Do you love big bluegill?
Hey folks, I have recently been posting some picks of some very big pumpkinseed sunfish that I now believe are actually hybrids of seeds and bluegills. After viewing many photos from the BBG collection, I am pretty sure that our 'big male pumkinseeds' are male pumkingills. Notice that in several of these the bright red mark on the gill flap is either not present or is merely a small orange edge at the bottom of the opercular edging. The mouths also seem to be proportionately larger than those of pure pumpkinseeds., lending to bluegill parenting.
The above fish lacks any red or orange on the gillflap, just a partial white crescent.Above we have Matt and Elena with a pure female seed from the same water...classic pumpkinseed body dynamics and opercular coloration, plus typical size structure for seeds. All the male pumpkingills were much bigger, averaging over 9 inches with some exceeding 10 inches in length.
So...what I thought was my biggest seed, above, was actually a very fine 10.5 inch male pumpkingill. Notice only the slightest hint of a white edging on the opercular tab. Still a super fish in my book. No complaints from me as these fish are pure powerhouses on an ultralight rod, and they are spooky on the beds, making them difficult to catch. Live worms seems to do best for now.
Love the natural hybridization.
Great fish and post Jim !
John...indeed...they are P-gills! Nice pics!
Pumpkingills are a very cool fish, I usually catch a few each year. One thing I've noticed about them is they almost always seem to be a very round fish. Whether they are 7" or 9" they always seem to be a little dinner plate with a tale. This is probably why they are such good fighters. Like most bluegill hybrids the majority of the ones I catch are males, but I have caught a couple females, which also had great body dynamics. I like how the colors and patterns take after each parent, having the colors of a pumpkinseed, but with slightly different patterns.
Adam....that pretty 7.5 inch male looks exactly like what we have found in a local public lake this year, only they average about 9 inches and we have gotten a few over 10. It's quite a fishery, and one where all the anglers seem to laugh at the big panfish, settling for 8-12 inch bass...and happy with that! Shheeeesh!I am finding mostly females when I do catch a pure pumkinseeds there. Mostly male hybrids. like the one above. Nice observations!