Welcome to our new blog. We plan to feature articles by Texas fishermen who are skilled in the art of catching sunfish. If you would like to join our group please feel welcome. If you would like to post on this site please contact me at lilburn@uwmail.com. I have contacted many of you, and I await hearing from you and receiving your first article. Please limit your posts to how-to articles and stories about your fishing experiences. The more pictures the better. Controversial items, criticism of TPWD, and such should best be posted on the TFF or other forum. If you decide to post on a regular basis I will need a picture of you, your real name and your website if you have one. You will be added to the sidebar as one of our fishermen. No handles or avatars, please.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Identifying Our Prey

As we kick off the new sunfish blog it seems appropriate to discuss our prey. First off, he is a Sunfish. He is not a perch or a bream or any of the other misnomers one sees on the TFF and other places. If you call him a perch he will not bite for you. If you call him a bream you have used a name dignified by time but not really correct.

The Sunfishes are of the family (Centrarchidae) of the 27 species of freshwater ray-finned fish belonging to the order Perciformes. One genera is the Lepomis, a Greek word meaning "scaled gill cover". The most common members found in Texas are the Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), Longear Sunfish (Lepomis megalotis), Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis auritus), Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus), and the Warmouth (Lepomis gulosus). The male sunfish sleeps around and fertilizes the eggs of any female Sunfish, so there are all sorts of hybrids, making identification difficult.

The Sunfishes also include the Black Bass and Crappie but we will leave those for their fans and concentrate on their smaller brethren.

One other fish is usually included with the Sunfishes, although he is not related. He is the Rio Grande Cichlid (Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum), usually referred to as the Rio.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has a good discussion and a copyrighted picture of each fish at
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/aquaticspecies/inland.phtml, so we will not repeat them here. The TPWD also has all the wrong names included for each fish in the "other names" section. I jumped all over the biologist one time for that and he explained they had given up on ever getting people to use the correct name. I have not given up.

In articles to come we will talk about how to rig your tackle, the bait to use and presentation. Hopefully, others will also cover other topics and share their experiences.

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