Panfish - Pumpkinseed, Rock Bass, Bluegill, Crappie

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.


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.

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.

Fun facts:

Species Names: 
Pumpkin seed - Lepomis gibbosus

Rock Bass – Ambloplites rupestris

Bluegill – Lepomis macrochirus;

Crappie – Pomoxis

Common Names: 
Pumpkinseed - sunfish, pond perch, sunny

Rock Bass – red eye, rock perch, goggle eye

Bluegill – bream, brim, blue sunfish

Crappie – croppie, calico bass, speckled bass

State Records:
Pumpkinseed - 1 lbs. 4 oz. Caught in Lake Bomoseen in 2012 by Logan Bathalon.

Rock Bass: 2 lbs. 0 oz.  Caught in Lake Champlain in 1981 by Brad French.
Bluegill: 1 lb. 9.3 oz. Caught in Lake Champlain in 2008 by Todd Peacock.

Crappie: 3 lbs. 8.5 oz. Caught in Lake Hortonia in 2005 by Francis T. Geoffrey.

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