The Bluegill is noted for the darkened ear flap. The sides of its head are a dark shade of blue.

Its body is dark green with 5 to 9 vertical bars, but these stripes are not always distinct. It has a yellowish breast and abdomen.

Large breeding Bluegill males darken, with the back and sides becoming purple-black.

Bluegill Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person 50 panfish total (no more than 25 Bluegill)
Delaware Range Statewide
Abundance in Delaware Waters Abundant
General Habitat and Food Preferences Bluegills live in many ponds, along with slow-moving areas of streams and rivers. They prefer water with many weeds.

They mainly feed on insects, but also consume crayfish, leeches, snails, and other small fishes.
Did You Know? Bluegills are an introduced species to Delaware (meaning they are non-native).

Bluegills have the ability to travel and change directions at high speeds helping them escape predators very successfully.
Common Lures and Baits Bluegills can be caught with artificial flies, small spinners, and small jigs.

Live bait often includes crickets, meal worms, small worms, and small minnows fished suspended under a bobber.
Typical Sizes Caught Bluegills are commonly caught in the range of 6 to 7 inches in length by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Live Release Award
Adult: 10 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 8 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 1 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 0.75 pounds (12 ounces) minimum
Delaware State Record 2 pounds 10 ounces (Tie)
Arnold Harmon 1998
Clifford Snyder 2001