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Panfish - Pumpkinseed, Rock Bass, Bluegill, Crappie

Fun Facts

  • Species Name: Lepomis gibbosus
  • Common Names: sunfish, pond perch, sunny
  • State Record: 1 lbs. 4 oz. Caught in Lake Bomoseen in 2012 by Logan Bathalon.
Rock Bass
  • Species Name: Ambloplites rupestris
  • Common Names: red eye, rock perch, goggle eye
  • State Record: 2 lbs. 0 oz. Caught in Lake Champlain in 1981 by Brad French.
  • Species Name: Lepomis macrochirus;
  • Common Names: bream, brim, blue sunfish
  • State Record: 1 lb. 15.7 oz. Caught in Miller Pond in 2016 by John Konya.
  • Species Name: Pomoxis
  • Common Names: croppie, calico bass, speckled bass
  • State Record: 3 lbs. 8.5 oz. Caught in Lake Hortonia in 2005 by Francis T. Geoffrey.


A small, brightly colored sunfish that is representative of a group of fish called “panfish” which in Vermont includes bluegill, redbreast sunfish, rock bass and black and white crappie. Panfish rarely exceed 10 inches, but they are excellent eating, abundant and fun to catch for anglers of all ages.

Where to Fish

Many panfish species are found in lakes, ponds and rivers throughout Vermont. Common areas to find panfish include smaller, shallower ponds and lakes, as well as weedy coves and bays of larger lakes.

A few of the more popular panfish waters include lakes Dunmore, Champlain, Bomoseen, St. Catherine, Morey and Fairlee, as well as Monkton Pond, Otter Creek and the Connecticut River.

How to Fish

Panfish typically relate to shallow cover such as submerged vegetation, sunken trees and underwater rock piles, and can be taken by anglers using worms or other types of small live bait, as well as with small artificial lures including flies, spinners, poppers, tube jigs and grubs.