Skip to main content Skip to main content

These Southern Waters Are Breaming with Panfish Potential

Anglers down South have some of the best bluegill waters in the country. Here are the best ones around.

These Southern Waters Are Breaming with Panfish Potential

Shutterstock image

Quick notes on top panfish fishing from Texas to the Carolinas.

ALABAMA

Located in Escambia County near the Florida border, Leon Brooks Hines Lake is an under-the-radar, 184-acre public lake that has been turning out bull coppernose bluegills and trophy-class redear sunfish for many years. See "Doug & Allie's Post at Leon Brooks Hines State Lake" on Facebook for the latest reports and regulations.


NORTH CAROLINA

The tidal rivers entering the northern shore of Albermarle Sound near Elizabeth City may feature the best bluegill fishing in all of the United States. Bluegill expert Jeffrey Abney catches and releases hundreds of 10-inch-and-larger bream from the cypress-filled Pasquotank, Perquimens, Yeopim and Little river systems, with live crickets doing most of the damage. For local info, call River City Bait and Tackle (757-681-1950) or Bass Ackwards Lures (252-338-4700).



Operated by the King Fisher Society, Richmond Mill Lake is a pay-to-play outdoor paradise near Laurel Hill, and may be the best place on the planet to catch a 2-pound-plus coppernose bream. At 184-acres, the facility offers 5-star lodging with superb dining and a variety of outdoor fishing and hunting packages to choose from. For more information, visit kingfishersociety.com.

TENNESSEE

Reelfoot Lake is a 15,000-acre natural lake that was formed by an earthquake in 1812 and boasts top-end panfishing for both slab crappies and big bluegills. Numerous lakeside camps offer economical fishing packages that include boat rentals and lakefront cabins. For more information, visit cypresspointresort.com.

Southern-Panfish
These Southern waters are known for panfishing.

FLORIDA

Huge, bass-famous Lake Okeechobee, at 750 square miles, holds an untold amount of slab-sided bluegills that routinely spawn several times throughout the spring and summer and are vastly overlooked by the masses. Visit lakeokeechobeebassfishing.com for info.




SOUTH CAROLINA

The Santee-Cooper Lakes of Marion and Moultrie offer a world-class bluegill and redear sunfish fishery comprising more than 180,000 acres. Coppernose bream over a pound and redears over 2 pounds are caught regularly during the spawning months of late March through May. For lodging and guides on this huge system, visit blackscamp.com.


TEXAS

Caddo Lake, at 26,810 acres, offers Deep South habitat with stellar fishing for bluegills and redear sunfish as early as late February though spawning peaks in April. As with other large, intricate waters, a guide is recommended for initial visits. For more information visit twpd.texas.gov or call Caddo Lake State Park (903-679-3351).

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

The Modern Air Rifle: Air Archery with the Umarex AirSaber

The Modern Air Rifle: Air Archery with the Umarex AirSaber

The big brother to the AirJavelin, the Umarex AirSaber uses high-pressure air to zip a 350-grain arrow at velocities up to 480 feet per second. That's more than enough to hunt big game or predators and it's accurate out to 70 yards. So, if you're looking for a tool to have fun with and/or hunt with, check out the Umarex AirSaber.

NuCanoe

NuCanoe's New-for-2021 Unlimited Fishing Kayak

A bow-to-stern look at NuCanoe's Unlimited with NuCanoe's Ray Martinez and OSG's John Deshauteurs at ICAST 2021 in Orlando.

Crash Course: 3 Ways to Rig a Senko-Style Lure to Catch Bass

Crash Course: 3 Ways to Rig a Senko-Style Lure to Catch Bass

In this episode of "Crash Course," host Shane Beilue shows three great rig set-ups for soft-plastic stick baits. All are highly effective on catching bass.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now