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What Is a Bluegill?

Bluegill are rarely sought after by commercial fishermen, but they are one of the most popular fish for recreational fishermen.
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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 10 December 2014
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The bluegill fish is a freshwater species that is originally from North America. Today, the fish has been transported to a number of different places for anglers as they are considered to be relatively easy to catch as well as enjoyable to eat. Some of the regions where the fish is most commonly found include Texas, Arkansas and Illinois. The fish are named after the blue tint on the gills.

The distinguishing feature of bluegill fish is a black or blue area of the gill that is sometimes called an ear. There are also sometimes vertical lines down the side of the fish that are often the easiest way to tell it apart from other similar fish that live in the same regions. The shape of the bluegill is a typically tropical one with a rounded and thin body.

The diet of bluegill fish is largely made up of invertebrates. The fish are known, however, to eat other small fish in some circumstances. Generally, the fish travel in schools of around 25 and they tend to breed during the middle of the year. One of the most interesting features of the bluegill fish is that sometimes during breeding season a male will become colored like a female in order to reduce aggression from other males of the species. This leaves the fish free to enter the nests of other fish and breed.

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Although the fish are popular among, fisherman there are some locations where they are considered pests. This is usually areas in which they are not native such as in Europe. The fish are also considered to be pests in Japan where they escaped into the wild several decades ago and have since gone on to cause problems for many of the native species that live in the waters off the country.

Bluegill are one of the most popular types of game fish in North America and can be caught with a number of different types of bait. For example, chicken is sometimes used along with live bait. The fish generally go for bait which is brightly colored. In some cases an angler may decide to use the fish as bait for larger fish.

Even though the fish are considered to be easy to catch by some fishermen they are also known for their ability to take bait off a hook. Bluegill will often nibble at bait rather than bite it whole. The fish are also relatively strong for their size.

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