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Bluegill & Readear Sunfish

 

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)

Redear Sunfish (Pomoxis anularis)

 

The bluegill has a dark spot on the rear base of the dorsal fin.  Each ear flap (opercle) is black with no red on the edge. There will be blue along the jaw line and lower rear edges of the gill covers.  The breast will usually be white when they are young, yellow on older females, and orange to rusty red on breeding males.

 

The redear sunfish (sometimes called shellcracker) does not have a dark spot on the rear of the dorsal fin.  Each black ear flap has red or orange on the edge.

 

Although they do not have “sunfish” as part of their common names,  the bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass are also members of the sunfish family.

 

Tennessee record Bluegill:  3 lbs  6/27/1977 and 3 lbs  12/19/1987

Tennessee record Redear Sunfish:  3 lbs 6 oz  9/1/1979

 

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