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Sunfish

Catching Sunfish at Night

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Because fish can change their habits at night, it takes a little more skill to fish after dark. After the sun goes down fish rely on their solar senses. This means they count on their nerve endings to pick up on vibrations in the water. These vibrations can be moving bait and the wiggling of artificial lures. 

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So yes, you can fish for and catch sunfish (panfish) at night. This includes bluegill, redear sunfish, rock bass, yellow perch, small bass, and small catfish. Predator fish can not see as well in the dark, and some are not active at night, so the above panfish (sunfish) will bite if presented with an enticing bait.

If you can find a dock with fixed lighting, that would be optimal. If there is not one close then grab yourself a floating light. These are specifically designed for nighttime crappie fishing. Work your jig from just outside of the light range towards the inside of the glow. The light will attract small bugs and baitfish, which will bring out the sunfish. You may even catch larger ones than you would during the daytime. 

For the rest of the article we are going to focus more on the bluegill, but everything we talk about will work on any type of sunfish. Bluegill are the most popular sunfish, also referred to as panfish. They are the most talked about and fished for. Bluegill respond best to small slow-moving bait. Worms, shrimp, minnows, and tadpoles. Believe it or not you can also use corn, bread balls, cheese, or cornmeal.

It is debatable whether bluegill bite at night. Some anglers say they do not because they are so active during the day. Despite many variables that have to take place, other fisherman say that they do bite at night. Since bluegill are a popular food source for predatory fish, they prefer to and try to stay hidden at night. But if they feel safe, the bait is appealing enough, and it is close enough to them they will feed. They will not come out into the open.

Minnows, active insects, and freshwater shrimp is the preferred diet for bluegill, and other species of sunfish, at night. Midges, moths, and mosquitoes are over populated after dark and will attract bluegill. Minnows and shiners will school up, to avoid being eaten. They are attracted to the insects on the surface of the water. 

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Walleye and catfish come alive at night and bluegill are one of their prey. So, you can understand why they prefer to hide at night. Bluegill are normally hunkered down in a group near dams and tree limbs. Sometimes they hang out around lily pads, waiting for the sun to rise. 

Anglers have suggested that bluegill are more prone to feed at night, in the summer season. When the days get to their hottest temperatures, more of them will try to feed at night because they are trying to avoid the hot sun during the day. 

Top 10 Tips

There is no sure-fire way to catch any species of fish at night. It is trial and error, and sometimes just pure luck. Here are 10 tips that may help you in catching sunfish/bluegill at night.

Live bait: with bluegill it is the preferred option. Because of the predatory fish, as stated above, they will not venture out to chase a lure. You have to place the live bait as close as you can to the safe haven. *Berkley PowerBait (paste) is almost as effective as live bait.*

Fish tight to cover: docks, logs, vegetation, and dams are where you will most likely find bluegill at night. You are going to hav to find a way to get as close as you can to that cover if you want to have any chance of catching sunfish at night. 

Be patient: even during the day, patience is a good tip, but more-so at night. Sometimes it can take a few hours and some luck, just to catch 1 or 2 bluegill. If the bait is exceptional and close, it may make it a little easier. 

Artificial light: as mentioned earlier, light will attract the insects and other bugs that fish feed on, which inturn attracts the sunfish (or other fish) that you are fishing for. Again, floating crappie lights, dock lights, or even boat lights will lure in baitfish. For bluegill, cast our line right outside of the range of light. That is where they will hang out. 

Don’t fish after 10 p.m.: Bluegill seem to be more active after sunset for a few short hours. But after about 10 at night, you will need to pack it in or fish for a completely different species of fish. 

PIck the hottest day: bluegill will be more active after sunset, until dark, on the hottest days. They will be more likely to wait until it cools off a bit to come out and feed. But will not feed for more than a couple hours, because then some predatory fish become very active. 

Burley or attractant: toss cornmeal in at night to attract bait fish and lure out the sunfish. You can also create a burley. This is where you chop up some bait (chum) and randomly throw it overboard to attract the bait fish. But be mindful, without a constant stream fish will lose the trail and then it is not effective. 

Seek water without predators: if this is even possible; try to find areas with only bass and pike. These predators are inactive at night, making it easier to lure bluegill a little further out of hiding. Less danger is more attractive to the bluegill.

Don’t skip deep water: yes, bluegill are deeper during the hottest part of the day but they can also hide in deeper water at night. Behind boulders or other structures.

Calm nights: no wind, and calm waters are more likely to produce bluegill/sunfish after dark. 

Best Time of Day/Night 

During sunset and a couple hours before is the optimum time for bluegill. The bluegill are beginning to cool down, the insects are becoming more active, and the direct rays of the sun are diminishing. The bluegill do not like the bright sun so they will stay hidden in the shade (under docks) or deeper in the water. *Sunrise is the best time to catch them as well. Before it gets too warm out, they will be feeding. IF you can find a nice shady spot, then you will have great catching at anytime during the day*

Other information 

As we know, bluegill are part of the sunfish family and they are also referred to as panfish. A lot of anglers believe that bluegill are present for their value & as forage fish for bass and pike. Some even believe that without bluegill a lake can not produce trophy sized largemouth bass, as bluegill/sunfish are their main prey.

Bluegill are a vital food source for many predatory fish. An average adult bluegill is about 6-8 inches long and can get up to as big as 2 pounds. If you are looking to catch large bluegill, your best option is minnows. Even though bluegill are not very big, they can be fairly aggressive towards other fish. 

Final Thoughts

With a little extra luck, and changing up the bait and presentation, you can catch many species of fish at night. Some later than others. Sunfish are best tried a couple of hours before sunset, and an hour or so after and then they are going to go into hiding. There are many species of sunfish (panfish) that this article applies to, but we chose to focus on the most popular bluegill.

Some last minute reminders:

If you find shade on sunny days, you will have a better chance of catching bluegill, during the day and especially at night you will need to fish close to the cover that bluegills choose. Docks can be a goldmine, as bluegill can hang out underneath in the shade during the day and use it for cover after sunset. Make sure you go light. You do not need a lot of equipment to fish for bluegill. A lightweight spinning or spincast rod/reel combo is perfect. 

You are never too old to use a bobber. Sunfish (panfish) have small mouths and usually bite at the bait lightly, a bobber is extremely handy to detect these bites no matter what age you are. Also because of their small mouths, it is recommended that you use small hooks when fishing for sunfish/bluegill. This will also, almost always, guarantee that you will not tear the fish up when removing the hook. Most importantly, use live bait!! 1-2 inch minnows, mealworm, wax worms, night crawlers, red worms, grasshoppers, and crickets are just a few of the live bait choices. Sweet corn and small bread balls will work well too. 

Adding a small split shot to your hook will get you to 2-3 feet off of the bottom, which is the prime spot for sunfish/bluegill. This also keeps smaller fish from snagging your bait before a sunfish can see it. So, with the fishing season fastly approaching it is time to get all of our equipment rounded up and ready to go. Bluegill are a great sport fish for any age, so make sure you take the kids out and form some great outdoor memories. They will have a blast catching bluegill after bluegill and you can get some great video and pictures of the pure joy and excitement on their faces. Until next time, Happy Fishing!

P.S. I’d Love Your Support On YouTube

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Fishing

Fishing at Lorenzi Park Las Vegas Aka. Twin Lakes

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When I was a kid there was one thing that you could count on that was always on my mind and that was fishing. 

Of course when you’re a kid you only have what you have and that is not much when it comes to fishing gear.

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Of course, I had a fishing pole but I must have gotten for Christmas or my birthday and I had a tackle box with a few things in it.

Your run-of-the-mill bass curly tail jigs, a couple of flies for trout, a handful of bobbers. 

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And a few other odds and ends like some 6 pound fishing string. And assortment of hooks mostly for trout.

When my friends and I got lucky enough to get dropped off at Lorenzi Park to do some fishing we had a blast together.

I don’t recall who all was there but I remember that my friend Shane and I quickly learned that the fish in the pond at that time were so small that you needed a Hook that could fit in their mouth and we do not have any that small.

As I recall I took a small treble hook and type two hooks off of it to make one single hook that was small enough to try to catch some bluegill.

It took us most of the day to figure all of this out and get our gear ready to actually catch a fish but in the end, we did not give up and we were able to catch bluegill that day.

