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Texas Fish Species

Alligator Gar
American Eel
Atlantic Croaker
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark
Bigmouth Buffalo
Black Buffalo
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Black Drum
Blackstripe Topminnow
Blacktail Shiner
Blue Catfish
Blue Tilapia
Chain Pickerel
Channel Catfish
Common Carp
Flathead Catfish
Freshwater Drum
Gizzard Shad
Golden Shiner
Grass Carp
Gray Redhorse
Green Sunfish
Guadalupe Bass
Hybrid Striped Bass(wiper/palmetto)
Inland Silverside
Lake Chubsucker
Largemouth Bass
Longear Sunfish
Longnose Gar
Longnose Sucker
Northern Pike
Orangespotted Sunfish
Rainbow Trout
Red Drum
Red-bellied Pacu
Redbreast Sunfish
Redear Sunfish
Redfin Pickerel
Redspotted Sunfish
Rio Grande Cichlid
River Carpsucker
Rock Bass
Shortnose Gar
Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth Buffalo
Spotted Bass
Spotted Gar
Spotted Sucker
Spotted Sunfish
Striped Bass
Striped Mullet
Suckermouth Catfish
Sunfish (Bream)
Threadfin Shad
White Bass
White Crappie
Yellow Bass
Yellow Bullhead

Lakes with Longear Sunfish on FishExplorer
Rivers with Longear Sunfish on FishExplorer
Longear Sunfish
 Like many of the sunfish family, Longears are deep bodied fish with small mouths. Their name comes from the long ear flap. Longears are native to eastern North America stretching from the Great Lakes to northeastern Mexico. These beautiful sunfishes have a dorsal fin with 10 to 12 rays and the anal fin has three spines and nine or ten rays. Back and sides are typically olive to brown, turning yellowish orange on underside. Breeding males are brilliantly colored with the red and blue coloration. Females are less intensely colored and a shorter ear flap.  A smallish fish, they seldom get much over 7 inches.
Densely vegetated, shallow waters in lakes, ponds, and sluggish streams are their preferred habitat.   Its diet can include insects, aquatic invertebrates, and small fish. Like bluegill, Longears for spawning colonies, just not as large. Spawning sites are typically shallow and on a gravel substrate near cover. They may spawn multiple times throughout the summer when temperatures over seventy.  Nests may contain over 20,000 eggs and are zealously guarded by the males.   
 Newly hatched fry feed on plankton and microscopic animals. As they grow and approach adulthood, larger insects, crustaceans, and even small fish become part of their diet.
While not monsters of the fishing world, on ultra-light tackle, with small baits they offer fast paced action and fun for young and old alike.

Longear Sunfish in Texas

Lepomis, the generic name, is Greek and means "scaled gill cover." The species epithet megalotis is Greek and means "great ear." The name is derived from the fact that longear sunfish have an elongated opercle flap. This flap, always trimmed in white in adults, is unique and makes field identification relatively easy if hybridization has not occurred. Longear sunfish are quite colorful. Males are often bright orange or scarlet, and the head and fins usually have turquoise markings. Dorsal and anal fins, and their associated spines, are similar to those of redear sunfish.
Life History
Longear sunfish are primarily found in small streams and creeks. Like other sunfish they are often associated with vegetation, avoiding strong currents by inhabiting pools, inlets, and waters off the main stream channel. Spawning occurs throughout late spring and early summer. Males scoop nests out of gravel bars. Females are enticed to lay their eggs on a particular nest by a male who swims out to meet her, swimming around her rapidly and displaying his brilliant spawning colors. After the eggs have been laid, males chase the females away and guard the nest vigorously despite their small size, chasing away all intruders. Males may continue to guard the nest for a week or more after hatching, until larvae have dispersed. Insects and even small fish become part of the diet as fish approach adulthood. Longear sunfish rarely exceed six inches in length.

The species is found throughout Texas except for the headwaters of the Canadian and Brazos rivers.
Because of its small size, the species' importance to anglers derives in three ways. Since they are relatively easy to capture with simple, natural baits such as earthworms, longears are an important species for young anglers with little experience. Like most sunfish, they provide more than enough fight for their small size. Longears may feed on the surface, providing the fly fishermen with a challenge, and finally, they are often a prized bait fish for trotliners.
Most Recent Longear Sunfish Forum Posts
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Longear Sunfish Articles, Blogs, & Podcasts
Blog: Boomerang Tool Co. Grip 11.07.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Two new articles up 03.13.12 by David Coulson
Blog: 4 Apps Every Angler With A Smartphone Should Use 02.09.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Clouser Pattern Detailed - New Article 12.16.11 by Matt Snider
Blog: Become a pro 09.30.11 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Launches California 09.27.11 by Matt Snider
Blog: California now on 09.23.11 by Matt Snider
Blog: California 09.23.11 by Matt Snider
Recent Texas Longear Sunfish Photos by Fish Explorer Members
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