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Bluegill

Lepomis macrochirus

Sunfish Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Bluegill


Common Name(s):
Bream, sun perch, blue sunfish, copperbelly
Description:
Bluegills may be distinguished from other sunfish by the dark spot at the base of the dorsal fin and the solid black gill flap. They also have 6-8 vertical bars on their sides, and a relatively small mouth. The spiny dorsal fin usually has 10 spines and is broadly connected to the soft dorsal. The anal fin has three spines.
Similar Fish:
Pumpkinseed, redear
Feeding Habits:
Small mouth size limits the size of food particles ingested and almost dictates a diet of insects and similar small organisms. While insects remain the staple food item for adults, crayfish, snails, small fish, and fish eggs are also consumed.
Range:
Bluegills appear to have been native to the eastern half of the United States, southeastern Canada and northeastern Mexico. Today, as a result of countless intentional introductions, bluegill are found throughout the US and northern Mexico.
Habitat:
The bluegill enjoys warm, shallow lakes with rooted vegetation. During mid-day, they go to deeper waters of shallow lakes or beneath the shade of trees or brush.
Typical Size:
An adult bluegill can reach a size of about 12 inches in length although the average is 8 inches. A good size bluegill can reach 2 pounds in size. They live an average of 4-6 years.
World Record:
4 pounds, 12 ounces (Source - IGFA)