To maximise their eating qualities bluegill can be killed quickly and humanely by iki jime or a knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding. Placement of these fish directly into an ice slurry may also be humane if they are taken from warm water (> 21°C /70°F) during the summer months.
- Bluegill can be identified by the presence of a darkened "ear" spot on the posterior edge of the operculum.
- They have a deep body with adults having a yellowish breast and 5-9 vertical bars on the flanks.
- Sexual maturity occurs at 2 to 3 years for males and 3 to 4 years for females. Average life-span of these fish is 5 to 6 years, with maximum lifespan around 10-11 years under some conditions.
- Bluegill are native to freshwater rivers and lakes of eastern and central North America, including the lower Great Lakes. These fish have also been introduced into parts of Africa, Asia (japan), Europe and South America.
- Bluegill live in shallower areas of lakes and ponds, as well as slow-moving areas of streams and small rivers.
- They prefer water with many aquatic plants, and hide within fallen logs or water weeds.
- They feed on plankton, aquatic insects, and small crustaceans.
Fish Size Common Length:
Commonly 5-8 inches (12-20 cm), maximum size around 16 inches (40 cm) and over 4 pounds (2 kg).