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Pumpkinseed Species Breakdown

Scientific Name: Lepomis gibbosus

Also Known As: pond perch, punkie, sunny, kivver, and common sunfish

Pumpkinseed are a freshwater fish in the sunfish family. They are omnivores that eat snails, worms, insects, mollusks, tadpoles, small fish, and bits of vegetation.

How to Identify a Pumpkinseed

The pumpkinseed is a brightly colored sunfish with colors of orange, blue, yellow and olive green. Wavy blue and orange lines appear on its cheeks. It has an orange belly and black earflaps. Their tail is slightly forked and their dorsal fin has about 10 spines on the front and a rounded back.

Pumpkinseed Size

Pumpkinseed can grow up to 12 inches and weigh up to 1.5 lbs. However, they are more commonly found in the 5-6 inch range. A trophy size green sunfish is 8 inches long and larger and 1/2 lb.

Pumpkinseed Size Chart – Length to Weight Conversion

Length01/8″1/4″3/8″1/2″5/8″3/4″7/8″
3″.26 oz.29 oz.35 oz.39 oz.43 oz.54 oz.54 oz.60 oz
4″.68 oz.75 oz.83 oz.90 oz.99 oz1.06 oz1.20 oz1.31 oz
5″1.41 oz1.52 oz1.64 oz1.81 oz1.95 oz2.09 oz2.24 oz2.40 oz
6″2.56 oz2.79 oz2.97 oz3.16 oz3.35 oz3.57 oz3.78 oz4.09 oz
7″4.32 oz4.57 oz4.83 oz5.11 oz5.46 oz5.75 oz6.05 oz6.35 oz
8″6.70 oz7.02 oz7.48 oz7.83 oz8.22 oz8.61 oz8.99 oz9.42 oz
9″9.98 oz10.41 oz10.86 oz11.32 oz11.82 oz12.31 oz12.98 oz13.51 oz
10″14.07 oz14.48 oz14.89 oz15.43 oz15.94 oz1 lb 1 oz1 lb 1.6 oz1 lb 2.3 oz
11″1 lb 3.7 oz1 lb 4.3 oz1 lb 4.9 oz1 lb 5.7 oz1 lb 6.4 oz1 lb 7 oz1 lb 7.8 oz1 lb 8.4 oz
12″1 lb 9.8 oz1 lb 10.6 oz1 lb 11.3 oz1 lb 12 oz1 lb 12.7 oz1 lb 13.5 oz1 lb 14.3 oz1 lb 15 oz

Pumpkinseed World Record

The largest pumpkinseed ever caught weighed 1 lb 8 oz in Honeoye, New York on May 23rd, 2016.

Where Pumpkinseed Are Found

Pumpkinseed are native to the eastern parts of the United States and have since been introduced to most of North America.

Pumpkinseed can be found in lakes, ponds, streams, creeks, reservoirs and river coves.

These fish prefer warm, calm water with lots of vegetation and typically stay close to the shoreline. In the winter, they school in deeper waters.

Lifespan of a Pumpkinseed

The lifespan of a pumpkinseed is typically 6-8 years in the wild and up to 12 years in captivity. They reach maturity in 1-3 years. You can tell their general age by referring to the table below.

Pumpkinseed Age Chart

AgeLength
1 Year Old4 – 5 inches
2 Years Old5 – 6 inches
3 Years Old6 – 7 inches
4 Years Old6.5 – 7.5 inches
5 Years Old7.5 – 8 inches
6 Years Old8 – 8.5 inches
7 Years Old8 – 9 inches
8 Years Old8.5 – 9.5 inches
9 Years Old9 – 10 inches
10 Years Old9.5 – 10.5 inches
11 Years Old10 – 11 inches
12 Years Old11 – 11.5 inches

Fishing For Pumpkinseed

Are Pumpkinseed hard to catch?

Pumpkinseed are one of the easiest fish to catch. They can be found in shallow water near the bank and docks which makes them very easy to target. All you need to do is drop a small hook with bait on it in front of them.

What size hook do you use for pumpkinseed?

The #6 size Gamakatsu Octopus is the best hook for catching pumpkinseed.

What type of bait do you use for pumpkinseed?

They can be caught with live bait such as earthworms, grubs, crickets, grasshoppers, piees of crayfish and leeches. If you are looking for something to keep in your tackle box then Berkley PowerBait is a great options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are pumpkinseed good eating?

Pumpkinseed taste great but they don’t have a lot of meat per fish. Many choose not to eat them due to the amount of effort required to fillet them without the reward for a lot of meat. If you are willing to put the effort in they make great fish for a fish fry.

Is corn good for Pumpkinseed?

Corn is one of the best baits to use when fishing for pumpkinseed. A corn kernel is the perfect size for their mouth and they absolutely love it. A can of corn is cheap and will last you an entire day of fishing.

Do pumpkinseed bite humans?

Pumpkinseed are not dangerous to humans. Their mouths are too small to bite humans and they are not poisonous or venomous.

Are pumpkinseed a carp?

Pumpkinseed are not carp. Pumpkinseed are members of the Centrarchidae family, while carp are members of the Cyprinidae family.

Are pumpkinseed a crappie?

Bluegill are not a crappie, although they are a part of the same Centrarchidae family. Pumpkinseed are in the Lepomis genus , while carp are members of the Pomoxis genus.

Are pumpkinseed related to bass?

Pumpkinseed are not related to bass, although they are a part of the same Centrarchidae family. Pumpkinseed are in the Lepomis genus , while bass are members of the Micropterus genus.

What fish will eat a pumpkinseed?

Bass, walleye, pike, catfish, and birds like hawks, herons, cormorants, and waterfowl all eat pumpkinseed.

Learn About Other Panfish