The Top 10 BEST Lures For Bluegill (W/Tips!)

When it comes to catching Bluegill on artificial lures, there is no shortage of options.

In fact, Bluegill fishing is so popular that tackle manufacturers have created hundreds and thousands of options over the decades.

So, how do you know what lures work best for catching Bluegill?

Well, in this article I am going to share the top 10 Bluegill lures of all time (in my humble opinion)…and some of the results may surprise you!

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

#10 Rebel CrickHopper

It is no secret that Bluegill are voracious insectivores, and during the summer crickets and grasshoppers are one of the most common insects found in their diet.

The Rebel CrickHopper is a fun topwater style twitch bait that can be fished on top or as a slow retrieve as darts just below the surface.

To check price CLICK HERE

This lure is especially effective along overgrown shorelines, hanging trees and edges when Bluegill and other panfish can be seen actively feeding on the surface.

#9 Original Road Runner

Coming in at #9 is the Original Road Runner. This timeless lure combines the weight of a jig-head, the flash of a spoon, and the action of a micro-jig to create a very effective Bluegill lure.

To check price CLICK HERE

Best when fished at shallow to medium water depths, especially when you are trying to locate fish.

Simply cast out and slowly retrieve and let the spoon and feathers do the work. May also be fished vertically jigging from an ice hole, dock, or boat.

This lure is great at covering water, and comes in enough sizes (1/16th-1/4 ounce) to tackle not just bluegill, but nearly all species of panfish and small bass too.

The Top 10 BEST Lures For Bluegill (W/Tips!)

#8 Yakima Rooster Tail Spinner

The Rooster Tail Spinner is not just an effective Bluegill lure, but really an effective lure for any panfish or small trout.

This lure works especially well in a light-moderate current where the water movement showcases the inline spinner just like a real-life baitfish. If you like to fish small streams, creeks, or even flowing canals…this lure should be in your tackle box.

To check price CLICK HERE

Very effective during the summer and winter, or during low light conditions when the gold flashing spoon really pops to attract quick reaction bites from hungry fish.

#7 Rapala Jigging Rap

Bluegill fishing may peak during the summer, but let’s not overlook the fantastic ice fishing for bluegill during the winter. The Rapala Jigging Rap is ideal for vertical fishing under the ice, or any cold-weather fishing.

To check price CLICK HERE

This balanced baitfish profile works best with a yo-yo action, or slowly bouncing off the bottom. Fish it slow, and get ready for those bluegills to bite, especially on the ‘fall’ action as it descends through the water column.

#6 Johnson Silver Minnow

The Johnson Silver Minnow is as simple as it gets. This timeless lure imitates the flashing and wobble of an injured or schooling baitfish that Bluegill cannot resist.

To check price CLICK HERE

Whether that is minnows, shad or Frye, this silver minnow spoon is deadly effective year-round for Bluegill- especially those in deep water or mixed vegetation.

This lure can be trolled, vertical jigged, or slow retrieved to entice bites from nearly all predatory fish. Tip it with a small grub or crappie bite, and you have yourself a miniature weedless spoon.

#5 Betts Poka Pop Poppers

When Bluegill are actively feeding on the surface and slurping down water spiders, tadpoles, and insect larvae- tie on a Betts Poka Pop Popper immediately!

This small floating popper imitates any topwater or floating food that Bluegill will target.

To check price CLICK HERE

Fish it slow and let it sit, or give it a small pop or ‘chug‘ to churn the water and hang on. This lure is unbelievably fun to fish on ultralight tackle of your favorite panfish flyrod.

#4 Rapala Ultralight Series Baits

Rapala has been in the lure-making business for a long time, and their Ultralight hard-body baits are one of their most successful lines of lures. These small but durable baits are extremely effective at drawing strikes from Bluegill all year long.

To check price CLICK HERE

Each lure features a balanced system that gives it an irresistible wobble along with a slight buoyancy for a slow-rise, diving or cranking action.

Very easy to cast and cover water to locate hungry fish, and you will be surprised at the variety of species that hit these lures (I’ve caught everthing from redear sunfish, to bass, gar and even channel catfish on this lure).

See Also: The 5 Best Crankbaits for Bluegill + Fishing Tips!

#3 Panfish Magnet

Panfish Magnet jigs may not be a staple that your grandfather fished with, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a spot on the list.