I don’t go back there anymore, at least I have not been there for many years because in my opinion there are other places that are better for fishing.

The neighborhood is a little tough and although in the daytime it’s fine I would not want to be out there too much at night.

I prefer places like cold Creek, veterans memorial pond in Boulder city, and even Sunset Park.

But I know there are a lot of people who for one reason or another are going to Lorenzi Park and they want to know where to fish when they get there.

Where should I fish at Lorenzi Park?

I can tell you exactly where I always had the best of work and I can also tell you where would be a good place now to finish when you get there.

 Around the center of the pond between the two lakes, there is a bridge. Near the bridge, you will see a blue roof picnic area. Next to that, you’ll find some steps that lead down to the water and an overlook with a rail around it that’s where you want to go. Just remember it’s near the center bridge that crosses the two lakes find the steps near the bigger lake and it’s right there. I’m going to include a picture of the place that I’m talking about and you will quickly see you once you see the picture of why I recommend this place.

This is the place where I was able to catch bluegill when I was a kid. 

What bait should I use at Lorenzi Park?

We used Webber’s white bread. 

Yeah, no joke we just rolled it up into a tight ball and put it on our hook. Every time we cast and we were able to get lots of bites.

The problem with using this type of meat is that as soon as he gets wet it starts to get loose and it’s not too long before it comes off your hook.

It’s really easy for the fish to steal your bait. But it’s cheap and his kids that was what made the most sense to us I guess.

Nowadays if I were to go there I would probably bring some Berkeley power bait. You can make small little balls of bait for fishing and it would be much harder to get it to come off of your hook.

How do I fish for trout at Lorenzi Park?

However, if you are going to fish at Lorenzi Park during the fall and spring before it gets too hot. I would still recommend the same exact spot for fishing however you might be fishing for a different species.

That pond is now stocked with rainbow trout. Back when I was a kid it was not but now it is and also during the hot summer months it is stocked with catfish.

If you are fishing there any time between November and March you can rest assured that there are rainbow trout in there and in that case I would go with a very small treble hook maybe a size 14 and Berkeley power bait for trout fishing.

How do I fish for catfish at Lorenzi Park in Las Vegas?

If you go there during the summer months or hotter months, I would recommend using a small warm hook and you could try using nightcrawlers or anchovies.

You will need to know where you can get nightcrawlers and anchovies so I am going to tell you here.

The best place to go for that is the Walmart sports section. They have a refrigerator and a freezer where they keep both nightcrawlers and anchovies.

However, I am going to give you my best tip of this article. If you are fishing for catfish in the warm months, go to the grocery store and buy some small shrimp. Put that on your hook and you will knock out those catfish.

There you go don’t say I never gave you nothing… LOL

Make sure you go to the front page of my website and request a sticker for free. That way you can tell people who gave you the best fishing tips for Lorenzi Park in Las Vegas 

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Crappie Fishing

Best Places To Fish In Wyoming

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Best places to fish in Wyoming

Ask any seasoned angler the best places to fish, and one of the destinations will always be Wyoming. It doesn’t matter what type of fishing or which fish you want to catch, Wyoming will have it all. You see, Wyoming has a lot of great fishing options such as rivers, lakes, ice, streams, and even fly fishing.

When in Wyoming, you will come across several fish, including panfish, bass, crappie, catfish, walleye, salmon, trout, and more. If you are ready to cast your line in Wyoming, here are some of the most amazing spots to begin with.

Bighorn lake

Located in Kane, the northwestern portion of Wyoming, the Bighorn lake is an excellent spot for trout, bass, crappie, walleye, panfish, and catfish. This area attracts lots of people every year, especially during the start of spring, when everyone is looking for bass.

The native shovelnose sturgeon and Sauger species rely on this place for habitat and spawning. This makes it a good spot when you want to catch some of the native species that aren’t seen often. The Bighorn lake also acts as a spawning reservoir for Channel Catfish, Smallmouth Bass, and ling.

Since there is limited natural migration in this area, it is annually stocked with walleye, which ensures that the fishery is maintained. The walleye used is larger after the strategy for walleye maintenance changed in 2009.

