In all the hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of fish I have caught in North Texas waters I have caught exactly one red eared sunfish. I caught it at Joe Pool Lake and very tenderly released it.
Red eared sunfish, aka shellcrackers, appear to have completely disappeared from these waters. Examples are Marine Creek and Cisco which used to have populations of red ears but no more. If you look at recent lake surveys by TPWD you will see the same.
I would certainly like to know why.
Good looking pair of kids and nice fish.
Seventy years of chasing the elusive sunfish.