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Finding Blue-Spotted Sunfish

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#1 BSPhotography

  • NANFA Guest
  • Maryland

Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:18 AM

I'm working on a series of images of MD fish, and there is one I have always had issues finding, the Blue-Spotted Sunfish, Enneacanthus gloriosus

I've talked to  MD DNR about it, and they gave me a tip, but it's only based on their own shocking studies, and it's basically one small little spot only a short distance from their location in southern MD. 

Does anyone have some experience in finding them? I'd like to find some that I can catch either with dip netting or micro fishing. Where are you finding them when you do? Around brush, rocks, open water? Current flow they like? Baits they prefer for micro fishing? 

I have found one a while ago before MD stopped allowing minnow traps on public property, but I have yet to manage any others in that same stretch of river over the last few years. 

#2 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 03 May 2016 - 11:28 AM

Bluespotted sunfish (and other two Enneacanthus) are usually in slow-flowing to still water with dense aquatic plants, branch piles, or leaf litter.  Dense plant beds are usually the most productive, in NC at least. 

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#3 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 04 May 2016 - 05:19 PM

You might want to look for a reasonably narrow, slow stream, put a seine net downstream of a big thicket, and kick around in the thicket to see what ends up against your net. 

Or find someone with water on private property and ask about putting traps in their water. 

#4 hellbender

  • NANFA Member

Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:21 PM

To add to all the great advice, I find that for my home stream they are always deep in the leaf litter. If you aren't picking through muck you're not netting deep enough. I find it rather hard to hook them micro fishing (bits of worm) due to their shyness and affinity to the thickest cover but I can always get them with a dip net full of leaves and mud.

#5 Mysteryman

  • NANFA Member

Posted 09 May 2016 - 11:09 PM

The best place I know for them is in a slow stream, near the shore. The edges have thick vegetation. Taking a seine straight out into the creek, and then swinging back around parallel to the bank and digging into the vegetation always produces plenty of Bluespots. Look for similar opportunities in your area.

#6 DanD

  • NANFA Member
  • Virginia

Posted 12 May 2016 - 05:21 AM

Not sure where in MD you are sampling, but I'm in Fredericksburg, VA and sample some areas around King George and Caroline Counties.  We get a lot of BSS in thicker vegetation with dip nets.  If it's convenient for you to come down here, let me know and i can show you some spots


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