To check price CLICK HERE

In fact, these soft body jigs are taking the panfish industry by storm. Their claim to fame is the unique ‘horizontal’ action. Instead of falling head down (nose first), they fall horizontally in the water column which means better action and more bites.

I personally use these lures and LOVE them! The jig heads and soft body baits are very durable, and the hooks are very strong. I’ve accidentally caught largemouth bass up to 5 lbs on these lures and they held up great!

#2 Berkley Gulp! Maggots

Don’t worry, these aren’t real maggots but they work just as well! As we know, Bluegill are major insectivores feeding primarily on insects.

That means that the Berkley Gulp Maggots are dang near guaranteed to get bites if you are fishing for bluegills.

To check price CLICK HERE

Fish them on a small #8 to #12 Aberdeen hook, or tip your favorite jig. They work year-round, and every angler should have a bottle of these in their tackle box.

Many times, adding a gulp maggot to your hook can give stubborn bluegills that extra incentive to bite instead of nibble.

See Also: How to keep Bluegill from swallowing the hook

#1 Johnson Beetle Spin

Perhaps no other lure on the market today has caught more Bluegill and panfish than an original Johnson Beetle Spin. This lure has been around for well over 50 years and continues to be a top choice for Bluegill anglers all over the country.

To check price CLICK HERE

It combines the action of a soft-bait body, with the casting ability of a jig-head and the flash of a spoon or spinner all into one very effective lure. Can you tell I love Beetlespins?

You May Also Like: The 5 Best Panfish Spinning Reels Available Today

It’s available in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles to entice even the most stubborn Bluegill. Anytime I am fishing a new lake and trying to locate fish, I throw on a Johnson Beetle Spin.

If I was stuck in a survival situation, and could only take ONE freshwater fishing lure with me…it would be the Johnson Beetle Spin. It’s THAT reliable, and effective.

I can effectively fish deep water, shallow water, under docks, near the weeds, and everywhere in between. Bluegill cannot resist that small grub-like soft bait and the pulsating spoon. A true classic!

Here are a few other interesting facts about Bluefish:

  • Bluefish are a popular saltwater game fish found in the Atlantic Ocean, from Maine to Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • They are known for their sharp teeth and aggressive feeding behavior, often attacking bait and lures with ferocity.
  • Bluefish are typically caught using spinning or baitcasting gear, with lures like spoons, jigs, or plugs being effective.
  • They are often caught from boats or from shore, with popular fishing spots including jetties, piers, and beaches.
  • Bluefish are known for their oily flesh and strong flavor, and are often used in recipes like smoked bluefish pate, grilled bluefish, or bluefish chowder.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Colors Lures Do Bluegill Like?

Natural colors lures are very effective for bluegill; Green, brown, black and blue are very popular. In stained or muddy water, try chartreuse, orange, or my personal favorite: Pink & White.

How Deep Should You Fish For Bluegill?

Bluegill are associated with shoreline and edges, and usually found in 1-8 feet of water. As a rule of thumb, start along the shoreline and gradually work your way deeper until you locate fish.

The majority of bluegill are usually found within casting distance of the lake edge or other structure; they are rarely found suspended out in deep open water.

What Size Lure Is Best For Bluegill?

Bluegills have very small mouths compared to other panfish like the black crappie, and they feed on small forage like insects therefore, your lures should be small too. 1/32 to 1/8 ounce lures are ideal, with a hook size between #6-#10.

What Size Jig Is Best For Bluegill?

For bluegill use a small jig that is between 1/32 ounce and 1/8 ounce in size.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the best lures for Bluegill fishing, there is no shortage of choices on the market today. All of them may catch fish at different times of the year, and there really is no right or wrong answer.

Bluegill caught on Johnson Beetle Spin Lure
Bluegill caught on Johnson Beetle Spin

However, this list of the top 10 Bluegill lures of all time showcases the consistent producers, year after year, decade after decade.

Chances are you already have some of these in your tackle box…and if not, what are you waiting for? Grab a few and go hit the lake!

Thanks for reading.

See Also: The Bluegill Spawn…Temperature, Biology, Habitat & More

If you haven’t guessed yet, I love fishing and everything about it!

To learn more about why I started Panfish Nation, visit the About page and follow along on Social Media:

Download a copy of my FREE Lure Color Selection Chart & Knot Guide!

Stay up to date with fishing reports, tackle reviews, industry news, and much more! We respect your privacy, unsubscribe at any time.