Bluegill
Overview
 
The Bluegill is a species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of freshwater
Freshwater
Fresh water is naturally occurring water on the Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and...

 fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 sometimes referred to as bream
Common bream
The common bream, freshwater bream, bream, bronze bream or carp bream, Abramis brama, is a European species of freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae....

, brim, or copper nose. It is a member of the sunfish
Lepomis
Lepomis is a genus of freshwater fish in the sunfish family of order Perciformes. The most recognizable species of the sixteen in this genus is the Bluegill....

 family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 Centrarchidae
Centrarchidae
The sunfishes are a family of freshwater ray-finned fish belonging to the order Perciformes. The type genus is Centrarchus . The family's 27 species includes many fishes familiar to North Americans, including the rock bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and crappies...

 of the order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Perciformes
Perciformes
The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, is one of the largest orders of vertebrates, containing about 40% of all bony fish. Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and comprise over 7,000 species found in almost all aquatic environments...

.
The bluegill or bluegulli occurs naturally in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 east of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 from coastal Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, west to Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 and northern Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and north from western Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 to western New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. Today they have been transported most everywhere else in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, and have also been introduced into Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, and Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

.
Encyclopedia
The Bluegill is a species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of freshwater
Freshwater
Fresh water is naturally occurring water on the Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and...

 fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 sometimes referred to as bream
Common bream
The common bream, freshwater bream, bream, bronze bream or carp bream, Abramis brama, is a European species of freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae....

, brim, or copper nose. It is a member of the sunfish
Lepomis
Lepomis is a genus of freshwater fish in the sunfish family of order Perciformes. The most recognizable species of the sixteen in this genus is the Bluegill....

 family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 Centrarchidae
Centrarchidae
The sunfishes are a family of freshwater ray-finned fish belonging to the order Perciformes. The type genus is Centrarchus . The family's 27 species includes many fishes familiar to North Americans, including the rock bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and crappies...

 of the order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Perciformes
Perciformes
The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, is one of the largest orders of vertebrates, containing about 40% of all bony fish. Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and comprise over 7,000 species found in almost all aquatic environments...

.

Range and distribution

The bluegill or bluegulli occurs naturally in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 east of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 from coastal Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, west to Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 and northern Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and north from western Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 to western New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. Today they have been transported most everywhere else in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, and have also been introduced into Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, and Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

. Bluegill have also been found in the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

, indicating they can tolerate up to 1.8% salinity. In some locations where they have been transplanted, they are considered pests: trade in the species is prohibited in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. In the case of Japan, bluegill were presented to the then-crown prince, Akihito in 1960 as a gift by Richard J. Daley
Richard J. Daley
Richard Joseph Daley served for 21 years as the mayor and undisputed Democratic boss of Chicago and is considered by historians to be the "last of the big city bosses." He played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F...

, mayor of Chicago. The prince, in turn, donated the fish to fishery research agencies in Japan from which they escaped, becoming an invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

 which has wreaked havoc with native species, specifically in Lake Biwa
Lake Biwa
is the largest freshwater lake in Japan, located in Shiga Prefecture , northeast of the former capital city of Kyoto. Because of its proximity to the ancient capital, references to Lake Biwa appear frequently in Japanese literature, particularly in poetry and in historical accounts of battles.-...

 in Shiga Prefecture
Shiga Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, which forms part of the Kansai region on Honshu Island. The capital is the city of Ōtsu.- History :Shiga was known as Ōmi Province or Gōshū before the prefectural system was established...

. The emperor has since apologized.

Physical description

The bluegill is noted for the dark spot that it has on the posterior part of its dorsal fin. The sides of its head and chin are a dark shade of blue. It usually contains 5-9 vertical bars on the sides of its body, but these stripes are not always distinct. It has a yellowish breast and abdomen, with the breast of the breeding male being a bright orange. The bluegill has three anal spines, ten to 12 anal fin rays, six to 13 dorsal fin spines, 11 to 12 dorsal rays, and 12 to 13 pectoral rays. They are characterized by their deep, flattened, laterally compressed bodies. They have a terminal mouth, ctenoid scales, and a lateral line
Lateral line
The lateral line is a sense organ in aquatic organisms , used to detect movement and vibration in the surrounding water. Lateral lines are usually visible as faint lines running lengthwise down each side, from the vicinity of the gill covers to the base of the tail...

 that is arched upward anteriorly. The bluegill typically ranges in size from four to 12 inches, and reaches a maximum size just over 16 inches. The largest bluegill ever caught was four pounds, 12 ounces in 1950.

