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California Panfish Fishing

All about fishing for panfish in CA lakes and ponds.

Panfish fishing in Colorado

Throughout the state of California you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, green sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, redear sunfish, tilapia, warmouth and white bass.

One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout California, and around the world for that matter. They can survive in waters that provide their natural food source of minnows, insects, crustaceans and worms. Their competitive nature amongst themselves, for food, makes them relatively easy to catch.

Panfish Fishing Lakes In California


Some of the major waters that hold panfish in California include Lake Almanor, Lake Berryessa, Bullards Bar Reservoir, Clear Lake, Folsom Lake, Lake Oroville and Lake Shasta in Northern CA. Try your panfish skills at The Delta, Lake Don Pedro, Lake McClure, Millerton Lake, Lake Nacimiento, New Melones Lake and Pine Flat Lake in Central CA. For panfish in Southern CA try Big Bear Lake, Lake Cahuilla, Lake Castaic, Lake Elsinore, El Capitan Lake, Lake Hodges, Laguna Niguel Lake, Lower Otay Lake, Pyramid Lake, San Vicente Lake, Lake Silverwood, Lake Skinner and Lake Sutherland.

The California state record bluegill was taken out of Lower Otay Reservoir and a private pond near Bella Vista produced the CA state record green sunfish. The CA state record pumpkinseed sunfish was caught from Mt. Meadows Reservoir. Folsom So. Canal was home to the state record redear sunfish.

Panfish are prolific spawners and repopulate the waters as fast as they are harvested. A common problem with panfish fishing is that the waters are under-fished causing panfish to overpopulate. As a result they tend to stay small in size due to lack of food source.

The list of panfish is comprised of many fishes each called by a variety of names. The bluegill tops the list and is the most common.

Fishing for panfish in California



World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

CA State Record: 3 lbs 14 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.1 lbs

CA State Record: 1 lbs 12 oz

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 4 oz

CA State Record: 1 lbs 0 oz

Redear Sunfish

Redear sunfish

World record: 5.4 lbs

CA State Record: 5 lbs 3 oz



World record: 4.4 lbs

CA State Record: 6 lbs 0 oz



World record: 2.4 lbs

CA State Record: 0 lbs 15 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

CA State Record: 5 lbs 5 oz

By clicking on the images and links above, you will be taken to a page offering more information about the selected species.

Panfish fishing information for other states.


Learn the lifecycle of a panfish

There is a host of panfish anglers can pursue. Visit the panfish fishing page for details on many of these sunfish you might encounter in California fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.

Contribute CA Panfish Fishing Knowledge

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Best panfish fishing lakes in California!