How To Tell A Male and Female Bluegill apart

Unless you are a Biology Major there is only one easy way to tell a Male and Female Bluegill apart and that’s by their color. However as the season goes on and we get into late summer the Male’s colors begin to fade making it much harder, but not impossible, to notice the differences.

Gender Differences by Appearance

There are visible color difference in appearance between the Male and Female Bluegills. The Males will sport brighter and bolder colors during the Spring breeding season to attract the Females. The Females are usually duller, with less distinctive markings that make it easier for them to blend in to their surroundings.

Males; Spring, Winter, & Spring Catch

Females; Spring 2 photos and Summer

The Male And Female Colors

Bluegills have a very distinctive coloring, with deep blue, green, and purple on the face and gill flap, dark olive-colored bands down the side, and a fiery orange to yellow belly. The Male breast is bright orange to dark red while the Female’s breast is a bright yellow to a light pink. The breast is the key to really knowing the differences as the Male’s breast is typically darker than the Females, even in the late season or Winter. Here is a short video explaining the differences.