HookedinFishing » Freshwater Fish » Redear Sunfish

Redear Sunfish Species Breakdown

Scientific Name: Lepomis microlophus

Also Known As: shellcracker, cherry gill, chinquapin, bream, sunny, sunperch and stumpknocker

Redear sunfish are a freshwater fish in the sunfish family. They are omnivores that eat mussels, snails, mollusks, zooplankton, amphipods, algae, worms, insect larvae, crayfish, small fish, and fish eggs.

How to Identify a Redear Sunfish

The redear sunfish is deep bodied with a small mouth and is considered the least colorful of all sunfish. They have an olive green body, yellow-green sides, and a white belly. Known to have red-orange trim on their gill flap and dark colored, spiny dorsal fins.

Redear Sunfish Size

Redear sunfish can grow up to 17 inches long and weigh up to 6.3 lbs. They are more commonly caught in the 7 – 9 inches long range.

A trophy size is 11 inches long and larger.

Redear Sunfish Size Chart – Length to Weight Conversion

Length01/8″1/4″3/8″1/2″5/8″3/4″7/8″
3″6.70 oz7.02 oz7.48 oz7.83 oz8.22 oz8.61 oz8.99 oz9.42 oz
4″9.98 oz10.41 oz10.86 oz11.32 oz11.82 oz12.31 oz12.98 oz13.51 oz
5″14.07 oz14.48 oz14.89 oz15.43 oz15.94 oz1 lb 1 oz1 lb 1.6 oz1 lb 2.3 oz
6″1 lb 3.7 oz1 lb 4.3 oz1 lb 4.9 oz1 lb 5.7 oz1 lb 6.4 oz1 lb 7 oz1 lb 7.8 oz1 lb 8.4 oz
8″1 lb 9.8 oz1 lb 10.6 oz1 lb 11.3 oz1 lb 12 oz1 lb 12.7 oz1 lb 13.5 oz1 lb 14.3 oz1 lb 15 oz
9″1 lb 15.7 oz2 lbs .35 oz2 lbs .9 oz2 lbs 1.4 oz2 lbs 1.98 oz2 lbs 2.5 oz2 lbs 3.1 oz2 lbs 3.7 oz
10″2 lbs 4.3 oz2 lbs 4.9 oz2 lbs 5.6 oz2 lbs 6.1 oz2 lbs 6.7 oz2 lbs 7.2 oz2 lbs 7.8 oz2 lbs 8.3 oz
11″2 lbs 8.9 oz2 lbs 9.4 oz2 lbs 10 oz2 lbs 10.4 oz2 lbs 10.8 oz2 lbs 11.3 oz2 lbs 11.7 oz2 lbs 12.3 oz
12″2 lbs 12.8 oz2 lbs 13.5 oz2 lbs 14.1 oz2 lbs 14.6 oz2 lbs 15.2 oz2 lbs 15.9 oz3 lbs .5 oz3 lbs 1.3 oz
11″3 lbs 2.1 oz3 lbs 2.9 oz3 lbs 3.7 oz3 lbs 4.4 oz3 lbs 5.3 oz3 lbs 6.1 oz3 lbs 6.9 oz3 lbs 7.6 oz
12″3 lbs 8.5 oz3 lbs 9.3 oz3 lbs 10.5 oz3 lbs 11.4 oz3 lbs 12.3 oz3 lbs 13.2 oz3 lbs 14 oz3 lbs 14.7 oz
13″3 lbs 15.2 oz4 lbs .6 oz4 lbs 1.8 oz4 lbs 3.2 oz4 lbs 4.7 oz4 lbs 5.4 oz4 lbs 6.8 oz4 lbs 7.1 oz
14″4 lbs 8.4 oz4 lbs 9.8 oz4 lbs 10.5 oz4 lbs 11.4 oz4 lbs 12.6 oz4 lbs 13.3 oz4 lbs 14.8 oz5 lbs 1.8 oz
15″5 lbs 4.2 oz5 lbs 6.5 oz5 lbs 8.4 oz5 lbs 10.8 oz5 lbs 12.4 oz5 lbs 13.2 oz5 lbs 14.4 oz5 lbs 15.8 oz
16″5 lbs 13.2 oz5 lbs 13.8 oz5 lbs 15.1 oz6 lbs .5 oz6 lbs 1.5 oz6 lbs 2.4 oz6 lbs 3.2 oz6 lbs 4 oz
17″6 lbs 4.8 oz6 lbs 5.2 oz6 lbs 5.6 oz6 lbs 6 oz6 lbs 6.4 oz6 lbs 6.8 oz6 lbs 7.2 oz6 lbs 7.6 oz

Redear Sunfish World Record

The largest redear sunfish ever caught was a massive 6.3 lbs on Lake Havasu, Arizona in 2021.

Where Redear Sunfish Are Found

Redear sunfish are native to southeastern parts of the United States and can be found all over the US as well as in Morocco, South Africa, Panama, and Puerto Rico.

These fish inhabit lakes, ponds, streams, reservoirs, rivers, marsh wetlands, and overflow pools.

They like clear, calm and warm waters and are found near logs and vegetation.

Lifespan of a Redear Sunfish

The lifespan of a redear sunfish is 6 years in the wild and 8 years in captivity. They take 1 – 2 years to reach maturity.

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

Redear Sunfish Age Chart

AgeLength
1 Year Old4 – 6 inches
2 Years Old6 – 8 inches
3 Years Old8 – 9 inches
4 Years Old9 – 10 inches
5 Years Old8 – 11 inches
6 Years Old11 – 13 inches
7 Years Old13 – 15 inches
8 Years Old15 – 17 inches

Fishing For Redear Sunfish

Are Redear Sunfish hard to catch?

Redear 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 redear sunfish?

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

What type of bait do you use for redear sunfish?

They can be caught with live bait such as earthworms, grubs, meal worms, small worms, small fresh water clams, and even canned corn.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Are redear sunfish good eating?

Redear 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 Redear Sunfish?

Corn is one of the best baits to use when fishing for redear 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 redear sunfish bite humans?

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

Are redear sunfish a carp?

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

Are redear sunfish a crappie?

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

Are redear sunfish related to bass?

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

What fish will eat a redear sunfish?

Bass, muskie, walleye, and other predator fish all eat redear sunfish as part of their normal diet.

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