Iowa Panfish Fishing
All about fishing for sunfish and perch in IA lakes and ponds.
Throughout the state 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. Ice fishing for perch and bluegill is popular at most lakes in winter.
Panfish, Sunfish & Perch Lakes
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.
Top Producing Panfish Lures & Bait
Check out the top producing lures and bait for bluegill, redear sunfish, rock bass and warmouth, as well as other smaller sunfish. Click here for the best lures for white bass, yellow bass, white perch and yellow perch.
In-state panfish, sunfish and perch
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 3.13 lbs
World record: 2.2 lbs
State Record: 2.06 lbs
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 0.96 lbs
World record: 5.4 lbs
State Record: 2.31 lbs
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 1.50 lbs
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 1.13 lbs
World record: 6.8 lbs
State Record: 5.11 lbs
World record: 2 lbs 15 oz
State Record: 1.75 lbs
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 2.79 lbs
Click the images and links above for species details.
Iowa State Record Sunfish
The state record bluegill was caught from a farm pond.
The state record green sunfish came from a farm pond.
The state record pumpkinseed sunfish came out of Lake Petocka.
The state record redear sunfish came out of a farm pond.
The state record rockbass was caught in the Mississippi River.
The state record warmouth came out of a farm pond.
The state record white bass came from East Okoboji Lake.
The state record yellow bass was served up by Lake Manawa.
The state record yellow perch was caught from a private pond.
The term "panfish" comprises many species, each called by a variety of names. The bluegill tops the list and is the most common.
Chances are there are no lakes of any consequence in IA that do not have a population of panfish. 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 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.
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 Iowa fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.