Pan fishing is a term applied to all fish not considered a “game fish.” Game fish include trout, salmon, bass, walleye, pickerel, etc. Pan fish in our area include bluegills, black crappie, bullheads, sunfish, yellow perch etc.
The best time of year to catch pan fish are during the time of their springtime yearly spawn. That is when the fish enter the shallows of the lake or pond to build nests and lay eggs. Some pan fish lay as many as 100,000 eggs; so there is no such thing as overfishing the resource. It fact, if pan fish are not regularly taken from a body of water, they will soon become stunted. I have encountered a few owners of ponds who do not want any fish kept. I honor that request of course; until I can make them understand the negative results of such actions.