Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad
Impressions pre-reset: 420826 Clicks pre-reset: 872

WK Outdoors – Best Time of Year for Bluegill and Redear Sunfish Around the Bend

wk outdoors sunfish 300WESTERN Ky. (4/26/13) – Early May in Kentucky is not only a good time to set out tomato plants in backyard gardens, but it's the start of the best fishing of the year for bluegill and redear sunfish.
 
When water temperatures approach 70 degrees, these two native sunfish species move into the shallows of ponds, small lakes and large reservoirs in preparation for spawning.
 
"If I was to pick a time here it would be the second week in May," said Paul Rister, western district fishery biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, who manages fish populations in Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.
 
Both lakes support excellent populations of the sunfish species. "When they are spawning, generally the redear sunfish will be out from the banks in a little deeper water than the bluegills," said Rister.
 
Anglers should try to time their fishing trips to coincide with rising or stable lake levels. "By the time bluegills and redears go on the bed, both lakes are usually stable at summer pool," said Rister. The ideal fishing area is a shallow embayment that has flooded vegetation on the mudflats, close to gravel shores.
 
Rister said meal worms and crickets are the preferred live baits for redear sunfish, while red worms and crickets are tops for bluegills.
 
The recommended strategy for both species is suspending the bait under a float. "Redears want the bait close to the bottom, with as little weight (split shot) on the line as possible," said Rister.
 
Bluegill strike bait suspended a little shallower than redears, along weed lines. Light wire, long-shank hooks in size # 8 or #10 are recommended for both species.
 
These sunfish spawn in colonies, their saucer-shaped nests clustered together. Spawning can continue into June, if water conditions are ideal.
 
The redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) is commonly called the "shellcracker" because it likes to feed on mussels, snails and insects on the bottom. A special plate of teeth in the back of the fish's throat enables them to crush shells. The preferred habitat for redear sunfish is clear water where rooted aquatic vegetation often grows.
 
On Aug. 27, 2004, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to give the redear sunfish sport fish status, and protected populations from overharvest by creating a statewide 20-fish daily creel limit.
 
Other Kentucky waters that support quality populations of redear sunfish include Beaver Lake in Anderson County, Elmer Davis Lake in Owen County, McNeeley Lake in Jefferson County and Pan Bowl Lake in Breathitt County.
 
The bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is arguably the most popular panfish in Kentucky. An abundant species that's present in all the state's river drainages, bluegill are easy to catch and their white flesh is sweet and firm. Bluegill thrive in ponds and small lakes across Kentucky.
 
Statewide, there's no daily creel limit on bluegills, but Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) lakes have restrictions on the number of bluegills and redears that can be kept.
 
Redear sunfish and bluegill are willing strikers all day long, perfect for introducing a child or adult novice to fishing.
 
The license year expired Feb. 28, 2013. You'll need to buy a new fishing license, available in the sporting goods section of department stores and tackle shops, to fish now. Licenses and permits may also be purchased online from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife homepage at fw.ky.gov or by calling 1-877-598-2401. The entire Spring Fishing Frenzy series will be posted at this same website for future access to these articles.
 
Art Lander Jr. has been writing about the outdoors since the 1970s. He is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine.

WK Outdoors
Information provided by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Photo provided by Seth Stewart
Visit the WK Outdoors website at www.wkoutdoors.com

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
button coupons
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
button classifieds
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

November 21, 2014 5626

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 18, 2014 5192

Couple Charged for Concealing Food in Infant Car…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 4663

Police Charge Woman for Drug Possession After…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 3953

Bremen Woman Ejected From Vehicle During Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S.C. Recke
November 19, 2014 3563

Two Killed When Vehicle Becomes Airborne, Strikes…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Daviess County Sheriff's Office
November 21, 2014 3393

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 18, 2014 3307

Area Talent to Film Music Video at Merle Travis…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 19, 2014 3242

Is Bankruptcy Your Best Option?

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 3107

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collion in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 19, 2014 3088

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision on South…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith

Stories Trending Today

November 22, 2014 3107

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collion in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 21, 2014 1697

KSP Announces 'Cram the Cruiser' to Feed the…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Stu Recke
November 22, 2014 1685

Greenville Representatives Taking Part in Austin,…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1607

SAR Planning 'Triple' Revolutionary War Patriot…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Geoff Baggett
November 21, 2014 1602

Kentucky Employers to Save About $112 million

in General News For All Sites by Cathy Lindsey
November 22, 2014 1530

Pennyrile Dulcimer Players Demonstrate Unique…

in Top News For All Sites by Ron Sanders
November 22, 2014 1510

Prevent Fires at Home This Winter

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1498

Carve a Turkey Like a Pro

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1423

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1375

P'Pool Among Top Performing Child Support…

in Hopkins News by Cabinet for Health and Family Services

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss