Green sunfish, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.
Green Sunfish have a very large mouth and body, larger species are very similar to a bass. Because of their large mouths, they can eat bigger baits like insects, crayfish, shad, and other small bait fish. They are found in ponds, lakes, rivers and streams around the rocks, weeds, brush and timber. They can handle very harsh water conditions such as murky water and low oxygen levels.
A combination of understanding the fish and the techniques used to catch them will help you to hook more fish to the end of your line. Better knowing and understanding of the fish that you are trying to catch will make you a more successful angler, whether you are fishing for trout on a river or surfing on the beach or trolling on the open water.
Green Sunfish - Lepomis cyanellus, also known as Goggle-eye, Rock Bass, Branch Perch. The green sunfish is native to the central United States from the Great Lakes south to the Gulf Coast, the central plains west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Rocky Mountains. Its native range has been expanded in the United States and northern Mexico by stocking and introduction into private ponds and public lakes.
Green sunfish have 41 to 53 lateral line scales, 10 - 11 spines and 10 - 12 rays on dorsal fin. The anal fin has 3 spines and 8 - 11 rays. The pectoral fin is short and does not reach the nostril when bent forward. The fin border of males intensifies during breeding. The mouth is very large with the top jaw extends past the front of the eye. Palatine teeth are located on the top of the mouth. The ear flap is extend, black, and usually stiff to near its edge. Body color is brownish dark green on the back and sides with rows of small, metallic blue spots toward the head and irregularly spaced spots toward the tail. A large black spot occurs near the rear of the soft dorsal and anal fins. The edges of the pelvic, anal, caudal, and soft dorsal fins are white, yellow or orange, becoming much brighter during the spawning season. Faint vertical bars are apparent on the sides. Some scales have turquoise spots. The maximum age is about 10 years, length 28 cm, and weight 408 g.
Green sunfish typically inhabit pool areas of streams, and optimal riverside habitat consists of at least 50% pool area. Species quantity is completely associated with percent vegetative cover. The green sunfish is a very adaptable species; able to stand a wide range of environments, and tends to do very well when competition with other sunfish is minimal. Green sunfish have been found at a wide range of gradients from 0.2 to 5.7 m/km; but, they are most plentiful at lower 2 m/km gradients. They prefer small to medium-sized (less than 30 m width) streams. Its ability to tolerate environmental extremes makes it ideal for survival in lowland streams where conditions are not stable. Green sunfish nest in shallow water colonies where nests are often closely packed. Gravel or rocky bottom sites are usually preferred for nest building. It can hybridize with other sunfish, like
Pumpkinseeds. Males aggressively defend their nests for 6-7 days after eggs are deposited, at which time fry are usually free-swimming fool of their huge reproductive potential. Adult green sunfish feed principally on insects, crayfish, and small fish.
Spawning occurs in late spring, when water temperatures rise above 70°F, and may continue throughout the summer. This time of year brings sunfish towards shallow waters (5 feet deep or less) as they search for places to spawn. This includes the backs of major creeks, downstream end of sandbars, small coves and points off the main lake. Sunfish are attracted to natural shoreline cover like fallen trees, stumps, rocks and vegetation and man-made cover like boat docks, piers. Look for sunfish beds–plate-sized, bowl-shaped depressions in shallow water where adult fish will stay for extended periods of time. Sunfish are nest builders. The male clears a nest area of about 30 cm in diameter and guard nests after spawning. Nests are shallow pits hollowed out by the male, who sweeps aside substrate and sediments with his caudal fin. Spawning is ritualized, with the males and females circling about the nesting site punctuated by short encounters when the female lies on her side while eggs are extruded and fertilized; two or more females may spawn within the nest of a single male.
Green sunfish are fierce feeders and can be caught on a large variety of baits. The most common method is a
Pole Fishing using
Carbon Pole Rods, a small piece of worm or a cricket floating under a bobber. Nightcrawlers, red wigglers, meal worms, wax worms, crickets, horseflies, and a variety of other insects work well for bream. Very small artificial lures are also popular sunfish baits. Small grubs (1 1/2" - 2"), tiny spinners, marabou jigs, and very tiny crankbaits also work very well.
Telescopic fishing pole carbon or even bamboo is great. Ultra light
Spinning Rods works excellent. Whether you use
15 foot extra light spinning,
8 foot spin-casting rod,
18 foot super light carbon pole rod, or some other method of green sunfish fishing, you can land even the largest sunfish with the very light line, 2, 4, or 6 pound test. Lighter line provides more sensitivity to detect subtle strikes, allows more line to be held on the spool, and is much less visible than heavier line.