Redbreast Sunfish

The head and back of the Redbreast Sunfish is olive green.

Bright, bluish green stripes originate near the mouth and extend backward toward the base of the elongated, black ear flap.

Breeding Redbreast Sunfish males have a bright orange-red breast.

Females are less colorful, having a light orange to yellowish breast.

Redbreast Sunfish Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit (The Redbreast Sunfish is not included in Delaware's panfish regulations)
Delaware Range Statewide
Abundance in Delaware Waters Common
General Habitat and Food Preferences Redbreast Sunfish live in many ponds, along with slow-moving areas of streams and rivers. They prefer water with many weeds.

They mainly feed on insects, but also consume crayfish, leeches, snails, and small fishes.
Did You Know? The Redbreast Sunfish is a Delaware native.

They are distinguished from other Delaware sunfish by their long black gill flap.

Redbreast Sunfish are an excellent game fish. It is said to be one of the sportiest of the sunfish.
Common Lures and Baits Redbreast Sunfish can be caught with artificial flies, small spinners, and small jigs.

Live bait often includes crickets, meal worms, and small worms fished suspended under a bobber.
Typical Sizes Caught Redbreast Sunfish are commonly caught in the range of 6 to 8 inches in length by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Redbreast Sunfish are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record Redbreast Sunfish are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.