It looks like we may have finally crossed the great divide between winter and spring this past week. Let’s hope this warm weather is here to stay.

About two weeks prior to Memorial Day the bluegill begin to nest in earnest and this makes for a great time to fish for them. The bluegill make a circular depression in the sand or mud, lay their eggs inside, and stand guard over the eggs until they hatch.

Once on the nests these fish become very aggressive and many times strike anything that moves above. This is when fly fishing is at its best in this area. Place a fly, such as a popper, above the nesting area and you will most likely get some action.

If you fly is not producing, change color or, change what type of fly to offer them. Sometimes a wet fly works better than a dry fly. Poppers are dry flies working on top of the water. Wet flies are ones that work below the water’s surface, sinking slowly toward the bottom in shallow areas.

I recently purchased an Orvis split bamboo fly rod, which is a top brand rod and I am dying to fish it. The old bamboo fly rods work best as far as I’m concerned, and, Orvis has long been a leader in fine fishing fly rods.

If you really want to have fun try some live crickets. Live crickets have long been one of the most exciting live baits to fish. Put a live cricket on your hook and either fish is tight-line or with a bobber and you will have some fun, guaranteed. Put just a tiny split-shot sinker above the hook about six inches and drift it through the beds; you had better be quick as action many times occurs the moment the bait hits the water.

When you fish a cricket make sure the very tip of your hook doesn’t show. I place my hook through the chest (thorax) on the front side and run it completely through the body, then turn it and run it into the back end (abdomen) burying the hook to the barb but not penetrating so the hook doesn’t show.

Live night crawlers are also good for bluegill but I normally cut them in half as the bluegill hooks are normally small. I use a lot of #8 gold hooks with long shanks for all my bluegill live bait fishing. The long shank allows for easy removal if the fish swallows it too deep.

Mother’s Day has long been the turning point for the major weather change between cold and warm in this area. The change, I believe has happened so get out of the house and catch some fish!

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Saturdays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: pamnsam@nwcable.net

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