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The pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) is a small and very colourful fish. It's a member of the sunfish family.

Pumpkinseed, courtesy of Jack Perks
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They primarily feed on insects and molluscs as well as small fish.
Carl Nicholls, fisheries & angling manager

Native to eastern North America, the pumpkinseed has been introduced and established in many parts of Europe, and also in parts of southern England.

Appearance: averaging 10-15cm in length, the pumpkinseed has a moderately compressed shape similar to a bream. They are a creamy golden colour in the main. The single dorsal fin is divided into two parts, the first half hard and spiky, then more soft and rounded towards the tail. The body is covered with translucent blue green irregular spots. The head is marked with horizontal light fluorescent stripes with a red-tipped gill cover.

British record: 14oz 2dms (British Record Fish Committee January 2015)

Lateral line scale count: 33-40 (this is the dark row of scales along the central length of the fish's body)

Lifespan: eight to nine years

How to catch a pumpkinseed

Locating waters with pumpkinseed in is tricky. Light float and rod and line tactics with live baits such as maggots and worms work particularly well.

Where to catch a pumpkinseed

We are not aware of this species ever being recorded in the canal network.

Find out more about the world of the pumpkinseed here.


Find a place to fish

Enter a town or postcode into our fishery search tool to find good local fishing spots

Last Edited: 24 December 2020

photo of a location on the canals
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