H2O, I'm interested that you got red ears rather than pumpkinseed. Similar panfish, but I thought pumpkinseed are better adapted to northern climate.
I do have redear (RES), but rarely catch any. They are much less aggressive than bluegill & are difficult to tempt on artificial lures. Live bait on bottom is usually the ticket. They do a good job keeping the snail population in check, so tend to limit snail parasites crossing over to fish. In Louisiana they are called shellcrackers.
We wanted some species of panfish, everything that I researched about the RES made it look right for our situation and our local hatchery had them. I have read that they kind of fill their own niche in a pond and that they are harder to catch, don't spawn heavy but do grow large. It seemed like a good fit for what we are trying to do. Also there weren't any pumpkinseed available close and I had read they are more prolific breeders.
We were looking for something different with this pond, fish that would not bother swimmers and fish that are great to eat. Our species that we thought about putting in changed the more research we did.
We decided on;
FHM and GSH, went heavy with them as soon as the pond had some depth. Minnows spawned like crazy.
Then late last spring we put in;
150 Yellow Perch,
100 Red Ears
25 Black Crappie..that I wish now we didn't put in, have taken 14 out so far.
All the fish were around 4" when they went in.
Early Nov we put in 50 4" Small Mouth
Had considered Hybrid Striped Bass but read how they will eat up everything they can fit in their mouths, so not interested in those.
Plan is to thin the walleye down some as they are big enough to eat. Walleye should help keep perch and other smaller fish populations from getting out of control.
The two species we are most interested in are the SM and YP and plan on putting a slot limit on them for thinning for fish fries.
I have always just liked GSH and think they are a very cool forage fish, hope they can find a space in the pond. I guess I can always stock more.
All of those species are supposed to avoid swimmers and that hopefully should keep the wife happy...or at least as happy as she can be as the kids, grandkids and I are catching and eating fish!