When at Bighorn lake, you get to decide whether you want to fish from the shoreline or a boat. You can also ice fish, which gives you a lot of options when you love exploring the different fishing methods. You will come across groups of people from everywhere in the U.S ice fishing in this area.

It is a good spot with beautiful scenery that you can always admire while fishing. Fishing sometimes is about bonding with family and friends. You get to camp and fish while interacting, which is important in today’s society where we hardly find the time. Take your time to enjoy the beautiful sunset and unwind with your family and friends.

Glendo Reservoir

This 12,000-acre lake is located in the state’s central-eastern portion at Glendo. It is an excellent fishing location for panfish, crappie, catfish, walleye, trout, and more. You get a lot of options when it comes to the type of fish you want to catch.

The Glendo reservoir is famous for perch and big walleye fishing with anglers coming from all the different states to get a piece of the action. Now, you get more than 40 miles of shoreline, which makes this area ideal for fishing from the portage of a kayak or the shoreline. You get to pick which method of fishing suits you best.

The facilities at Glendo reservoir include a restaurant, boat rental, RV spaces with hookups, boat launch, and grocery store. This makes Glendo reservoir a good place to fish for the weekend since you could always make camp.

Ice fishing is popular in the Glendo reservoir since its relatively safe. What is most interesting about this location is its hospitality. You will find it welcoming and everyone is willing to help. Interact with the local anglers and let them teach you a few new things about fishing that you probably didn’t know about.

Did you know that the Wyoming state-record crappie that weighed 2 lbs. 7 oz. was caught in the Glendo reservoir? If you want to break a record, then this is the place to be if you ask me. You know what they say, where there is one there is bound to be more.

Grayrocks reservoir

Located near Fort Laramie, this 1800-acre lake is home to many different types of fish. Anglers from every state come to catch walleye, bass, crappie, panfish, and catfish. You get to explore more than 20 miles of shoreline on your canoe, boat, or kayak.

What makes Grayrocks reservoir an ideal place is the fact that it doesn’t get excessive pressure ensuring that you can fish all year round. This means that you don’t have to wait for a particular season to start fishing. You can go on any random time of the year when you feel like fishing. To some people, fishing is a form of therapy, and you need a location that you can fish all year round.

At the Grayrocks reservoir, you can get to fish from your RV or tent along the south side shore. It is, therefore, more customer-friendly and you can enjoy camping life while fishing. If you haven’t fished from your tent or RV before, then you must visit Grayrocks reservoir

It is located just 10 miles from the local towns of Fort Laramie, Gurnsey, and Wheatland. you can always get new fishing supplies from these points should you want to extend your fishing period. There are a lot of restaurants, RV parks, and lodging in this area should you need the services.

Grayrocks reservoir is a great place for anglers who want to make a weekend experience with family and friends. It has beautiful scenery with lots of camping areas and RV spots to ensure that you can have a nice weekend.

Guernsey Reservoir

Located in Guernsey State Park, Guernsey Reservoir is a 2400-acre lake that is frequented by anglers every year-round. Some of the common fish species include crappie, panfish, catfish, walleye, and bass. You get 27 miles of shoreline, which is great when you want a big catch.

The Guernsey Reservoir has three boat ramps and seven campgrounds, making it an ideal location for camping. If you are the kind of person that loves making a weekend out of your fishing, then the Guernsey Reservoir is a good place. You get ample space for camping, and the scenery is amazing.

The problem with Guernsey Reservoir, however, is that it is severely drained twice per year. At these times, there is not a lot of fish, and you won’t make any great catches. Yes, you could still catch a yellow perch or channel catfish, but it would take you a little bit of time.

This reservoir includes stone retaining walls, trails, water fountains, and dams that make it a great place to visit with family and friends. On the southeast end is the Guernsey Museum, which exhibits the local culture. Visit the museum and learn about the area’s interesting history.

It is a good place when you want to unwind and enjoy a weekend away from the daily hustles of modern life. There are so many activities that you can engage in, and you will always have something to look forward to when in Guernsey Reservoir.

Ocean lake

This 6,000-acre lake is great for crappie, walleye, panfish, and trout fishing.

You could always take part in the Family Fishing Derby if you want to have a good time. Lots of people come from different places to compete. If you want to use fishing to bond with your family, then this is a great opportunity.

