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Redear Sunfish

Duane Raver, Jr.
Open Year-Round
Size Limit
No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person
50 panfish total (no more than 25 Redear Sunfish)
Delaware Range
Becks Pond, Griffith Lake, Haven Lake, Wagamons Pond, Trap Pond, Hearns Pond and the Saint Jones River
Abundance in Delaware Waters
General Habitat and Food Preferences
Redear Sunfish live in ponds, along with slow-moving areas of streams and rivers.

They mainly feed on aquatic insects, snails, freshwater mussels, and clams in deeper waters.
General Description
Redear Sunfish are one of Delaware's larger sunfish.

They are one of Delaware’s least colorful sunfishes. Their back is light green to brown with scattered darker spots. They have light gray to silver sides and are light yellow to white below.

Males have a darkened spot on the ear flap with a blood- red edge from which the species gets its name. The edge of the female’s gill cover is orange.
Did You Know?
Redear Sunfish are an introduced species to Delaware (meaning they are non-native).

The Redear Sunfish is also known as the "Shell Cracker" because they feed on freshwater clams and mussels.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Because Redear Sunfish relate to deep bottom structure, the best technique is to still fish with a baited hook lying motionless on the bottom.

Live bait often includes meal worms, small worms, and small fresh water clams.
Typical Sizes Caught
Redear Sunfish are commonly caught in the range of 8 to 10 inches in length by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award
Adult: 10 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 8 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 1 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 0.75 pounds (12 ounces) minimum
Delaware State Record
3 pounds 1 ounces
Marty Messick