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Crow Horse

Advice Needed... Thinking Outside The Box......

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I have been fishing a small shallow pond (14 acre) for the past 3 seasons and have done pretty well.  However, the obvious patterns have shifted and so must my approach.  Max depth is 8-9 ft. and most of it is in the 3-5 ft. range. It's pretty much devoid of any significant structure but is heavily weeded. At the end of the summer spirogyra (sp?) is all over....

 

The first season quite surprised me. We'd fish from 11 or 12 till 5 in the evening and there was abundant surface activity all around the pond. It lasted till 3 and then shut off like a switch was thrown.  The second season was quite different. Virtually no surface activity and a noted absence of pickerel. I did pretty well with bass and had started using flukes in earnest. This past season was much like the previous year. Again, I did fairly well and used unweighted plastic worms (10") almost exclusively..... One other item - This year there was a noted absence of turtles this past year. The previous years we'd see snapping, painted and red eared slider frequently.

 

I'm using a FF but in such a shallow body of water it can only provide limited info that is usable.

I'll target the deeper sections and the drop offs, any overhanging trees, breaks in vegetation, shadows and any submerged trees (I've only found one so far).

 

How would you approach this?

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On the phone app Fishbrain, someone recently posted two nice bass they caught on a Zara Spook despite it finally turning pretty cold here in Oklahoma. The background looks like a decent pond. I was taken aback a bit by topwater bass in cold water. Someone else pointed out, however, if it is a shallow pond, they don't really have anywhere to go. Topwater can still call up a strike since the fish aren't far from the top at any given time.

 

I'm struggling with very similar ponds, but I don't have a good gauge on their depths and they are smaller, 3-5 acres. I've thrown nearly everything and most of it has not really worked. I've done ok with lipless crankbaits and weightless plastics, but the Fishbrain posts and the comments on it make me think I should probably expand my approach to include more topwater. You might give it a try, too.

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I would be rotating between a topwater frog and punching the vegetation with something like  Havoc Pitboss or Rage Menace. They either come up and get the frog, or I send the plastic in after them. 

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I'll look into those lures. Typically I replace trebles with VMC inline hooks and crush the barb......

 

This is one of the conditions that I must work with. Think of it as Linda Blair green pea pudding.....

Beals-Pond-003a.jpg

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You're on the right track. My little lake is similar to yours. The fish want a slow, natural looking drop. I try to go as weightless as possible. 

I think one of the biggest keys to success on a small water body is rotating baits. I have 8-10 favorite soft plastics I use. Most often , I get the notion to start with a particular bait , based on the current conditions , time of year , or just a gut feeling. I go with that game plan , and can adapt if needed. My current top 5 that I rotate , ( kind of like a football team substituting players in and out ) : 

 

 

 

             Senko type baits

            Zoom flukes

             Zoom trick worms

             Ribbon tail  type worms

             Creature type baits : Zoom

                     baby brush hogs,

                      super speed craws

                      

These are my first team . I have others that are like a second team.

I also do fairly well with spinnerbaits around floating weeds mats , and with hollow body frogs , and swimming frogs. One bait that gets little popularity but works well for me in the summer is the Zoom Z- hog.

Color :My lake is slightly stained ( Fairly clear ), so I do very well with watermelon seed on cloudy days ,and wat. red on sunnier days. Grape is another good color , and tequila sunrise. I use June bug or black grape in low light.

I have tried jigs ( and will try again ) with no success . I cannot use crankbaits without getting a wad of weeds each time. I am experimenting with various topwater baits. The best has been the devils horse.

But to emphasize rotating baits : Don't use the same bait every time. Find baits / colors that work well and add them to your tool chest. Then you can pull them out based on your past experience

( log )?? as conditions or gut instinct leads you.

I also try not to overfish my home lake

( its very hard not to ). If fish get too much pressure they are harder to catch in general.

 

Hope this helps !

 

 

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2 hours ago, Crow Horse said:

I'll look into those lures. Typically I replace trebles with VMC inline hooks and crush the barb......

 

This is one of the conditions that I must work with. Think of it as Linda Blair green pea pudding.....

Beals-Pond-003a.jpg

I have caught a lot of large bass at the neighborhood pond in that stuff . I used a Riverside Top Gun which has been re-released as the Yum Swurm .  I rigged it weightless and weedless with the biggest heaviest flipping hook I had . The big hook gave it casting weight and also strong enough to bring in a six lb bass and 6 lbs of snot .  I just cast it out and plop it on top . Twitch it with the rod tip high and it will plop in place . Work it toward openings .I was the only person fishing the pond when it got like that and killed them .

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I fish a similar pond, albeit in an entirely different area of the country.  I rotate baits quite often to find something else that works, but I'm most successful with spinner baits, Jig and craw, T-rigged worms and craws, red-colored shallow-diving cranks, and Rage Swimmers on an Owner twistlock weighted hook.  

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