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Colorado Panfish Fishing

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All about fishing for panfish species in CO lakes.

Panfish fishing in Colorado

Throughout the state of Colorado you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, green sunfish, rock bass, white bass and yellow perch.

One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout Colorado, 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 Colorado

Adobe Creek Reservoir, Aurora Reservoir, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Bonny Reservoir, Carter Lake, Chatfield Reservoir, Hollenbeck Reservoir, Horsetooth Reservoir, Lathrop State Park, McPhee Reservoir, Navajo Reservoir, Ridgway Reservoir, Ruedi Reservoir, Sloan Lake, Standley Lake and Williams Fork Reservoir all have a healthy population of panfish. The state record bluegill came from Hollenbeck Reservoir.

The Colorado state record bluegill sunfish was taken from Comanche Power Plant (private pond). The CO state record green sunfish (tie) - one was caught from Big Thompson Pond and the other from a gravel pit, the state record redear sunfish came from Stalker Lake, and the state record hybrid sunfish came from a gravel pit.

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 Colorado



World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

CO State Record: 2 lbs 5 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.1 lbs

CO State Record: 1 lbs 5 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

CO State Record: 1 lbs 1 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

CO State Record: 4 lbs 7 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

CO State Record: 2 lbs 9 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 Colorado fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.

Contribute CO Sunfish Fishing Knowledge

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

Best panfish fishing lakes in Colorado!