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Wisconsin Panfish Fishing

All about fishing for sunfish in WI lakes and ponds.

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Panfish fishing in Colorado

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

Panfish Fishing Lakes In Wisconsin

You could search for a long while before finding fishing waters in WI absent of one or more species of sunfish. They tend to be everywhere. Fish for them in ponds, rivers, parks, small lakes and major Wisconsin lakes including Beaver Dam Lake, Big Eau Pleine Reservoir, Big Green Lake, Castle Rock Lake, Chetac Lake, Fence Lake, Geneva Lake, Gile Flowage Lake, Grindstone Lake, Holcombe Flowage,Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac Vieux Desert, Lake Butte des Morts, Lake Chippewa, Lake du Bay, Lake Kegonsa, Lake Koshkonong, Lake Michigan, Lake Monona, Lake Mendota, Lake Onalaska, Lake Pepin, Lake Poygan, Lake Puckaway, Lake Superior, Lake Winnebago, Lake Wisconsin, Lake Wissota, Long Lake, Namekagon Lake, Pelican Lake, Petenwell Lake, Pewaukee Lake, Rainbow Flowage, Shawano Lake, Shell Lake, Tomahawk Lake, Trout Lake, Turtle Flambeau Flowage and Willow Reservoir.


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.

Lake Michigan was home to the Wisconsin state record bluegill and the WI state record green sunfish came from Wind Lake. Big Round Lake produced the Washington state record pumpkinseed sunfish. Lake Michigan - Sturgeon Bay produced the state record white perch and the WI state record yellow perch was caught from Lake Winnebago.

Fishing for panfish in Wisconsin



World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

WI State Record: 2 lbs 10 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.1 lbs

WI State Record: 1 lbs 9 oz

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 4 oz

WI State Record: 1 lbs 2 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

WI State Record: 2 lbs 15 oz



World record: 2.4 lbs

WI State Record: 1 lbs 1 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

WI State Record: 4 lbs 6 oz

White Perch

White perch

World record: 4.6 lbs

WI State Record: 1 lbs 1 oz

Yellow Bass

Yellow bass

World record: 2 lbs 15 oz

WI State Record: 2 lbs 12 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

WI State Record: 3 lbs 4 oz

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

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

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

Contribute WI Sunfish Fishing Knowledge

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

Best panfish fishing lakes in Wisconsin!