Variety of Fish

Blue Gills

 Blue Gills 5 15 20201
The bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is a species of freshwater fish sometimes referred to as "bream" or "brim", "sunny", "copper nose", or "perch". 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. It usually hides around, and inside, old tree stumps and other underwater structures. It can live in either deep or very shallow water, and will often move from one to the other depending on the time of day or season. Bluegills also like to find shelter among aquatic plants and in the shade of trees along banks.
Bluegills can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and about 4 1⁄2 pounds (2.0 kg). While their color can vary from population to population, they typically have a very distinctive coloring, with deep blue and purple on the face and gill cover, dark olive-colored bands down the side, and a fiery orange to yellow belly. The fish are omnivores and will eat anything they can fit in their mouth. They mostly feed on small aquatic insects and fish. The fish play a key role in the food chain, and are prey for bass, other (sunfish), northern pike, walleye, muskies, trout, herons, kingfishers, snapping turtles, and otters.
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Considered one of the most popular panfish in North America, the prolific bluegill can be identified by the length of its pectoral fin. If the fin extends beyond the fish’s eye when folded towards its mouth, the sunfish is usually a bluegill. These sunfish are also known for their dark blue operculum (ear) flap that covers their gills. Their body colors are dark olive-green on the back and sides with yellow or reddish-orange breasts and bellies.
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A bluegill’s sponning runs any time from late spring even into early fall depending on where you live in the country. Biologists have noted a female bluegill can potentially spawn up to nine times a year.
Bluegill build nests, which look like a round depression on the bottom, near the corners of pond dams or overhanging willow trees that provide cover. Most nests can be found 1 to 4 feet deep, except in clear water where spawning beds might be as deep as 10 to 15 feet.
On larger reservoirs, like Lake El Novillo, spawning bluegill can be found 2 to 7 feet deep in the backs of pockets along flatter banks. The fish will nest on either mud or rock banks and prefer to hold next to some type of wood cover or large rocks.
A nesting fish becomes vulnerable to anglers because it strikes at anything that invades its spawning site. So the spawn is usually the easiest time of the year to catch bluegill.
Non-spawning bluegill will also be holding at various depths. During the summertime, the fish will be in deeper water on bigger lakes, but they will remain shallow in ponds due to oxygen depletion that usually occurs in depths of more than 10 feet.
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The best live baits for nesting bluegill include crickets, worms grasshoppers, flies, minnows, maggots or small frogs. Other baits include small shrimp bits, processed bait, bread, corn, other table scraps, small crankbaits, spinners, fake worms, or even a bare hook. They mostly bite on vibrant colors like orange, yellow, green, or red, chiefly at dawn and dusk.
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Remember to think small when fishing for bluegill. Since the fish have such small mouths, a number 6 hook should be large enough for your bait. You should also use ultralight tackle and 2- to 6-pound test line.

Blue Gills are Tasty!

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The meat is white and flaky and can be sweet if the fish comes from clean, cool water.