How to identify a Redbreast Sunfish
The belly, or ventral surface, ranges in color from yellow to orange-red or crimson red and the ear lobe (a lobe or flat on the gill cover) is usually long and narrow. In adult males of this species the lobe is actually longer than in the longear sunfish. The two species are readily distinguished by the fact that the gill cover lobe of the redbreast sunfish is completely black (or blue-black) all the way to the tip and is narrower than the eyes. The lobe of the longear sunfish is much wider and is bordered by a thin margin of pale red or yellow around the black. The pectoral fins of both species are short and roundish as compared to the longer, pointed pectoral fins of redear sunfish, and the opercular flaps are softer and more flexible than the rigid flaps of species such as the pumpkinseed sunfish.
Where to catch Redbreast Sunfish
The redbreast sunfish is native to the east coast of North America from Maine, south along the Atlantic slope, east of the Appalachians, to about central Florida, but only as far as west in the Florida panhandle as the Apalachicola River. It has been introduced into nearby states. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish: