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10 Top Places to Catch a State Record Bluegill for 2024

10 Top Places to Catch a State Record Bluegill for 2024

Mar 02, 2024

Brad Smith

Bluegill fishing is a cherished pastime for anglers across the United States, and the pursuit of a state record bluegill has become a thrilling challenge for many. These feisty panfish, known for their vibrant colors and scrappy fights, can be found in lakes all over the country. If you're aiming to break a state record and etch your name in angling history, here are the top 10 lakes where the chances of landing a monstrous bluegill are dang good. 

1. Lake Havasu, Arizona: Known for its crystal-clear waters and abundant aquatic life, Lake Havasu is a bluegill haven. Anglers here often report catching bluegill exceeding two pounds, making it a promising destination for those chasing state records.

2. Lake Okeechobee, Florida: Florida, renowned for its diverse fishing opportunities, is home to Lake Okeechobee, a bluegill hotspot. With its extensive marshy areas and nutrient-rich waters, Okeechobee consistently produces trophy-sized bluegill.

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3. Kinkaid Lake, Illinois: Nestled in the heart of southern Illinois, Kinkaid Lake boasts an impressive bluegill population. The lake's structure, including submerged trees and rocky points, provides ideal habitats for large bluegill to thrive.

4. Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee: Known for its unique submerged cypress trees, Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee is a picturesque setting for bluegill enthusiasts. The lake's shallow waters and abundant vegetation create an ideal environment for growing large bluegill.

5. Clear Lake, California: Clear Lake, situated in Northern California, is famous for its exceptional water clarity and large bluegill. The lake's diverse underwater structure, including submerged rock piles and weed beds, provides ample opportunities for trophy catches.

6. Toledo Bend Reservoir, Texas/Louisiana: Straddling the border between Texas and Louisiana, Toledo Bend Reservoir is renowned for its massive size and outstanding bass fishery. However, it's also home to sizable bluegill that often elude many anglers.

7. Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota: The Land of 10,000 Lakes wouldn't be complete without a mention of Lake Minnetonka. This Minnesota gem is known for its robust bluegill population, and with the right techniques, anglers can land true trophy-sized specimens.

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8. Lake Guntersville, Alabama: Famous for its bass fishing tournaments, Lake Guntersville also holds excellent opportunities for bluegill anglers. The lake's diverse habitat, including grass beds and submerged structures, provides an ideal setting for large bluegill to thrive.

9. Dale Hollow Lake, Kentucky/Tennessee: Straddling the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, Dale Hollow Lake is a renowned destination for various fish species, including the elusive state record bluegill. Its clear waters and ample forage make it a prime location for trophy hunters.

10. Big Stone Lake, South Dakota: Rounding out our list is Big Stone Lake, a South Dakota gem that often goes underappreciated. The lake's cold, clear waters harbor sizable bluegill, providing anglers with a unique opportunity to land a state record.

Whether you prefer the warm waters of Florida or the scenic beauty of Minnesota, these top 10 lakes offer prime opportunities for landing the bluegill of a lifetime. Remember, success often comes to those who combine the right techniques with a touch of patience and appreciation for the great outdoors. So, gear up, pick your favorite lake, and get to it in 2024. 

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