Nearly every angler I know cut their teeth catching panfish! The lakes we fish for trophy smallmouth bass are also teaming with some pole bending panfish! Mainly sunfish, crappie, and perch call our waters home. I always carry an ultralight set up just in case we hit a panfish feeding frenzy. In 2020 I was fishing one of my favorite lakes for bass. Of course, I was fishing from my kayak and was pitching a pretty good sized paddletail. In five casts I caught two beautiful crappies and had a muskie follow! I figured he was chasing the school of crappies. That particular lake has a very rustic boat landing and sees very little traffic. The lake also has special regulations in place for panfish.
Panfish can save the day if you bring a youngster along who just wants to catch fish! If we find a good crappie bite I may ask you to stay and enjoy it while it lasts.