Habitat

Bluegill live in the shallow waters of many lakes and ponds, along with slow-moving areas of streams and small rivers. They prefer water with many aquatic plants, and hide within fallen logs or water weeds. They can often be found around weed beds, where they search for food or spawn
Spawn (biology)
Spawn refers to the eggs and sperm released or deposited, usually into water, by aquatic animals. As a verb, spawn refers to the process of releasing the eggs and sperm, also called spawning...

. Bluegill tend to be absent in northern Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 lakes, as the water gets too cold. In the summer, adults move to deeper water to avoid food competition. Bluegill try to spend most of their time in water from 60 to 80 °F (15.6 to 26.7 C), and tend to have a home range of about 320 square feet (29.7 m²) during nonreproductive months. They enjoy heat, but do not like direct sunlight - they typically live in deeper water, but will linger near the water surface in the morning to stay warm. Bluegill are usually found in schools of 10 to 20 fish, and these schools will often include other sunfish
Centrarchidae
The sunfishes are a family of freshwater ray-finned fish belonging to the order Perciformes. The type genus is Centrarchus . The family's 27 species includes many fishes familiar to North Americans, including the rock bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and crappies...

, such as crappie
Crappie
Crappie is a genus of freshwater fish in the sunfish family of order Perciformes. The type species is P. annularis, the white crappie...

, pumpkinseed
Pumpkinseed
The pumpkinseed sunfish is a freshwater fish of the sunfish family of order Perciformes. It is also referred to as "pond perch", "common sunfish", "punkys", and "sunny".-Range and distribution:...

s, and smallmouth bass
Smallmouth bass
The smallmouth bass is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family of the order Perciformes. It is the type species of its genus...

.

Diet

Young bluegills' diet consists of rotifers and water fleas. The adult diet consists of aquatic insect larvae (mayflies, caddisflies, dragonflies), but can also include crayfish
Crayfish
Crayfish, crawfish, or crawdads – members of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea – are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related...

, leeches, snails, and other small fish. Their diet can also include the waxworm
Waxworm
Waxworms are the caterpillar larvae of wax moths, which belong to the snout moth family . Two closely related species are commercially bred – the lesser wax moth and the greater wax moth...

 and nightcrawler
Nightcrawlers
Nightcrawlers are a form of earthworm. Prized primarily for use as fishing bait, nightcrawlers are generally known as either Canadian or European...

 that can be provided for them by anglers. If food is scarce, bluegill will also feed on aquatic vegetation, and if scarce enough, will even feed on their own eggs or offspring. As bluegill spend a great deal of time near the surface of water, they can also feed on popping bugs and dry flies. Most bluegills feed during daylight hours, with a feeding peak being observed in the morning and evening (with the major peak occurring in the evening). Feeding location tends to be a balance between food abundance and predator abundance. Bluegill use gill rakers and bands of small teeth to ingest their food. During summer months, bluegills generally consume 35 percent of their body weight each week. To capture prey, bluegills use a suction system in which they accelerate a water into their mouth. Prey comes in with this water. Only a limited amount of water is able to be suctioned, so the fish must get within 1.75 centimeters of the prey.

Importance to humans

Bluegills also play an imporant role in pond and lake management to keep crustacean
Crustacean
Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods, usually treated as a subphylum, which includes such familiar animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles. The 50,000 described species range in size from Stygotantulus stocki at , to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span...

 and insect populations low, as a single bluegill population may eat up to six times its own weight in just one summer.

