government bream n Also government-improved bream, abbr G. I. bream chiefly Gulf States, SC, AR
A sunfish n 1a: usu the red-eared sunfish n 1.
1940 Morning News (Florence SC) 27 Apr 9/1, [Advt:] Pond well stocked with trout and government bream. 1959 Daily Herald (Biloxi MS) 14 Aug 19/6, This time of year probably is the wrong time for fishing for Chinquapin bream—known also as shellcrackers and government bream. 1967 DARE (Qu. P1, . . Kinds of freshwater fish . . caught around here . . good to eat) Inf SC40, Government brim—one bred in fisheries for farm ponds. 1970 Courier News (Blytheville AR) 22 Aug 9/1, Paul Cheatam of Little Rock . . landed a red-ear weighing 1¾ pounds. . . He caught the big bream, sometimes called G. I. or government improved bream, while fishing about 8 feet deep with a cricket. 1995 News Herald (Panama City FL) 22 Aug sec D 6/4, There must have been a dozen big hand-painted bream, numerous “government” bream, and several large shellcrackers. 2002 Reynolds Sunrise Santee 122 SC, In addition to their deep blue scales with their copper-colored foreheads, some would have an orange chest just behind their chin. My daddy always called them government bream and said, “The government put ’em in here, Son.” 2012 in 2016 DARE File—Internet AR, [Resp to photo of what appears to be Lepomis microlophus:] Thats what we called “government bream” in arkansas. 2013 Ibid nwFL, [Resp to photo of what appears to be Lepomis megalotis or L. marginatus:] That’s what dad and I call a government bream, not sure why though, need to ask him. We catch them pretty good bit in upper yellow river and Choctawhatcheee River as well.