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Warmouth Sunfish


The Warmouth Sunfish has a large mouth and red eyes.

Three or four dark stripes (like war paint) radiate back from the eye across the cheek and gill cover.

They have large dark blotches on their sides and back which do not normally form an organized pattern.

Warmouth Sunfish lack the lateral stripes of black spots seen on the rock bass.

Warmouth Sunfish Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit (The Warmouth Sunfish is not included in Delaware's panfish regulations)
Delaware Range New Castle County
Abundance in Delaware Waters Uncommon
General Habitat and Food Preferences Warmouth Sunfish prefer marshes, shallow lakes, and slow-moving streams with soft muddy bottoms.

They feed on small crayfish, insects, and small fishes.
Did You Know? Warmouth Sunfish are an introduced species to Delaware (meaning they are non-native).

The Warmouth Sunfish differs from other sunfish by having a patch of small teeth on the tongue.

These fish have the ability to rapidly change their color to match their surroundings like a chameleon.
Common Lures and Baits Warmouth Sunfish can be caught with flies, small spinners, and small jigs.

Live bait often includes crickets, worms, and small minnows.
Typical Sizes Caught In general, Warmouth Sunfish caught by anglers average less than 8 inches in length.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Warmouth Sunfish are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record Warmouth Sunfish are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.



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