The Best Bluegill Imitation Lures For Giant Spring Bass

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Spring is a perfect time to tie on a bluegill imitation lure. As bass begin moving up shallow from their staging points, they’ll begin gorging on crawdad and baitfish. During the spawn, they’ll defend their nests from bluegill. In post-spawn, big bass will crush bluegill again. 

It’s a tough life for Bluegill! And that’s why I absolutely love throwing a bluegill imitation lure in spring. Something about the patterns and movement just sets Bass off.

Savage Gear 3D RTF Bluegill Swim Bait

The Savage Gear 3D Swim Bait lays on a wooden dock.

The RTF Bluegill is one of the most realistic swim baits you can fish. With its segmented body, you get realistic swimming action and detail-oriented colors. It’s perfect for isolating giant bass along weed lines and over the top of heavy grass beds. This is the lure you’ll want to throw from pre-spawn to early fall. Nothing is more annoying to bass than active bluegill near its eggs, and bass will gorge on bluegill as part of their forage as well. With a strong jig hook and bottom treble, the hooking percentage on this lure is great.

Best Bluegill Immitation Lures: How To Fish It

The RTF Bluegill is an open-water bait. But you can easily swim it near cover and structure. Try retrieving over the top of grass and control the depth with your rod tip and retrieval speed. If I’m fishing near grass, I like to run straight 30 lb suffix braid. In open, clear water with good visibility, I’ll tie on a 20 lb mono leader. Another notable Savage Gear products are the Bluegill pulse tail.

 Swim Jigs

A Stoke King Tour Grade bluegill swim jig being held by Jason with lake water in the background.
Strike king tour grade swim jig with a Rage Tail swim bait trailer

The swim Jig is hard to beat in spring, especially around grass. A 3/8 oz tour-grade swim jig with a Rage Tail trailer is perfect up-shallow around grass, boat docks, and weed lines as it can pass through vegetation. The ribbed Rage Tail gives your swim jig that perfect roll action due to having a more rigid material. For a stubbier appearance, you can try experimenting with trailers like the Rage Craw or Yamamoto Zako trailer. These trailers have less action but mimic the profile of bluegill. If you’re new to spring bass fishing, the swim jig is a great place to start.

Best Bluegill Immitation Lures: How To Fish It

Use a 3/8 oz swim jig if you’re fishing in 3-4 feet of water ( perfect for respawn). If you’re fishing deeper, move to a 1/2 oz. Give the jig occasional jerks and let it fall periodically. As you pass through grass, try ripping through and allow it to fall and rise. Changing your retrieval speed and pattern, like a crank, is what sets fish off, as well as the roll action of the jig.

Top Water Frog

A terminator walking frog in bluegill color lays broadside on the shore of a small pond demonstrating one of the best bluegill imitation lures.
Terminator Walking Frog in Bluegill Color

As we roll out of spawn season, bass will begin moving all around the lake. Some will migrate deep, others will stay shallow. But most bass will begin hunting upward at certain times of the day and snatch fish near the surface. That’s when a topwater frog comes into play. Believe it or not, a topwater frog mimics not only a frog but a bait fish as well. You can skip a frog under low-hanging trees, over grass mats, and along sparse top water cover and imitate the directional changes of fleeing bluegill. This is the most fun way to catch bass, in my opinion. You can fish a frog near cover, dart

Best Bluegill Immitation Lures: How to Fish It

If you’re fishing open water with minimal top-water grass, a 6″6-7’0″ medium heavy rod works well with 30-40 lb braided line. Cast out and pop the slack in your line and get the frog darting side to side. Find a good blue gill color pattern, lots of blue and green.

Rapala DT6

A DT-6 crankbait with bluegill patterns lays on a wooden deck.
Rapala DT6 Crank Bait

Some of the best bluegill imitation lures are medium-diving crankbaits. And the Rapala DT6 is no exception. This crank is perfect for getting into the right depth range for fish either staging for spawn or those guarding fry. The erratic action and directional changes are perfect for triggering a bite. The Dives To (DT) series also offers DT4, DT8, DT8, DT10, DT14, and DT16,  which allows you to reach all the sweet spots as bass begin moving from deeper water. Locate areas where the shoreline changes from one thing to another such as grass to pea gravel or gravel to chunk rock. These transition areas are hotspots for bass to stage.

How To Fish It

When retrieving, change up your speed of retrieval giving the lure intermittent pauses. Try to get low and knock the front bill around on hard bottom like gravel, stumps, or chunk rock. Deflecting off hard structure will trigger a fish to bite. Always remember to change your retrieval pattern from fast to slow with pauses in between. This erratic action makes the crankbait one of the best bluegill imitation lures during spring.

Big Blade Chatter Bait

Z-Man Big blade Chatter bait in bluegill colors lays on a wooden deck.
Z-Man Big Blade Chatterbait

The Z-Man Big Blade Chatterbait is a perfect bluegill imitation when Bass are targeting big fish. The oversized blade creates a ton of commotion and water displacement. Additionally, it’s a great option when water is stained. Basically, with the big blade, you’re getting maximum thump action, which separates it from regular chatter bait. In my opinion, this is the bait to throw when you’re targeting the most aggressive fish. The larger blade puts out more flash which is perfect when Bass are targeting schools of bait. The profile and flash allow the bait to stand out among the many look-a-like fish.

How To Fish It

Fish the Big Blade the way you would a chatter bait. Cast out, get that blade moving, and retrieve. Bring it through grass, over shallow water ledges, let it fall, twitch it, the versatility is endless.




2 thoughts on “The Best Bluegill Imitation Lures For Giant Spring Bass”

  1. Pingback: Berkley Powerbait Gilly Review - Wild Outdoor

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