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Panfish Fishing and Tackle:

Bluegill Panfish
Bream Panfish
Sunfish Panfish
Panfish, it is often argued, are one of a the most important recreational fish
. Panfish are the fish many of us learned on when growing up. Panfish are the fish that many of us will teach our kids and scout troops how to fish on. Likely, they are the fish we pursue when we want 1/2 hour fishing after work or church because they are everywhere. They are the fish we hone our fishing skills on. This makes panfish one of the more important recreational fish.

Panfish are abundant most places where there is fresh water. Catching them is simple, easy to learn and to teach, easy to do, and great fun. Spring is the best time to fish, but panfishing is good just about any time except in the dead of winter. In the spring as the river, creeks, ponds, and lakes warm to 50F and higher panfish will become active. They will try to make up for winter during spring. They school and begin to build up for the spawn. In the spring schools will nearly always be around some form of structure such as rocks, trees, grass and weed points, or dents in the shoreline. Drop-offs will also be productive as will be fresh water entry points such as a creek entering the lake.

Panfish Baits and Lures:
  • Many baits used for other recreation fish will work for Panfish
Summer months are also good and perhaps more consistent. Small waters, ponds and creeks, may be your best bet during summer. In the heat panfish typically remain like shallow waters around flooded vegetation -- cattails and brush being best. In larger waters fish docks and similar shoreline structure that provide good shade.

Many of my fellow anglers fish for panfish in preparation for river trout fly fishing or something similar. They use their base trout equipment thereby getting it shaken down. Panfish is a great fly fishing teacher as they are forgiving of poor casts and presentations of the water. A size 3, 4 or 5 fly rod is ideal.

Ultra light or light spinning equipment will also do well. A pack of size 10 and 12 bait hooks; a variety pack of split-shot sinkers, and a pair of pliers and you are fishing. Popular live baits include worms, crickets, minnows, mealworms and wax worms plus others. Worms are always good for bluegill and redears while crappies better like minnows. The most effective artificial is small jigs that somehow resemble a small minnow. Try soft plastic, curly tail and tube body styles that are of jig sizes 1/32-ounce to ¼-ounce.

Panfish are good fish to offer fun and relaxation -- especially for kids. Enjoy your fishing and take a kid with you.

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