Redear Sunfish

Lepomis microlophus

Outdoor USA Site Index

Known as the Redear due to the thin red stripe on the edge of the gill flap. They tend to grow larger than most sunfish, often to one pound and sometimes two pounds. Redear Sunfish feed on snails and other freshwater molluscs by swallowing them and crushing them in their throats, they then spit out the shells. This is why they are sometimes known as shellcrackers. Shellcrackers will also feed on earthworms and insects if the opportunity presents itself. The best success fishing for shellcrackers can be achieved by using a small bobber and fishing with worms as bait. They tend to inhabit the same areas as bluegills and other panfish.