Montana Panfish Fishing
All about fishing for sunfish in MT lakes and ponds.
Throughout the state of Montana you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, green sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, white bass and yellow perch.
One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout Montana, 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 Montana
Panfish typically prefer water warmer than the typical Montana lakes and rivers, Despite that you can find one or more species of panfish in many of the major lakes in MT, including Ashley Lake, Bighorn Lake, Bull Lake, Canyon Ferry Lake, Flathead Lake, Fort Peck Lake, Fresno Reservoir, Hauser Lake, Holter Reservoir, Lake Frances, Lake Helena, Lake Koocanusa, Lower Saint Mary Lake, Nelson Reservoir, Noxon Reservoir, Placid Lake, Seeley Lake, Tiber Reservoir and Whitefish Lake. They are also common in private ponds as they are a major food source for larger predator fish.
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.
The Montana state record bluegill sunfish was caught from Petersons Stock Dam, Castle Rock Lake gave up the state record for green sunfish, Milnor Lake was home to the state record pumpkinseed sunfish and the state record yellow perch came out of Ashley Lake.
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
MT State Record: 2 lbs 10 oz
World record: 2.1 lbs
MT State Record: 0 lbs 13.5 oz
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
MT State Record: 0 lbs 15.5 oz
World record: 3.0 lbs
MT State Record: 1 lbs 5 oz
World record: 6.8 lbs
MT State Record: 2 lbs 13 oz
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
MT State Record: 2 lbs 6 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 Montana fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.
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