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Iowa Panfish Fishing

All about fishing for sunfish in IA lakes and ponds.

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Panfish fishing in Colorado

Throughout the state of Iowa you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, flier sunfish, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, longear sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, tilapia, warmouth, white bass, white perch, yellow bass and yellow perch.

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

All the major lakes including Big Creek Lake, Big Spirit Lake, Black Hawk Lake, Browns Lake, Brushy Creek Lake, Clear Lake, Coralville Lake, DeSoto Lake, East Okoboji Lake, Five Island Lake, Lake Icaria, Lake MacBride, Lake Manawa, Lake Red Rock, Little River Lake, Little Spirit Lake, Lost Grove Lake, Lost Island Lake, North Twin Lake, Okamanpeedan Lake, Pleasant Creek Lake, Rathbun Lake, Rock Creek Lake, Saylorville Lake, Silver Lake, Storm Lake, Three Mile Reservoir, Trumbull Lake, Twelve Mile Creek Lake and West Okoboji Lake have quality populations of panfish.


Chances are there are no lakes of any consequence in IA that do not have a population of panfish. The Iowa state record for bluegill and green sunfish were caught from private ponds. Morse Lake yielded the state record for yellow perch.

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 Iowa



World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

IA State Record: 3 lbs 2 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.1 lbs

IA State Record: 2 lbs 1 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

IA State Record: 1 lbs 8 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

IA State Record: 4 lbs 3 oz

Yellow Bass

Yellow bass

World record: 2 lbs 15 oz

IA State Record: 1 lbs 9 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

IA State Record: 2 lbs 7 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 Iowa fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.

Contribute IA Sunfish Fishing Knowledge

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

Best panfish fishing lakes in Iowa!