pan·​fish ˈpan-ˌfish How to pronounce panfish (audio)
: a small food fish (such as a sunfish) usually taken with hook and line and not available on the market

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web So, there is a multitude of rigs designed to present baits well to the finicky whims of these fun-to-catch, oversized panfish. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, 20 Mar. 2023 The Central and Eastern basins of Lake Erie are still struggling to boost perch populations, despite lowering the daily bag limit of perch to just 10 of the popular panfish. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 22 Sep. 2022 Smallmouth bass and other panfish are probably within a short drive of your home in just about any direction. oregonlive, 3 Sep. 2022 Jigs tipped with maggots or waxworks and suspended under a small float will catch panfish of all sizes, as well as rainbow trout. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 10 Feb. 2022 After an unsuccessful effort to catch a few largemouth bass, Jim and McKenna set up for panfish and were immediately into the fish. Jim Gronaw,, 5 Dec. 2021 Most folks haven’t heard of a small panfish called a flier. Jim Gronaw,, 14 Nov. 2021 The popular Lake Erie yellow perch fishing began to heat up last week as schools of the green-and-gold panfish finally began moving to near-shore waters. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 28 Oct. 2021 Dwayne Dooley, of Chicago, reeled in the biggest panfish, which was recorded at 10.75 inches. Bill Jones,, 6 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'panfish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1796, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of panfish was in 1796

Dictionary Entries Near panfish

Cite this Entry

“Panfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


pan·​fish ˈpan-ˌfish How to pronounce panfish (audio)
: a small food fish (as a sunfish) usually caught with a hook and line and not sold in stores
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