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Redear Sunfish
 
Additional Sport Fish Species pages
 

Apache Trout
Arctic Grayling
Bigmouth Buffalo
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Bluegill
Brook Trout
Brown Trout
Channel Catfish
Cutthroat Trout

Desert Sucker
Flathead Catfish
Gila Trout
Green Sunfish
Largemouth Bass
Northern Pike
Rainbow Trout
Redear Sunfish
Roundtail Chub
Smallmouth Bass

Striped Bass
Tilapia
Walleye
White Bass
White Crappie
Yellow Bass
Yellow Bullhead
Yellow Perch


Redear Sunfish: (Lepomis microlophus)
 
Description
Native to the Savannah River in South Carolina to Nueces River in Texas, north in Mississippi River basin to southern Indiana and Illinois. Introduced to Arizona 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 the head have olive-brown speckling. Body is compressed or flat with an olive-green cast, light speckling on sides. Vertical bars are rarely present on the 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. May live to 7 years.

Location and Habitat

Found statewide in warm water lakes, ponds and reservoirs. Prefer clear lakes with some aquatic vegetation; relate to deep bottom structure.  

Reproduction

Spawns in spring when water warms up.  Spawn in shallow ponds, lakes or creeks.  There are distinct pairings. Builds nests and guards the eggs and young for a time. 

 
Food
They feed on hard-shelled organisms, such as clams or snails, as well as insect larvae, planktonic crustaceans and other invertebrates.

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, firm and sweet.

Updated October 2009

 
Related AZGFD Info
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Downloads [More]

Fishing &
Reptile/ Amphibian Regulations

  • 2014 AZ Fishing Regulations
    [PDF, 7mb]


  • 2014 Urban Fishing Guidebook
    [PDF, 9mb]


  • 2014 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]



  • Arizona Residency Requirements
    [PDF]
NOTE: The above files are PDF's and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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