Hybrid bream are touted by many as improved bream or super bream, capable of reaching five pounds. While hybrid bream can reach large sizes, do not expect many to reach 5 pounds. The most common hybrid bream results from a cross between bluegill and green sunfish. This cross creates a population of bream which is 80-95% male resulting in limited reproduction. Hybrid bream have a large mouth and readily take artificial feed. They are very aggressive making them easy to catch even on a bare hook. Because of their limited reproduction the majority of hybrid bream in a pond will grow to large sizes. While they are capable of reaching 1 to 2 pounds, most average 1/2 to 3/4 pounds. Hybrid bream may take 6 years to grow to 2 pounds. Only one 5 pound hybrid bream has ever been produced, and it reportedly took 20 years to reach 5 pounds.
Hybrid bream created by crossing a bluegill and a green sunfish are well suited to small ponds, less than 2 acres in size. Although reproduction is limited, some reproduction will occur. The offspring from this reproduction are inferior fish, resembling green sunfish, that will not grow very large and will breed readily, destroying the quality of fishing in the pond.
To prevent this limited reproduction hybrid bream ponds should be stocked with either channel catfish or largemouth bass which will eat all of the inferior offspring. While the catfish will grow to large sizes on feed, the largemouth bass will not grow very large due to the limited amount of forage produced by the hybrid bream. If hybrid bream are allowed to reproduce successfully the only way to correct the situation is to drain the pond and start over.
To sustain quality fishing new hybrid bream will need to be restocked periodically. Larger (3-4") fish will need to be stocked to prevent them being eaten by the channel catfish or largemouth bass present in the pond. Larger (1 pound+) catfish and bass can be removed to increase the success of the restocking effort. Smaller (10-12") catfish and bass should be left in the pond.
Hybrid bream will not provide as much forage for largemouth bass as bluegill or fathead minnows due to their limited reproduction. Hybrid bream do not produce enough offspring to grow large bass. Hybrid bream should also not be mixed with bluegill. Bluegill will breed with the hybrid bream producing more inferior offspring, destroying quality of fishing.
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