4 Different Types of Lure for Bluegill

Bluegill caught and held up with lure

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The most popular types of lure for bluegill are inline spinnerbaits, grubs, poppers and flies.

There are a few tried-and-true lures that anglers use to catch bluegill consistently. These lures are easy to find at your local bait shop or online retailers. If you plan to go fishing for bluegill, it’s a good idea to have a wide assortment of each of these different lures to maximize your chances of catching fish. 

Bluegill caught and held up with lure

Inline Spinnerbaits 

One of the best overall lures for bluegill are undoubtedly spinnerbaits. These lures can come in a wide variety of sizes; the smaller versions are usually better for bluegill. Remember that the spinnerbaits we are referring to here are related to the smaller kind instead of the larger variety that are mostly used to catch bass and other medium or large-sized freshwater fish. 

There are a variety of different brands that manufacture these lures in different sizes with various hooks and spoon shapes. Some might work better when it comes to catching bluegill at certain times of the year, but in general, you can expect to draw some attention from bluegill with these lures by fishing them around the shallows at a particular lake or river, especially near cover or any structure. 

The classic rooster-tail style spinnerbait is always a great choice of lure as it is small enough to fit inside the mouth of most bluegill. These rooster tails often come in a huge variety of different colors and styles and you should experiment with different ones to determine which type the bluegill in a particular lake or river will strike at. In most instances. The movement of the small spoon on these lures will be enough to lure bluegill into coming out of their hiding spot and take a closer look at the lure or even bite it. 

The combination of the lure’s color, along with the spinner or spoon is what mainly attracts bluegill to them. They are assumed to look very similar to small bait fish swimming through the water and the gold or silver colored spoon is designed to put off a certain type of vibration that closely mimics the underwater vibration caused by fish when they swim. The rooster-tail’s feather-like skirt is another part of the spinnerbait that helps to attract bluegill. 

One of the keys to using this style of lure is to vary the speed at which you retrieve the spinnerbait through the water. In many cases, fish will be actively feeding and might chase after a lure that’s moving at a slow or moderate pace. You can also have success by fishing this at a faster pace next to certain types of cover to help draw a fish out or cause it to strike at the lure out of instinct. 

You can also successfully get bites from bluegill by shortly pausing your retrieve and allowing the lure to fall down in the water column for a few seconds before again resuming your retrieve. Some anglers who routinely target bluegill with spinnerbaits will use a sporadic retrieve that involves twitching the lure and letting it fall before reeling it back up to the surface to entice these small, scrappy fish species to strike. 

Spinnerbait Lures in a row

Grub Lures

Another highly popular type of lure that bluegill are known to be naturally attracted to are grubs. These lures are made by a wide variety of different manufacturers and come in a huge variety of different colors, shapes, and styles that are all useful when it comes to fishing for bluegill. These lures are typically rigged with a weighted jig head that allows you to fish them at various depths if you choose. 

Most grubs feature a small, curly tail on the end that has a distinct motion as it is running through the water which makes it appear very similar to a small minnow or other type of bait fish. It’s best to use these grubs with a weight that’s no larger than a 1/64 or 1/8 ounce weighted jig head. 

Some of these grubs come in two-toned colors that closely resemble certain types of grubs or bait fish living in different regions of the United States. The most productive style of grub lures for bluegill will be the smaller versions that will be closer to the actual size of creatures that these fish are capable of eating. Some larger grubs may draw a few strikes from bigger bluegill, but you’ll have better overall success by using grubs that feature a smaller profile. 

When fishing with grubs, you can use a steady retrieve, or vary the speed at which you reel in the grub to appeal more to any bluegill in the area. These types of lures can be very effective for targeting bluegill in deeper waters where the weighted jig head will help the grub reach down to the right depth. You can usually count on grubs rigged with light jig heads to target bluegill in and around submerged trees and other structures in deeper waters. 


Most poppers will draw interest from bluegill, even if they are too large for the fish to fit the bait inside its mouth. It’s not uncommon to see an eager bluegill strike at an oversized popper and this can sometimes result in the fish becoming foul hooked in the process. A few different brands make smaller poppers, which are ideal for targeting bluegill. 

These poppers, like most other lures designed for bluegill, come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. If the bluegill in a particular lake or river commonly feed on insects that fall onto the water’s surface, you can bet that using a small popper will be a highly effective option for catching a mess of bluegill. 

Some of the most popular styles of popper lures that bluegill will target and strike at have legs that extend out from the main body portion. These are designed to mimic a small spider or other insect that bluegill often love to feed on during the spring and summer months, on into the fall. 

When using these lures, you’ll want to allow the lure plenty of room to move past certain structures or over areas where bluegill tend to school up and take cover from the sun, as well as other fish that are known to feed on bluegill. As with any other topwater lure, you’ll want to use a series of popping motions to effectively fish the lure across the surface and catch the attention of any nearby bluegill in the area. 

gif of a popper water in action underwater


Flies are a very effective lure for catching bluegill for a number of reasons. Most anglers consider them to be the most effective lure for catching these types of fish, but you have to pay close attention to the fish in your area and try to match the colors and size of the fly to the particular type of flies and other insects that are naturally occurring in the area. 

As you might suspect, flies are best used with a fly fishing rod and reel. Anglers who are just getting started using a fly fishing rod and reel will often use bluegill as a way to practice their casting technique and perfect their aim and retrieve before taking to the rivers and streams where they might target other species like trout or salmon. 

There are virtually endless variations of flies that you can use to target bluegill effectively and you might find that certain color combinations tend to work better in certain areas, or at specific times of the year. You can use flies with a spinning reel by tying them onto very light line such as 4-pound test fluoro or monofilament. 

Flies are most effective during the late spring and early summer, but can be used to effectively target bluegill at any time until the winter causes the population of small insects to die off or go into hibernation until the spring. If you plan to use flies to catch bluegill, it’s best to do some research and determine what kind of insects and flies are native to the area you’re fishing in. Knowing this will help you select or create your own flies that look very similar to the type of insects that bluegill will be feeding on during the warm summer months.