The Redbreast Sunfish is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family of order Perciformes. he species prefers vegetated and rocky pools and lake margins for its habitat. Its diet can include insects, snails, and other small invertebrates. As is typical for the sunfishes, the female redbreast sunfish lays her eggs (about 1000) in a substrate depression built by the male. The male guards the eggs and fry.The Redbreast Sunfish reaches a maximum recorded length of about 30 cm (12 in), with a maximum recorded weight of 790 g (1.7 lb).
How To Identify:
The dorsal fin on the Redbreast Sunfish contains 10 to 11 spines and 10 to 12 rays. The anal fin has three spines and nine or 10 rays. Lateral line scales number 41 to 52. Palatine teeth are present in the roof of the mouth. The cheek has six to eight rows of scales. The pectoral fin is short and does not reach the nostril when bent forward beside the head. Breeding males have a bright orangish red breast and venter. Membranes of the dorsal and anal fins have elongate, bright orange blotches. Margins of the soft dorsal and anal fins and much of the pelvic and pectoral fins are yellow. The back and head are olive green. Bright, bluish green stripes originate near the mouth and extend backward obliquely toward the base of the elongate, black ear flap. Females are less colorful, having a light orange to yellowish breast and venter.
How To Catch:
A panfish popular with anglers, the Redbreast Sunfish is also kept as an aquarium fish by hobbyists. Redbreast Sunfish are usually caught with live bait such as nightcrawlers, crickets, grasshoppers, waxworms, or mealworms. They can also be caught using small lures or flies. Most anglers use light spinning tackle to catch Redbreast Sunfish. It is popular with fly anglers in the winter because it will more readily strike a moving fly than will bluegills in cooler water.
The Redbreast Sunfish occur naturally along the Atlantic Coast and across southern Georgia and northern Florida to the Chattahoochee River. It may also be native to the Coosa and Tallapoosa river systems, based on its widespread and common to abundant distribution in both.