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Panfish Fishing In Missouri For 2024

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Guide to fishing for panfish, sunfish, perch and bluegill in lakes and ponds.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Panfish fishing in Missouri

Throughout the MO you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, flier sunfish, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, warmouth, white bass and yellow perch. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about panfish fishing and identify popular sunfish fishing waters in the state.

Missouri offers excellent choices for panfish fishing, making it an ideal activity for anglers of all ages. Among the popular panfish species in the state are sunfish, bluegill, redear sunfish, green sunfish, and perch. These species provide exciting angling experiences and are particularly popular for youth fishing adventures.

Bluegill Fishing Basics Video

The core principles shown in this video will work for most sunfish, perch and other panfish.

2024 Panfish Fishing Options

Sunfish, including bluegill, are one of the most abundant and widely distributed panfish species in Missouri. These colorful and feisty fish can be found in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers. Sunfish are known for their aggressive strikes and willingness to bite on a variety of baits, such as worms, crickets, or small jigs. They offer a great introduction to fishing for young anglers due to their abundance and cooperative nature.

Redear sunfish, also known as shellcrackers, are another prized panfish species in Missouri. They are often found in lakes and ponds with vegetation or around submerged structures. Redear sunfish have a preference for snails, and anglers can use small jigs or live bait to entice them. These fish provide a fun challenge for anglers seeking larger panfish specimens.

Green sunfish are a smaller panfish species that can be found in creeks, rivers, and small ponds throughout Missouri. They are known for their voracious appetites and aggressive nature. Green sunfish readily take a variety of baits, including worms, small crankbaits, or spinnerbaits. They provide excellent opportunities for young anglers to practice their angling skills and enjoy the thrill of catching fish.

Yellow perch are present in Missouri waters. They are often found in lakes and reservoirs, particularly in the northern part of the state. Perch are known for their schooling behavior and can be targeted using small jigs, live bait, or small crankbaits. These fish offer a tasty reward for anglers and provide additional variety to panfish fishing adventures.

Panfish fishing in Missouri is not only a fun and accessible activity for anglers of all skill levels but also provides a great opportunity for youth fishing experiences. Many lakes, ponds, and urban fishing areas throughout the state are stocked with panfish species, making it easier for young anglers to have successful and enjoyable fishing outings.

With its diverse panfish populations and family-friendly fishing locations, Missouri offers a wonderful opportunity for young anglers to develop their fishing skills, enjoy the outdoors, and create lasting memories. Whether it's catching bluegill, redear sunfish, green sunfish, or perch, panfish fishing in Missouri provides an engaging and rewarding experience for anglers of all ages.

Best Panfish, Bluegill, Sunfish & Perch Lakes In 2024

Panfish Lakes are everywhere. Literally everywhere. Find fishing waters and you'll find one or more species of panfish. Due to limited fishing pressure private ponds typically turn out the record size panfish. To fulfill your desire for a big fish fry you might want to look for tight cover on major lakes including Atkinson Lake, Bean Lake, Big Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, Clearwater Lake, Council Bluff Lake, Fellows Lake, Harry S. Truman Reservoir, Lake Jacomo, Lake of The Ozarks, Lake Springfield, Lake Taneycomo, Longview Lake, Mark Twain Lake, McDaniel Lake, Pomme de Terre Lake, Smithville Reservoir, Stockton Lake, Table Rock Lake and Wappapello Lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Missouri

2024 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 lbs 0 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.2 lbs

State Record: 2 lbs 2 oz

Hybrid Sunfish

Hybrid sunfish

World record: N/A

State Record: 2 lbs 3 oz

Redear Sunfish

Redear sunfish

World record: 5.4 lbs

State Record: 2 lbs 7 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

State Record: 2 lbs 12 oz



World record: 2.4 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 4 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

State Record: 5 lbs 6 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 3 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Missouri Record Sunfish

The state record bluegill was caught from farm pond.

The state record green sunfish was pulled from Stockton Lake.

The state record hybrid sunfish came from a farm pond.

The state record redear sunfish came out of Whetstone Creek.

The state record rock bass was pulled from the Big Piney River.

The state record warmouth came from a farm pond.

The state record white bass came from a Table Rock Lake.

The state record yellow perch came from Bull Shoals Lake.

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.

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

The term "panfish" comprises many species, each called by a variety of names. The bluegill tops the list and is the most common.


Sunfish information in other states.

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