Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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Scientific Name: Bluegill - Lepomis macrochirus

Habitats: Brule Lake, Fortune Lakes, Glidden Lake, Indian Lake, Lake Emily, Lake Ste. Kathryn, Runkle Lake, Silver Lake, Stager Lake

Edibility Score:

Toxicity Level: Low

State Recommended Max Servings Per Month: 1

The Bluegill also referred to as Bream, Brim, Copper nose, sun perch, sunfish
Bluegills have flat bodies and are dark blue with light spots.
The bluegill’s spawning season typically from late May to early August (peaking in June)

Do I have a pumpkinseed or a bluegill is the big question.

The pumpkinseed can be distinguished from the bluegill by the bright orange spot at the tip of the ear flap and the lack of a dark blotch on the soft portion of the dorsal.

Pumpkinseed Males and Females have different colors patterns, Breeding males are particularly colorful, their cheeks and gills are marked by wavy bright blue bars.

To identify a Bluegill it has a very rounded compressed body. The dark blotch is there, little red spot also, not orange. Its color is highly variable and many range from blue purple to yellow, clear or colorless.

There are six true sunfish species that are often mistaken for bluegill, and those include the pumpkinseed, warmouth, green sunfish, redear sunfish, longear sunfish, and the redbreast. Hybrid bluegills are possible with these species, which makes identification even trickier.

Bluegill and Pumpkinseeds are very easy to catch. Both will eagerly bite onto nearly any small natural or artificial bait. Pumpkinseeds and Bluegills are well-known for being a delicious fish to eat as well as one of the least toxic.

All Lepomis species in Wisconsin have the potential to hybridize with each other, and certain combinations are relatively common: Bluegill crossed with warmouth, Bluegill crossed with Pumpkinseed, Bluegill crossed with green sunfish.

Health : Local waters have PCBs, dioxin, mercury, PFOS, and other chemicals that can be found in fish and stay in our environment for a very long time.

Be aware of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – The Eat Safe Fish Guide (ESF Guide)

Wisconsin has the a health guide for eating fish in Wisconsin – Choose Wisely Contaminate Advisories for Wisconsin

Fishing Season


Northern Wisconsin - Bluegill, Crappie, Sunfish, Yellow Perch All boundary waters Open All Year
Daily Limit 25 in any combination. Some lakes have special regulations.


Upper Peninsula of Michigan - Bluegill, Crappie, Sunfish, Yellow Perch All boundary waters Open All Year
Daily Limit 25 in any combination.  Some lakes have special regulations.


WI Fishing Hook & Line Record

Wisconsin Record Bluegill.

Weight - 2 lbs. 9.7 oz. Length 12.0 Inches.

Date - 08/02/1995

Location Green Bay Brown County.

Wisconsin Hook and Line Records for Fishing

MI Fishing Hook & Line Record

Michigan Record Bluegill.

Weight - 2.75 lbs. Length 13.75 Inches.

Date - 1983

Type - Baitcasting Spinner

Location Vaughn Lake Alcona County.

Michigan Hook and Line Records for Fishing
DNR Master Angler Michigan.gov Program and Map

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