Bluegill vs Sunfish - What's the difference?

Bluegill vs Sunfish - What's the difference?

We hear anglers asking this once in a while, "Are bluegills and sunfish the same thing?"  It can be confusing but really it's simple.

In short, all Bluegills are Sunfish but not all Sunfish are Bluegills.

A Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is a species of the Sunfish Family (Centrarchidae of the order Perciformes).

There are over 25 species comprising the Sunfish Family.  Some of the most common to North America are:

  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Bluespotted Sunfish
  • Flier
  • Green Sunfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Longear Sunfish
  • Mud Sunfish
  • Orangespotted Sunfish
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Redear
  • Rock Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Spotted Bass
  • Warmouth
  • White Crappie

So there you have it!  A bluegill is a sunfish.  And one of many species in the Sunfish Family is the Bluegill.


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