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Retention Pond Fishing Strategy

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I'm fairly new to bass fishing and I bank fish a lot of retention ponds around the Indy area and was wondering what strategies, baits, and techniques you guys use.

The problem I face is that none of these ponds have any cover, no grass, usually have V-shaped bottoms, and are open to the sun with very little shade.

The ponds have some good fish but they can be tough to figure out since I can't really use a strategy most fisherman use on larger lakes to predict fish location.

 

I've had hit and miss luck with crank baits, spinner baits, and Texas rigged soft plastics.

No luck at all with jigs.

 

Planning to try drop shot and or Carolina rig next.   

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The handful of retention ponds I fish in my neighborhood sound VERY similar to your situation. I can't name all the things Iv caught bass on in them, but the major top producers for me are jigs, spook and buzzbait. Right on the banks. All sizes of fish. You'd be surprised at the number of quality fish that hug the banks.

As far as jigging, all I use in these ponds is a 5/16 oz black/blue with Rage chunk. Don't let the smaller size fool you either. Plenty of 3-4 pound fish come from that thing.

Work the banks with t-rigs and jigs. Square bills, top water lures. Open water with a 1/4 oz. Lipless crank.

Just find the baitfish. If you see bass popping a school in open water, run through them.

Def fish drains if any are available, ESPECIALLY after a good rain if the water is running. A lot of times bass will hang out waiting on an easy meal to wash by.

Any kind of cover at all is good. Cat tails on the bank, a small grass line, anything.

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Fish parallel to the banks. Burning single tailgrubs and beetle spins will get you bit.

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Mccallister496 hit on several good points. I've fished various retention ponds in the Indy area for much of my life. My recommendation is to keep things simple. The lives of most of the bass in these small ponds still revolves around the shoreline regardless of cover or lack thereof. Spend a good part of your time focusing your effort there (as in casts parallel to shore, within several feet of the bank). Take advantage of prime feeding windows. If it rains a lot and the water gets murky, go. If you get an influx of rain coming into or out of the lake via drains, go. If you catch a cloudy day before a storm moves in, go. If the wind is blowing 20 mph, go. Anything that gives you a slight advantage is what you want to look for. Baits are dictated by the water and weather conditions. Spooks and Pop-R's can be good, as can buzzbaits, floating worms, jigs and shallow cranks (Minus 1-, etc.). Use what makes sense for the time of year and the conditons, no different than any other lake or person. Just don't over-focus on the deep water dragging stuff. There are some out there, but you'll catch a lot more tight to the bank.

 

-T9

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I'm up the road from you a bit in Noblesville.....and like you a lot of my close/convenient fishing spots are retention ponds. They're everywhere! Your lure selection is pretty much right in line with what I use. A couple things I've found, hopefully they'll help you out a bit....

 

1. The ponds being featureless for the most part end up seeing a lot of bass relate to the shoreline. That said, your approach to the shoreline (being quiet) is critical. I can't tell you how many times, especially right now during spawn, that I've come up to a bank only to see a biggun' swirl away that I spooked. I know the bank fishing guys say it over and over, but stealth is a huge deal, especially retention ponds. Also, wear t-shirt that match the sky. I don't know how big of a deal it is, but it seems like I do better bank fishing when I wear a light blue colored shirt, maybe I blend in a little better with the sky?

 

2. While most of the ponds are featureless, almost all of them have drainage culverts of some kind. Of course right after a rain these are usually good, but I've found that you can usually find a bass there just hoping for a quick meal. Culverts are good a lot of times.

 

3. Bigger retention ponds will have humps in them, where the excavators sat and shoveled out dirt to make the pond. You can fish these humps like any other, and often they'll produce the best on HOT summer days, it's just that usually you have to really whip the lure out there since they're far off the shoreline. 

 

My go to lures for retention ponds are - Senkos, weightless flukes (parallel the shore with these), small buzzbaits (summer evening topwater), and very small texas rigged worms. I'll use a frog if there are any areas that get our summer algae bloom. I do alright with jigs, but only early early spring (March) and fished VERY slow on the bottom. Even then it's hit or miss. One that I've just recently started really doing good with is a Duo Realis Spinbait 80. The clear water of retention ponds, mixed with tough conditions sees these lures do really well. It's a pretty finesse technique and there are a lot of good videos online about it, but I've found it catches fish on a lot of days my other lure choices come up blank.

 

Sounds like you're on the right track though, retention ponds can hold good fish. I had a DNR officer tell me that Indiana has some kind of ordinance that retention ponds are required to be stocked to aide in mosquito/larvae control, so almost any body of water you see will have fish of some kind in it, often bass. I even catch a few in the ponds in front of local shopping centers! Just make sure you're legally allowed to fish them, so many these days have HOA No Trespassing restrictions. :(

 

Check out Saxony Lake near Hamilton Town Center. Has some good fishing, plus it's pretty good sized. Maybe some time we can meet up there, my cousin and I usually go there after work while our wives walk on the jogging path around the lake.

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You might try to sink a brush pile when nobody is looking . Get it way out there so they dont accidentally find it but you are still able to cast to it . .

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Soft Plastics are killer in retention ponds. I catch most of my fish in retention ponds, and the top producers are in no specific order: T-Rig, Rage Rig, and Flukes.

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Team 9 hit all the strategy tips that have worked on Retention/golf course ponds for me the past 20 years. I grab my rod/reel, a bag of ribbon tail worms and a pack of senkos ( conditions dictating color). Fat Ika and tubes work too, but no better than worms/senkos.

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My neck of the woods, we have many retention ponds with some offering excellent bass fishing. My best: top waters at the crack of dawn, then lipless crank baits & spinner baits making lots of casts. Plastics: Zoom Trick Worm, Crème Scoundrel and Berkley Power Worm. I keep moving... too when I bank fish...good fishing. 

