How to Catch Panfish
By Jeff Bausch
First of all what is a panfish? They are smaller fish that can sometimes be easy to catch when nothing else bites.
However some are not so easy to catch. You will need some extra knowledge to catch others like the crappie. Bluegill, rock bass, various types of sunfish and crappie are examples of panfish species.
They can be some of the best fighting fish pound per pound you can catch without spending much money on your equipment.
What kind of equipment will you need?
Like I said you will not have to spend a lot of money. All you need is a basic rod and reel, maybe a spincast combo set or a spinning reel with a light rod.
You could also fish for panfish with a cane pole or a telescopic pole that can extend up to 20 feet long for those hard to reach areas from shore or a boat. I know some people that only fish with these inexpensive poles for crappie.
They say crappie spook so easy that when you pull up in a boat they will scatter. If you don’t get to close by using a 20 foot pole you will not spook them.
Where do you find panfish? Look under docks and piers, near and around weed beds and lily pads. They will also hang around submerged rock piles and just about any other structure in the lake or river.
Tree stumps, fallen trees just to name a few. Many times close to shore in the spring you will find bluegill. They will spawn in shallow areas that are rocky, which are sometimes close to shore.
Crappies are a little harder to find and catch. They can be found in the shallows only in the spring, then around weed beds in the summer in deeper water. Sometimes they will suspend in 15 to 20 feet of water when the water warms up in the summer. Perch can be found in the same areas that you find bluegill and crappie.
Learning how to catch panfish also includes what baits to fish with. Bluegill and Perch like worms and crappie prefer minnows. All of these baits must be live.
Panfish will bite on some artificial lures like spoons and swim baits that resemble live bait. When panfish are aggressive, like when they are protecting their nests during spawn, they may hit on almost anything they see as a threat to their eggs.
Learn how to catch panfish, the big ones! Now I said catching panfish can be pretty easy. However the big ones can be a little harder to catch. Bluegill can be plentiful around shorelines, piers, and docks and under parked boats.
Many of them may be smaller with some bigger ones nearby. Look for the big panfish on their spawn beds in the spring and around weed beds, rocky points, tree stumps and many other types of structure that may be in deeper water.
Depending on the water temperature and time of year will tell you how deep. If you do not have a temperature gauge fish at different depths while trolling or drifting in order to find them.
I am sure you will find this article helpful in your quest to catch your limit of crappie or any other panfish you are fishing for. Learning how to catch panfish is your key to success on any lake or river.
If you would like to know more please check out this page of crappie fishing tips.
Jeff Bausch has been fishing for over 40 years. He started a lake map business with the best fishing spots marked plus a fishing newspaper many years ago. Fishing has always been a passion, now he is sharing his fishing knowledge about how to use lake maps and how to fish any lake with great success.