Sunfish is the term usually ascribed to panfish, although, as the title shows, panfish includes crappie, rock bass, yellow perch. Panfishing is mostly underappreciated. I remember growing up learning that sunfish were a nuisance–something you should discard onshore. When I took up sportfishing anew, two years ago, I found YouTube channels featuring pan fishing. I learned to appreciate panfish as a natural resource and found they are quite tasty when battered, breaded and fried in peanut oil.
Published in 1964 by Outdoor Life and Harper & Row, the book is a comprehensive, illustrated and indexed guide in 285 pages to the sport of fishing for the species of freshwater fish commonly called panfish. The book is replete with illustrations by Charles Berger and John Dahl. It includes chapters on the ecology and management of the various species of panfish across the fifty states. It has chapters discussing the selection of rods and reels for pan fishing, the use of live and artificial baits, and fishing techniques as summed up in the notes on the dust jacket:
The author [F. Philip Rice] has closely studied these fish and their feeding habits all his life. Here he combines his own extensive knowledge about them with the latest scientific findings. The result is information you’ll find invaluable to your everyday fishing.
For each fish you’ll find vital facts about its habitats, spawning and reproduction, sizes and bag limits, baits to use, basic seasonal tactics, and loads more. There are also separate chapters on spinning, fly fishing, bait casting and ice fishing that fully describe the procedures and advantages of each of these techniques.
The book is a welcome find and addition to our library collection–a 1st edition copy of a book long out of print that stands as a record of the popularity of pan fishing in North America through the 20th century.
Posted by Geoffrey