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Redear Sunfish

Lepomis microlophus

Sunfish Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Redear Sunfish

Common Name(s):
Shellcracker, bream, yellow bream
The redear closely resembles the pumpkinseed, but lacks the dark spot at the base of the posterior portion of the dorsal fin and has a red or orange border around the gill flap instead of the bluish bands. The body coloration is light olive-green to gold, with red or orange flecks on the breast. The body is heavily spotted and they have long, pointed pectoral fins.
Similar Fish:
Pumpkinseed, redbreast sunfish
Feeding Habits:
Redears are opportunistic bottom feeders, foraging mainly during daylight hours on a variety of invertebrates. Important food items include snails and clams which are crushed by grinding teeth in the throat; larval insects, fish eggs, small fish, and crustaceans.
The redear is native to river drainages of the southern states from Virginia to Texas and north as far as Indiana; they are being introduced in the north and west to help expand its range.
The redear is typically found on sandy or shell-covered areas of ponds and lakes, and are often located near grasses.
Typical Size:
The average size of the redear is 9 to 10 inches. A good size redear will weigh 2 to 3 pounds and can live 6 to 8 years.
World Record:
5 pounds, 7 ounces (Source - IGFA)