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Bluegills are energetic fish that refuse to be reeled in without a fight. They are incredibly fun to fish and entertaining to catch.

In order to be an expert bluegill angler, you need to plan your strategy well and have the right equipment and bait. Bluegill will go after anything from live bait to artificial jigs and lures.

Keep reading to learn how to choose the best artificial bait for bluegill!

What to know when fishing for bluegill

Fortunately, bluegill are not incredibly picky eaters. They will be attracted to nearly any bait that you would typically use with panfish. 

If you have a go-to for crappie, perch, sunfish, etc., it is probably a good choice when you are fishing for bluegill as well.

However, despite bluegills size of over 10 inches, they have proportionally small mouths. 

As you are choosing a good bait for bluegill, keep in mind that it needs to be small, or the fish will be unable to swallow it.

It’s a good play to fill your tackle box with small baits. Often, mini spinners or tiny jigs are effective lures for bluegill.

Yes, jigs are more commonly used to reel in crappie, but their weight and casting ability make them a great option for catching bluegill, too! 

Since jigs can be used from the dock or boat to reach hiding places along the shoreline, coves, or deeper waters, they are tough to beat.

Small plastic lures are another good option. They are moveable enough to imitate bluegill’s favorite snacks, and you can attach artificial bait to some of them, increasing your target area. 

Plastic lures can be fished in shallow or deep water. To easily change your fishing depth, simply adjust the jig size or add a weight to the line above the lure.

Why use artificial bait instead of live bait?

Bluegill love to strike bait floating on the water’s surface.

Their natural diet consists largely of insects and insect larvae, which you can easily find used in artificial bait.

Since bluegill have very tiny mouths, artificial bait is often a better option than larger lures, and you can choose small bait to accommodate bluegills’ small aperture.

Natural bait for bluegill can disgust even the most seasoned fisherman, and it’s hard to get that stench out of your clothes and fishing gear.

You can avoid the mess with artificial bait, which can attract bluegill even better than live bait in many cases.

Also, you do not have to spend as much time re-baiting your hook when you use artificial bait.

Bluegill often swim in schools- when you catch one, you want to get your line back in the water as soon as possible. Artificial bait allows you to cast as soon as you take your fish off the hook!

Cost effectiveness is one of the leading reasons to prefer artificial bait over live options.

Although artificial bait might have a higher sticker price, it is much kinder to your wallet over the course of time. 

You are bound to lose several baits to smaller fish before you get a keeper.

Which types of artificial baits are best for bluegill?

Bluegill’s diet varies based on environmental conditions, geography, and habitat.

However, there are a few types of artificial bait that mimic bluegill’s natural diet:

  • Crickets
  • Worms (particularly, earthworms)
  • Larvae
  • Other small bugs and insects

If the first option you try is not appealing to the fish, try another!

What to look for in artificial bait for bluegill

In general, choose a bait with a natural scent and high dispersion area. Selecting bait infused with scents and flavors that bluegill are familiar with will land you a good catch, and you can avoid the mess and hassle of live bait.

Also, avoid bait with scents intended to attract larger fish (such as panfish scented bait); these will not be appealing to bluegill.

There are generally two different categories of artificial bait: searching and bedding bait.

You should base your choice on the way that you will be fishing.

If you are searching for bedding areas in crystal clear water, you have a much better chance of eyeing them than if you are fishing in cloudy, murky water.

The latter scenario is when lures come into play. Searching lures can include jig spinner, micro crankbaits, mini spinner baits, or any other highly visible fishing lure that features a high level of movement.

However, if you are targeting known bedding areas, you probably want to switch up your bait tactics.

Bedding presentations usually involve a small floating component with a secondary bait suspended under the water. You should adjust the lower component to barely skim the bottom of the lake.

Common types of bedding lures include bugs, flies, worms, maggots, and other small food sources for bluegill.

To properly use a bedding lure, cast slightly beyond the target and drag your bait across the bedding area. This will give the fish a natural presentation while minimally disrupting the water. 

Bluegill will not be able to resist!

