Learn Popular Panfish Fishing Options In New Jersey
All about fishing for sunfish in NJ lakes and ponds.
Throughout the state of New Jersey you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, white perch and yellow perch. Sunfish can be caught year round, especially at lakes offering ice fishing in winter. One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm-water (and some cold-water) streams, ponds and lakes throughout the state. 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. Major lakes like Greenwood Lake, Lake Hopatcong, Manasquan Reservoir, Merrill Creek Reservoir, Monksville Reservoir, Oak Ridge Reservoir, Rainbow Lake, Round Valley Reservoir, Ryker Lake, Spruce Run Reservoir, Swartswood Lake, Union Lake and Wanaque Reservoir all have healthy populations of one or more species of sunfish. Mosy small lakes, rivers and ponds also contain panfish.
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 lbs 0 oz
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 1 lbs 8 oz
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 1 lbs 5 oz
World record: 4.6 lbs
State Record: 3 lbs 1 oz
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 2 lbs 6 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
New Jersey State Record Sunfish
The state record bluegill was caught from a farm pond.
The state record pumpkinseed sunfish came out of a private pond.
The state record rockbass was caught in the Saddle River.
The state record white perch was caught out of Forest Hill Park Lake.
The state record yellow perch was caught from Holiday Lake.
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 New Jersey fishing waters.