redear sunfish (shellcracker)
Redear Sunfish


The redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) is the largest of North America’s sunfish. Redear sunfish can be distinguished from bluegill by their colored earflaps and lack of vertical bars along its sides. Males have a cherry-red edged gill flap; females have orange coloration in this area.

This species is native to the southeastern United States. Because if its popularity as a sport fish, the species has been introduced to bodies of water all over North America.

Redear sunfish are typically stocked in combination with bluegill as a recreational fish as well as being a food source for largemouth bass. Redear sunfish reach a larger size than bluegill, but do not produce as many young to support bass populations.

The species is also known as the shellcracker, Georgia bream, cherry gill, chinquapin, improved bream, stumpknocker, and sun perch.


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