Virginia Panfish Fishing
All about fishing for sunfish in VA lakes and ponds.
Throughout the state of Virginia you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, rock bass, white bass, white perch and yellow perch.
Almost everywhere you drop a small, baited hook you can expect to see small sunfish coming for dinner. Ponds, rivers, parks, small lakes as well as major lakes like Carvins Cove Reservoir, Claytor Lake, Diascund Creek Reservoir, Kerr Reservoir, Lake Anna, Lake Chesdin, Lake Drummond, Lake Gaston, Lake Moomaw, Leesville Reservoir, Occoquan Reservoir, Philpott Lake, Smith Mountain Lake, South Holston Lake and Western Branch Reservoir have populations of one or more panfish.
In-state panfish, sunfish and perch
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 4 lbs 8 oz
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 2 lbs 2 oz
World record: 6.8 lbs
State Record: 6 lbs 13 oz
World record: 4.6 lbs
State Record: 3 lbs 2 oz
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 3 lbs 0 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
Virginia State Record Sunfish
The state record bluegill was caught from a private pond.
The state record redear sunfish came out of a private pond.
The state record rockbass was caught in Laurel Bed Lake.
The state record white bass came from Lake Orange.
The state record white perch was caught out of a private pond.
The state record yellow perch was caught from Flannagan Reservoir.
One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout Virginia, 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 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.
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 Virginia fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.