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A Couple Hand-painted Bluegill We Seined Today

So we seined one of our hatchery ponds today for hand-painted bluegill.  These days when people ask me which subspecies of bluegill they should stock if their goal is trophy bluegill, I tell them hand-painted.  Here’s why:

We didn’t weigh the top fish, but the bottom one weighed 2.1 pounds.  It came from a roughly 2/3-acre pond that has no predators, being a production pond, and which at any given point in time generally has somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 bluegill in it.  Bluegill don’t get as big in waters where they’re crowded; no fish does.  And yet every time now that we seine one of our hand-painted ponds we’re getting two to four or more fish between 1.5 and 2 pounds, in addition to dozens in the 1 to 1.5-pound range.

Just think what these fish would do in your pond with a good predator population.