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Guide to fishing for panfish-sunfish in OH lakes and ponds.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Panfish fishing in Ohio

Throughout the state of Ohio you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, longear sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, spotted sunfish, warmouth, white bass, white perch and yellow perch.

Ohio offers excellent opportunities for panfish fishing, particularly targeting sunfish species.The purpose of this page is to share basic information about panfish fishing and identify popular sunfish fishing waters in the state. Sunfish are a popular choice for anglers of all ages, including youth, due to their abundance, willingness to bite, and colorful appearance. There are several sunfish species found in Ohio waters, including bluegill, pumpkinseed, redear sunfish, and longear sunfish.

Bluegill Fishing Basics Video

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

Bluegill is the most common and widely targeted sunfish species in Ohio. Known for their aggressive strikes and fighting abilities, bluegill provide endless fun for young anglers. These fish can be found in various freshwater bodies, including lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers. They readily take bait such as worms, crickets, or small jigs, making them an ideal species for beginners.

Pumpkinseed sunfish are another popular panfish species in Ohio. They are characterized by their vibrant colors, with orange and blue markings on their bodies. Pumpkinseeds can be found in weedy areas of lakes and ponds and are attracted to small baits and lures. Their striking appearance and feisty nature make them a favorite among young anglers.

Redear sunfish, also known as shellcrackers, are sought after for their large size and challenging fights. They have a preference for bottom-dwelling invertebrates and are often found near submerged structures. While redear sunfish may be less abundant compared to other sunfish species, catching one can be a rewarding experience for young anglers.

Longear sunfish are smaller in size but are equally fun to catch. They are known for their vibrant colors, long and pointed opercular flap, and distinct patterns. Longear sunfish can be found in rocky or weedy areas of lakes and rivers. They have a voracious appetite and readily take small baits, making them a suitable target for youth anglers.

Ohio's panfish fishing offers a fantastic opportunity for youth to learn basic fishing skills, including casting, hook-setting, and landing fish. The abundance of sunfish species in the state's lakes, ponds, and rivers ensures that young anglers have ample opportunities for success and enjoyment. Panfish fishing not only provides a fun and rewarding experience for youth but also helps instill a lifelong love for fishing and the outdoors.

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

Fishing Boats For Rent In Ohio


Panfish & Perch Lakes

Ohio waters are loaded with sunfish and an array of panfish. Ponds, creeks, rivers, parks and most fishing water in the state. They are plentiful in some of the larger impoundments including Alum Creek Lake, Atwood Lake, Berlin Lake, Buck Creek Lake, Buckeye Lake, Caesar Creek Lake, Charles Mill Lake, Clendening Reservoir, Cowan Lake, East Fork Lake, Grand Lake St Marys, Hoover Reservoir, Indian Lake, Lake Erie, Lake Milton, Meander Creek Reservoir, Mosquito Lake, Piedmont Reservoir, Pymatuning Lake, Rocky Fork Lake, Salt Fork Lake, Seneca Lake, Tappan Reservoir and West Branch Lake.

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: 3.28 lbs

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.2 lbs

State Record: 1.2 lbs

Hybrid Sunfish

Hybrid sunfish

World record: N/A

State Record: 2.03 lbs

Longear Sunfish

Longear sunfish

World record: 1.75 lbs

State Record: 0.41 lbs

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 1.10 lbs

Redear Sunfish

Redear sunfish

World record: 5.4 lbs

State Record: 3.58 lbs

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

State Record: 1.97 lbs



World record: 2.4 lbs

State Record: 1.32 lbs

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

State Record: 4.0 lbs

White Perch

White perch

World record: 4.6 lbs

State Record: 1.72 lbs

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 2.86 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

OH State Sunfish Records

Salt Fork Reservoir produced the state record bluegill.

The state record green sunfish, redear sunfish, hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish and warmouth all came out of private ponds.

Deer Creek served up the state record rock bass.

The state white perch record fish was pulled from Green Creek.

Lake Erie posted the state record yellow perch.

The state record white bass was caught from a gravel pit.

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.

AL Panfish & Sunfish Fishing AR Panfish & Sunfish Fishing AZ Panfish & Sunfish Fishing CA Panfish & Sunfish Fishing CO Panfish & Sunfish Fishing CT Panfish & Sunfish Fishing DC Panfish & Sunfish Fishing DE Panfish & Sunfish Fishing FL Panfish & Sunfish Fishing GA Panfish & Sunfish Fishing HI Panfish & Sunfish Fishing IA Panfish & Sunfish Fishing ID Panfish & Sunfish Fishing
IL Panfish & Sunfish Fishing IN Panfish & Sunfish Fishing KS Panfish & Sunfish Fishing KY Panfish & Sunfish Fishing LA Panfish & Sunfish Fishing MA Panfish & Sunfish Fishing MD Panfish & Sunfish Fishing ME Panfish & Sunfish Fishing MI Panfish & Sunfish Fishing MN Panfish & Sunfish Fishing MO Panfish & Sunfish Fishing MS Panfish & Sunfish Fishing MT Panfish & Sunfish Fishing
NC Panfish & Sunfish Fishing ND Panfish & Sunfish Fishing NE Panfish & Sunfish Fishing NH Panfish & Sunfish Fishing NJ Panfish & Sunfish Fishing NM Panfish & Sunfish Fishing NV Panfish & Sunfish Fishing NY Panfish & Sunfish Fishing OH Panfish & Sunfish Fishing OK Panfish & Sunfish Fishing OR Panfish & Sunfish Fishing PA Panfish & Sunfish Fishing
RI Panfish & Sunfish Fishing SC Panfish & Sunfish Fishing SD Panfish & Sunfish Fishing TN Panfish & Sunfish Fishing TX Panfish & Sunfish Fishing UT Panfish & Sunfish Fishing VA Panfish & Sunfish Fishing VT Panfish & Sunfish Fishing WA Panfish & Sunfish Fishing WI Panfish & Sunfish Fishing WV Panfish & Sunfish Fishing WY Panfish & Sunfish Fishing

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 Ohio fishing waters.