Guide To Panfish Fishing Options In Maryland
All about fishing for sunfish in MD lakes and ponds.
Maryland offers fantastic opportunities for panfish fishing, particularly targeting sunfish species, which are ideal for youth fishing adventures. Sunfish, including bluegill, pumpkinseed, and redear sunfish, are abundant in Maryland's lakes, ponds, and rivers, providing young anglers with plenty of action and excitement.
Bluegill, one of the most common sunfish species, can be found in various bodies of water throughout the state. These vibrant fish are known for their willingness to bite and provide a thrilling fight on light tackle. Pumpkinseed sunfish, with their striking colors and distinctive ear-like extensions, are another popular target. These panfish are often found near submerged vegetation and are eager to bite on small hooks and bait.
For young anglers looking for a unique challenge, redear sunfish, also known as shellcrackers, can be an exciting catch. They have a reputation for being selective eaters, which adds an element of skill to targeting them. Redeear sunfish can be found in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers, often near structures or areas with sandy bottoms.
Panfish fishing provides an excellent opportunity for youth fishing in Maryland. These species are abundant, easy to catch, and often found in easily accessible areas, making them ideal for young anglers to learn and practice fishing skills. The excitement of reeling in sunfish, combined with their vibrant colors and feisty nature, creates a memorable experience for kids, fostering a lifelong love for the sport.
Maryland's parks and recreation areas often provide youth fishing programs and events, offering young anglers an opportunity to learn from experienced mentors, interact with fellow young anglers, and enjoy the thrill of fishing in a supportive and educational environment. These programs focus on teaching fishing techniques, ethical fishing practices, and environmental stewardship, instilling values that contribute to the future conservation of Maryland's fisheries.
Panfish fishing in Maryland is a gateway to outdoor exploration and a rewarding experience for young anglers. Whether it's casting a line from the shoreline of a local pond or joining a youth fishing program, kids can immerse themselves in the joys of fishing while connecting with nature and developing important life skills along the way.
Panfish & Perch Fishing Lakes in Maryland
Throughout the state of Maryland you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, redear sunfish, rock bass, white perch and yellow perch. Panfish are everywhere. They are a major part of food source for larger, predator fish. They also make a pretty tasty fish fry. Larger individual fish tend to come from private ponds while the larger schools of common-size fish tend to be found in larger impoundments like Broadford Lake, Deep Creek Lake, Jennings Randolph Lake, Liberty Reservoir, Little Seneca Lake, Loch Raven Reservoir, Piney Run Lake, Prettyboy Reservoir, Rocky Gorge Reservoir, St. Mary's Lake, Triadelphia Reservoir and Youghiogheny River Lake.
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: 3.4 lbs
World record: 5.4 lbs
State Record: 2.3 lbs
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 1.5 lbs
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 0.7 lbs
World record: 4.6 lbs
State Record: 1.9 lbs
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 3.3 lbs
Click the images and links above for species details.
Maryland State Record Sunfish
The state record bluegill was caught from Deep Creek Lake.
The state record redear sunfish came out of Gilbert Run Lake.
The state record rockbass was caught in a farm pond.
The state record warmouth came out of Gilbert Run Lake.
The state record white perch was caught out of Loch Raven Lake.
The state record yellow perch was caught from a private pond.
The term "panfish" comprises many species, each called by a variety of names. The bluegill tops the list and is the most common.
One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout Maryland, 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.
Bluegill Fishing Basics Video
The core principles shown in this video will work for most sunfish, perch and other panfish.
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.
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 Maryland fishing waters.