Sunfish Fishing Gear
Plentiful and easy to catch, sunfish are ideal for introducing children to the joys of fishing. There is no better way to get a kid hooked on the sport. The sunfish group includes pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill and rock bass.
Beginner Equipment, Bait and Technique To Catch Sunfish
Sunfish Rod and Reel
A good beginner set-up for catching sunfish is a simple rod and spin-casting reel kit.
The best bait to use for catching sunfish is dew worms or even pieces of corn. You can also use small minnows.
Sunfish are normally found in lakes that have warm, shallow water near the shore where there is a bit of cover. Try your luck around rocks, fallen trees, near weed beds or under the dock.
The best water temperature for sunfish is 27 – 30 degrees Celsius (81 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit). Source: Ontario MNR
Sunfish Fishing Technique
In still water that is shallow, use a small float (bobber) with the line length set to place the bait just above the bottom.
If the water is a bit deeper or choppy, it is best to use a light split shot (weight) to get the bait to the bottom. In this case you would not use the float.
When fishing with a float, you know the fish is biting the bait when the float starts to “bob” up and down. Sometimes and aggressive fish will pull the bobber right under the water. This is when you need to lift the fishing rod to set the hook and reel the fish in.
When fishing with the bait on the bottom of the lake, keep the line reasonably tight and hold it just in front of the reel using your thumb and forefinger. When a fish bites the bait, you will feel a soft “tug-tug-tug” on the line. When this happens, lift the rod tip with a quick motion to set the hook.
Always be ready for a surprise. Bass are often caught in the same area as sunfish and will often take a piece of worm or a small minnow.
Go to the Beginner Fishing Gear page for an extensive list of the equipment needed for beginner anglers.
Go to the Beginner Fishing Tips page for advice on how to catch all types of fish in different situations.