Fishing: Redbreasted Sunfish

Redbreasted sunfish are Maine’s answer to the bluegill. These spunky panfish are found in many Maine lakes, most notably those in the Rangeley region. Redbreasted sunfish attain weights up to 1 pound, true heavyweights of the sunfish family. The author once took a 12-inch redbreasted sunfish, which is about as long as any sunfish ever gets.

Redbreasted sunfish are almost totally ignored by Maine anglers. These fish provide great sport on light tackle and are easily taken on the fly rod with small poppers. Redbreasted sunfish take to the spawning beds in June, where they will strike anything that comes near them in defense of their beds. Small spinners, worms, and flies are all good sunfish lures.


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Drawing of Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis auritus)

Sunfish - Family Centrarchidae - Fairfax County, Virginia

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