Lake Barkley & Kentucky Lake Fish Species - Redear
KY State Record- 3 lbs, 1 oz.
TN State Record- 3 lbs. 6 oz.
Common Names:Bream, sun perch, blue sunfish, copperbelly
Redears are opportunistic bottom feeders, foraging mainly during daylight hours on a variety of invertebrates. Important food items include snails and clams which are crushed by grinding teeth in the throat; larval insects, fish eggs, small fish, and crustaceans. In some areas snails may be secondary to insects as a food preference. Widely known as shellcracker because of its fondness for snails
SPORTING QUALITIES - Strong fighters, but more difficult to catch than most other sunfish. The redear does not readily take artificial lures but is easily taken on natural baits. Most fish are taken on cane poles with small hooks, corks, and split shot for weight. Favorite baits are worms, crickets, grubs, and shrimp fished in the spring and summer during the bedding season. Later in the season they move to much deeper water or into heavy cover, where they are difficult to locate.Fishing Techniques
Redears rarely approach the surface to take flies or other artificial top baits. They are captured with natural bait, such as earthworms and grubs. They are caught most easily in early spring when they are concentrated on spawning beds. During this time, anglers should use natural baits, along with small spinners and flies.
EATING QUALITIES - Similar to that of bluegill, with white, flaky, sweet-tasting meat. Prepared the same as bluegill.