Jim Gronaw, Recreational Angler
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Posted on July 11, 2014 | Permalink
Small Waters Remain Hot
Region: North Central
Location: Local Ponds
I was fortunate to fish several times last week and the panfishing and bass fishing continues to be top-notch in small public and private venues along the Mason Dixon Line. In three small lake outings we totaled 148 panfish to include bluegills, redear sunfish, pumpkinseeds and what I believe to be a young coppernose bluegill. The fish was a deep purple on it's flanks and had a distinct greenish -gold blotch above the eye on it's forehead and pronounced black scales on the cheeks. Larger than average size eyes are also a trait of the coppernose. I think this is a proper ID…any response would be helpful.
Are there any lakes or ponds where the coppernose bluegill could be in Maryland waters? I would think that they could possibly be in some southern Maryland tidal flows or perhaps the Eastern Shores Pocomoke River or the Blackwater River. This fish was caught near the Mason Dixon Line in a small private pond…the northernmost water I have ever seen one. Prior to this catch, the furthest north I have encountered them was the tidewater lakes of Suffolk County, VA.
The panfish are spawning for a second time as I continue to see robust males but fewer ripe females. Great fishing for family and the pros alike!
DNR Response: We do not consider the "Coppernose" bluegill to be a different species or sub-species of Bluegill in our surveys or data collection. The Coppernose that you are catching are definitely an unusual coloration of bluegill that is not usually seen in Central MD. Our hatchery program did purchase and stock "Coppernose" Bluegill for some children's fishing events years ago.