Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Ok guys I'm confused...imagine that! For weeks I've seen "gillcracker" pics going up and nearly everytime I think hmmmmm. Some look like plain ole gorgeous redear while others look like possible hybrids. So my question is "how do you define a gillcracker?

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I have a study SOMEWHERE regarding BG x RES hybrids...... IF I can find it, I'll post some more info!

Sorry for the delay, I FINALLY found the study I was looking for:

"HYBRIDIZATION OF FISHES IN NORTH AMERICA", family centrarchidae, by W.F. Childers.

It's here if someone would like more info:

http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/B3310E/B3310E10.htm

Basically, Childer's found that the offspring resulting from the pairing of a male Bluegill, and a female Redear, were 97% male. Interestingly enough, he obtained the same result from pairing a male Redear with a female Bluegill - 97% male offspring.

As far as these hybrids reproducing, the results appear somewhat mixed.  Childer's reported no significant reproduction from the male Redear x female Bluegill hybrids, as well as very little from the male Bluegill x female Redear EXCEPT for a couple of ponds in Indiana which showed "abundant" reproduction. I'm not sure what to make of those results, as the fish were apparently stocked into ponds that contained no other fish.

My gut feeling says that the male BG x female RES combination has successfully reproduced in our ponds. Certainly they go through the motions of building and defending nests, however that is not to say they will breed "true", as I find it possible that they will backcross with another Bluegill, or Redear.

Thanks all! I am now educated! I know I've never caught one but it's added to my bucket list!

Okay.  I've caught some gillcrackers here in Ga., and now ya'll got me curious about one thing.  Are these fish a true hybrid that can't reproduce or are they just a cross breed?  Either way, I do agree that they put up a good fight on 4 lb. test line and taste just as good.  Nick

There are a few of these in my father-in-law's buddy's pond.  I knew they were some kind of hybrid and I am not happy to know they have a name. 

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