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#566970 05/11/24 07:04 PM
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School me - how do I tell a male BG from a female BG??

tim k #566972 05/11/24 08:13 PM
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Fully mature males ("bulls") are the best/easiest to separate. Bulls have larger, squarer opercules (the dark tab on the gill), blockier faces (with a "helmet" above the mouth and a "breastplate" below it), and have black-tipped scales. (NOTE: In some BG populations, like mine, females can have some black-tipped scales. But the adult males have many more black-tipped scales than the females.)

Immature male BGs appear much more like the females, and "female impersonator" males (which impersonate females to be able to sneak into a bull's nest along with true females in order to fertilize some eggs) are the Ru Pauls of the sunfish world.

Leaving bull gills in a pond prompts immature male BG to spend energy growing before becoming sexually mature, in order to better compete with the big bulls. (Like the 90 lb weakling at the beach who goes the Charles Atlas route in order to beef up and compete for girls.) (Does anyone under 60 know who Charles Atlas was?)

Stay tuned for some good pics of male vs female BG. Or search for some old Bruce Condello BG sexing posts - he is, IMHO, the master at this technique.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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tim k #566976 05/11/24 09:53 PM
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Excellent advice above from Theo.

Do you need "perfect" sexing of the BG, or just trying to thin/cull one sex?

Also, I believe that as the BG are younger or smaller, it is progressively more difficult to correctly determine their sex.

Finally, if you need perfect sexing, then there are some moderately invasive methods to sample milt or eggs.

tim k #566979 05/11/24 11:44 PM
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Some great pics from an old post in this thread.

BG sexing


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tim k #566980 05/11/24 11:56 PM
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The more fish you see the easier it gets. Same with fish species ID.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
tim k #566982 05/12/24 07:01 AM
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thanks for the info!

tim k #567074 05/16/24 11:32 AM
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Sexing bluegill archives

Note by ewest - the chart and pics are by Bill and are included in an archive post noted above.

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=103883&fpart=1


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Last edited by ewest; 05/20/24 03:21 PM.















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tim k #567076 05/16/24 02:37 PM
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Thanks ewest!

That is a nice chart with very clear accompanying photos.

1.) At what length of BG does your confidence in sexing go up significantly?

2.) Is the photo showing "scale tipping" demonstrating Line 2 of your chart? Nape Scales (Male) = Scales with dark spots.

If so, then that one looks really easy (without gradations). I assume it works well when you are sorting for males only? e.g. Only males have dark spots on their nape scales. Females, some anomalous males, and immature BG do NOT have dark spots on their nape scales.

FishinRod #567080 05/16/24 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by FishinRod
1.) At what length of BG does your confidence in sexing go up significantly?
It depends on how big male BG are when they turn into bulls. I've had a few that were obvious at 6", many more at 7".
And yes, you're (I'm) only sure about males.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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tim k #567083 05/16/24 08:50 PM
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Males - females are best recognized during the spawning season. Expect some variation of body hue coloration and operculum flap size/shape when dealing with the various strains of BG in different parts of the country. Learn the typical features of male vs female in your water body using close observation and attention to detail. . Water clarity also influences the intensity of body colors. Brightest hues are for BG from clearest water.

Theo has it correct. BG should be 7"-8" to get the best male / female recognition. If BG a easily recognizable at 6" they are likely stunted and or come from a BG population that does not have an abundance of big BG over 9". The big 8.5"-9"+ male BG tend to keep the smallish 5"-6" males from becoming mature and developing the mature male body characteristics for reproducing.

Notice the male and female BG in the pictures above are around 8". 7" BG are normally "iffy" to positively recognize. I took those pics for our Male BG Pond Boss magazine article.


Note by ewest - the chart and pics are by Bill and are included in an archive post noted above.

Last edited by ewest; 05/20/24 03:21 PM.

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