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Panfish, Perch & Sunfish Fishing In Connecticut

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Guide to fishing for panfish in CT lakes and ponds.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Panfish fishing in Colorado

Connecticut offers excellent opportunities for panfish fishing, making it a perfect activity for youth anglers to get started and learn the joys of fishing. Two popular panfish species in the state are sunfish and perch, which provide abundant action and excitement for young anglers. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about panfish fishing and identify popular sunfish fishing waters in the state.

Bluegill Fishing Basics Video

The core principles shown in this video will work for most sunfish, perch and other panfish.

Sunfish, including bluegill and pumpkinseed, are prevalent in many lakes, ponds, and rivers throughout Connecticut. These colorful and spunky fish are known for their willingness to bite and put up a good fight. Sunfish can be caught using simple fishing rigs, such as a bobber and worm or a small jig tipped with bait. They are often found near submerged vegetation, docks, and other structures. Fishing for sunfish is a great way for young anglers to develop their fishing skills and gain confidence in their abilities.

Perch are another popular panfish species in Connecticut and are often found in the same water bodies as sunfish. Yellow perch, in particular, are highly sought after by anglers. They are known for their delicious flesh and can be caught using similar techniques as sunfish. Perch are typically found near the bottom, so using small jigs, worms, or minnows close to the lake or pond floor can yield great results. Young anglers can enjoy the challenge of targeting perch and the satisfaction of catching these tasty fish.

Connecticut's lakes, ponds, and rivers provide ample opportunities for youth anglers to experience the excitement of panfish fishing. Whether it's casting a line from the shore of a local pond or exploring a nearby lake with a boat, kids can engage in the fun and rewarding activity of panfish fishing. The simplicity of the tackle and the accessibility of panfish make it an ideal choice for youth fishing.

When taking youth anglers panfish fishing, it's important to provide guidance and supervision, especially if they are new to fishing. Teach them proper fishing techniques, including casting, reeling, and handling fish responsibly. Encourage catch-and-release practices to promote conservation and sustainable fishing practices.

Panfish fishing in Connecticut offers an enjoyable and educational experience for young anglers. It allows them to connect with nature, learn valuable skills, and create lasting memories while spending time outdoors. Whether it's catching sunfish off a dock or landing a perch from a boat, panfish fishing in Connecticut is an activity that can foster a lifelong love for fishing and the natural world.

Throughout the state of Connecticut you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass and yellow perch. Ice fishing for perch and sunfish are an ideal way to introduce kids to fishing.

Panfish & Perch Lakes

You'll find populations of sunfish and bluegills in most lakes in CT including Alexander Lake, Amos Lake, Bantam Lake, Bashan Lake, Beach Pond, Black Pond, Candlewood Lake, Cedar Lake, Colebrook River Lake, Crystal Lake, Gardner Lake, Green Falls Pond, Highland Lake, Lake Beseck, Lake Lillinonah, Lake Marie, Lake McDonough, Lake Quassapaug, Lake Saltonstall, Lake Zoar, Lower Bolton Lake, Mansfield Hollow Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Middle Bolton Lake, Moodus Reservoir, Mudge Pond, Pachaug Pond, Pine Acres Lake, Pinewood Lake, Quaddick Reservoir, Quinebaug Pond, Rogers Lake, Saugatuck Reservoir, Shenipsit Lake, Squantz Pond, Tyler Lake, Waramaug Lake, Washinee Lake, Washining Lake, West Hill Pond, West Thompson Lake, Winchester Lake and Wononscopomuc 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.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Connecticut

In-state panfish, sunfish and perch



World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 4 oz

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 3 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 3 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 13 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Connecticut State Record Sunfish

The state record bluegill was caught from a private pond.

The state record pumpkinseed sunfish came out of Lake Marie.

The state record rockbass (tie) one was caught in Colebrook Reservoir, one from Shenipsit Lake.

The state record white perch was caught out of Crystal Lake.

The state record yellow perch was caught from Black Pond.


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.

One or more species of sunfish or perch populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout Connecticut, and around the world for that matter. They can survive in waters that provide their natural food source of minnows, insects, tadpoles, crustaceans and worms. Their competitive nature amongst themselves, for food, makes them relatively easy to catch.


Sunfish information in other states.

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