Redbreast Sunfish: Lepomis auritus
A very long black ear flap distinguishes this fish from other Florida bream.
Also known as river bream and redbellies, these are the flowing water cousins of bluegill. Redbellies often can be found in backwater areas with less flow, especially where there are sandy bottoms. Common in rivers of north Florida, but absent from south Florida.
The redbreast's diet is probably the most varied of any of the sunfishes. Principal food organisms are bottom-dwelling insect larvae, snails, clams, shrimp, crayfish, and small fish. Compared to some sunfish, redbreasts grow slowly. Redbreast reach six inches in about two to three years.
State Record: 2.08 lbs.
Big Catch minimum: 9 inches or 0.5 lbs.
Fishing Tips and Facts: The same live baits that work for bluegill will also catch redbreast sunfish.
Image Credit: Duane Raver, Jr.