New Jersey Panfish Fishing
All about fishing for sunfish in NJ lakes and ponds.
Throughout the state of New Jersey you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, white perch and yellow perch.
One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout New Jersey, 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.
Major lakes like Greenwood Lake, Lake Hopatcong, Manasquan Reservoir, Merrill Creek Reservoir, Monksville Reservoir, Oak Ridge Reservoir, Rainbow Lake, Round Valley Reservoir, Ryker Lake, Spruce Run Reservoir, Swartswood Lake, Union Lake and Wanaque Reservoir all have healthy populations of one or more species of sunfish. Mosy small lakes, rivers and ponds also contain panfish.
The New Jersey state record bluegill sunfish and pumpkinseed sunfish were pulled from a private pond. The NJ state record white perch was caught from Forest Hill Lake and the state record yellow perch came from Holiday 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.
The term "panfish" comprises many species, each called by a variety of names. The bluegill tops the list and is the most common.
In-state panfish, sunfish and perch
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 3 lbs 0 oz
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 1 lbs 8 oz
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 5 oz
World record: 4.6 lbs
State Record: 3 lbs 1 oz
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
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.
Bluegill Fishing Basics Video
The core principles shown in this video will work for most sunfish, perch and other panfish.
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 New Jersey fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.