Warmouth sunfish, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.
The warmouth closely look like a bass or a bream. It has a stout, deep compressed body similar to that of a bluegill or redear sunfish, also have a large mouth similar to bass. Because of their large mouths, they can eat bigger baits like insects, crayfish, shad, and other small bait fish. They are found in swamps, marshes, shallow lakes, slow-moving streams and canals with soft, muddy bottoms. The warmouth is an aggressive fish, and can be easily caught.
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.
Warmouth sunfish - Lepomis gulosus, also known as Redeye, Goggle-eye, Red-eyed Bream, Stump Knocker, Mudgapper, Mo-mouth, Morgan, Molly, Rock Bass, Open Mouth, Weed Bass, Wood Bass, Strawberry "perch", Mud Bass, Warmouth Bass. Warmouth are found in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, from western Pennsylvania to Minnesota, south to the Gulf of Mexico; and the Atlantic and Gulf drainages from the Rappahannock River in Virginia to the Rio Grande in Texas and New Mexico.
The warmouth closely look like a
Bass or a
Bream. It has a stout, deep compressed body similar to that of a
Redear Sunfish, also have a large mouth similar to bass. The warmouth have black opercular spot, large, terminal mouth, large red eye, tail fin lobes rounded, pectoral fin rounded, 3 – 4 dark reddish-brown stripes radiate back from the eye across to the cheek and red gill cover, dark brown mottling coloration on body, some mottling on fins. The soft-rayed portions of the dorsal and anal fins are marked with 3 rows of dark spots.
They vary from brassy to dark-olive green and often have a purple tint overall. Broad, irregular dark bars give it a mottled appearance. Their belly is generally golden, and males have a bright orange spot at the base of the dorsal fin. Warmouth have 10 spines in the dorsal fin, and small teeth are present on the tongue. These fish range in size from 4 to10 inches (10 to 25 cm), but can grow to more than 12 inches (31 cm), and weigh up to 2.25 pounds (1 kg). When in breeding condition, the males' eyes turn red. They can survive in polluted, low oxygenated waters where other sunfish cannot. Warmouth are often confused with rock bass. The difference between the two is in the anal fin: warmouth have 3 spines on the anal fin ray and rock bass have 6 spines.
The warmouth prefer lakes, ponds, swamps, and quiet areas of low gradients streams with muddy bottoms and vegetation. Young warmouth feed on zooplankton and small insects. Adults feed on insects, mollusks, and small fish. Their predators include larger fish, water snakes, turtles, and herons. They seek cover in rocky banks, stumps or weeds, or near other large objects, where they can hide and wait for food. They are sight feeders. They prefer substrates composed of muck and organic debris, and healthy populations of aquatic vegetation which they use as their spawning grounds.
Warmouths inhabit swamps, marshes, shallow lakes, ponds, slow-moving streams and canals with soft, muddy bottoms. They prefer to stay around aquatic vegetation, stumps, and snags and under the banks of streams and ponds. They have more tolerance for muddy water than most species. Warmouths are carnivorous. Crayfish, shrimp, insects and small fishes make up the bulk of its diet. Most of its feeding is done in the morning, as it seems to sleep at night. This fish, preferring clear water and vegetated areas, is usually found in small numbers compared to other members of the Sunfish family.
Warmouth reach sexual maturity at 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10cm). Warmouths are solitary nesters that prefer to build their nest adjacent to some submerged object. Nests are made in 1.5 to 4 feet (0.45 to 1.23 m) of water near a stump, clump of vegetation or other large, submerged object. Males construct a disc-shaped nest by fanning their tails and removing silt and debris over nesting site.
They often spawn more than once a year usually in the spring between April and August, when water temperatures reach 71° F (21.5° C), and continuing through the summer. Females may produce 3,000 to 23,000 eggs. After the female lays her eggs, the male fertilizes the eggs and aggressively defends the nest, eggs and fry from any intruder-including other females. When an intruder nears the nest the male warmouth will puff out its opercles (gill plates), and push small pulses of water at the intruder with its tail. If this fails the warmouth will attempt to nip at the intruder to ward it off. After an incubation period of three days, the young hatch. The fry leave the nest five to six days after hatching and grow to 1 to 2 inches (25.4 to 50.8 mm) by the fall. Warmouth hybridize (crossbreed) with bluegill and green sunfish.
The warmouth is an aggressive fish, and can be easily caught by conventional methods using live baits such as earthworms, crickets, meal worms, wax worms or artificial baits ranging from small jigs and spinners to poppers and wet or dry flies.
Warmouth hit very hard and are easy to catch; they are popular with some anglers. They are good to eat when caught in clean water, but because they are bottom-feeders like catfish, the flesh can have a strong flavor. The Red Worm is the best bait for warmouth; but they also greatly love Pastes, Flag Worms, Wasps, Gentles, Green Flies, Butter flies, and a Grasshopper with his legs cut off.
The most common method is a Pole Fishing using a small piece of worm or a cricket floating under a pole float or 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 bream 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.