Bluegill

The bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is a species of freshwater fish sometimes referred to as bream, brim, or copper nose. It is a member of the sunfish family Centrarchidae of the order Perciformes. It is native to North America and lives in streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. It is commonly found east of the Rockies.

They seldom go much deeper than feet (meters).

Large individuals seek more open water than do smaller ones. Eggs are laid in nests made in shallow water by males, on bottoms of gravel, san or mud that contains pieces . Ask most anglers how they started fishing and they will likely tell you their dad gave them some bait and they started out with bluegill fishing. Some of those anglers have moved on to pursuing larger species, but numerous anglers of all ages still seek smaller panfish treasures such as bluegill from various waterways. Tommy and I are catching bluegill with slim jims and maggots.

And while we fish we are cooking bluegill over. It is one of the best-known sunfishes throughout its original range in the freshwater habitats of the central and southern United States.

Parola with an extra large bluegill caught in Wayne County. Description: (Anatomy of a Fish) The bluegill is a laterally compressed or flattened sunfish, olive in color with an orange to yellow breast with clear fins except for a distinguishing large black smudge near the bottom of the soft dorsal fin. The operculum or gill cover is tipped distinctly . Every angler knows that if you don’t remove enough bluegills from a pon they’ll overpopulate and become stunted.

But new research says that idea is usually wrong, and the opposite may be true. Fishing Tips and Facts: Live worms or crickets are the best bait, either fished on the bottom or suspended below a float. Bluegill Sarah Kaneski with large bluegill.

Crickets, grubs, sand maggots or grass shrimp will also catch bedding bluegill. Concentrate on water less than feet deep. Like all of the sunfish, the bluegill is native to central and eastern North America, not Montana. However, it is now found across most of eastern Montana.

An like the others sunfish species, the bluegill is a shoreline spring spawner. Males begin the nest-building by fanning the bottom with their fins to clear a shallow, . Like other sunfish, bluegill have very deep and highly compressed bodies. In other words, they are tall and flat.

They have a small mouth on a short head. The dorsal fin is continuous, with the front part spiny and the back part soft and round with a dark smudge at the base. The tail fin is slightly forked but rounded. NH Conservation Status: Not listed. Scientific Name: Lepomis macrochirus.

Distribution: The bluegill is a species of sunfish that has been introduced into most water bodies in New Hampshire and is now widespread. Its original range included the St. Lawrence and Mississippi River basins and Atlantic .