When bull bluegills invade heavy cover, pulling them out means pure toe-to-toe infighting. In summer, anglers have always probed the edge of pads, fallen trees, and other shoreline-related cover to find bluegills, with little desire to investigate farther back into that big mess of pads and weeds near shore. And for years, In-Fisherman editors have instructed that finding the biggest gills, especially in highly pressured lakes, often calls for exploring offshore structure like rock piles and humps in deeper water, sometimes deeper than 50 feet, but more commonly 15 to 35 feet down in main-lake areas.
In most lakes, of course, a variety of patterns establish by midsummer — some deep, some shallow, and some in between. Panfish also suspend at various depths in open water. In all likelihood, though, one overlooked pattern for bull gills remains — heavy, shallow cover, aka the slop.