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Bluegill
 
Additional Sport Fish Species pages
 

Apache Trout
Arctic Grayling
Bigmouth Buffalo
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Bluegill
Brook Trout
Brown Trout
Channel Catfish
Cutthroat Trout

Desert Sucker
Flathead Catfish
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Striped Bass
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Yellow Bass
Yellow Bullhead
Yellow Perch


Bluegill
Bluegill: (Lepomis macrochirus)
 
Description
Native to the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin.  Introduced to Arizona in 1932. The bluegill has blue coloring on the chin, a solid black opercle flap, a small mouth and a dark spot at the rear of the dorsal fin. The body is very compressed or flat and has from five to nine dark vertical bars on the sides. Length: 4 to 10 inches. Weight: 3 ounces to over 2 pounds.  Can live up to 10 years.


Location and Habitat

Bluegill are found in most reservoirs or ponds below 5,000 feet elevation and rarely occur in streams and rivers. They prefer shoreline areas less than 10 feet deep in the warmer months, often orienting to submerged structure such as trees and rock reefs.  In the absence of predatory fish, they are prone to stunting and large populations of small bluegill occur.

 

Reproduction

These fish spawn in April and May.  They are nesters and guarders preferring sandy or fine gravel areas in water less than six feet deep.  Most often their nests are grouped.  The male guards the nest and the fry for several days after hatching.  Females may spawn more than once each season. Generally mature after the second year.


Food
Aquatic and terrestrial insects and invertebrates are the favored food, but bluegill will take worms and even snails.

Angling
Bluegill will eat anything they can get into their small mouth. Worms and mealworms are an angler’s favorite bait, but bluegill will take small poppers, flies, small spinners and jigs. Bluegills are gregarious, so when you catch one, there are usually more in the same place.

Table Quality
The meat is white, flaky, firm and sweet. Many consider the bluegill to be one of the finest tasting freshwater fish available.

Updated October 2009

 
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Downloads [More]

Fishing &
Reptile/ Amphibian Regulations

  • 2014 AZ Fishing Regulations
    [PDF, 7mb]


  • 2014 Urban Fishing Guidebook
    [PDF, 9mb]


  • 2014 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]



  • Arizona Residency Requirements
    [PDF]
NOTE: The above files are PDF's and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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