North Platte River

The North Platte River offers several recreational activities such as canoeing, floating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing. Fly fishing is huge at North Platte River, and you will come across several locals casting a line.

The North Platte River basin covers almost a quarter of the entire Wyoming state. You, therefore, geta wide area to fish, which means that you can always get that big one. You get to fish bass, walleye, catfish, panfish, and crappie.

The North Platte River covers a wide region, and you can always get a serene spot somewhere to cast your line. Many anglers take advantage of this fact and just relax while passing the time doing their favorite activity.

Yellow stone National Park

With a cool setting of steep canyons, sprawling meadows, and steaming geysers, Yellow Stone National Park is the place to be. This area has a high concentration of streams and public lakes, making it a great place to cast your line.

The alkalinity level of Yellow Stone National Park is raised by the geothermal activity. This makes it an ideal place for trout, mountain Whitefish, brook, rainbow, and cutthroat. This fish species has been in this area since the 1950s, making it almost too easy to get that big catch.

If you need to fish in the spring, then go the Firehole River to nymph fish. However, the prime months in Yellow Stone National Park for fish are July and August. The Lewis River will give you a great amount of large migrating fish around the month of October.

While fishing in this area, keep a lookout for black bears, and bison. You can make a weekend of it when you go at a time when the wildlife is active. There are also great camping locations in the area that you can always check out.

Jackson Hole

The Jackson Hole, commonly referred to as the Snake River, is a fantastic location for fishing in Wyoming. There are a number of brown trout and cutthroat that make a good catch when you use the right technique.

You could fly fish or boat fish in this location according to your preference. The best time to visit Jackson Hole is during spring and mid-summer. Just two-miles from this location is the National Elk Refuge, the first fly-fishing-only stream in Wyoming.

The National Elk Refuge has clean, clear water that makes it great for beginners who are eager to learn. There is hardly any vegetation making fishing much easier. You can get the chance to introduce a family member to fishing when you visit this location.

Other prime locations in the area include Pacific Creek, Buffalo River, and Granite Creek. You can always find a suitable location when you visit Jackson Hole. It is not advisable to go between May and July due to runoff from snowmelt.

Pinedale

Right at the foot of Wind River Mountains is Pinedale, a little ranching town that provides access to many fishing grounds, including New Fork and Green River. Both of the rivers offer great fishing spots for anglers everywhere.

The Green River provides 8 miles of public access and includes pools, runs, pocket water, and riffles that make it a great place to start with. You get to catch several fish, including Bass, Catfish, walleye, and panfish.

The New Fork is home to experienced anglers, and you could catch a mountain Whitefish, Colorado cutthroat, brook, rainbow, brown, golden, or lake trout. It is a region that attracts a lot of seasoned anglers, and you can always learn a thing or two from the experts.

The fishing season usually starts around mid-June and goes all the way to the end of the year. There is always an abundance of fish because the area does not experience excessive pressure. You will always make a good catch when you use the right technique.

The Wind River Range

The Wind River Range has countless beautiful streams, high-elevation lakes, and wild rivers. It is located in Western Wyoming and ensures that you always have an amazing fishing experience. Some of the fish species in this location are rainbow, brook, trout, cutthroat, and the big golden trout.

It offers beautiful scenery with 13,000-foot peaks and a lot of wildlife that make it the perfect camping location when fishing. You can always enjoy guided horseback trips or backpacking in this remote area. It’s a great place when you want to unwind from the day to day activities of modern life.

Did you know that the 11-pound golden trout was caught at the Wind River Range? Yes, back in 1948, breaking the Wyoming recorded that hasn’t been broken until now. If you plan on breaking this record, then move to the west side of the range.

The east side is not frequently fished, and you won’t get a lot of good areas since it’s difficult to access. You will need a tribal license, then hire a tribal guide to fish in those areas. However, the biggest golden is located on the east side making it worth the trouble.

If you are planning on visiting this region, then the best time to do so is either in the fall or spring. However, understand that snow can render some portions of the Wind River Range inaccessible.

