“OTS” Strain Coppernose Bluegill

Much has been written about bluegill varieties; native bluegill vs coppernose bluegill vs hybrid bluegill. There is no doubt here at Overton Fisheries the OTS Coppernose “Overton Texas Strain” as many of our clients refer to them are unique and bred to thrive in Texas. They are not a native northern variety, or a hybrid but they have been adapted and selected from pure Florida stock and adapted to thrive in Texas. Each year we clean out several of our ponds and dedicate them exclusively to these fish. In pure sales numbers they are by far our single largest species raised here at the farm. Todd Overton spends many hours each Spring sorting through our adult bluegill and selecting those individuals that exhibit the desirable and pure traits to preserve and enhance this superior select strain.

We prefer the Coppernose species over a hybrid as they have a small mouth and do not directly compete with bass. That trait is the opposite of a hybrid bluegill, which has a large mouth and does compete with bass. Customers that have stocked both varieties always comment our Coppernose out-grow and out-compete the hybrid every time.

The fish displayed below is only one of an estimated 300 fish from 1 to 2 pounds in size contained in a three acre lake belonging to one of our clients in North Texas.

Species History and Development
Coppernose Bluegill also originated from Florida in much the same way as the Florida strain of largemouth bass. They do not thrive in cooler Northern waters however in warmer waters of the South including Texas they can exhibit exceptional growth rates. The “OTS” strain has been developed at the Overton Fisheries Farm after many years of selective breeding with the goal of propagating the species with pure Coppernose traits. For more detailed information on the OTS strain please visit this link to Pond Boss Magazine’s forum and read the three pages referencing them.

Pond Boss Forum OTS Bluegill Disscussion

Average Life Span – 5 – 6 years
Spawning Season - These fish average spawning up to five times starting in mid April thru September when temperatures average between 70 - 90 degrees

Growth Rate
With adequate food supplies can grow from 8 – 12 ounces annually.

Maximum Size potential
Maximum size in farm ponds up to 2 pounds + for male fish.

Spawning Behavior
Females lay up to 80,000 eggs in a season which hatch in 3 – 4 days.

Distribution
Traits similar to Florida strain typically South of a line from Texas to Georgia. This species does not thrive in Northern cold waters.

Description: Fins sometimes have red tint; Breast of breeding males copperish blue; head and body with greenish or bluish metallic overtones.

Preferred Habitat
They seldom stray far from shorelines and are usually found near or in vegetative cover or submerged vegetation in shallow portions of a lake or pond.

Water Quality Preferences
Prefers relatively clear water and grown best in fertile water with high amounts of phytoplankton present. They thrive in water with adequate levels of alkalinity and hardness.

Feeding Behavior
Feed train well and thrive on 32% - 40% protein fish food. Also feed on acquatic insects, worms small minnows.

Limitation on Species
Much like the Florida Bass these fish do not thrive in cold Northern waters.

Hybrid or Pure Strain
Pure Strain

Stocking Rates
500 – 1,000 fingerlings per acre

Texas State Record
3.25 pounds

World Record
4 pounds 12 oz

Overton Fisheries Fish Prices and Availability Link

Coppernose Picture Gallery