Guide To Panfish Fishing In Idaho
All about fishing for sunfish in ID lakes and ponds.
Idaho offers fantastic opportunities for panfish fishing, providing anglers, particularly young ones, with enjoyable and accessible fishing experiences. Panfish, which include species like sunfish and perch, are popular targets for their abundance and willingness to bite, making them ideal for young anglers to develop their fishing skills.
Sunfish, including bluegill and pumpkinseed, are plentiful in many Idaho waters. These vibrant and colorful fish are known for their aggressiveness and can be easily caught using simple tackle and bait. Sunfish provide a great opportunity for young anglers to practice casting, reeling, and landing fish, fostering a sense of accomplishment and joy.
Perch, such as yellow perch and white perch, are another popular panfish species found in Idaho's lakes and reservoirs. These feisty fish often congregate in schools and can provide exciting action for young anglers. Perch are known for their strong bite and delicious fillets, making them a favorite target among anglers of all ages.
Idaho's panfish fisheries offer a great introduction to fishing for young anglers. These species are typically abundant and can be found in a variety of fishing locations, including ponds, lakes, and even urban fishing spots. Many of these areas are easily accessible and offer amenities such as fishing docks, picnic areas, and restrooms, making them family-friendly destinations.
Youth fishing events and programs further promote panfish fishing in Idaho. Organizations and agencies often host fishing derbies, clinics, and educational events tailored specifically for young anglers. These events aim to introduce kids to fishing techniques, fish identification, and conservation practices, while also fostering a love for the sport and appreciation for Idaho's natural resources.
Panfish fishing in Idaho provides an excellent opportunity for young anglers to connect with nature, learn valuable skills, and create lasting memories. Whether it's catching their first bluegill or reeling in a school of perch, panfish fishing offers a fun and accessible entry point into the world of angling, instilling a lifelong passion for fishing and outdoor exploration.
Panfish & Perch Lakes
Throughout the state of Idaho you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, green sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, warmouth and yellow perch.
Often, small private ponds in Idaho yield the biggest panfish. Yet day in and day out the larger impoundments tend to produce the bigger stringers. Try your luck for panfish at American Falls Reservoir, Anderson Ranch Reservoir, Arrowrock Reservoir, Blackfoot Reservoir, Brownlee Reservoir, C J Strike Reservoir, Cascade Reservoir, Coeur D'Alene Lake, Crane Creek Reservoir, Hayden Lake, Hells Canyon Reservoir, Lake Lowell, Lake Pend Oreille, Lake Walcott, Lost Valley Reservoir, Lucky Peak Reservoir, Magic Reservoir, Mormon Reservoir, Paddock Valley Reservoir, Payette Lake, Priest Lake, Ririe Reservoir, Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir or Spirit Lake. Ice fishing for panfish can be fun for all ages and Idaho has numerous lakes as options.
Top Producing Panfish Lures & Bait
Check out the top producing lures and bait for bluegill, redear sunfish, rock bass and warmouth, as well as other smaller sunfish. Click here for the best lures for white bass, yellow bass, white perch and yellow perch.
In-state panfish, sunfish and perch
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 3.5 lbs
World record: 2.2 lbs
State Record: 0.67 lbs
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 0.88 lbs
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 0.60 lbs
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 3.22 lbs
Click the images and links above for species details.
Idaho state record panfish
The state record bluegill sunfish was caught out of C.J. Strike Reservoir.
The state record green sunfish came from Fernan Lake.
The state record pumpkinseed sunfish resided in Chase Lake.
The state record warmouth came out of the Snake River.
The state record yellow perch was caught in Cascade Reservoir.
One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout Idaho, 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 Idaho fishing waters.