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ZEEK1223

mounting a bull sunfish......whats the bench mark????

18 posts in this topic

during the early spring I went fishing with a buddy, and caught a 10.75in sunfish. Well, I pretty much never panfish but still thought it was a pretty big fish. I told him that I might want to mount the fish, and he said "we used to catch those all the time as kids" I am a fisherman, and know what a big fish is, The fish was just abnormally huge. Would any of you mount a sunfish like that? what is the length to start mounting sunfish? I wanted to, but watched my buddy put a knife into it later in the day for a fish fry. I would have at least released if I was on my own, but it was "his lake".......never thought a sunfish would ever encourage me to write this much.....sorry.......

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that is a large sunfish. i would mount a fish of that size. I agree with you have to go by what your friend says when at his lake but i would of rather released it as you stated. Ive never caught a sunfish that big but im sure many fisherman on this site better then me have.

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Zeek yeah thats a bluegill worth mounting, its probably around 1 lb 3 ounces or so, and I know many guys who mount that fish or at least CPR and get a graphite done. Hopefully you got some nice pictures with it before you buddy cut it up. Especially for you a fisherman who doesn't fish panfish as much other guys.

Yeah "he" probably did catch fish like that when he was a kid but how long ago was that (could of been 20 years ago for all i know), especially if he kept them all the time when he did go out during this time of the year, its easy to catch big bluegills this time of year.

It all depends on everyone's standards for trophies...most guys would mount a pound bluegill or get a replica done now a days since there isn't as many as there use to be. For me my standard is it has to be over a 1 lb 5 oz (11 inches) as thats my biggest and is on the wall. So to each their own..if I was you I would of put my foot down and told your buddy that I want to keep it for the wall, its just a lake and he don't own it unless he owns all the lakeshore around it. Thats just my 2 cents...

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I got one on the wall 10.5 inches that went a pound so yeah deffenately would've mounted it. I would think your friend would've been a little more understanding about it. If you wanted to mount it you should've.

What would letting it go do? Its probably in its final years of life anyhow. Believe they only live like 15 years (on ave). Unless you have a lake were they grow really fast, in that case what do I know.

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To each there own but anything over 10 will go on my wall.

Sifty

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"What would letting it go do? Its probably in its final years of life anyhow. Believe they only live like 15 years (on ave)."

The larger the top size in the local bluegill population the larger juvenile males grow before they sex out. In most fertile waters it takes something like 8 years to grow a 1 pound bluegill this far north provided the template is there, else they sex out smaller and younger and they don't grow much after they become sexually mature. IOW most of its life is spent growing up but if you want to give one 15 years which is probably "quite a bit" too much, you would have 7 to 8 years at the top of the local size charts. A couple of years is a very long time for any wild animal or fish of any size to be at the top of its game.

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"What would letting it go do? Its probably in its final years of life anyhow. Believe they only live like 15 years (on ave)."

The larger the top size in the local bluegill population the larger juvenile males grow before they sex out. In most fertile waters it takes something like 8 years to grow a 1 pound bluegill this far north provided the template is there, else they sex out smaller and younger and they don't grow much after they become sexually mature. IOW most of its life is spent growing up but if you want to give one 15 years which is probably "quite a bit" too much, you would have 7 to 8 years at the top of the local size charts. A couple of years is a very long time for any wild animal or fish of any size to be at the top of its game.

Well said. I agree with ya' half-dutch.

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I hunt pretty hard in our local area for gills all winter long and as Harvey can attest, I have thrown back quite a few just shy of the 10" mark because I want to hit that soooooo bad. Someday, somewhere, on one of my local lakes, I will be lucky enough to find one, and if I catch it...... (crossing fingers and toes), when I do, it will be on my wall!

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The question of what is a trophy fish has been asked on this HSOforum at least once every 2-3 months. I have to credit FMer Smallie Hawgin with presenting this information (and I'm disappointed I hadn't thought of it first!), so here goes. Don Gabelhouse had a paper entitled "A length-categorization system to assess fish stocks" published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management in 1984 that introduced relative stock indices. Basically, they are length based measurements that allow you to sort into bins the size of fish in a system as percentages or total counts. There are "stock", "quality", "preferred", "memorable", and "trophy" fish. In short, scientific literature has classified how big a fish needs to be, to be a "trophy."

For bluegill, the breaks are as follows:

Stock: 3"

Quality: 6"

Preferred: 8"

Memorable: 10"

Trophy: 12"

By these standards, a trophy bluegill is 12". However, IMHO these are very rough guidelines that don't fit every state or region. As many have opined in this thread, a 10 inch bluegill these days is very few and far between, not mention within the short growing season in Minnesota. To call a 10 inch bluegill a trophy would be no lie.

So, if you ever get to reading a status of the fishery report about your favorite lake on MN DNR lakefinder and you read about relative stock density (RSD values) or RSD#'s, it is the percentage of fish above the length value, i.e. for bluegill RSD-8 would be the percentage of fish in the preferred stock size, greater than 8 inch. Most of the reports that are available online are pretty toned down and easy to read for the public, but a few have some fisheries management jargon like RSD values mixed in.

Getting back on topic, congratulations on the large bluegill. Hopefully you have a picture and can have a replica made.

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DC31 always has the low down grin

For me it would get a couple images taken for here on FM and back in. For one I would never get it to the taxi and for two I am not a "fish/game" mount kind of guy.

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OK, I dont fish Minnesota so take my answers with a grain of salt. But we catch 10" blugills all the time in lakes a few miles from the MN border and in lakes in SD. I saw a blugill over 11" a few years ago. I have seen them bigger from ponds but for a large lake blugill thats a big fish. At 10.75" you had a horse no question. I bet that did bother you to see it get fileted. Honestly if I mounted every 10" blugill I caught I would have them on the ceiling. It aint me just the lake produces that many. Any blugill over 9" is big if you sk me.

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I caught one this winter that went 10.5 and that is a trophy for sure, but that being said I have always said that it would have to be 11 before it goes on my wall.

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I hunt pretty hard in our local area for gills all winter long and as Harvey can attest, I have thrown back quite a few just shy of the 10" mark because I want to hit that soooooo bad. Someday, somewhere, on one of my local lakes, I will be lucky enough to find one, and if I catch it...... (crossing fingers and toes), when I do, it will be on my wall!

head to annie battle wink

for reference the crappie one the right is 13", and the crappie on the left is 12".

the bluegill on the far right was almost 11". all tthe rest ranged from 9-10 1/2". mine are that big one and the 2 next to it, and the 2 next to the crappies, the crappies area also mine, none of mine that i kept were under 10. and i didnt catch a single sunfish under 6"

the line of 4 behind my 3 are my moms, each one over 10" as well

the other 6 were caught by my brothers

would be quite a mount (and bill) if we mounted every single one wink lol

101_0938.jpg

i am thinking about mounting the big one and the 1lb 6oz hybrid i got there the day before tho.

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Carpman

Those are some nice fish. I love Annie Battle too. the rowing can make it a chore at times but its a fun lake. I hope to get out there in a couple of weeks when I'm on vacation in the area. I think I would personally lean towards tossing some of the 10"+ fish back and eat some 8-9 inchers. Did you catch 'em at the south end of the lake?

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Carpman

Those are some nice fish. I love Annie Battle too. the rowing can make it a chore at times but its a fun lake. I hope to get out there in a couple of weeks when I'm on vacation in the area. I think I would personally lean towards tossing some of the 10"+ fish back and eat some 8-9 inchers. Did you catch 'em at the south end of the lake?

ya. i would usually throw the 10"ers back. but there were so many of them, and the gma only wanted the big ones (she says the biggest work best for her recipe)

i did not let here clean the near 11"er. i think im putting her on the wall wink

i was fishing the north end and i was slamming the bluegills and the crappies. i got wuite a few slab crappies on the south end as well. i have never caught so many crapppies 12" and up. that lake definately has potential for huge crappies.

there was a HOG largemouth in the creek going to blanche. i couldnt get her to bite.

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