Crappies and bluegills are biting in small ponds and lakes across Iowa. Spring panfish fishing is a great opportunity to introduce beginners of all ages to fishing. Catching panfish is easy and fun.
“Late May and early June is a great time to take kids fishing,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau. “Many species are close to shore, willing to bite and do not spook as easily.”
Fish close to structure, like rocks or a pile of brush or gravel to find bluegills or crappies. Bass will be around brush or boat docks or rock piles. Quickly find fish structure locations with the online fishing atlas or download structure location maps from the DNR’s Where to Fish website.
“Keep your hooks, bobbers and bait small because panfish have small mouths,” Larscheid said. “Use as light of tackle as you can. Four pound line, a bobber the size of a quarter and a size 8 hook work well.
“Think of the special memories you had fishing as a kid, and share this great tradition with your kids and grandkids,” Larscheid said.
Bring along snacks, take lots of photos and celebrate each fish as if it were a record breaker.
Enjoy Iowa’s outdoors and spend some time fishing this spring. Find tips for catching crappie, bluegills and yellow bass on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/fishing. Check the weekly fishing report to find out what is biting where.