Bluegill

The bluegill is a small-mouthed sunfish with the upper jaw not reaching past the front of the eye. A surplus of hybrid sunfish will be stocked in four Kansas City lakes. The hybrids are a cross between a female green sunfish and a male bluegill.

The Missouri Department of Conservation stocks several lakes in the metro area with fish to give anglers a close-to-home fishing opportunity.

This fall, a surplus of hybrid sunfish produced at MDC’s Blind Pony Fish Hatchery will be stocked intermittently in four lakes, which also receive stockings of channel catfish.

Jake Colehour, MDC fisheries management biologist, said the hybrid sunfish are six inches long or longer. They are a hard-fighting fish that can put a bend in a fishing rod. They can also provide tasty fillets for dining.

“Some will be fish in the eight-inch range,” Colehour said.

The hybrids are a cross between a female green sunfish and a male bluegill.

The lakes receiving the fish are Troost Lake in midtown Kansas City, Lakewood Lake at Penguin Park in Kansas City North, Lake of the Woods in Swope Park and Pond 3 at Liberty’s Capital Federal Sports Complex which was previously called Fountain Bluff.

All four lakes are popular with catfish anglers as MDC stocks channel catfish in them during summer.

To catch hybrid sunfish, catfish anglers may want to downsize hooks to a No. 4 or No. 6 size fished under a bobber. Worms and crickets are popular bait for the fish.

Light tackle anglers can use those baits but also try small jigs or in-line spinner lures. A flyrod with small lures may also be a way to catch the aggressive feeding hybrid sunfish.

In addition, it is a way to warm up fly-casting skills for MDC’s winter trout stocking in the urban lakes.

The daily limit is 20 hybrid sunfish at Troost Lake, Lake of the Woods and Lakewood Lake in the Kansas City parks. The daily limit is 10 hybrid sunfish at Capital Federal Sports Complex in Liberty. Four channel catfish is the daily limit at all the urban lakes.

All anglers must have required fishing permits unless they are exempt.

MDC stocks several lakes in the Kansas City area with channel catfish during the summer and some lakes with trout in the winter. The lakes are stocked in partnership with city and county park programs.

Margaret Slayton can be reached at margaret.slayton@newspressnow.com.