Minnesota Panfish Fishing
All about fishing for sunfish in MN lakes and ponds.
Throughout the state you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, white bass and yellow perch. Ice fishing for perch is popular throughout the state in winter.
Minnesota is the land of ten-thousand lakes and you can be sure a high percentage of them have one or species of panfish as residents. State records typically come from small lakes and private ponds that receive little fishing pressure. The larger, more consistent schools of panfish come from some of the major lakes in this state including Big Stone Lake, Cass Lake, Kabetogama Lake, Lac Qui Parle Lake, Lake Bemidji, Lake Mille Lacs, Lake Minnetonka, Lake Minnewaska, Lake of the Woods, Lake Pepin, Lake Traverse, Lake Vermilion, Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, Lower Red Lake, Otter Tail Lake, Pelican Lake, Rainy Lake, Upper Red Lake and many others.
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: 2 lbs 13 oz
World record: 2.2 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 4 oz
World record: N/A
State Record: 1 lbs 12 oz
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 1 lbs 5 oz
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 2 lbs 0 oz
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 0 lbs 9 oz
World record: 6.8 lbs
State Record: 4 lbs 8 oz
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 3 lbs 4 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
Minnesota State Record Sunfish
The state record bluegill was caught from Alice Lake.
The state record green sunfish came from North Arbor Lake.
The state record hybrid sunfish came from the Middle Fork Zumbro River.
The state record pumpkinseed sunfish came out of Leech Lake.
The state record rock bass tie, one was caught in Lake Winnibigoshish, one was caught from Lake Osakis.
The state record warmouth came out of Pool 6 Bartlet Lake.
The state record white bass came from Vadnais Lake.
The state record yellow perch was caught from Lake Plantaganette.
One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout Minnesota, 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 Minnesota fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.