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My Fish Finder Main => General Fishing Discussion => Topic started by: seamonkey84 on Aug 18, 2019, 04:34 PM

Title: Bluegill or hybrid?
Post by: seamonkey84 on Aug 18, 2019, 04:34 PM
I caught and released what was most likely my biggest “sunfish” today, I took the time to take a pic and weight it. I was in a bit of a hurry to get it back in and go after an even bigger one that I saw. Unfortunately the bigger one didn’t come back to play. The thing is, when I released this fish, I thought it was a pumpkinseed, but then looking back at the pic, I think it’s a bluegill. The blue color pattern in the face made me think seed at first, but it’s lacking any of the reds and orange that seeds have. Is this a bluegill or a hybrid? Weight jumped between .65-.7 on my cheap digital scale.
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This is a pumpkinseed I caught just before that “gill”.

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Solid Gill I caught in the same watershed but not the same lake
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Besides personal curiosity, my states record bluegill was lighter than this fish, but the pumpkinseed record is higher lol.
Title: Re: Bluegill or hybrid?
Post by: taxid on Aug 18, 2019, 06:39 PM
That first fish is a bluegill/pumpkinseed hybrid. A regular bluegill will not have those markings on the cheek. A pure bluegill will have no border on the ear tab whatsoever. But it has some characteristics of a bluegill.

They are not uncommon where both species exist in the same body of water. And it's also not unusual for this hybrid to be on average larger than the parent species. It's know as hybrid vigor. A biologist at Illinois Natural History did some research on them in Canada. 

I took in to mount a bluegill X pumpkinseed hybrid once that weighed 22 or 24 ounces.
Title: Re: Bluegill or hybrid?
Post by: seamonkey84 on Aug 18, 2019, 06:59 PM
Yea... I kept going back and forth and figured it was a hybrid. At least I know I’m not loosing my touch for fish ID lol. There was one with it that was at least another 1.5-2” longer and had quite the shoulders on it.
Now my next question is, where are these guys when I’m ice fishing?!? I’m usually catching handfuls of perch to every sunfish I catch, and they pretty much have all been pumpkinseeds.