1. Be aware that there are two major types of sunfish in New Jersey. These are the Green and Spotted sunfish.
- The Spotted sunfish are the smaller variety and are very aggressive. They can bite lures for bass. They also put up a great splashing fight for their size. You can distinguish them by their bright almost tropical coloring. They have an aqua, orange spotted carapace around the eye to their top fins, but can extend to the tail. The bottom is golden and shiny. The eyes are the most distinguishing factor, they are bright scarlet. The scale coloring is more pronounced on the smaller fish, but you should be able to notice it on the large 6 inch fish too. Like all sunfish they have spike dorsal fins, so be careful.
- Green sunfish are the bigger species. The initial author's biggest catch was a seven inch fish, which is as big as some catfish. They put up a fair fight, using their weight to dive down when hooked. They have a dark green top that blends into yellow at the bottom. They have dark green stripes going down its sides.
- When they bite, you will see ripples and the bobber might go under then up over the water with a loud plop. Don’t move your rod. This is difficult and infuriating but the fish is probably just nibbling and smelling the bait.
- When they bite, the bobber will go under and to the side. Jerk your rod up lightly in the opposite direction of the bobber to set the hook. If the bobber moves to one side but not down then the Sunny hasn’t bit the hook.