Conservation

The Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 population of bluegills is healthy. The current population limit (as of 2011) is 20 species. This is a combination limit of sunfish, bluegill, pumpkin seeds, and all hybrids). Bluegill are not legally netted, resulting in the only fishing practiced on them is hook and line. Instead of hurting bluegill populations, fishing may be extremely beneficial to bluegills. Overpopulated ponds and lakes have been observed stunt bluegills' growth. Fishing pressure allows the fish that remain to retain more resources, allowing for an increased rate of growth. Each state has a department that regulates and manages bluegill population and sets fishing limits accordingly.

Reproduction and lifestyle

Spawning season for bluegills starts late in May and extends into August. The peak of the spawning season usually occurs in June in waters of 67 to 80°F. The male bluegills arrive first at the mating site. They will make a spawning bed of six to 12 inches in diameter in shallow water, clustering as many as 50 beds together. The males scoop out these beds in gravel or sand. Males tend to be very protective and chase everything away from their nests, especially other male bluegills. Some bluegills, regardless of their small size, will even attack snorkelers if they approach the edge of the nest. As a female approaches, the male will begin circling and making grunting noises. The motion and sound of the males seem to attract the females. Females are very choosy and will usually pick males with larger bodies and "ears", making larger size a desirable trait for males to have. If the female enters the nest, both the male and female will circle each other, with the male expressing very aggressive behavior toward the female. If the female stays, the pair will enter the nest and come to rest in the middle. With the male in an upright posture, the pair will touch bellies, quiver, and spawn
Spawn (biology)
Spawn refers to the eggs and sperm released or deposited, usually into water, by aquatic animals. As a verb, spawn refers to the process of releasing the eggs and sperm, also called spawning...

. These actions are repeated at irregular intervals several times in a row. Once the spawning is done, the male will chase the female out of the nest and guard the eggs. The fertilization process is entirely external. The male's sperm combines with the female's eggs in the water. Smaller males will often hide in nearby weeds and dart into the nest as they attempt to fertilize the eggs. They then quickly dart away. The size of the female plays a large role in how many eggs will be produced. A small female can produce as few as 1,000 eggs, and a large, healthy female can produce up to 100,000 eggs. The male continues to watch over the nest until the larvae
Larvae
In Roman mythology, lemures were shades or spirits of the restless or malignant dead, and are probably cognate with an extended sense of larvae as disturbing or frightening...

 are able to hatch and swim away on their own. The bluegill generally begins its spawning career at one year of age, but has been found to spawn as early as four months of age under favorable conditions. Anglers find spawning season to be a very successful time to fish for bluegills, as they aggressively attack anything, including a hook, that comes near.

Trivia

The growth of the bluegill is very rapid in the first three years, but slows considerably once the fish reaches maturity. Many fish reach five to eight years old, and in extreme cases, can live 11 years. Bluegill are prey to many larger species, including largemouth bass
Largemouth bass
The largemouth bass is a species of black bass in the sunfish family native to North America . It is also known as widemouth bass, bigmouth, black bass, bucketmouth, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth...

, muskellunge
Muskellunge
A muskellunge , also known as a muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge , is a large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. Muskellunge are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae...

, turtles, northern pike
Northern Pike
The northern pike , is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox...

, yellow perch
Yellow perch
The yellow perch is a species of perch found in the United States and Canada, where it is often referred to by the shortform perch. Yellow perch look similar to the European perch, but are paler and more yellowish, with less red in the fins. They have six to eight dark, vertical bars on their sides...

, walleye
Walleye
Walleye is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch...

, and even larger bluegill. Herons and otters have also been witnessed catching bluegill in shallow water. However, the shape of the fish makes them hard to swallow. The bluegill is most commonly related to the orangespotted sunfish
Orangespotted sunfish
The orangespotted sunfish is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family of order Perciformes.The orangespotted sunfish reaches a maximum recorded length of about 15 cm....

 and the redear sunfish
Redear sunfish
The redear sunfish , also known as the shellcracker, Georgia bream, cherry gill, chinquapin, improved bream, rouge ear sunfish and sun perch, is native to the southeastern United States, but since it is a popular sport fish it has been introduced to bodies of water all over North America...

