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Pumpkinseeds


Of all the sunfish in New York State, the pumpkinseed is the favorite of children. It is one of the most catchable of all freshwater species, occurring in large numbers in shallow water close to shore and readily biting small pieces of bait.

Pumpkinseeds are the most abundant and widespread species of sunfish in New York State. They live in a wide range of habitats from small lakes and ponds to shallow, weedy bays of larger lakes and quiet waters of slow moving streams.

Pumpkinseeds are a small- to medium-sized fish, averaging four to eight inches in length. They are one of the most colorful warmwater fish, with a bronze to red-orange belly and irregular, wavy interconnecting blue-green lines over a golden brown to olive background. Although often confused with bluegills, they can be recognized by the pale margin surrounding a bright scarlet spot on the rear portion of their gill flaps and the wavy emerald or blue streaks on the sides of the their heads. In addition, pumpkinseeds have long, pointed pectoral fins and no spot on the soft portion of their dorsal fins.

Pumpkinseeds have similar feeding habits to other true sunfish. They eat a wide variety of prey, including insects, crustaceans, and small fishes. Spawning takes place from May until August. Like bluegills, pumpkinseeds construct their nests close to shore in colonies. Nests are usually found in areas of submerged vegetation in six to 12 inches of water.

Pumpkinseeds provide hours of fishing fun for all anglers. They are strong fighters and have sweet-tasting fillets. Pumpkinseeds often provide good sport when other fish are not biting.

Fishing locations for Pumpkinseeds

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Black Lake

Black Lake ranks as the county’s top warm water lake. This water has received national... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Smallmouth Bass Walleyes

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Cranberry Lake

LOCATED IN WESTERN ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, THE CRANBERRY LAKE AREA WAS THE LAST SECTION OF NEW YORK... Read More

Catfish/Bullhead Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Smallmouth Bass Trout

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Grasse River

The Grasse River, a tributary of the St. Lawrence River, is located entirely in St. Lawrence... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Catfish/Bullhead Crappies Largemouth Bass Muskellunge Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Smallmouth Bass Trout Walleyes

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Indian River

The Indian River originates in a neighboring county, but a portion of its water flows through St.... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Catfish/Bullhead Crappies Largemouth Bass Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Smallmouth Bass Walleyes

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Norwood Pond

Norwood Pond is a Raquette River reservoir located on the southwest side of the village of... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Crappies Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Smallmouth Bass Walleyes

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Raquette River

The Upper Raquette River has good bass fishing and fair angling for pike and walleye, but this... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Crappies Muskellunge Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Walleyes

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Raquette River Reservoirs

The construction of hydroelectric dams on the Raquette River created a series of eight reservoirs... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Catfish/Bullhead Crappies Largemouth Bass Muskellunge Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Smallmouth Bass Trout Walleyes

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St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River is famous for smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike and... Read More

Carp Catfish/Bullhead Crappies Largemouth Bass Muskellunge Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Smallmouth Bass Walleyes

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St. Regis River

The St. Regis River originates in a neighboring county, but a portion of its water flows through... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Crappies Muskellunge Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Trout Walleyes

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Tooley Pond

Tooley Pond was acquired as part of the Champion International Purchase. This 46-acre pond has a... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Crappies Largemouth Bass Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass

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Trout Lakes

Lake OzoniaSPECIAL REGULATIONS ALLOW FOR YEAR-ROUND ANGLING ON LAKE OZONIA. Lake Ozonia is... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Crappies Largemouth Bass Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Salmon Smallmouth Bass Trout

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Yellow, Grasse, and Pleasant Lakes

Yellow, Grasse, and Pleasant lakes are part of the Indian River Lakes system. With a maximum... Read More

Blue Gill/Sun Fish Crappies Largemouth Bass Northern Pike Perch Pumpkinseeds Rock Bass Smallmouth Bass Walleyes