Best artificial bait for bluegill

There are a number of options if you’re looking for the best bluegill artificial bait to use. The following products may work well for use on your next fishing adventure.

Gulp Alive Cricket Fishing Bait

Gulp Alive Cricket Fishing Bait will attract bluegill by the hordes just as effectively as live bait will draw them to your line.

With the terrifically detailed lifelike design, markings, and coloring, these lures accurately mimic natural prey in the water.

Each individual cricket is 1 inch long and weighs around 2.1 oz.

You can choose between brown and green color selections.

Every jar contains roughly 22 crickets with some variation for product size and packing.

Live baits are a cheap alternative, but they do not compare to the durability of artificial bait that can be used over and over again. Plus, live bait is difficult to care for and store in comparison to artificial bait. And, reusability is out of the question.

As if the convenience factor is not enough, using Gulp Alive crickets increases your strike zone radius by more than 400x due to more pervasive scent dispersion in the water.

While artificial bait can seriously improve your bluegill fishing game, beware that many types of bait are only available for shipping within the United States and select other countries.

If you are not completely happy with your purchase, you can inquire about the included manufacturer’s warranty.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for use when fishing for Bluegill.


  • Realistic design features that create a lifelike presentation
  • Brown and breen color options
  • Each package contains around 22 crickets that are each 1 in. long
  • Durable and resilient
  • Easy storage and maintenance
  • Increases strike zone by over 400x using scent dispersion technology
  • Warranty included

Berkley Pack PowerBait Power Honey Worm

Berkley presents you with a versatile artificial bluegill bait that can be used to entice all species of panfish.

How? This bait has been delicately designed to accurately represent insect larvae, a common food for all panfish, including bluegill.

If you are in a pinch, this bait is a top choice for ice fishing or for use with a bobber during the open water fishing season.

Bringing more than 25 years of experience to the table, Berkley experts have concocted a strong blend of scent and flavor that will draw in fish from the far reaches of a lake. 

They know that panfish are often attracted to natural colors, so their exclusive PowerBait formula is infused into a natural presentation. Each bait is 1 inch long and weighs 1.92 ounces.

This product is designed specifically for panfish, so you can hone your tackle box to the type of fish you are targeting.

Berkley Pack Powerbait Honeyworms can only be shipped to the United States, to APO/FPO addresses currently and to select countries outside of the U.S. 

View at Amazon for more information on how this product may work for luring Bluegill.


  • Artificial bait designed to attract all species of panfish, including bluegill
  • Lifelike presentation of insect larvae with extreme scent dispersion
  • Excellent option for ice fishing or open water fishing
  • Produced by scientific experts who have been major players in the business for more than 25 years
  • Strong scent and flavor
  • Natural color scheme
  • 1 in. long, 1.92 oz


  • Only available for shipping within the U.S. and to select countries and APO/FPO addresses.

Berkley Gulp! Maggot

Another strong contender from Berkley, these maggot soft baits are manufactured with the highest quality of materials.

Berkley is one of the top brands in the fishing industry, and this product is an accurate representation of their care and expertise.

Unlike other brands, Berkley has specifically engineered this artificial bait to assist anglers with bringing in a larger number of catches.

When put to the test against live bait, Gulp! has performed twice as well. Since Gulp! Provides over 400 times more scent dispersion than standard plastic lures, you get a much larger strike zone, and your catch will reflect the extra reach!

Gulp combines an extreme level of scent dispersion, lifelike taste texture to bring you a biodegradable bait that is also environmentally friendly.

This artificial bait is 1 in. long and weighs 1.5 oz.

As mentioned above, this bait can only be shipped within the United States and select other countries.

View at Amazon for more information on how this product may work for Bluegill fishing.


  • Outfishes live bait in field tests
  • Gives you more than 400x scent dispersion than traditional plastic bait
  • Larger strike zone for larger catches
  • Lifelike taste and texture
  • Biodegradable bait
  • 1 in. long and 1.5 oz
  • Product of a leading brand in fishing


  • Only available for shipping in the U.S. and select other countries.

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