Kentucky Panfish Fishing
All about fishing for sunfish in KY lakes and ponds.
Throughout the state of Kentucky you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, green sunfish, longear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, warmouth, white bass, yellow bass and yellow perch.
One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout Kentucky, 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.
It might be difficult to find a lake in KY that doesn't have panfish of one kind or another. Healthy populations of panfish can be found in major impoundments including Barren River Lake, Buckhorn Lake, Cave Run Lake, Cedar Creek Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Dewey Lake, Fishtrap Lake, Grayson Lake, Green River Lake, Herrington Lake, Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, Lake Cumberland, Lake Malone, Laurel River Lake, Nolin River Lake, Paintsville Lake, Rough River Lake, Taylorsville Lake, Wood Creek Lake and Yatesville Lake. Private ponds are notorious for serving up nice sunfish and bluegills. Small lakes, ponds, rivers and streams also have populations of panfish.
The term "panfish" comprises many species, each called by a variety of names. The bluegill tops the list and is the most common.
The Kentucky state record bluegill was caught out of a strip mine lake. The state record green sunfish, warmouth and redear sunfish all came from private ponds. Marsh Creek yielded the state record redbreast sunfish and Kentucky Lake holds the state record for yellow perch.
In-state panfish, sunfish and perch
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 4 lbs 3 oz
World record: 2.1 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 5 oz
World record: 1.75 lbs
State Record: 0 lbs 13.3 oz
World record: 2 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 0 lbs 14 oz
World record: 5.4 lbs
State Record: 3 lbs 1 oz
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 10 oz
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 6.2 oz
World record: 6.8 lbs
State Record: 5 lbs 0 oz
World record: 2 lbs 15 oz
State Record: 1 lbs 6.4 oz
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 1 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.
Bluegill Fishing Basics Video
The core principles shown in this video will work for most sunfish, perch and other panfish.
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.
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 Kentucky fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.