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Massachusetts Panfish Fishing

All about fishing for sunfish in MA lakes and ponds.

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Throughout the state of Massachusetts you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, white perch and yellow perch.

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

Panfish, sunfish, bluegills and perch are available in most waters throughout the state. Private ponds with little fishing pressure often serve up the state record panfish. However the larger populations can be found in major lakes including Assawompset Pond, Cheshire Reservoir, Congamond Lake, Hamilton Reservoir, Lake Chaubunagungamaug, Lake Cochituate, Lake Garfield, Lake Rohunta, Lake Quinsigamond, Long Pond, Norton Reservoir, Otis Reservoir, Quabbin Reservoir, South Watuppa Pond and Wachusett Reservoir.


The list of panfish is comprised of many fishes, the bluegill tops the list and is the most common.

The MA state record sunfish is from South Athol Pond, the state record white perch came from Wachusett Reservoir and the state record yellow perch from South Watuppa Pond.

Fishing for panfish in Massachusetts



World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

MA State Record: 2 lbs 1 oz

White Perch

White perch

World record: 4.6 lbs

MA State Record: 3 lbs 2 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

MA State Record: 2 lbs 12 oz

By clicking on the images and links above, you will be taken to a page offering more information about the selected species.

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.

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 Massachusetts fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.

Contribute MA Sunfish Fishing Knowledge

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

Best panfish fishing lakes in Massachusetts!