Grand Teton National Park

Around ten minutes-drive from the Jackson town, Grand Teton National Park offers the best settings for fishing. It has plenty of banks and bends that offer great fishing spots for cutthroat, catfish, and walleye. You can also get a breathtaking drift boat experience when you visit Grand Teton, National Park.

The Jenny Lake, located within the park, offers access for anglers who want to get more beautiful scenery. While relaxing, you can fish for lake trout and cutthroat. The best time to visit this location is after the ice melts, which is by mid-May.

Although the lake lacks shore access, you could always use a canoe or kayak. It will give you a new perspective on fishing if you are not used to fishing from a boat or canoe. you also get to experience the natural beauty of Grand Teton National Park while canoeing to the Leigh Lake.

The best time to fish is from mid-May after the ice melts. The area is home to some of the most seasoned anglers in the states, and you can always learn a few new things. The locals are friendly, and you will feel at home.

Conclusion

Wyoming is undoubtedly one of the best states in the U.S with amazing fishing spots. Be sure that you pack everything you need for fishing, including a camping pack. Wherever you plan on going, you will find it hard to leave without making a weekend of it. The scenery is breathtaking, and there is always something new that you can learn.

P.S. don’t forget to check me out on YouTube

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Sunfish

What Do Sunfish Eat In Ponds?

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Sunfish have many different species, the most popular being the bluegill. They live in streams, lakes, and ponds. Some sunfish are better suited for ponds (and small lakes) than others. Please see our previous article on sunfish living in ponds. It explains which sunfish thrive in ponds, and which sunfish (and other fish) should not be put into a pond. Sunfish eat basically the same foods whether you have them in a pond or they are living in a lake. 

Photo by Jon @jonnysal169 Insta.

Sunfish eat: Insects, mosquito larvae, crustaceans, and crickets are favored by the sunfish with smaller mouths; like the pumpkinseed sunfish and the bluegill. The members of the sunfish family with the larger mouths prefer frogs, crayfish, minnows, and snails. 

Sunfish, also called bream, are considered panfish. As mentioned above they are found in clear water, streams, ponds, small and large lakes. They can range in size from just a couple of inches up to a foot in length. Despite some of them having a smaller mouth, they do have a full set of sharp teeth. 

Like a lot of fish, the sunfish will slow down considerably, in the winter months. But, they will eat when the food is available and presented enticingly. Their diets may change with the seasons and it may stay the same. Part of that will be determined by their environment. As the temperatures begin to rise they will feed more heavily. By May, the bluegills are spawning, which they do frequently.

As with many other species of fish, they eat the most in the early morning and later in the afternoon/early evening. They are not very active during the heat of the day. The spring rain or an early winter snow fall will provide an outstanding food source. It washes insects and other food into the water. In the summertime the thunder will fluch insects from trees and other vegetation.

Forage, other young fish, and minnows are the main source of food for sunfish in farm ponds and small lakes. The sunfish that are along the edges of farm ponds or creeks will feast on crickets and grasshoppers, especially in grassy areas. Many crayfish are too large for sunfish, with smaller mouths, to eat. Their young are the perfect size for the sunfish with the smaller mouths. Sunfish will also feed on molting crayfish. 

It is not recommended that you do it very often, but if you have a pond with bluegill you can feed them human food scraps; such as small balls of bread, corn, and crackers. But remember, they prefer worms, insects, and zooplankton. Also keep in mind that some sunfish are also used as bait to catch the much bigger fish; such as walleye, catfish, and trout. 

With the many species of sunfish, did you know that the largemouth bass and crappie are part of the sunfish species? Along with green sunish, small mouth bass, rock bass, and black bass. I didn’t know that either. As far as how many species o sunish, it depends on your location. In North America living in freshwater are 28 species. 

How do you know if you have a sunfish

There are 7 ways to determine whether you have caught a sunfish or something else. Most adults learned to catch sunfish as children, especially bluegill. But, sunish are often identified incorrectly.

Here are 7 external parts of the anatomy that will help you determine and confirm that you have a sunfish.

  1. Mouth size compared to body size
  2. Upper jaw length compared to eye
  3. Opercular flap length
  4. Opercular flap color and margin colors
  5. Opercular flap flexibility
  6. Pectoral fin length
  7. Body coloration

You can get a more detailed list online, that gives you specifics for 9 species of sunfish, particularly the colors to look for.

