The redbreast sunfish is mostly found along North America’s east coast. Anglers generally target them by drifting, fly fishing, trolling, and still fishing. Live bait works the best for these fish, though lures can work as well.
Habitat: Lakes, Stream
How to identify Redbreast Sunfish
The redbreast sunfish has a yellow, orange, or red breast and belly with a bluish-green body. Their bodies are also covered in rusty spots covering. Their most distinguishing feature is the black extension of their gill covers, which makes them look like they have ears. The females are less colorful than the males. They have a black protective covering on their gills, and short, round pectoral fins. Their mouths reach just under the front of their eyes.
Where to catch Redbreast Sunfish
Redbreast sunfish can be found in the fresh waters of creeks, rivers, and reservoirs along the east coast of Canada and the United States. They’re also found west into the panhandle of Florida. They have been introduced to Louisiana and Texas. They live in the shallow waters of big rivers and are not bothered by sandy, unsettled waters.
The following are habitats where you can catch Redbreast Sunfish:
- Cliffs and Steep Shore Banks
- Freshwater Lakes and Ponds
- Freshwater Weed Beds
- Gradual Shores
- Lake and Pond Fishing Holes
- Inlets and Outlets
- Inside Turns and Coves
- Islands or Sand Bars
- Lily Pads
- Open Water
- Overhanging Trees and Bushes
- Piers, Docks and Pilings
- Points and Break Lines
- Shoreline Shallows
- Sunken Objects
- Walkways and Bridges
How to catch Redbreast Sunfish
These fish tend to be easier to catch in cooler weather. They are typically found in water that is less than 20-feet deep, though they will sometimes go as deep as 30 feet. Light spinning tackle works well for catching these fish. Drifting is a good method to try with redbreast sunfish, as is angling from the shore. Other methods to try include fly fishing, still fishing, and trolling. Heavy lines are advised since the redbreast sunfish scares easily. Anglers have better luck catching larger fish at night.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Redbreast Sunfish:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Redbreast Sunfish
Live bait is most effective in catching redbreast sunfish, although lures and flies can also be used.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Redbreast Sunfish: