Warmouth

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The result of setting minnow traps recently in southern Illinois yielded some cool creatures, including these fine fish. Younger examples, like this one, can sometimes have a purplish sheen to their sides.

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A type of sunfish, Warmouth usually range in size from 4 to 10 inches, but can grow to over 12 inches in length and weigh up to 2-1/4 pounds. They prefer to hide around aquatic vegetation, stumps and snags, and under the banks of streams and ponds.

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This highly aggressive and hardy fish can live in polluted waters (such as the junk=strewn environment shown in the first photo where I caught mine), with low oxygen levels where other species of sunfish cannot survive.

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The primary diet of the Warmouth consists of insects, crayfish and other fish. It has a huge mouth and will attempt to eat just about anything that comes near it.

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Other local names for this fish are Molly, Redeye, Goggle-eye, Red-eyed bream and Strawberry Perch. This was my first encounter with this tough fish and I was glad to finally experience one in the wild.

Third Eye Herp
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