If that all sounds like too much to try to figure out on your own, you can get the sunfish for your pond (or small lake) from a fish hatchery. But make sure you have researched and have decided on what type of sunfish you want to keep in your pond. Because with certain spawning habits you may need to add a largemouth bass or other predatory fish.

This will keep the number of malnourished pond fish down. 

Here are the top 6 most popular and largely found sunfish:

  • Green sunfish – 2 to 8 inches long and up to 2 pounds. They like warm still water such as backwaters of sluggish streams, small shallow lakes, and ponds. Favorite food: dragonfly, midges, beetles, and freshwater shrimp.
  • Longear sunfish – up to 9 ½  inches long and 1 pound. You can find this species in rocky and sand pools of creeks, rivers, lakes, bays, and ponds. These sufish primarily eat aquatic insects, crayfish, worms, and fish eggs. 
  • Mud sunfish – not actually a member of the sunfish family, but uses their name. They are a maximum 6 ½ inches long. The mud sunfish prefer sluggish weedy water that is 50 to 72 degrees. There is a recorded mud sunfish that was 8.3 inches long. 
  • Pumpkinseed sunfish – these are normally 4-6 inches in length but can reach up to 12 inches, and weigh up to 1 pound. They prefer vegetated and quiet small rivers, ponds, and pools of creeks. Their diet consists of crustaceans, ants, small salamanders, small fish, and water beetles. 
  • Redbreast sunfish – most abundant in the Atlantic Coastal Plain streams. These are 6-8 inches average length, but 10-12 inches is possible . They can weigh close to 2 pounds. These sunfish prefer deeper stream sections and vegetated lake margins. They eat aquatic insects, snails, crayfish, and small fish. 
  • Redear sunfish – these have white flakey meat and they fry up very nicely. The average size of a redear is 9 ½ inches and ½ a pound. But they can reach a whopping 4 ½ pounds. They love lakes, swamps, vegetated pools of small to medium rivers, and ponds. Their food choices are aquatic snails, amphipods, dragonflies, clams, fish eggs, and crayfish.

There you have the 6 most popular sunfish (besides the bluegill) and their information to help you determine if any of them are what you are interested in stocking your pond or small lake with. Depending on the species, you have quite a few options on what you are going to be able to feed them.

Best Areas for Ponds/Small Lakes

If you are going to have a pond (or a small lake) the optimum temperature in the fall is going to be 68 to 74 degrees. The pond water will lose the ability to contain dissolved oxygen if the temperature reaches 85 degrees or above. The higher temperatures will also cause your fish to be more active which in turn uses up more oxygen. Be extremely careful if you live somewhere that gets extremely cold in the winter, as the pond can freeze and kill your pond fish. 

You also need to know that many times plants will grow all the way across a shallow pond, which a lot of pond fish will enjoy. There, of course, will be little wave action and the bottom of ponds are usually covered with mud. During the colder months, the fish will usually hibernate down in the mud, coming up to feed occasionally.

If you are looking for something besides a few sunfish, and a predatory fish to have in your pond you can check into Koi fish. Most of the sunfish can be in the pond with the Koi fish with no issues at all. This will give your friends, and family a variety of fish to admire when they come over to check out your pond. 

When you decide to build your pond, there is one essential factor that we have not discussed, in any of our articles. Ponds can be freshwater, saltwater, or brackish. The type of water is going to determine what types of fish you can have in your pond. Most sun fish are freshwater fish, so if you choose to have a saltwater pond, you are going to have to do some extra research on the types of fish for that particular water choice. 

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Final Thoughts

Whether you choose freshwater, or saltwater make sure to do the research and talk to the local hatchery to determine which sunfish is going to be the best fit for you and for your pond. But no matter what type of sunfish you choose, we have given you plenty of options as far as what their diets could consist of. 

If you decide to construct a pond on your land, or you already have a pond with some sunfish, Koi fish, or other fish please send us a picture. We would love to see what you have done and how you have it set up. 

Until next time, we hope you are keeping safe in this crazy world of chaos, and as always, since fishing season is upon us (time to get that gear and that boat ready to go) Happy Fishing.

Here are some Human Foods that fish eat.

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