Fish Identification: Bluegill

by Justin on June 29, 2007

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) “The Beginner Fish”

Bluegill Fish

Bluegill Fish

Range and Description:
Also know as bream, brim, or sunfish, Bluegill are of the first types of fish you probably started out catching as a kid or maybe as an adult is the Bluegill. These fish are one of the most widely distributed pond fish in North America and range from Minnesota to northern Mexico. They are the fish that more often than not will nibble and peck on your line and steal your bait while your not looking.

Fish Identification:
Bluegill are a smaller round fish with compressed sides. Color can vary greatly between the sex of the fish as well as age and even season. The most common identifiers are black spots found at the edge of the gills and base of the dorsal fin. Then generally they will have about 6 dark vertical bars on each side. As I said the color varies but you can come to a conclusion that on average bluegills consist mainly of a lavender and bronze with males being slightly darker and more colorful in spawning season.

Identify Male / Female:
While sometimes it can be hard to tell Male Bluegill usually have an orange underbelly while females have a more yellow hue and are usually on the smaller size.

Fishing Tips:

  • If you aren’t catching them in one area then move, Bluegill don’t move around a whole lot so you will have to find a good spot. Especially in ponds and small lakes.
  • Bluegills in ponds usually don’t get as large as the one that live in lakes because in ponds they often are stunted by lack of food due to overpopulation.
  • Bluegill are more common than other species in ponds and can easily be caught with common baits such as: Worms, Crickets, Artificial Flies, and smaller jigs.

Was anything missed? Have a favorite Bluegill story from fishing? Add your comments below.

By Jesse G. Roland

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