California Panfish Fishing
All about fishing for panfish in CA lakes and ponds.
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.
These panfish 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.
One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout California, and around the world for that matter.
Some of the Northern CA major laked that hold panfish include Bucks Lake, Clear Lake, Clear Lake Reservoir, Copco Lake, Folsom Lake, Lake Almanor, Lake Berryessa, Lake Combie, Lake Mendocino, Lake Oroville, Lake Pillsbury, New Bullards Bar Reservoir, Shasta Lake, Trinity Lake and Whiskeytown Lake.
In Central CA try your panfish skills at Bass Lake, Crowley Lake, Lake Don Pedro, Lake Cachuma, Lake Camanche, Lake Kaweah, Lake McClure, Lake Sonoma, Lake Tulloch, Lake Nacimiento, Millerton Lake, New Hogan Lake, New Melones Lake, Pine Flat Lake, San Luis Reservoir, San Pablo Reservoir, Shaver Lake, Success Lake and The Delta.
For panfish in Southern CA try Barrett Lake, Big Bear Lake, Canyon Lake, Diamond Valley Lake, El Capitan Reservoir, Laguna Niguel Lake, Lake Cahuilla, Lake Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Lake Havasu, Lake Hodges, Lake Perris, Lake Piru, Lake Sutherland, Littlerock Reservoir, Lower Otay Lake, Pyramid Lake, San Vicente Reservoir, Silverwood Lake and Skinner Reservoir.
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 term "panfish" comprises many species, each called by a variety of names. The bluegill tops the list and is the most common.
In-state panfish, sunfish and perch
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 3 lbs 14 oz
World record: 2.1 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 12 oz
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 1 lbs 0 oz
World record: 5.4 lbs
State Record: 5 lbs 3 oz
World record: 4.4 lbs
State Record: 6 lbs 0 oz
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 0 lbs 15 oz
World record: 6.8 lbs
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.
Bluegill Fishing Basics Video
The core principles shown in this video will work for most sunfish, perch and other panfish.
Sunfish information in 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.