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.
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.
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 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.
The state record sunfish was caught from a private pond. Laurel Bed Lake yielded the VA state record rock bass. The Virginia state record white bass was caught from Lake Orange, and the VA state record yellow perch was taken out of Lake Moomaw. Lake Prince produced the VA state record white perch.
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: 4 lbs 12 oz*
*For all sunfish in VA
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
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 Virginia fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.