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Wisconsin Panfish by: Tanya Rothe

There are eleven different varieties of panfish in Wisconsin.  Those include Rock Bass, Green Sunfish, Pumpkinseed, Warmouth, Orange spotted Sunfish, Bluegill, Long ear Sunfish, Yellow Perch, White Crappie, and the Black Crappie.  Wisconsin is known for its abundance in delicious fish, especially the panfish.  You can pretty much go to any decent sized body of water in the state and catch your nightly dinner during the appropriate fishing seasons.  The bluegill is the most popular of the panfish weighing up to 4lbs.  You will generally find them in lakes that are 60-85 degrees, murky water with little to no currents.  Lake Michigan has some of the best fishing around including the record for the biggest bluegill and biggest green sunfish.  

Panfish Photos & Pictures in Wisconsin


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Wisconsin panfish are very productive in their mating, propagating pretty much as fast as they are caught for supper.  Bluegills usually stay in groups and stay close to their food source.  If you are looking for a hot spot to find panfish, look for bodies of water that have areas that are around 1-10 feet in depth.  Pumpkinseed fish get their name from their shape and color and can often be found in vegetated covered bottoms in clear lakes.  The rock bass is a favorite to those who visit Wisconsin for a good meal.  They inhabit streams and rivers that have rocky bottoms.  Many come from all around for some of the best panfish fishing in Wisconsin.  A lot of the area’s restaurants cook up the yellow perch for the state’s well-known and favorite fish fries.  You can catch them easily by using minnows, insects and worms. 

Interesting Information on Wisconsin Panfish

  • Scientific Name: N/A
  • Measurements: 4-12 inches
  • Habitat: rivers, lakes and streams that is slightly murky with lots of vegetation.
  • Diet: minnows, other smaller fish, bugs, and worms
  • Behavior: inhabit warmer waters, prefer warmer waters with plenty of food sources
  • Reproduction: (In General) Mating season is May thru August, spawning bed of 6-12 inches, males protect the eggs.
  • Predators: bigger fish, birds, humans and loss of habitat.
  • Life Expectancy: 5-6 years if not caught sooner.
  • Extra Facts: For more information: http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/documents/wifish.pdf  and http://www.aa-fishing.com/wi/wisconsin-panfish-fishing.html


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