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California Panfish Fishing

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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.

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.

Panfish Fishing Lakes In California


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 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 Sunfish Fishing Knowledge

If you have information, articles or photos relating to panfish fishing in California, which you would like to see published here, please submit them for consideration.

Best panfish fishing lakes in California!