Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hybrid Sunfish, 8-28-2012

I drove the carpool last night to West Des Moines (2-year temporary home of U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast Gabby Douglas)  for some Iowa Youth Chorus singers, and had some time to fish while they rehearsed.  I visited a public pond I had first fished earlier this Spring, but had not visited at all this Summer.

I had the entire pond to myself for almost the entire evening.  Despite the abundant signage declaring the pond CATCH AND RELEASE ONLY, the only other angler I saw stopped by briefly to harvest some bluegills that I assume he intended to take catfishing elsewhere.  Must be the only place around that has bluegills.  Not.

I had a good time. I was hoping to see some Grass Carp.  There were possible Grassies in the area.  What I DID see was a couple of Common Carp.  At one point I had cast into an area where I thought there might be a Carp/Grass Carp.  Thought I might have gotten a strike.  I set the hook and spooked a big fish, as a small branch flew out of the water with my hook stuck to it.  Poop.

Other than that, I just caught 3 Largemouth Bass to about 13", at least a dozen Bluegills, and 7 Hybrid Sunfish.  Those Hybrid Sunfish are so colorful...I love catching them!  So I took a few pics.

This was the first one of the evening, it had some interesting vertical markings..."tiger stripes":

The Hybrid Sunfish in this next picture had a lot of iridescent blue was absolutely beautiful.  The picture just can't adequately capture the colors:

As it got dark, fish were popping some large Hexagenia limbata mayfly adults off the surface of the water.  I had one nicer fish on that may have been either a bass or a really nice crappie.  It shook free, unfortunately.

This last Hybrid Sunfish had some really colorful pinkish-orange edges to its fins.  They don't show up well in  the picture, but I tried.  I had to use a flash because it was pretty dark out by this time.

Several different fly patterns caught fish.  The best 3 patterns were a foam topwater pattern, an unweighted black Woolly Bugger, and a beadhead Woolly Bugger.  Bringing the fly up and tickling the surface with it during a slow retrieve elicited the best/most strikes.

I look forward to fishing this pond again...hopefully I can get some clear shots at definite Grass Carp at some point.


  1. Always fun to catch on a fly rod, I don't care how old you are. If Greenies and Blue Gills got as big as Bass I'd be to scared to get into the water.

  2. Nice! Hybrid bluegill/greens or BG/pumpkinssed or BG/longear? In Idaho the only sunfish relocated long ago are both crappies, bluegill and pumpkinseed plus SMB and largemouths. Wish we had at least greens and longears, but what the heck, I see nothing wrong with them all that would live well. I'd like to see white bass in our reservoirs, actually my wish list is huge. Some people would probably desire our trout, but they're just trout.


  3. I suspect all the Hybrid Sunfish around here, whether stocked or naturally occurring, are BluegillxGreen Sunfish hybrids. It isn't uncommon to catch both Green Sunfish and Bluegills in most of the waters I fish. While Pumpkinseeds, Rock Bass, Warmouth and Orangespotted Sunfish are also native to Iowa, it is EXTREMELY rare to catch any of these locally. This is probably because most of the waters around here are man-made lakes/ponds, and none of those species ever get stocked.
    I like all fish. Trout can be fun...they aren't as challenging as Carp! :)