Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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ok so whats the difference or is there a difference.. as far as i can tell a redear just has a red or orange color on its ear.. now the pumpkinseed also has a red or orange color on its ear but has white on the sides of the red color.. is there any other real difference.. ive seen people call redears pumpkinseeds and seen people call pumpkinseeds redears..

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Pond Boss magazine recently ran a story on the pumpkinseed vs. redear sunfish differentials.  I'll try to locate a link to the story.

ok thanks.. those pics pretty much show the difference.. i dont think ive ever caught a pumpkin seed fish then... just redears

The orange color is highup on the sides of the Pumpkinseed and mostly just on the belly of the Redear.

Cape Cod represents...this a worthy Seed no matter where it's caught....Nice fish Alec and thanks for sharing!

Great 'seed Alec! I'm a big fan of  Cape Cod Pumpkinseeds also- funny how Northern Bluegill never made it over the bridge lol

Here's a 9"er from the ice...

Great Seed Townie!

As quoted from the book Secrets to catching More and Bigger Bluegill:

The Redear, or shell cracker as it is called in the southern US, has generally the same shape and coloration (as the bluegill) except for the ear flap which has a red edge that wraps around the back portion. They originally were found mostly in the southeastern US from about central Texas to the Atlantic Ocean but have been introduced into many waters given their ability to grow faster and larger than most other bluegill species. The primary food of the redear is snails which gave it the “shellcracker” moniker. They do better in warm calm waters with abundant aquatic plants to support the snail population. Given this food source many anglers rely on live bait to catch this variety but artificial baits will also perform well if presented properly. They are generally harder to catch because of the unique diet and many focus on the spawning season to catch them. Common sizes reached are 6-10 inches with 12-15 inches possible in some areas.

Pumkinseed are a smaller variety of the Lepomis genus that share common bluegill characteristics as you can see in the photos. They do not get as large as the Redear with the average being around 6-8 inches while topping out around 9 inches depending on the area of the country you fish for them.

'Seeds love waxworms or maggots. I guess those are "close enough". Never caught one on any kind of fly tho. I hear lots of folks call any of the smaller sunfish (excluding lmb, smb, ect.) "perch" which has always mistified me.

Alec, any chance we can get you to post ye olde 'punkin' on the main "photos" page? Special picture. Jeff that redear shot is hot, too.

Redear top out over 4 pounds with rich food sources.  They nest deeper than bluegill on average, like deeper water, and can be picky eaters of food from the bottom, rather than taking bugs on top.    The fish below was/is a pending world record at 5.5 pounds.  Pumpkinseed are pretty but much smaller.

Robert Lawler of Lake Havasu City with the 5.55-pound redear sunfish he caught.

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