AskDefine | Define bluegill

Dictionary Definition

bluegill n : important edible sunfish of eastern and central United States [syn: Lepomis macrochirus]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a North American sunfish; Lepomis macrochirus

Extensive Definition

''For the exoatmospheric nuclear test, refer to Bluegill (nuclear test).
The Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is a species of freshwater fish sometimes referred to as bream, brim, or copper nose. It is a member of the sunfish family (family Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. It is native to a wide area of North America, from Québec to northern Mexico, and has been widely transplanted to stock game fish for anglers. It is commonly fished in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, and Louisiana, and is the state fish of the U.S. state of Illinois. It is renowned as an excellent tasting fish on par with Walleye.
Of tropical sunfish body shape, the bluegill's most notable feature is the blue or black "ear", actually an extension of the gill cover called the opercular flap. Its name, however, comes from the bright blue edging visible on its gill rakers. It can be distinguished from similar species by the (not always pronounced) vertical bars along its flanks. The bluegill grows to a maximum overall length of approximately 40 cm (16 in).
Bluegills are popular game fish, caught with live bait, flies, hot dogs, raw chicken or other lures, chiefly at dawn and dusk. One of the easiest baits to use for them is white bread or a corn kernel. Another efficient bait would be redworms or waxworms on ice jigs. They are noted for seeking out underwater vegetation for cover; their natural diet consists largely of small invertebrates and very small fish. The Bluegill itself is also occasionally used as bait for larger game fish species such as blue catfish and largemouth bass. The bluegill is a schooling fish with schools of 20–30 individuals. These fish spawn in June in nests in the shallows. During this period males assume a very bold coloration, as they are guarding their nests. An interesting piece of their biology is that some males assume the coloration of the female fish so that the nest guarding males won't show aggression towards them. Then these "sneaker" males enter nests and spawn. Because of their size and the method of cooking them, bluegills are often called panfish. Bluegills are excellent fish to teach children angling. * Maryann Mott. 'Bluegill Fish Monitor Water Supplies for Terrorist Attacks, Contamination
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bluegill in Japanese: ブルーギル
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