Mud Sunfish

The Mud Sunfish was given its name because it hides in silty bottoms during the daytime. They are found in stagnant, brackish freshwater rivers, lakes and ponds. Bait casting using live worms around vegetation and rocks it the most effective method for catching mud sunfish.

Mud Sunfish

Region: Northeast, South
Habitat: Lake, Pond, River, Creek

How to identify Mud Sunfish

Mud sunfish are relatively small (only getting up to 6 ½” long.) They have a smooth appearance, a rounded tail, dark eyes, and rusty brown back and flanks that transition into light brown abdomens. Five horizontal markings are present on the flanks. The anal fin has 5 or more spines. It can be distinguished from other sunfish by its 15 gill rakers. Mud sunfish are the only sunfish to have cycloid scales.

Where to catch Mud Sunfish

Mud sunfish are found along the Atlantic coast from Florida to New York (except in the west part of the Chesapeake Bay that lies in between the Potomac River and Susquehanna River.) They have also been spotted in Beaver Dam Creek in Alabama. Their dark body coloring is a result of the tannins present in the acidic/swampy freshwater they inhabit. It’s not uncommon to find them in stagnant water with heavy vegetation or in low-current rivers, lakes, or ponds with silty bottoms.

Range: Northeast, South
Mud Sunfish Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch Mud Sunfish:

How to catch Mud Sunfish

An effective method for catching mud sunfish is bait casting and still fishing. Anglers typically use small lures with bobbers/cork/floats baited with live worms while casting in and around vegetation and rocks.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Mud Sunfish:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Mud Sunfish

The best baits for catch mud sunfish are lives baits such as small earth worms or meal worms suspended under a bobber.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Mud Sunfish: