Mud Sunfish

The eyes and mouth of the Mud Sunfish are large, and the upper jaw extends below the eye.

They are one of Delaware’s least colorful sunfishes. The body is reddish brown on top and pale brown on the belly. There are five distinct lines located along the fish's sides.

Its ear flap has a black spot, sometimes orange in larger specimens.

Similar in appearance to the Rock Bass, the Mud Sunfish can easily be distinguished by its round tail and its brown eyes.

Mud Sunfish Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit (The Mud Sunfish is not included in Delaware's panfish regulations)
Delaware Range Statewide
Abundance in Delaware Waters Rare
General Habitat and Food Preferences Mud Sunfish prefer highly vegetated swampy areas of ponds and sluggish backwaters, both tidal and nontidal.

They feed on invertebrates, insects, and small fish.
Did You Know? The Mud Sunfish is secretive and is active mostly at night.

It gets its name from its habit of hiding along the muddy creek bottom during the day.

It is said the Mud Sunfish can make a grunting noise.
Common Lures and Baits Mud Sunfish are usually caught by anglers fishing for other sunfish species.

Live bait includes: meal worms and small worms fished suspended under a bobber.
Typical Sizes Caught Mud Sunfish rarely exceed 6 inches.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Mud Sunfish are not currently eligible for an a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record Mud Sunfish are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.