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Strange Looking Panfish


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A couple of years ago a buddy an I were fishing a small lake near Mentor, MN. We had been catching a few large bluegills and a crappie every now and then after the daylight hours. During all this, I pulled a what I thought was a smaller crappie. Upon looking closer, it looked as though it had the shape, mouth and scales of a crappie, but the tail and colors of a bluegill. I know this sounds like a made up story but it really did happen! Has anyone else ever encountered a fish like this? I was thinking that maybe since it was such a small lake something like this could take place, especially after thinking about how I have seen a few Saugeyes come from Lake of the Woods.

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I have caught this fish too. It is a GREEN SUNFISH.

I have never caught one in the winter, but catch many in the spring around that area. Their flesh IMO is mushy and they are more slimy and stinkier than blue gills. But they get a lot bigger too. They have a bigger mouth and will bite on just about anything.

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I've caught a rather large panfish in Lac Qui Parle. At first I'd though it was a large mount bass, but once I netted it, I can see that it had distinct feature of a rock bass, sand paper tongue, dark blotchy mouth, red eyes, black matted body scales. I can't remember if it was 14" or 16" inches in length. Definitely not a small mouth bass, this fish was too stubby and big dorsal finned. Could've been the biggest rock bass I've ever caught or can it be possible to have been a hybrid rock bass, large mouth bass? I've only caught other large mouth bass and rock bass in the area. Could've have been a small mouth.

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I have a lake by my house that is loaded with these ferocous little guys. I think they are called a "Warmouth".

The ones by me bite on anything, anytime. They will hang on to a rubber worm without being hooked all the way into the boat.


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I've caught a warmouth before and this one that I caught was much bigger than any sunfish I've ever caught. I think that it could have just been a really large rock bass. The fish had green back and white belly, very similar to a large mouth. The warmouth have orange belly, not as orange as a pumpkinseed. Most rock bass that I've caught are little 5 to 6 inches. They're big eye'd, big mouth'd, aggressive sun fishes.

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Can someone identify what we were catching today?

I've never seen them before on the lake I was at but they were there today.

Strange little beefy fish. Great fighters. We must of caught 20 of 'em. (released) in 4-6 foot of water, patchy weeds.

Made for a fun day.



Oh. Just curious. Do they taste good? smirk.gif

(note the ratso-tail thanks to CrappieTom)

Once you go green & black you never go back shocked.gif

(edit: they did have 'teeth' similar to a bass)

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Sort of off-topic.....but since these fish are apparently growing in population...any chance that I will see a decrease in bluegill & crappie numbers?

I'd imagine as aggressive as these fish were they'd take their toll on baby gills & crappie.(?)

I've fished this lake many times & have never caught even one....and then all the sudden I catch a lot.

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I really don't know...I speculate...

Since pretty much the successful survival of youngs from one/few panfish nests is a lot, I don't think it really makes that much of a difference in a shared ecology. I can say one thing is that I haven't caught a green sunfish on flies, like how I would fish for bluegills at times. Then again I'm not targeting the green sunnies. The aggressiveness of the green sunnies might just be that they're more aggressive for an easy meal , especially something on a hook that can't swim away. It's like I may have a bluegill that looks, but a green sunfish will just inhale the bait.

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Actually those are warmouths. they are very similar to green sunfish in shape, and only subtly different in color.

here are a couple of greenies I got thursday while fishing for crappies



notice the blue markings on the green sunfish gill plates compared to the more bass like markings on the warmouths...

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Ah yes...nice pictures of green sunnies...I'd forgot those distinctive blue/yellow streaks on the cheeks. Normally I look for those red eyes on the warmouths and the molted spots towards the dorsal and tail fins similar to a crappie. But the brown streaks on those fish really do suggest that they're warmouths. I'd figure it might have just been a hydrid green sunfish.

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