Redbreast Sunfish


The Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis ​auritus) is a species of freshwater ⁣fish from the Centrarchidae family, commonly found in the rivers and lakes of North America.

Conservation Status

The Redbreast Sunfish is classified as Least Concern ⁤(LC) according⁢ to the⁣ International Union for Conservation of Nature ⁤(IUCN). This means it is not currently in danger of extinction. Despite ⁣this, efforts ⁢to conserve the species’ habitat and manage ‌fishing ⁣practices continue, to ensure the Sunfish population remains ⁣healthy.


Average Range
Length 20 cm 12 – 30 cm
Weight 250⁣ grams 100⁤ – ‍500 grams
Lifespan 6 ⁤years


Redbreast Sunfish are native to North ⁤America, with a wide distribution ranging from the Great Lakes, Hudson ​Bay and west to Minnesota, south to central Florida and west‌ to‍ southern Texas. They are most commonly found in the Eastern Seaboard ​of‍ the United States. There⁣ are⁣ no significant​ migration patterns for ⁤the Redbreast Sunfish, as the species tends to stay in specific⁣ habitats throughout their ⁢lifetimes.


Providing reefs ​in freshwater environments, Redbreast Sunfish prefers water bodies with a slow current and sandy or rocky bottoms. The species‌ can be found at depths ranging from shallow areas to deeper water bodies. They can tolerate a‌ wide range of ⁢temperatures, from 4°C to 31°C.

When and Where to See

The best time to observe Redbreast Sunfish is during ​the spring and summer months when ⁣temperatures ‌are warmer. They are active during the day, especially during dusk and ⁢dawn, making⁤ these the⁢ ideal times for observation.

Best Fishing Locations and‍ Tips

  • Lake Ontario, Canada
  • Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Texas
  • James River, Virginia
  • Suwannee River, Florida
  • Chattahoochee River, Georgia

For the best chances ​of catching Redbreast Sunfish, try fishing along ⁢rocky or sandy bottom areas in slow moving ‍water. The species prefers aquatic insects, so using insect-like baits can ​increase chances ⁢of a catch.

How to Catch

Ambush ‍predators, Redbreast Sunfish can be caught using small lures or baits that mimic their natural prey. They can be caught⁣ through various fishing techniques such as fly fishing, bottom fishing, and bait casting. Fishing in the​ early morning⁤ or late evening during warmer months usually provides the best results.

Identification Guide

The ⁢Redbreast has a ⁢long, black opercular flap distinctive to the species that helps in identification. Predominantly ⁣olive in color, they have ​orange-red bellies and can exhibit blue streaks ⁣on their cheeks. They have rough, ctenoid scales.

Culinary ⁣Information

Redbreast Sunfish sport ⁤a delicate, sweet​ flavor with low-fat content, making them a⁢ healthy choice. Recipes often call for grilling or ‍pan-frying, ‍with seasoning to preference. ⁤Like other⁣ freshwater fish, the Redbreast Sunfish is a source of protein and omega-3‌ fatty acids.

Additional Information

Redbreast Sunfish are predators to many small aquatic insects and even other small⁢ fish. They reproduce through spawning, where ‌females lay eggs in nests guarded⁢ by males. Natural predators include larger fish, turtles, and birds. Overfishing and habitat loss​ are their main human-induced threats.

References and ‍Further ⁤Reading

For more information on the Redbreast Sunfish: