Post date: Monday, March 5, 2012 - 23:33
Updated date: 4/8/14
Bluegill , Lepomis macrochirus

 

The bluegill is possibly the most widespread panfish in the United States.  It is extremely popular because of its delicious flavor, high numbers, and willingness to bite.

 


Description

 

Bluegills are a hardy fish, thriving in middle-to late aged eutrophic lakes and small ponds. Overpopulation is common in a lot of these waters where predation is not heavy, and this leads to a huge population of stunted fish. However, when found in waters containing large pike and largemouth bass for example, bluegills large enough to be worth targeting are present. Any bluegill over a pound will put up a great fight on light fly tackle, and are willing biters that will take small artificials as well as bait. They spawn in early summer and a big male sitting on a light-colored nest sticks out like a sore thumb, and will attack anything that invades his space. Really big bluegills grow large, fleshy shoulders and are termed "knobheads" by anglers who pursue them. In early summer you'll find knobs in shallow mud-bottomed bays where the sun warms the water most. The early emerging vegetation atrracts big female gills as they recover from spawning. As summer progresses larger fish are usually found a bit deeper, like on the weedline.

 


Tactics

 

Live bait can work well for bluegills, as well as small crappie-sized jigs or flies. Angleworms, leeches, wax worms, live nymphs, crawfish tails, or even wild mushrooms work as baits for bluegills when suspended beneath a slip-float. Small poppers or foam bugs work great for fish in the shallows, and bluegills just can't turn down a small wet fly or nymph either. However, big bluegills will attack larger flies such as wooly buggers or even clousers, so fishing these blind around the weedline or pockets in the lily pads can produce both knobheads and the occasional largemouth bass or pike.

 

Hybrids

Bluegills hybridize readily with other, closely-related species. Pumpkinseed/Bluegill and Green Sunfish/Bluegil hybrids are particularly common. Identification of hybrid species presents a paticular challenge, especially in young fishes. In some cases, it is impossible to determine which species made up a hybrid.

Variations

Bluegills have been stocked, moved, and mixed together to such a degree that almost any unique strains of bluegill from long ago have been lost. One unique sub-species, the Florida or coppernose bluegill, still exists and is a common catch in Florida.

 

Range Map


Lifelist Entries

Post date: Friday, March 16, 2012 - 11:55
Nunyo Lake
Post date: Friday, December 30, 2016 - 12:14
Unnamed Lake, Minong, WI.
Post date: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 14:11
tommie creek Morrisville MO 37.505709, -93.419519
Post date: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - 23:44
North Fork of the Powell River (Tennessee drainage) Norton, VA
Post date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 20:14
Hamilton Lakes Park, Greensboro, North Carolina
Post date: Monday, March 16, 2015 - 11:49
Black Otter Mill Pond
Post date: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 18:19
North Branch Cooper River, Haddonfield NJ
Post date: Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 20:28
Parksville Lake, TN
Post date: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 21:55
Stormwater retention pond
Post date: Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 07:36
Hidden Lake, PA
Post date: Monday, July 30, 2018 - 14:59
Bozeman Pond in Bozeman, MT
Post date: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 12:34
Gila River, Arizona
Post date: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 14:44
Upper Gull Lake, Nisswa MN
Post date: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 14:36
Marion Lake, MN
Post date: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 23:13
MN, WI
Post date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 08:47
Ontario
Post date: Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 15:31
Post date: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 12:11
Post date: Monday, April 22, 2013 - 11:31
Rideau river, Ottawa Ontario
Post date: Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 15:05
pond in my backyard
Post date: Friday, March 25, 2016 - 09:24
Arden Hills, MN
Post date: Friday, March 16, 2012 - 08:39
Post date: Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 08:35
C&O Canal, Washington, DC
Post date: Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 19:15
lake julia

Pages