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Sunfish 2016 by The Numbers.........Six Species Breakdown

Closed out 2016 yesterday with a total of 5,921 sunfish for 2016 with six total species caught on the Albemarle. Here is the breakdown by species during another great year.....

Coming in at Number Six for the year is the REDBREAST Sunfish:  Not as abundant on the Albemarle as other species but still doing well in several locations..........I release the ones I catch here hoping they will increase in numbers because they are very fun to catch.

I managed to catch and release 61 of these guys in 2016............

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Comment by John Sheehan on January 1, 2017 at 10:33am

BTW , very Psychedelic shirt!

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on January 1, 2017 at 10:28am

At number Two is a local favorite and we just might have the largest natural population of Flier sunfish in the world.......they are very aggressive and often anglers lose patience with the smaller fish...........I'm fortunate to have learned their patterns and instincts and catch hundreds of citation fish every year.......

I accounted for 732 fliers this season including more than 300 over 9" with dozens more 10" plus fish in 2016............

Comment by John Sheehan on January 1, 2017 at 10:26am

Excellent Variety Jeffrey .Here in NENJ ,Red Breasted Sunfish , Bluegill ,Pumpkinseed , BGXPS and Green Sunfish are the only species I've come across. Do you have Rock Bass in the Albemarle area? I see them in rivers around here .

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on January 1, 2017 at 10:21am

At Number Three is one of the strongest sunfish in the sound........The Shellcracker or "Swamp" cracker as we like to call them here...........very strong fish and seem to prefer worms near bottom in our region.........they are doing well in some local rivers but don't see them in others..........

Took 303 Swamp crackers in 2016 and the majority were in Bagley's Swamp.........we love to catch them and work hard to get into the big ones........there's too many distractions in our region!

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on January 1, 2017 at 10:13am

Ringing the bell at number Four is the Warmouth............the big mouth bream or Goggle-Eyed Perch as they are known in Louisiana........they attach to flooded structure and do very well on the Albemarle..............Probably the easiest of the bream family to clean and a wonderful sweet taste.........Often surrender during the fight and hit a popping bug relentlessly........

Landed 219 in 2016 and it was one of my dad's favorites.........often when you catch one there will be a few more in the same area......my dad would always make a few more casts when we caught a Warmouth..........

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on January 1, 2017 at 10:07am

Coming in at Number Five for 2016 is the Pumpkinseed:  Very plentiful in many locations but these guys do not grow like other sunfish in our region.........I have locations that can produce a hundred seeds a day but the majority would be between six to eight inches................But they are great little fighters and aggressive with larger baits..........

I caught 187 seeds in 2016........several times a year I will target these guys for one of the best little fish fries you can have.........cook about 50 to 60 of them for the best "Crispies" a man can have......

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