, but different in a distinct spot at or near the base of the soft dorsal fin. Fishermen are sometimes able to use polarized sunglasses to see through water and find bluegills' spawning beds. Bluegill have a rather bold character; many have no fear of humans, eating food dropped into the water, and a population in Canada's Lake Scugog
Lake Scugog
Lake Scugog is an artificially flooded lake in Scugog Township between the town of Port Perry, Ontario and the town of Lindsay. The lake has been raised and lowered several times over its history. Though not technically part of the Kawarthas due to its shallow depths, it is often geographically...

 will even allow themselves to be stroked by human observers. Because of their size and the method of cooking them, bluegills are often called panfish
Panfish
A panfish, also spelled pan-fish or pan fish, is an edible game fish that usually doesn't outgrow the size of a frying pan. The term is also commonly used by anglers to refer to any small catch that will fit in a pan, but is large enough to be legal. However its definition and usage varies with...

.

Adaptations

Bluegills have the ability to travel and change directions at high speeds by means of synchronized fin movements. They use notched caudal fins, soft dorsal fins, body undulations, and pectoral fins to move forward. Having a notched caudal fin allows them to accelerate quickly. The speed of their forward motion depends on the strength of which they abduct or adduct fins. The flat, slender body of the bluegill lowers water resistance and allows the bluegills to cut effectively through water. The large, flexible pectoral fins allow the fish to decelerate quickly. This superior maneuverability allows the bluegill to forage and escape predators very successfully. Bluegills have a lateral line
Lateral line
The lateral line is a sense organ in aquatic organisms , used to detect movement and vibration in the surrounding water. Lateral lines are usually visible as faint lines running lengthwise down each side, from the vicinity of the gill covers to the base of the tail...

 system, as well as inner ears, that act as receptors for vibration and pressure changes. However, bluegills rely heavily on sight to feed, especially in their foraging. Optimal vision occurs in the daylight hours. The mouth of the bluegill is very small and requires the use of the pharynx to suck in prey.

Etymology

Lepomis, in Greek, means "scaled gill cover" and macrochirus means large hand (which may be in reference to its body shape). A defining characteristic of the bluegill is, not surprisingly, a bright blue edging visible on its gill rakers.

Fishing

Bluegills are popular panfish
Panfish
A panfish, also spelled pan-fish or pan fish, is an edible game fish that usually doesn't outgrow the size of a frying pan. The term is also commonly used by anglers to refer to any small catch that will fit in a pan, but is large enough to be legal. However its definition and usage varies with...

, caught with live bait, flies
Fly fishing
Fly fishing is an angling method in which an artificial 'fly' is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Casting a nearly weightless fly or 'lure' requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting...

, pieces, corn, small crankbaits, spinners, American cheese
American cheese
American cheese is a processed cheese. It is orange, yellow, or white in color and mild in flavor, with a medium-firm consistency, and melts easily. American cheese was originally only white, but is usually now modified to yellow. In the past it was made from a blend of cheeses, most often Colby...

 pushed around a hook, maggots, or even a bare hook. They mostly bite on vibrant colors like orange, yellow, green, or red, chiefly at dawn and dusk. Some of the easiest baits to use for them are earthworms, live crickets and grasshoppers, white bread, cheese, or a corn kernel. Other efficient baits are redworms, waxworms, and other worms. They are noted for seeking out underwater vegetation for cover; their natural diet consists largely of small invertebrates and very small fish. The bluegill itself is also occasionally used as bait for larger game fish species, such as blue catfish
Blue catfish
The blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus, is one of the largest species of North American catfish. Blue catfish are distributed primarily in the Mississippi River drainage including the Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Arkansas rivers...

 and largemouth bass
Largemouth bass
The largemouth bass is a species of black bass in the sunfish family native to North America . It is also known as widemouth bass, bigmouth, black bass, bucketmouth, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth...

.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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