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Tennessee Panfish Fishing

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All about fishing for panfish in TN lakes and ponds.

Panfish fishing in Colorado

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

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

Fall Creek and a private pond each turned out matching Tennessee state record bluegill and the TN state record flier sunfish was pulled out of Blair Lake. North Cross Creek was home to the TN state record green sunfish and Dogwood lake served up the Tennessee state record pumpkinseed sunfish. The state record redbreast sunfish came out of the Holston River and the state record for redear sunfish came from a pond. Melton Hill Reservoir and the Hiwassee River produced a tie for the state record yellow perch.


They are everywhere. Choose Boone Lake, Calderwood Reservoir, Center Hill Lake, Cheatham Lake, Cherokee Lake, Chickamauga Lake, Chilhowee Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, Dale Hollow Reservoir, Douglas Lake, Fort Loudoun Lake, Fort Patrick Henry Reservoir, Great Falls Lake, J Percy Priest Lake, John Sevier Reservoir, Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, Melton Hill Lake, Nickajack Lake, Normandy Lake, Norris Lake, Ocoee Lake, Old Hickory Lake, Parksville Reservoir, Percy Priest Lake, Pickwick Lake, Reelfoot Lake, South Holston Lake, Tellico Reservoir, Tims Ford Lake, Watauga Lake, Watts Bar Lake and Woods Reservoir...and you'll find healthy panfish. Statewide, ponds, rivers and smaller lakes also have panfish.

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 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.

Fishing for panfish in Tennessee



World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

TN State Record: 3 lbs 0 oz

Flier Sunfish

Flier sunfish

World record: 1 lbs 4 oz

TN State Record: 0 lbs 8 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.1 lbs

TN State Record: 1 lbs 4 oz

Longear Sunfish

Longear sunfish

World record: 1.75 lbs

TN State Record: 0 lbs 13 oz

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 4 oz

TN State Record: 0 lbs 5 oz

Redbreast Sunfish

Redbreast sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 0 oz

TN State Record: 1 lbs 5 oz

Redear Sunfish

Redear sunfish

World record: 5.4 lbs

TN State Record: 3 lbs 6 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

TN State Record: 2 lbs 8 oz

Soptted Sunfish

Spotted sunfish

World record: N/A

TN State Record: 0 lbs 5 oz



World record: 2.4 lbs

TN State Record: 1 lbs 12 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

TN State Record: 5 lbs 10 oz

Yellow Bass

Yellow bass

World record: 2 lbs 15 oz

TN State Record: 2 lbs 9 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

TN State Record: 2 lbs 2 oz

By clicking on the images and links above, you will be taken to a page offering more information about the selected species.

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 Tennessee fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.

Contribute TN Sunfish Fishing Knowledge

If you have information, articles or photos relating to panfish fishing in Tennessee, which you would like to see published here, please submit them for consideration.

Best panfish fishing lakes in Tennessee!