Optically brightened finishes that reflect and react to the sun’s ultraviolet light make it easier for fish to see your lures in low-light and low-vis conditions.But panfish mastermind and Team Northland ace Brian “Bro” Brosdahl says UV finishes work wonders for daytime bluegills as well.“UV finishes quickly gained acceptance among anglers chasing trout, salmon and walleyes, but such products have as many, if not more, applications on the sunfish scene,” he says.
While UV-related increases in walleye catch rates have focused on low-light conditions such as stained or deep water and cloudy weather, Brosdahl discovered that optically brightened baits also shine for sunfish under sunny skies in clear water.
“Bluegills have amazing vision and can see things we can’t even imagine,” he explains. “So it’s no wonder they’re attracted to even subtle reflections from UV light during the day. I’ve found that switching from regular colors to UV finishes turns fish that were just sniffing my jigs into strikers. And not just when light levels or visibility were compromised, but in gin-clear water in broad daylight, too.”
Northland’s Mooska Tungsten Jig is one of Brosdahl’s favorite UV-brightened bluegill baits, thanks to its sparkly and reflective UV GraniteGlitter coating. Available in panfish-friendly 1/57- to 1/16-ounce sizes, it also sports glow-in-the-dark eyes for extra attraction after dark.
Next time you’re tackling daytime bluegills, particularly during a tough bite, follow Bro’s lead and experiment with UV finishes to tempt finicky sunfish into striking.