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Sunfish, Redear

Redear Sunfish Sportfish ID
Duane Raver



Redear sunfish are found statewide.  

The redear sunfish has a red outer margin on the opercular (ear) flap.  Bluegill, redear, and green sunfish are without a doubt the most common fish in Oklahoma.  Just about every lake has a substantial sunfish population, and they are almost always willing to bite.

Facts: Redear can attain lengths up to 12 inches and weight up to two pounds. They respond best to natural bait and are more difficult to catch than bluegill.  Redear normally inhabits deeper water than bluegill and congregate around stumps, logs, and roots.  Sunfish are the perfect choice for introducing a youngster to the sport of fishing.  May and June are the top months to fish for spawning sunfish. Try using worms along shallow shorelines in areas protected from wind and boat traffic. If the action turns fast and you suddenly find yourself out of bait, try cutting small pieces of fillet from the back of one of your catches. Sunfish love these. Weedbeds are ideal habitat for really big bluegill and redear sunfish. So for the ones that hide here, try using small minnows throughout the spawning season in June. Stilwell City Lake is a top producer of large sunfish where anglers often latch onto bluegill weighing more than 1/2 pound! Later in the summer, slip-bobber rigs can be used to fish deeper waters. Although sunfish will feed throughout the day, peak activity often occurs early in the morning and later in the evening.


Usually inhabit clear, slightly vegetated water.

Food sources:  Insects, crustaceans, larvae, and snails.

Life Cycle

Redear spawning habits are very similar to bluegill, although redear are not as prolific. Redear spawn in late spring or early summer when water temperatures reach 66 to 70 degrees F.

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