IMG_0551.JPG 106.29KB 1 downloads IMG_9492.JPG 122.58KB 1 downloadsThe attached photos are of two different strange looking redear like fish caught about two months appart in a 6.5 acre tannic water lake I own. ne was caught towards the end of May, and the other was caught towards the end of July.
I'm rather new to redear since we stocked them into the lake in 2016 after we drained it for dam repairs. The other species known to be in the lake are bluegill, a huge warmouth population, a few redbreasts, very few flyer sunfish, and very few spotted sunfish (stump knockers). The lake has always had a small warmouth population, but we had to keep the pond drained through most of the summer of 2016 while we made repairs to the dam. The small creek was able to support small panfish through that time but not the bass, and the warmouth population exploded as a result as a result of not having predators. There are now as many warmouth in the pond as bluegill. In fact the little warmouth ate most of the fish we stocked in there, but some red ear survived them as did the channel cats. (These with the bluegill were stocked in October.) The baby bass we stocked the next spring were all eaten, so we stocked in 80 small adult bass from seven different ponds during the fall of 2017.
Anyway, we do have red ear now, and the original ones we put in during October of 2017 are now a bit bigger than the ones in the photos. (That is a mystery in itself because I was expecting it to take two seasons for the redear to reproduce. These fish look like last year's hatchlings to me.) These two fish have big mouths and the markings are odd. My first glance thought when I first caught them was "warmouth", and then on closer look I decided redear. There seems to be more blue in the gill flaps than on a redear. There is almost a chain pattern on their sides. And there is a bit of white on their anal fins like a warmouth. I posted one of the lower photo (the first fish) on FB in may when I first caught it, and a number of people responded that it looked like a pumpkinseed to them. I don't think I've ever caught a pumpkinseed anywhere in this part of Georgia before. If its a pumpkinseed, there would be a mystery as to where it came from. Anyway, what do you guys think?. I'm inclined to think they are just funny looking redears, but those big mouths and all those markings are a bit odd.