Typical length: 18-23 centimetres (7-9 inches)
Typical weight: 0.2 kilograms (0.4 pounds)
Ontario record: 0.5 kilograms (1.0 pounds)

Key identifying characteristics:

  • Small, very deep-bodied fish
  • Wavy, blue-green stripes on sides of head
  • Ear flap with orange or red spot
  • Dorsal fin has 10-11 spines and there is no notch
  • 3 anal fin spines
  • Mouth is small and does not extend to below the middle of the eye


  • Pumpkinseed prefer cool to warm waters of lakes and slow-moving streams with aquatic vegetation. They are widespread and abundant in Ontario, extending north to Temagami.

Angling Tips:

  • Pumpkinseed are part of a group of fish known as sunfish. Catching sunfish is generally easy, as they are aggressive feeders, take bait readily and fight well on light tackle.
  • These fish are easily caught from shore and are accessible to most anglers.  They will feed all day and can provide excellent action for children.
  • Small sunfish form large, loose schools near shelter of weeds, docks, bridges or other cover in shallow water. Bigger sunfish tend to stay by themselves and occasionally collect in small groups. Sunfish are small, so light line and small hooks work best. Catch sunfish using a variety of techniques, including dangling live bait from a small bobber, fly-fishing, casting small lures or even slow-trolling or drifting.

Common Baits:

  • Small plugs red-ns-fish-bullet-highlight
  • Small spinners red-ns-fish-bullet-highlight
  • Small jigs red-ns-fish-bullet-highlight
  • Live bait such as worms or insects, and add natural bait to an artificial lure to make it more appealing.

 * - Scientific information sourced from Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources







Fishing Techniques (coming soon)

Float FishingBead Fishing
Planar Boarding
Dipsey Diver
Lead Core
Fly Fishing
Drop Shotting

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