Post date: Monday, March 17, 2014 - 15:20
Updated date: 10/17/14
Pumpkinseed, Lepomis gibbosus


The pumpkinseed is one of the most colorful fish found in our local waters. Breeding male pumpkinseeds are especially colorful. The fish’s breast and belly are orange to red-orange, and its back and sides are brown to olive. Its sides and back are speckled with orange, yellow, blue, and emerald spots. Pumpkinseeds look a bit like bluegills, and they are often found in the same habitat. The best way to tell them apart is by looking at the opercle flap. It’s black in both species, but the pumpkinseed has a distinctive crimson spot in a half-moon shape on the rear edge. Also, pumpkinseeds have 7-8 dark vertical bands on their sides that are irregular and fainter than those found on the bluegill. Additionally, the pumpkinseed has several narrow wavy stripes, alternating orange-brown or light blue, on the cheek.




Pumpkinseeds prefer heavily vegetated areas with clear water. Small open pockets in thick weeds are pumpkinseed magnets. Use heavy presentations as big pumpkinseeds prefer their meals served near the bottom. While fishing plastic worms for bass, you'll often get violent strikes with no hookup. Scale down or switch to heavy flies, as the culprit is often a large, aggressive pumpkinseed attacking a bait longer than itself.



Pumpkinseeds will aggressively attack most small lures and natural baits. Flyfishing for pumpkinseeds is deadly and highly entertaining. Pumpkinseeds like to pick grubs off the undersides of lily pads, so listen for the tell-tale "smacking" sounds they make while doing this, and you just might find your way to pumpkinseed paradise.


Range Map

Lifelist Entries

Post date: Friday, August 24, 2012 - 01:37
Lake Josephine, Roseville, MN
Post date: Friday, March 16, 2012 - 22:05
Post date: Sunday, June 7, 2015 - 15:27
Lake Alpine just outside of Wautoma
Post date: Saturday, December 1, 2018 - 06:38
Shawnee National Forest
Post date: Monday, August 24, 2015 - 23:23
Little Pine Creek, PA
Post date: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 21:53
Lake George mn
Post date: Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 12:53
Spooner, WI
Post date: Friday, July 2, 2021 - 02:20
Knoxville micro fishing
Post date: Sunday, June 7, 2020 - 21:33
Post date: Sunday, January 3, 2016 - 21:56
Post date: Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 11:36
Beaver Lake MN
Post date: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 22:05
Post date: Friday, August 17, 2012 - 11:42
North Fork of the Powell River (Tennessee...
Post date: Saturday, June 3, 2017 - 23:08
Post date: Monday, October 3, 2016 - 14:54
Post date: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 21:17
Eauclaire Wi.
Post date: Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:36
Post date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 16:21
Ottawa River
Post date: Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 20:55
East Long Pond
Post date: Friday, March 24, 2017 - 09:01
Walnut Creek, Iowa
Post date: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 17:30
Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake), Merifield WMA...
Post date: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 16:51
Angler Lake, Ontario
Post date: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 18:23
Holland Lake, Eagan, MN
Post date: Monday, June 15, 2015 - 19:57
Lake Flower, New York (first caught); Lake...