• Digital Magazine
        • Single Issues
        • Annual
  • Insider

Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

panfish fishing

Hit the Water with Panfish Gear That Won’t Let You Down

Perhaps one of the most widely caught types of freshwater fish in the United States are panfish. Consisting of upwards of 18 different species, this category is often sought after for a delicious fish fry or even some surprising action when running a lighter rod. Read on as we explore top gear used when fishing for crappie, bluegill, and more. 

Fun Panfish Facts 

  • There are upwards of 18 types of panfish in the US, including bluegill, pumpkinseed, sunfish (eight different sub-species) warmouth, rock and shadow bass, crappie (black, white), and perch (yellow, white).  
  • A single female bluegill can lay between 10,000 to 60,000 eggs in a single spawning season. 
  • Male sunfish build and guard nests during the breeding season. They create circular depressions in the substrate and aggressively protect their eggs from predators. 
  • Panfish are known to be opportunistic feeders, eating insects, small crustaceans, and even smaller fish. 
  • Panfish are popular targets for ice fishing, remaining active under the ice during the winter. 

Bass Pro Shops Crappie Maxx Squirmin’ Grubs  

Bass Pro Shops: Crappie Maxx Squirmin' Grubs  

When in doubt about what’s going to get them biting, you can never go wrong with a grub. Available in a wide array of colors, you can fish them as is or pair them with a jig. These 2-inch grubs appeal to nearly all species of Panfish, and the tail provides eye-catching disruption as it passes through the water.

Strike King Mr. Crappie Joker Soft Baits 

Cabelas: Strike King: Mr. Crappie Joker Soft Baits 

Not all soft baits are created equal… sometimes all it takes is a different type of movement underwater to tempt a fish to bite. The unique design of this Mr. Crappie Joker lure causes multi-directional movement with each of its three appendages, drawing even the most suspicious fish out of hiding.  

Rapala Ultra Light Shad 

Rapala: Ultra Light Shad 

This shad lookalike from Rapala provides a surprising amount of action for such a small lure. While tempting on the retrieve, it’s often when fishermen take a brief pause to let this 1/8th ounce lure slowly sink in the water that they’ll see most strikes. Closely mimicking a favorite panfish meal, this 1.5-inch shad lookalike is sure to provide strike after strike. 

Berkley PowerBait Chroma-Glow Crappie Nibbles  

Berkley: PowerBait Chroma-Glow Crappie Nibbles  

If the fish are slow to bite, it’s time to pull out all the tricks. While dough baits are often thought of for use with catfish, Berkley has pared down the serving size and now offers a line of Chroma-Glow Crappie Nibbles, perfect for smaller panfish. Packed with a savory punch of scent designed to slowly disperse through the water, simply apply it to your hook or use it to fill a hollow soft lure and get ready for some action!   

Oru Kayak Oru Lake 

Oru Kayak – Oru Lake 

Perhaps you want to venture out further into your lake or reservoir to find that secret honey hole but don’t have the space for a small john boat or traditional kayak. Oru Kayak solves that problem with its cleverly designed Lake option. This 9-foot long kayak is 32 inches wide, weighs a mere 17 pounds, holds up to 250 pounds, and folds down to fit into your pack or car trunk for easy transportation. 

Nalgene 32oz Wide Mouth Sustain Water Bottle 

Nalgene: 32oz Wide Mouth Sustain Water Bottle 

Staying hydrated during a summer afternoon of fishing is essential, and Nalgene makes it easy with their line of super-durable water bottles. The 32oz size is their most popular, with a large variety of color options available. Each bottle is BPA/BPS free, leakproof, and covered by a lifetime guarantee. 

Muck Boot Company Men’s Edgewater Classic Ankle Boot  

Muck: Men's Edgewater Classic Ankle Boot  

Fishing from shore is sure to bring you close to the water’s edge, especially if you find yourself hung up amongst a patch of cattails or moss. The Edgewater Classic Ankle Boot from Muck will allow you to traverse the water’s edge without the worry of soaking your only pair of socks. Each pair is 100% waterproof, and constructed to allow optimal airflow while fighting odor and moisture within. 

Montana Knife Company Flathead Fillet 

Montana Knife Company: Flathead Fillet 

Having a quality filet knife is important if you want to get the job done quickly while still preserving as much meat as possible. The Flathead Fillet Knife from MKC does the trick, allowing for just enough flex to navigate around bones. The 7-inch stainless steel blade is large enough to tackle not only panfish but other larger species as well while remaining easily manageable in the hand.

Huk Kona Button Down 

Huk: Kona Button Down 

It’s a scientific fact that if you wear a Hawaiian shirt while fishing, you’ll catch more fish… and don’t ask us to cite our sources!  The Huk’s line of Kona Button Down shirts are available in a variety of solid colors as well as flashy nautical-themed prints. These shirts are not only quick drying but also provide an SPF 30 level of protection against the sun’s rays. 

Sportsman’s Guide ProFISHiency Splat Pocket Spincast Combo 

Sportsman’s Guide: ProFISHiency Splat Pocket Spincast Combo 

You never know when the mood will strike to throw a few lines out, and for those who tend to travel with a rod in the car ready to go, Sportsman’s Guide has the solution for you!  The ProFISHiency Splat Pocket Spincast Combo is 30 inches fully extended, while measuring 18 inches once collapsed, ideal for travel or even a pack. This combo even comes pre-spooled with a 6-pound test line.

Disclaimer: We may earn a modest commission from sales generated by our affiliate links. Thanks for supporting us!

5 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1,000
Did you enjoy this story? SUBSCRIBE today to get more like this!

Leave a Comment

Trending articles

Related articles

Shopping Cart

You’ll hear from us one time per week!

The Latest Content
Hook & Barrel INSIDER
Sneak Previews of  Upcoming Issues
Exclusive Discounts & Special Offers