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Longear Sunfish Species Breakdown

Scientific Name: Lepomis megalotis

Also Known As: cherry bream, creek perch, and northern longear

Longear sunfish are a freshwater fish in the sunfish family. They are omnivores that eat snails, crayfish, insects, small fish and fish eggs.

How to Identify a Longear Sunfish

Longear sunfish are brightly colored with a red to orange belly and their head and fins have turquoise markings. They have red eyes, a long gill or “ear” flap, and wavy-blue lines on the cheek and gill cover.

Longear Sunfish Size

Longear sunfish can grow up to 9.5 inches and weigh up to 1 lb 12 oz. However, they are typically 3-6 inches long. A trophy size longear is 7 inches long weighing 13 oz.

Longear Sunfish Size Chart – Length to Weight Conversion

Length01/8″1/4″3/8″1/2″5/8″3/4″7/8″
3″.26 oz.29 oz.35 oz.39 oz.43 oz.54 oz.54 oz.60 oz
4″.68 oz.75 oz.83 oz.88 oz95 oz1.06 oz1.42 oz1.85 oz
5″2.21 oz2.78 oz3.14 oz3.81 oz4.22 oz4.98 oz5.64 oz6.01 oz
6″6.76 oz7.24 oz7.97 oz8.62 oz9.01 oz9.97 oz10.78 oz11.39 oz
7″12.02 oz12.57 oz13 oz13.41 oz13.89 oz14.23 oz14.67 oz15.01 oz
8″15.54 oz15.98 oz1 lb .48 oz1 lb .99 oz1 lb 1.6 oz1 lb 2.2 oz1 lb 2.7 oz1 lb 3.2 oz
9″1 lb 3.7 oz1 lb 2.21 oz1 lb 2.71 oz1 lb 3.26 oz1 lb 3.84 oz1 lb 4.23 oz1 lb 4.83 oz1 lb 5.37 oz
10″1 lb 5.91 oz1 lb 6.67 oz1 lb 7.12 oz1 lb 7.75 oz1 lb 8.13 oz1 lb 8.86 oz1 lb 9.27 oz1 lb 9.89 oz

Longear Sunfish World Record

The largest longear sunfish ever caught was 1 lb 12 oz on Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico in 1985.

Where Longear Sunfish Are Found

Longear sunfish are native to eastern North America and northeastern Mexico. They can be found in most US states.

Longear sunfish can be found in streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, reservoirs and estuaries usually near vegetation. Typically in clear, warm, and shallow waters with a hard clay, sand or gravel bottom.

Lifespan of a Longear Sunfish

The lifespan of a longear sunfish is typically 4-6 years in the wild and 9 years in captivity. They take about 2 years to reach maturity.

You can tell the general age of a longear sunfish by referring to the table below.

Longear Sunfish Age Chart

AgeLength
1 Year Old4 – 6 inches
2 Years Old6 – 7.5 inches
3 Years Old7.5 – 8.5 inches
4 Years Old8.5 – 9 inches
5 Years Old9 – 9.2 inches
6 Years Old9.21 – 9.5 inches
7 Years Old9.5 – 9.8 inches
8 Years Old9.81 – 10.1 inches
9 Years Old10+

Fishing For Longear Sunfish

Are Longear Sunfish hard to catch?

Longear sunfish are one of the easiest fish to catch. They can be found in shallow water near the bank and docks which makes them very easy to target. All you need to do is drop a small hook with bait on it in front of them.

What size hook do you use for longear sunfish?

The #6 size Gamakatsu Octopus is the best hook for catching longear sunfish.

What type of bait do you use for longear sunfish?

They can be caught with live bait such as earthworms, waxworms, nightcrawlers, crickets and grasshoppers.

They will also eat flake food, pellets, canned corn, freeze-dried bloodworms, brine shrimp larvae, white worms, and daphnia.

If you are looking for something to keep in your tackle box then Berkley PowerBait is a great option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are longear sunfish good eating?

Longear sunfish taste great but they don’t have a lot of meat per fish. Many choose not to eat them due to the amount of effort required to fillet them without the reward for a lot of meat. If you are willing to put the effort in they make great fish for a fish fry.

Is corn good for Longear Sunfish?

Corn is one of the best baits to use when fishing for longear sunfish. A corn kernel is the perfect size for their mouth and they absolutely love it. A can of corn is cheap and will last you an entire day of fishing.

Do longear sunfish bite humans?

Longear sunfish are not dangerous to humans. Their mouths are too small to bite humans and they are not poisonous or venomous.

Are longear sunfish a carp?

Longear sunfish are not carp. Longear sunfish are members of the Centrarchidae family, while carp are members of the Cyprinidae family.

Are longear sunfish a crappie?

Longear sunfish are not a crappie, although they are a part of the same Centrarchidae family. Longear sunfish are in the Lepomis genus, while carp are members of the Pomoxis genus.

Are longear sunfish related to bass?

Longear sunfish are not related to bass, although they are a part of the same Centrarchidae family. Longear sunfish are in the Lepomis genus, while bass are members of the Micropterus genus.

What fish will eat a longear sunfish?

Bass and other large fish, birds, raccoons, and otters all eat longear sunfish apart from their normal diet.

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