Pumpkinseed are found in many of the lower elevation ponds, lakes, reservoirs and river backwaters throughout the state. Like many other members of the panfish group, they bite readily making them a good target for young or novice anglers.
Features: Pumpkinseeds may be identified by the orange or red spot on the ear flap and the orange cheeks with wavy blue or turquoise stripes. Color is exceedingly brilliant and somewhat variable; olive to brassy-green above, the back finely dusted with gold or emerald.
Habitat: Pumpkinseeds are found in the same habitats and often in association with bluegills. Adults often congregate beneath old deadheads and trees that have fallen into the water. Food habits are also similar to bluegill. They consume large numbers of snails by browsing on the stalks of aquatic vegetation.
Techniques: Pumpkinseed are found in many of the lower elevation ponds, lakes, reservoirs and river backwaters throughout the state. In general, pumpkinseed prefer shallow, warmwater areas with abundant aquatic vegetation and cover. Most are not tough to catch, but you may have to spend time looking for schools of them. Pumpkinseed are best targeted during the late spring when they are spawning and can be found in shallow water where they are highly visible. Look for them in ½- to 6-feet of water in wind-protected areas such as the back ends of coves. Pumpkinseed will often be over sand or gravel bottoms where these are available. Spawning begins when the temperature approaches 68 degrees F. At other times of the year find them near weed beds, along drop-offs or around submerged woody debris. Use a bobber rig and size 10, 12, or 14 hook baited with worms, meal worm, crickets, piece of nightcrawler or other natural bait. Although rarely exceeding 6 inches, pumpkinseeds will readily bite and are therefore particularly popular with youngsters