this swamp, but I can reliably catch enough keepers for dinner and every once in awhile play with a big bowfin. We'll be getting rain from Monday through Friday, so I guess that'll keep the bluegill from bedding for another week.

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