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Thread: How to Identify Sunfish

  1. #1
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    Default How to Identify Sunfish

    Hi everyone,

    After being apart of various forums and internet groups that specialize in panfish, I found that a lot of people can't properly identify sunfish. Pumpkinseeds being called orangespotted, greens being called warmouths, etc. I decided to put together a video that shows a few quick and easy things to look for when identifying all of the sunfish species found in the lepomis genus. I think I did a pretty good job, but I'd love to hear what you think. Check out the link below. Thanks.

    YouTube





    Last edited by Slab; 12-24-2019 at 04:35 PM.
    Likes S10CHEVY LIKED above post

  2. #2
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    Cool video, thanks

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    Thanks for putting this together.
    Bob

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    Lot of those being regional names
    :I would like to thank the builders of docks for giving me a place to fish and lose tackle

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    interesting video
    sum kawl me tha outlaw ketchn whales

  6. #6
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    Barnacle Bill is offline Super Mod and 2014 Crappie.com Man of the Year * Crappie.com Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by DockShootinJack View Post
    Lot of those being regional names
    This is true.
    Fair Winds and Following Seas

    Bill H. PTC USN Ret
    Chesapeake, Va


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnacle Bill View Post
    This is true.
    I've had a couple people bring this up to me and this is my view point.

    You can call fish whatever you want. As long as you and the person you're talking to know what you are talking about, it doesn't matter. However, there is one common name for every fish that is as close to universal as can get. Those are the names that I used.

    For example some people call rock bass goggle eye, but after I posted this video others have told me that they call green sunfish goggle eye. They're both right, because they can call them whatever they want. However, if you Google goggle eye all the results that come up are for rock bass. This means that colloquially a goggle eye is a rock bass and the person who calls a green sunfish a goggle eye would be incorrect. Same with pumpkinseeds and redears. I've heard people refer to both a shell crackers. However, it is commonly accepted universally that shell crackers are redear sunfish, not pumpkinseed.

    Outside of fishing we can take the sport of soccer. In the US we call it soccer, however universally it is known as football. We can call it whatever we want because we all know what we're talking about, but universally we'd be wrong to call it anything but football.

    To sum, I didn't use regional names. I used the most universally accepted common name for each species. You can continue to refer to each fish however you'd like, but across the country the names I used are more accepted than any regional name that you use.

  8. #8
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    Not bad! I also find that there is a wide range of colors of fish that carries regionally. Often identification by color patterns can be misleading. Fin ray, spine, scale, Gill raker, or other anatomical counts are more accurate. Common names are often what makes communicating about various species difficult. That’s why there are scientific names. I hear anglers use different common names for the same species of fish on the same lake. I have family from different parts of Arkansas who refer to the same species by different names. In the past, I have tried to teach them the proper names and how to identify them. I gave up (ha ha ha). As long as they enjoy catching “brim, goggle eyes, pumpkin seed (none found in Arkansas), etc...” I am fine with whatever they want to call them.


    Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app



    Matt Schroeder - AGFC - (877)470-3309 - matthew.schroeder@agfc.ar.gov

  9. #9
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    Good video.

    However, you missed one of the best ways to determine a bluegill from a green sunfish and that is the shape of the pectoral fins.

    The bluegill has a longer pointed pectoral fin while the green sunfish has a shorter rounded pectoral fin. You can readily see this difference in the photos you had in the video.

    I will agree the sunfish are the most misidentified fish species there are. In my neck of the woods bluegill and green sunfish are always misidentified. They are called bluegill and are 99% of the time actually green sunfish.

    ClearCreek

  10. #10
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    The PA DER has a nice guide in the PA fishing regs booklet. Not a bad reference. Actually though, I just like to catch them no matter what they are!
    Bob

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