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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.