Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Green Sunfish Pond

The stock tank on my uncle’s place in Lampasas got down to just a mud hole in the last drought we had in Texas. All of the fish we had stocked were caught out by raccoons and Great Blue Herons along with what other wildlife that ate fish for dinner. When the rains finally came the shallow muddy hole was filled with green muck and not much else. No one made an effort to re-stock the tank with fish after it was holding water again and it has served as water for the cattle and wildlife. The other day while sitting with my wife hoping for dove to fly in to water, I noticed these small fish darting around the moss in the pond. I don’t know if some very small fry survived in the little mud hole or if they were stocked naturally somehow. Not knowing what they were I went to the truck and brought out an ultra light spinning rig with a small beetle spin lure to see if I could catch any of the fish and identify them. In about 20 minutes I had a ball catching somewhere around 30 little green sunfish or green sunfish hybrids. The largest was around 3.5 inches. Some of the little monsters were smaller than the lure they were attacking. If they grew to any weight, nothing would be safe in the water.

The green sunfish is a small Texas Sunfish with a large mouth like a bass instead of the small mouth of most sunfish and bluegills. They are a brilliantly colored little green sunfish with neon blue markings running all over them and are as pretty as any tropical aquarium fish in my opinion. They are not much good for anything but catfish bait as they soon overpopulate and take over what ever pond they are found in unless there are a lot of larger prey fish to thin them out. In this case there are no prey fish and the green sunfish or only 1.5-3.5 inches long at best. They are so pretty I am considering setting up an aquarium on my desk so I can enjoy watching them all the time. Mean while my uncle and I will have plenty of catfish bait if we ever get to go fishing. Wild Ed


Casey said...

That would be cool having them in an aquarium. When they get larger they are one of the most beautiful fish in the farm ponds around here.

musickscapes said...

I caught 3 sunfish in the Medina river near Kerrville, TX. They are hairy swimming in our 55 gain aquarium. I also used about 5 gallons of that clear river water too add a good bacterial base as this is a new aquarium. I'm not sure if I have the green our bluefin variety, but they are a joy tip watch and get along well with out bleeding heart tetras.