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Fish: Orangespotted Sunfish

Fish ID Is This An Orangespotted Sunfish?

Post By: jig head      Posted: 2/23/2013 12:15:12 AM     Points: 766    
I just saw the post from someone catching an orangespotted sunfish and remebered that I have caught some that look like they might be the orangespotted.
What do you think? Orangespot or a Redear? Maybe a hybrid?
 Reply by: Piscifer      Posted: 2/23/2013 6:38:06 AM     Points: 27    
 Reply by: roughfisher      Posted: 2/23/2013 7:28:14 AM     Points: 52    
yep, Pumpkinseed.

Note the red dot on the "ear" - that rules out most sunfishes but Pumpkinseeds do have that dot. The colors are a little outside what I normally see in a Pumpkinseed. Which could indicate a hybrid or (more likely) just different water color or local genetics. Also the mouth size seems a bit big, that could be the camera angle or could be an indicator of a hybrid.

No question that it is most likely Pumpkinseed or (maybe) a Green X Pumpkinseed. We get lots of GreenXseeds in certain ponds in MN and they can have many different looks but I don't see any dead give aways to that kind of hybrid though. they almost always have a sharp yellow/white trim to the anal fin that is really noticable
 Reply by: Inlandsharpie777      Posted: 2/23/2013 9:44:26 AM     Points: 255    
Had to ask, is the roughfisher username a reference to a blog of a similar name?

Stay Sharp
 Reply by: lilbreigh      Posted: 2/23/2013 2:28:12 PM     Points: 1892    
Does not seem to fit the body of a typical pumpkinseed. I caught hundreds of them in TX, and they are much rounder....looks like a red ear to me...but there is alot of cross breeding among most sunfish families...looks like a greeney hybrid of some type...but definitely not 100% pumpkinseed as the picture below shows..

pumpkin seed here:

[log in for link]

Red Ear Sunfish:

[log in for link]

 Reply by: roughfisher      Posted: 2/23/2013 2:34:00 PM     Points: 52    
Nope, though I've seen that blog. Old handle that I've used for a while, my handles with online forums have changed over the past 12 years or more of posting on different fishing forums. I don't think I knew of that blog at the time I first started using handle. I've stopped using the handle on new websites that I join but I never gotten to consolidating handles, which would be far less confusing! Maybe one of these days...
 Reply by: roughfisher      Posted: 2/23/2013 2:38:13 PM     Points: 52    
lilbreigh -

the fish you have labeled "pumpkinseed" is a Longear (Lepomis megalotis) - which are apparently called "pumpkinseeds" in some locales. A proper Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) has a very different gill flap than your fish. Such is the problem with "common names"

Pumpkinseeds are often more rounded in shape though, like a longear. Which could indicate Green X Seed cross, as greens are very elongated. The fish pictured is at least 50% (Lepomis gibbosus) Pumpkinseed Sunfish
 Reply by: roughfisher      Posted: 2/23/2013 2:47:07 PM     Points: 52    
If you check this link you'll see that the pumpkinseed I'm talking about isn't found in arkansas at all:
[log in for link]

It is predominately a Great Lakes region species, though it has been introduced to Colorado
 Reply by: Orion      Posted: 2/23/2013 5:40:26 PM     Points: 3154    
I would definitely classify that sunfish as a pumpkinseed whether it's a hybrid or not it looks mostly like a pumpkinseed. Here's one I caught a while back. Look how fat it was! A little bit bigger and it would have been an MA, if I remember correctly (plus my hand from tip of finger to wrist is 7.5") it was around 7" which is pretty darn good for a pumpkinseed in CO.

 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/23/2013 5:47:30 PM     Points: 2757    
Woo hoo!! Got some fish squeezers in here!!
Glad to have you on board roughfisher.

Okay, since we're on the subject of panfish, I wanted to quickly clarify a few things between Orangespotted sunfish (OSS), Pumpkinseed (PKS), and Redear sunfish (RES).

First, I'm going to classify them in the chances of catching. 1) PKS, 2)OSS, and 3) RES.
Also, RES has only been documented a few times, ever, down south near the border and once or twice in the Upper Colorado River Basin.
Next, OSS are rare, but they can be observed in the Colorado Foothills to the plains.
PKS are all over the Eastern Slope of Colorado.

Pictures are great information to tell them apart. Look for metallic streaking across the face, coloration, density of spots, and habitat. Amazingly enough, many of the panfish, though similar and habitats do overlap, can be distinguished by the habitat that they are removed from.

You guys keep it up!!

 Reply by: roughfisher      Posted: 2/25/2013 5:57:00 AM     Points: 52    
Orion - nice fat hen! Honestly even in WI you have to hit the right waters to find numbers of bigger Pumpkinseed, the biggest pure I've come across was about 9.5" but those are very few and very far between.

FS - agreed, do tend to separate themselves out by habitat nicely (most of the time). I fish in a species catching contest every year (for the past 6 years), it is fun to pick out which spot will catch a particular species - before you even make the cast! Best Pumpkinseed habitat would clear lakes with thick submerged weedbeds.

When I lived in CO (3 years) I mostly only fished rivers, are there lakes on the eastern slope with good Pumpkinseed habitat? Or do they just adapt to more marginal habitat there?
 Reply by: MNBassFisher      Posted: 2/25/2013 7:25:55 AM     Points: 1396    
The first picture definitely has the markings of the Pumpkinseeds I caught back in MN but the mouth looks a little large (like a Green's mouth). My guess would be hybrid but it's hard to tell from the picture and it's very hard to tell in general.
 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 2/25/2013 7:37:12 AM     Points: 2757    
We have master angler sized pumpkinseeds (9") in Dixon Reservoir, here in Fort Collins.

I catch them in a few other places at times, but Dixon is loaded.

 Reply by: lewdog      Posted: 2/25/2013 7:41:41 AM     Points: 3940    
Hey roughfisher there are a few good gills at jumbo. Heres some from a few year ago.
 Reply by: roughfisher      Posted: 2/25/2013 8:52:20 AM     Points: 52    
FS - 9" is a quality Pumpkin anywhere. They are somewhat habitat fussy, I never saw any Pumpkin worthy habitat when I lived out there but I mostly fished rivers. I did spend some time looking for OSS in Fort Morgan (I lived out there), only found Red and Sand shiners and Creek Chubs.

Thanks for the welcome! I've been lurking around the site for 4+ years, don't post a ton though. Usually just when I have time and a topic catches my eye - usually fish ID or any thing with odd species. I love species that few people target.

Only monday? Too long to wait for the weekend, at least I have time to fish this weekend (on Lake Superior). Bring on the Burbot and Cisco!

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