The spotted sunfish is the most beautiful subdued sunfish, in my humble opinion.

Species: Spotted Sunfish (Lepomis punctatus)
Location: Whataburger Parking Lot, Century, Florida
Date: August 1, 2017

Florida is the destination fishery in the lower 48. As cool as salmon and steelhead and halibut are, it might even beat Alaska.

So when I was driving back from Officer Training School in Alabama, I figured a small detour to Florida was a no-brainer. Pensacola was only a few hours off my beaten path, and I knew I could grab some new experiences and species with the detour.

For some reason, before I hit Pensacola, I decided to fish a tiny freshwater stream running through the town of Century. I parked in a Whataburger parking lot, grabbed my ultralight rod, and walked 100 feet to the little stream. It was no more than a few pools of water, but I knew they held fish.

I wasn’t wrong, and my tiny worm-tipped 1/64-ounce jig earned me a fish in no time. I thought Bluegill at first until I realized it wasn’t.

It was a beautiful Spotted Sunfish! A new species and a beautiful one, at that.

The baby blue eyeshadow, greenish-gray overtones and hundreds of black flecks that give the fish their name.

Florida was looking to be the right call.

#SpeciesQuest // #CaughtOvgard

Read the next entry in #SpeciesQuest here: Species #93 — Pinfish.

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