Redear Sunfish

Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus)

Description: Non-native. Introduced in 1946. The "Red-ear" sunfish has a black opercle flap which is bordered with a reddish or orange color on the rear of the flap. Sides of head have olive-brown speckling. Body is compressed or flat with an olive-green cast, light speckling on sides. Pectoral fin long and pointed, usually extends far past eye when bent forward. Length: 6 to 14 inches. Weight: 3 oz. to over 3 lbs. Location and Habitat: Found statewide in warm water lakes, ponds and reservoirs. Prefer clear lakes with some aquatic vegetation; relate to deep bottom structure. Foods: They feed on hard-shelled organisms, such as clams or snails. Angling: Redear seem to reject baits that offer resistance such as lead weights and bite gently. Fish with worms on the bottom, without weight or bobber, and simply allow the bait to lie motionless. Periodically move the bait a foot or so. Table Quality: The meat is similar to bluegill, white, flaky and excellent tasting.