Jim Gronaw, Recreational Angler
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Posted on June 3, 2014 | Permalink
Bluegills, Pumpkinseeds and Pumpkingills
Location: Local Pond
We were recently blessed to have found a small public venue where the panfishing was spectacular! We are catching bluegills to 10 inches, pumpkinseeds to 9.5 inches and numerous 'pumpkingills'…a naturalized hybrid cross between a bluegill and a pumpkinseed. The hybrids are averaging over 9 inches and we have taken several in excess of 10 inches. Worms below bobbers and tiny Trout Mini Magnets are doing the damage. All fish were released.
The fish are spawning and the pumpkingill hybrids can be very spooky, occupying very large beds that can be as much as 2 feet in diameter. I originally thought that they were male pumpkinseeds, but they lack the white crescent and centrally located red tab on the opercular ear tab. Body dynamics on the pumpkingills favor pumpkinseed profiles, but the mouth is proportionately larger than true pumpkinseed sunfish. Very, VERY strong in fighting ability.
Pictured are my son Matt and his daughter Elena with a true pumkinseed and a few shots of the pumpkingills along with big bluegills.
Has the DNR shocking crews ever encountered such hybrids as these in Maryland waters? I have caught bluegill X redear sunfish in local waters, but never the bluegill X pumpkinseed cross.
DNR Response: Those are beautiful sunfish. We seldom see pumpkinseeds in the large impoundments in Central Maryland, anymore. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, we did encounter some pumpkinseed X bluegill hybrids that were naturally produced in Little Seneca Lake in Montgomery Co. Now it seems the redear sunfish have outcompeted and replaced pumpkinseed sunfish in Little Seneca Lake.