 

l.jpg

 

http://sciangler.com/fishing_retention_ponds.htm
 
Old school basser...

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My neck of the woods, we have many retention ponds with some offering excellent bass fishing. My best: top waters at the crack of dawn, then lipless crank baits & spinner baits making lots of casts. Plastics: Zoom Trick Worm, Crème Scoundrel and Berkley Power Worm. I keep moving... too when I bank fish...good fishing. 

 

l.jpg

 

http://sciangler.com/fishing_retention_ponds.htm

 

Old school basser...

Is that a lake or a pond? Lol that's huge for a pond.

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Is that a lake or a pond? Lol that's huge for a pond.

It's official name is Horsepen Creek Park in Cypress, Tx.  It's a flood retention basin, pond, lake or whatever you want to call it is no big deal to me. It's very big and you can almost walk around the entire lake from the bank. There's a dog park fenced off that keeps you from going all the way around. No boats are allowed. 8lbs. LMB have been caught.

 

Good fishing.

 

l.jpg

 

l.jpg

 

l.jpg

 

Old school basser...

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That place is wicked. Just to have so much shore access on a BOW thay size is nice. But that also means lack of cover usually along the bank. It's a sacrifice lots of bank fishermen would nake I think.

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I'm fairly new to bass fishing and I bank fish a lot of retention ponds around the Indy area and was wondering what strategies, baits, and techniques you guys use.

The problem I face is that none of these ponds have any cover, no grass, usually have V-shaped bottoms, and are open to the sun with very little shade.

The ponds have some good fish but they can be tough to figure out since I can't really use a strategy most fisherman use on larger lakes to predict fish location.

 

I've had hit and miss luck with crank baits, spinner baits, and Texas rigged soft plastics.

No luck at all with jigs.

 

Planning to try drop shot and or Carolina rig next.   

 

I'd love to try a retention pond; never have.

 

The places I fish tend to have lots of weeds, and though that's my element, it does spread bass out some.

 

Because those retention ponds you fish are fairly featureless, my first strategy would be to find anything out of the ordinary that breaks the monotony (structure) even if it's a rock.  Bass will associate with whatever's there.

 

I'd tie on a jig or Texas-rigged worm and fish slowly with lots of action (shake the rod tip) to keep the lure in the strike zone as long as possible.

 

Josh

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So a week or so ago me and my friend were fishing in a retention pond in the neighborhood we live in and this lady said that we cant fish in the back of her yard which sounds right but we do have 3 feet of the pond from the edge of the pond to the edge where they are allowed to play fence upon that goes all the way around that we can fish and she called the cops on us for fishing in her yard even though we weren’t even fishing in it I went in to get a bass and I went in because I got my bait stuck so she called the cops and the cop told us to stay away from their property because they don’t know what they’re talking about but it still is a problem that we can’t fish there because it’s a gold spot for Bass and we have the right to so I would just love some feed back on this and does anyone know where I can find rules on fishing in a pond ?

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6 hours ago, Brycerichie said:

So a week or so ago me and my friend were fishing in a retention pond in the neighborhood we live in and this lady said that we cant fish in the back of her yard which sounds right but we do have 3 feet of the pond from the edge of the pond to the edge where they are allowed to play fence upon that goes all the way around that we can fish and she called the cops on us for fishing in her yard even though we weren’t even fishing in it I went in to get a bass and I went in because I got my bait stuck so she called the cops and the cop told us to stay away from their property because they don’t know what they’re talking about but it still is a problem that we can’t fish there because it’s a gold spot for Bass and we have the right to so I would just love some feed back on this and does anyone know where I can find rules on fishing in a pond ?

Welcome and thanks for bringing this thread back. I didn't know it existed. Lots of good info from guys I interact with now. As far as your issue goes you need to check your HOA rules. Most allocate common ground around ponds. Some don't. Always view your use of the pond as a privilege, not a right. My experience has been to make friends with residents. I've had no issues. 

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11 hours ago, Brycerichie said:

So a week or so ago me and my friend were fishing in a retention pond in the neighborhood we live in and this lady said that we cant fish in the back of her yard which sounds right but we do have 3 feet of the pond from the edge of the pond to the edge where they are allowed to play fence upon that goes all the way around that we can fish and she called the cops on us for fishing in her yard even though we weren’t even fishing in it I went in to get a bass and I went in because I got my bait stuck so she called the cops and the cop told us to stay away from their property because they don’t know what they’re talking about but it still is a problem that we can’t fish there because it’s a gold spot for Bass and we have the right to so I would just love some feed back on this and does anyone know where I can find rules on fishing in a pond ?

 

While communities do have easements around the retention ponds the covenants usually also state that the homeowner is responsible for maintaining the grounds within that easement. Since it is their responsibility they have every right to kick you out.

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Really good advice above. I think you will be onto fish soon.

On 5/5/2015 at 7:29 AM, scaleface said:

You might try to sink a brush pile when nobody is looking . Get it way out there so they dont accidentally find it but you are still able to cast to it . .

This is a potentially interesting addition to this thread, and a retention pond! Since there is little cover, or few prominant objects to attract fish, any prominant object may serve. Little drops, or points -and they can be really little- might be considered "prominant". But they don't even have to be in the water. A high bank, wall, or overhanging (or not) tree can count.

 

Then there are added, or "blown in", objects. On one retention pond here, a large tumbleweed had blown in, and sunk along a good shoreline (not all shorelines are equal and the reasons may or may not be obvious). I took several good fish back-to-back from that one tumbleweed. And... the largest pond bass I've had the pleasure to meet (I lipped it for a buddy), was a 23.5" 7+lber that came on a killed (buddy had a backlash :);)) from under a 55gal drum that had washed up against a stick-up.

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