I recently filmed a panfish show using small crankbaits to target Pumpkinseed, Bluegill and Rock Bass. Many anglers use live worms or even small minnows when they are targetting panfish, but I have found that tiny crankbaits work really well especially if you have to cover a lot of shallow open-water and also sparse weed flats.
My first choice is the tiny Rapala CD3 or CD5. These tiny lures cast like a “bullet”, they can be retrieved at any speed to produce a natural wobble, and they can be fished at any depth if you use the “countdown” method. They are equipped with tiny trebles that even a sunfish can grab. Next time you are targeting panfish make sure to have one of these little crankbaits with you and fish it on 4 lb. test. Don’t be surprised if in addition to panfish you hook a descent gamefish!!