By Dan Johnson

Summertime bluegill patterns abound. On some Lindy Land lakes, the hot bite right now is along the base of the deep weedline in 15 or more feet of water. In others, lily pad beds are the place to be.

Adding to the variety, you may find a variety of patterns happening at the same time in different areas of the same lake.

Such was the case on a large natural lake near my central-Minnesota home last weekend. In a large, shallow basin just off the main lake, ’gills were slurping insects off the surface in a thick lily pad bed a long cast offshore. Yet they were also cruising a slow taper just off the weedline on the main shoreline in 8 to 13 feet.

Some of the biggest fish, however, were scattered along the tip of a long, shallow point surrounded by deeper water.

This particular point is unique because the lake is otherwise characterized by fairly sharp, well-defined shoreline breaks. The point also has a wide, flat, weed-covered crown, which holds a variety of food items and offers cover when a large pike or other predator enters the picture.

Sunfish were scattered over open bottom along the upper edges, mostly in the same depths I’d found them along shore. I was surprised they weren’t in deeper water, but an ongoing algae bloom has reduced light penetration and knocked down some of the deeper vegetation.

I tried several presentations, including slip-bobbering live bait on a jig and drifting a jig. But in the end, the winning combination was a small spinner rig tipped with a worm. The rig consisted of a small Thill Series Slip Bobber Rig, which features a petite Indiana blade, red attractor bead and Tru-Turn Aberdeen hook.

I theorized that given the reduced water clarity, the thump and flash of a small spinner blade helped hungry ’gills home in on the bait. And slow trolling just fast enough to spin the blade helped me cover water and contact fish.

A large split shot pinched two feet up the line kept the rig in the strike zone on a tight line. All I had to do was occasionally tap the sinker on bottom and then raise it a foot or so to get the spinner working where sunfish could see it.

Spinner rigs aren’t always the answer, but when bluegills spread out along breaks, flats and weedlines, they can be just the ticket to enjoying fine midsummer action.