Panfish Fishing In Nebraska
Guide to fishing for panfish in NE lakes and ponds.
Throughout the state of Nebraska you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, spotted sunfish, white bass, white perch, yellow bass and yellow perch.
Nebraska is a fantastic destination for panfish fishing, with sunfish and perch being popular species among anglers of all ages. These fish provide excellent opportunities for youth fishing, allowing kids to experience the excitement of reeling in their catches. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about panfish fishing and identify popular sunfish fishing waters in the state.
Bluegill Fishing Basics Video
The core principles shown in this video will work for most sunfish, perch and other panfish.
Sunfish are abundant in Nebraska's lakes, reservoirs, and ponds. Bluegill and redear sunfish, also known as shellcrackers, are the most common sunfish species in the state. They can be found in both urban and rural fishing locations, making them easily accessible for youth anglers. Sunfish are known for their aggressive strikes and can be caught using simple and lightweight fishing gear. They are a perfect target for kids learning to fish, as they are abundant, willing to bite, and offer a fun fishing experience.
Perch, particularly yellow perch, are another popular panfish species in Nebraska. They can be found in various lakes and reservoirs across the state. Perch fishing provides a great opportunity for kids to learn about different fishing techniques, such as using small jigs or bait rigs. These feisty fish can be caught year-round and provide tasty fillets for those lucky enough to land them.
Nebraska's youth fishing programs and events further enhance the experience for young anglers. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission organizes various events throughout the year, such as fishing clinics, youth fishing derbies, and the Take 'Em Fishing challenge. These programs offer educational resources, fishing equipment, and guided fishing experiences tailored to young anglers, providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to enjoy fishing.
Panfish fishing not only offers youth anglers the thrill of catching fish but also teaches important values such as patience, perseverance, and respect for the natural environment. It provides an opportunity for families to spend quality time together and create lasting memories in the great outdoors.
Whether it's casting a line for sunfish or perch, youth anglers in Nebraska can embark on exciting panfish fishing adventures. With an abundance of fishing locations, youth fishing programs, and fish species that are easily accessible and fun to catch, Nebraska offers a welcoming environment for kids to develop a lifelong passion for fishing and the outdoors.
Panfish are everywhere. And we mean everywhere. Find panfish in most private ponds, rivers and lakes including Bluestem Lake, Box Butte Reservoir, Branched Oak Lake, Calamus Reservoir, Conestoga Lake, Davis Creek Reservoir, Elwood Reservoir, Enders Reservoir, Glenn Cunningham Lake, Harlan County Reservoir, Harry Strunk Lake, Hugh Butler Lake, Jeffrey Lake, Johnson Lake, Kimball Reservoir, Lake Maloney, Lake McConaughy, Lake Minatare, Lake Ogallala, Lake Wanahoo, Lewis And Clark Lake, Medicine Creek Reservoir, Merritt Reservoir, Oliver Reservoir, Pawnee Lake, Red Willow Reservoir, Sherman Reservoir, Sutherland Reservoir, Swanson Reservoir, Wagon Train Lake, Wehrspann Lake, Whitney Lake and Willow Creek Lake. Some of these lakes, that freeze in winter, offer ice fishing for sunfish, perch and 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: 2 lbs 13 oz
World record: 2.2 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 8 oz
World record: N/A
State Record: 1 lbs 15 oz
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 0 lbs 11.25 oz
World record: 5.4 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 14 oz
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 2 lbs 4 oz
World record: N/A
State Record: 0 lbs 3 oz
World record: 6.8 lbs
State Record: 5 lbs 0 oz
World record: 4.6 lbs
State Record: 2 lbs 6 oz
World record: 2 lbs 15 oz
State Record: 1 lbs 7 oz
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 2 lbs 10.75 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
The state record bluegill was taken out of Grove Lake.
The state record green sunfish all taken from a private pond.
The state record hybrid sunfish from a private pond.
The state record pumpkinseed sunfish came from Box Butte Reservoir.
The state record redear sunfish came from Wildwood Lake.
The state record rock bass came from a farm pond.
The state record spotted sunfish were all taken from the Loup River.
The state record white bass was caught out of Gavins Point Tailwaters.
The state record white perch was caught out of a sandpit.
The state record yellow bass was caught out of Louisville Lake #2.
The state record yellow perch was caught out of Hackberry Lake.
One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout Nebraska, 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.
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 Nebraska fishing waters.