Redear Sunfish

REDEAR SUNFISH (Lepomis microlophus)

ALIAS: Shellcracker, stump knocker, yellow bream, cherry gill, chinquapin

IDENTIFICATION: A deep sided fish with a black ear flap rimmed in red or orange.  Specially modified teeth in the throat allow them to crack mollusk shells.

DIET: Snails and other mollusks are preferred, but diet also consists of crayfish, insects, insect larvae and fathead minnows.

SPAWNING: Mid-May through mid-summer when water temperatures are above 65̊F.  Nests are constructed in 1 to 4’ of water on firm sand and gravel bottoms.  

FISHING TIPS: Live baits such as red worms, wax worms and fathead minnows work best.

Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and Hawaii.