Bluegills are one of the best eating fish we have here in Tennessee and we are so lucky to have Old Hickory Lake because it is full of big Bluegill. Old Hickory is just a stone’s throw from music row and real easy to get to with over 30 boat ramp’s on the lake.
The ramp I use most on the lake is Bull Creek on the Gallatin side of the Cumberland River. Take the highway 109 exit to Gallatin off Interstate 40 and go across the river to the bull creek boat ramp sign (about 300 yard’s) turn right go less than a mile it’s on the right.
The Bluegill and the Shell cracker’s go on bed about the same time of year normally the full moon of May and last until the full moon of June, these method’s that we are going to talk about will catch both. The fish are all over the lake and from Bull creek you can start fishing and never start your big motor, or you can run right down stream to Spencer Creek and never leave there. The fish will be very shallow and under tree limb’s if they can find them or sometimes they will be on a bare bank next to a stump.
The best way I ever found to catch lot’s of Bluegill’s for eating is a cricket and bobber on a long graphite crappie rod a Johnson Century reel, with 8 lb. Trilene XL, a number 2 or 4 hook, 1 small split shot, and Catty bar the door cause you fixin to pull some fish over the rail. Set your bobber about 18 inches deep and start working your way down the bank slow looking for the fish before you get to them. I use Solar Bat sunglasses and I can see way down into the water so as to find those fish that much quicker. When you spot a bed of Bluegill stay back as far as you can and throw softly right into the middle of them and you should get a bite real quick. You should be able to pull several fish off each bed. This is the best way but there are a couple other ways’ that are even more fun and catch almost as many.
The most fun way to catch Bluegill’s and Shell cracker’s is with a 5 foot ultra-light spinning rod (Berkley) and 6lb. Trilene Line and a Johnson Beetle-Spin, with green being the best color. Put your boat in close to the bank and throw up the bank in front of the boat and slow roll that Beetle-spin back to the boat and hold on. When you find one there will always be more close. As before put your Solar Bat’s on and look way in front of the boat and you can usually see them before you catch them. Once again you should be able to pull several off each bed before you move on down the bank, there should be beds at least every 50 feet.
The last way I use to catch them is for fun, which is with a fly rod and a popping bug. Now you won’t catch as many, but it’s a blast fighting them on a fly rod. Get your boat about 60 feet off the bank cast straight into the bank and slow crawl your bug back to the boat. As with the other method’s you should catch several when you find them. Try to find the fish on the stumps on the clear bank’s or you will just spend all day in the trees.
Well I am in the middle of a great topwater bass bite on Priest, Y’all give me a call and we will go. Don’t forget wear that life jacket, set the hook, and may the fish be with you.
Jim Duckworth Fishing Adventure’s