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Urban ponds

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I've been frequenting this urban pond in Socal. Surrounded by concrete, has a small floating dock but other than that - not a whole lot of structure. No weeds, no rocks. There's some broken cement slabs submerged around the shores that I almost always get snagged on. Very little shade. There's a whole bunch of waterfowl activity, not to mention three fountains that splash up the surface (I avoid topwater for this reason). Small bluegill seem to be plentiful and I'm guessing that's the bass forage. On weekends it gets a lot of angler traffic - mostly guys with 8" Hudds and other giant swimbaits. Never see them catching anything though.

The water has sort of a light inked blue tint to it (almost like the blue toilet bowl cleaners), but for the most part it's just stained. I can see maybe 12" down if the sun it straight up. I've casted out to the middle and I don't think it can be more than 4-5' deep. The bottom seems solid - it's not muddy. Maybe gravel or a mix of dirt/gravel. No steep banks anywhere - all very gradual or flat. 

I didn't think much of the place until I had a good 3-4 pounder on a spinnerbait. Brought the fish close to shore and it shook the hook. This was back in summer.

My ? - now that the water is cooling off (40 degree nights becoming common), what should I be throwing? Also, should I focus on sunny areas near the surface or crawl the bottom out in the middle? I'm thinking it may be time to go to jerkbaits, hair jigs, maybe even glide baits. Anything I can suspend in the water column and then keep going. I just seems like the fish roam, and with no structure I don't know where they're holding at.

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-Lipless crank.  Is what I'd go for. And I'd try three retrieves before I gave up. A simple straight retrieve, a "yo-yo" all through the water column. And a rip and pause off the bottom. As in let it sink and then rip it off the bottom. If you feel debris on the lure you usually just need a good "snap" to shake it loose. 

A jig. I'd try compact and natural colors... slow hopped , and shake that slack ! 

I'd also try a nice spoon.. often overlooked and almost always a producer on numerous species..

I'd definitely show those fountains some attention. I guarantee they hold fish. 

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Urban lakes like this in Southern California  are a different beast than many waters elsewhere in the country.  Many of the techniques that work well on larger lakes & streams, both in Socal and through the rest of the nation, aren't consistently effective on these lakes.  I believe the lack of cover and small size of the lake changes the way these bass view forage.  Basically, these bass have "learned" that there really is no place for the bait fish to run away to or hide, so they react accordingly.  Unless they are actively feeding, they will not chase.

Therefore, I would recommend two generalizations: slow & smaller.  I believe the reaction strikes you get will not be from racing a lure past these bass, but by having the lure drop past them or, in the case of a jerkbait, die right in front of them.

Small bait fish and crayfish live in that broken concrete.  A 1/16 oz Ned Rig TRD imitates both and is light enough to not get hung up in the crevices.  A jerkbait over the top of that can also be effective during low light conditions but I have found that when the sun is out, the bass will also hole up in those crevices.

 

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I'd recommend a 4" Senko wacky rigged. Try different,slow retrieves. 1. Let it sit then drag it slowly on the bottom. 2.Let it sit then hop it, then let it sit, then hop it. 3. Let it sit then do a slow retrieve off the bottom with an occasional jerk, like a Swimbait. 

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Lots of good advice given.I recommend you get yourself a couple swimbaits since there might be some big trout eating bass in that pond.

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All the urban ponds I've fished down here all have their own personality and what works well one place is a lot of times only meh at others. For the truly shallow featureless ones I like a senko, drop shot, small swimbait or lipless/squarebill or ned rig.

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I would either fish a dropshot, shakeyhead, or football jig.

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Try some pond magics, or a chatter bait black and blue also a deep wee r works in a lot of these ponds during this time of year if that fails wacky rig. Each pond in California has its own personality you can catch on spinner baits in one pond and a mile away at another pond they won't even look at a spinner bait. California lakes and ponds are all ridiculously pressured I would say go finesse but I hardly fish finesse so I don't have much to say on that. Keep us posted.

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You said all the other guys are throwing big swimbaits, try throwing something similar, but different, try throwing a big swimbait on a swimshot rig. Might just trigger those big fish,v that those other guys are fishing for . 

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Bluish water?

definitely a chartreuse crank bait!

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1 hour ago, CrustyMono said:

Bluish water?

definitely a chartreuse crank bait!

Hahahahaha 

ap does it!

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On 11/25/2016 at 9:28 PM, CrustyMono said:

Bluish water?

definitely a chartreuse crank bait!

I was waiting to see how long it would take for someone to say it.

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Blue water color, I also like a bait with some contrast that has some blue/Chart in it, maybe a sexy shad type color which has some blue gray, white or silver, yellow/chart....If the water is not clear I would try to match the color of the bass or bait that you see in the lake, but Flash never hurts, and bluegill for most part will take on a color similar to the water color so blue/Chart, maybe something with silver is good since all fish flash.

All good suggestions, hard part is usually finding fish in ponds without alot of obvious structure but fishing the drop off lines, or looking for any slopes that are different on the shore or any composition that is different may also extend into the water. Even if water is mostly 5 feet, a spot that has a change of depth even 6-12" can be good.

If the wind is hitting a certain side or area harder than others, you may want to try the windy shoreline hoping bait is also getting swept into that area, or find an area that has something different than the rest of the lake meaning sun, or shade lines, but if you can find where water enters or exits when it drains after rain, those spots are usually good year round. Every time that water creates current it makes a channel even if only a 12" dip can be a great spot for bass to ambush prey & give them an easy spot to conserve energy.

If guys are throwing big swimbaits and not catching much, I would consider that a good sign. I am sure they know big bass are in the lake which would make sense since bigger bass are hard to catch & take time if targeting them only.

I would think a Swim jig with a Trailer like a Rage Bug, The Rage shellcracker on a jig or chatterbait can work well since you can figure out what speed, depth to target. I would personally focus on just getting some strikes to start before going reallly big. If bluegills are stunted, match that size & shape. I notice ponds with really big Bluegills usually have Stunted bass, and ponds with mostly smaller panfish have Bigger bass and less of them since the bluegill eat most fry, without cover it is hard for fish to survive, but find Bass, and big ones should be near by. I doubt you caught that 4lber by accident. The fish was there for a reason and probably holds more fish.

DEC should have maps online for Urban Parks. Also stocking info etc...Google earth helps to see if lake has deep areas. Hope that helps. Always tricky, but worth the time if you only get one good strike each trip.

 

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Went out there yesterday for a few hours..no luck. Fished an LV 500 most of the time and covered as much water as I could - fished it both slow/stalled and fast. Then traded for a black/blue jig/trailer and then switched to a mag worm. Pretty sure I did find some new structure in the process though, so that helps!

Water temp was around 58 in the morning.

There was a lot of traffic out there, probably due to Thanksgiving weekend.

I'll give some of your other suggestions a shot. Thanks everyone!

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does the pond have any emergent grass or tules ?? a lot of the places i fish don't have structure either but always has weeds . try a texas rigged worm through the grass or along grass edges , that's where the bluegill will be !!  i would also try a shakey head with a 6 - 7 '' worm  like a Havoc bottom Hopper or something similar with a high floating tail with good action  , good luck ...

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