Fishing For Sunfish in Lakes: Top tips to getting you started!

lake fishing sunfish
Photoby dad_and_clint / CC BY / CC BY

Sometimes fishing for sunfish in lakes can just be frustrating. Especially when you are out there with the mind set that you will be catching big fish the whole time. I know personally I always have no problems catching those little tiny sunfish but that’s never what I have a goal for.

Usually I find sunfish or panfish in general near areas with some type of cover in shallow water. Whether that may be weeds, lily-pads, or in a back cove, they aren’t too hard to find and or catch. Fishing for Sunfish in lakes is simply great way to introduce fishing to beginners such as kids too. Grab a bucket for your live-well, a container full of worms and you’ll be ready to go fishing for sunfish in lakes in no time!

So.. Where should I look to find sunfish in the lakes?
I get this question a lot, and there simply is no straight answer. Its best to get to know your lake a little by looking up maps online. If that’s simply not a option, you need to use your observation skills.

You need to look towards the brushy side of the lake in areas such as: rocky bottoms, weeds, and in shade of docks or trees. You will find sunfish in the shallows most of the time in the hot summer months. Sunfish will spawn in the late spring and sometimes will even spawn several times a year. You will find these hot pockets that have a gravel or sandy bedding.

What baits should I use for when I’m Fishing for Sunfish in Lakes?
One of the great things about fishing for sunfish in lakes is that they’ll hit just about anything you throw at them. You will have a lot of success simply just using worms as they are the bait most anglers use to catch sunfish in lakes.

You could even use baits such as: grubs, minnows, crickets, flies, grass hoppers, meal worms and even corn. Heck even artificial bait works too. They even will strike at a variety of jigs, small flies and crankbaits.

If you are planning on using live bait though, you will want to use a bobber to keep it from hitting the bottom. This is a great technique for casting and fishing around a dock.

If you plan on using artificial baits, you will want to try to fish and cast near weedbeds, rock cover and brush. You will also get lucky casting near shade too from hills, rocks and trees on hot summer days.

What Tackle is best for fishing for sunfish in lakes?
You can use a variety of tackle for sunfish and thankfully they’ll bite at just about anything. Simply put, keep it simple. To go fishing for sunfish, you will need the following:

A fishing pole
A simple 12 to 13 foot fishing rod will work but even a stick can work too.

Reel equipped with four pound test line
You shouldn’t need anything more than four pound test line when fishing for sunfish in lakes.

Split shot Sinkers
Make sure you bring a few split shot in case your line snaps.

More slender bobber, the better. This will allow you to see more action from the fish.

Simply grab some worms from your local bait store or anything else that you can get ahold of listed above.