Scientific Name: Lepomis auritus

Other Common Names: robin, redbelly, yellowbelly sunfish, bream


One of the brightest-colored sunfish, the redbreast has green-to yellow-brown sides with reddish spots and a reddish-orange belly. It has bluish streaks on its cheeks and around the eyes. The most distinguishing characteristic of this species is a long, narrow (no wider than the eye) extension of the gill cover. These flaps may exceed a length of 1 inch and are entirely black.

Habitats and Habits

Redbreast sunfish inhabit freshwaters of eastern North America from southern Canada to Florida. Redbreast sunfish are found throughout North Carolina, except for cold mountain waters.

Their diet is probably the most varied of all the sunfishes. They eat bottom-dwelling insect larvae, snails, clams, shrimp, crayfish and small fish.

Fishing Techniques

Redbreast sunfish frequently concentrate around boulders, logs, aquatic vegetation or tree roots. They take any type of small natural bait, spinners, spoons, plugs, artificial flies and popping bugs. Use a lightweight line (under 4 lbs.), a thin, small bobber and small hooks. Unlike other sunfish, redbreast can be caught at night, using a wide variety of lures and baits.


All information was obtained from
NC Wildlife Resources Commisson