Longeared Sunfish

My son Sebastian and I were kayaking and fishing along Cypress Creek, a very nice creek that flows into the Tennessee River at Florence, AL. The first fish that we caught was a bright orange fish with flourescent blue stripes around its head. Both of us were very surprised to catch such a brilliantly colored fish- we had never seen one of these before. Sebastian made a great observation-, "It looks like a saltwater fish." And it did- the pictures do not do its colors justice.

The common name of this fish is the "Longeared Sunfish" or (Long-eared Sunfish). Its scientific name is Lepomis megalotis. (Lepomis is Greek for 'scaled gill cover' and megalotis is Greek for 'great ear'.)(source)

The Alabama state angling record for this fish is only 8 ozs- I wished I had brought some scales- this one wouldn't have been too far off that weight.

This fish can be found in every county of Alabama. The females may produce up to 4,000 eggs which are then guarded by the males until they hatch.

Be sure to click on the photos to see the photos in a larger image size.


me ann my camera said...

The fish is beautiful; it has Vincent Van Gogh colour theme about it, like something he might paint. As kids we used to catch fish sometimes similar to that which we also called sunfish, they were more oval than round, not at all lengthy like trout and had colours rather than spots. Very nice photo.

Sandpiper said...

It's a beautiful fish. I love the colors.

April said...

What a beautiful fish, and what a wonderful outing with your son. We took our children fishing often, too, when they were still at home - those are golden moments to treasure.

It's Time to Live... said...

Visited your blog and web sites. Very nice images, thanks for the look.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Excellent post, Daniel. I'm not a fisherperson but still do not recall ever seeing this fish before in our neck of the woods...or anywhere, for that matter. Did you keep him, or release him? I miss you guys here, btw! Hello to Sebastian!

sevenyearnight said...

I didn't believe that we would have that type of sunfish here in SC, but I just caught two juveniles in a river. I've been wanting to catch a couple to put in an aquarium, I guess today was my lucky day. I thought they may have been the red breasted sunfish, but they have the white margin to the gills. They are so tiny and cute.

Wayne said...

Hi Daniel. I enjoyed you blog. The luna moths bring back one of my favorite memories as a kid. I’ll never forget the first time I saw one. It really changed how I saw our backyard. If something like that was there then what else was lurking about?

I didn't see your email on your blog but I was wondering if I could use a picture from your website. I’ve put together an online Flash quiz about seven of the most common types of sunfish and thought your picture was a really good example of a Longear.

Specifically I’d like to use the image on http://www.natureatcloserange.com/2008/05/bigeared-sunfish.html . A link to your site will accompany your picture in the quiz. The idea is to provide visitors to my site with something interesting and active and hopefully it will also send a few visitors your way.

If it’s okay just let me know. If not, I’ll remove the picture from the quiz (or if I don’t hear from you in a week I’ll also remove it). My email is on the page with the draft quiz (www.barblessfishing.com/sunfish-private/ - I can email you the password to start the quiz).