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How do you locate bass in ponds?

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Hi, I just joined here. So I've been bass fishing for about 1 - 2 years in a small to medium sized pond near my house (very shallow), and while I've caught a few bass, I still have no idea where the good spots in the pond are. The only visible cover is a few small weed patches by the shore. Are those good places to fish, or is open water better? I've heard that cover is best, but I just don't get many bites in those weed patches... I've tried every lure I can think of, and the most success I've had is with a texas rig, but most days I go for an hour or so and never get a bite. I've spent a lot of time reading about it, and plenty of time getting good at flipping and pitching, fishing a spinnerbait, etc. but I just can't get many bites. Anybody know why that would be? The pond is stocked with bass, and pretty under fished, so I just can't figure out why I can't catch them. Any advice on finding and catching them would be appreciated. :)

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I like to keep a journal of what I used and when and where I caught it.  I started to see a pattern at one of my local ponds that I was struggling catching fish.  For me, it all depends on the time of the day.  Are they held up in the weeds during the sunny part of the day or are they on the prowl early mornings and evenings.  I would try the shore lines at a 45 degree casts in the mornings and evenings with both a top water and a fluke or texas rig.   I would use a jig or punch in the weeds.  More than likely they are deep in those weeds... Hope that helps a bit.

 

 

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More time on water and remembering what you caught them on presentation,speed,water depth,water temperature,weather conditions.The fish will tell you.Alot of patience but once you figure out to locate them you will be on your way than the even tougher task of consistently catching big fish it's a marathon not a race.

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The GOOD news is that ponds fish much differently than large lakes and reservoirs.  IMO, bass in ponds don't usually relate as closely to cover as larger bodies of water (unless there is a real reason to) and they USUALLY can be found much easier.  I can't tell where you are from but if there are bass in this pond and the water temps aren't too frigid, you should be able to get some to bite in the early spring using lipless crankbaits and jerk baits fished VERY slowly (long pauses between jerks).  Spinnerbaits are not my first choice (or second choice) in the early spring.  If there is wind, fish the downwind side of the lake where the warmer water is "piling up."  (This is more useful if there is-or has been- some sun).

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2 hours ago, Hoffy said:

I like to keep a journal of what I used and when and where I caught it.  I started to see a pattern at one of my local ponds that I was struggling catching fish.  For me, it all depends on the time of the day.  Are they held up in the weeds during the sunny part of the day or are they on the prowl early mornings and evenings.  I would try the shore lines at a 45 degree casts in the mornings and evenings with both a top water and a fluke or texas rig.   I would use a jig or punch in the weeds.  More than likely they are deep in those weeds... Hope that helps a bit.

 

 

Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely try those things next time I'm out. I fished for about an hour this afternoon and didn't get any bites in open water, but I got several bites (and hooked one that got off) pitching a T-rig structure bug in to some vegetation by the shore. Learned something there. ;) Thanks again! 

1 hour ago, Wurming67 said:

More time on water and remembering what you caught them on presentation,speed,water depth,water temperature,weather conditions.The fish will tell you.Alot of patience but once you figure out to locate them you will be on your way than the even tougher task of consistently catching big fish it's a marathon not a race.

Ok, thanks! I finally figured out where they were this winter, but then I guess they kind of abandoned those spots, so I was having trouble finding them. I guess more time on the water is the solution to that though. :) Thanks again for the advice!

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1 hour ago, Ratherbfishing said:

The GOOD news is that ponds fish much differently than large lakes and reservoirs.  IMO, bass in ponds don't usually relate as closely to cover as larger bodies of water (unless there is a real reason to) and they USUALLY can be found much easier.  I can't tell where you are from but if there are bass in this pond and the water temps aren't too frigid, you should be able to get some to bite in the early spring using lipless crankbaits and jerk baits fished VERY slowly (long pauses between jerks).  Spinnerbaits are not my first choice (or second choice) in the early spring.  If there is wind, fish the downwind side of the lake where the warmer water is "piling up."  (This is more useful if there is-or has been- some sun).

Yeah, I used to have a nice jerkbait, but then my dad somehow casted it up on to a bridge above us and it got run over. I guess I'll be getting a new one next time I'm at Basspro. ;) And thanks for those tips! I'll definitely keep them in mind next time I'm out. 

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I mean it could just be there aren't a lot of fish in those ponds you're fishing. Especially if they're really shallow. How big are they in size roughly? If I were you I would hop on Google Maps and explore your area. Look at map view and find the blue spots that mean water. Then zoom in with satellite view and see what the shore line and such looks like. 

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By it's definition a pond is a small body of water the bass can't go far!

Most pond bass spend thier life cruising the shoreline perimeter and stake out the best areas by pecking order. 

It shouldn't take anyone more then a few days to know the pond and where the are.

Tom

 

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1 hour ago, WRB said:

By it's definition a pond is a small body of water the bass can't go far!

Most pond bass spend thier life cruising the shoreline perimeter and stake out the best areas by pecking order. 

It shouldn't take anyone more then a few days to know the pond and where the are.

Tom

 

Yeah, it seems like I catch most of them around the shoreline. I went out for an hour today fishing a few different texas rigs only around cover and shorelines, and actually got a lot of bites. I hooked one that got off, and the rest I missed on the hook set. And thanks for the advice! I'll definitely keep it in mind when I'm out tomorrow. :)

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I also vote for shorelines. All the blow-ups I've seen in ponds have always been in the shallows. I normally look for something like that whenever I go fishing a pond to give me some indication of where they are. Not always easy to fish a bank, but it seems to be the most productive place in most ponds, unless there are standing weeds or logs in the middle somewhere. If you want to know where the holes are you could always attach a float to your hook as a measuring stick... old trick but it is pretty accurate. Works best with an unpegged carolina rig though. Just have to keep track of how much line you are letting out until the float is visible above water. Pretty good measurement tool if you're like me and lack the gadgetry.

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EG, as the days, weeks and years go by you will learn the pond.

 

For starters, look up the "Carolina Rig" and set one up using a one-ounce weight (or at least a half-ounce weight) with no hooks or baits.  Use a braid line to have the best conductor of communication via the weight and line back to your fingers. Just tie the weight onto the braid and you are ready to hit the pond.

 

Then walk around the pond and throw the rig, reeling it back to yourself slowly. You can use a "fan" pattern every where you stop to throw the rig. 

 

The weight will move over what is on the bottom giving you an idea of any structure (wood, tires, bushes, grass, etc.) that is on the bottom that the bass will be attracted. If the weight gets hung up and you have to cut your line, congratulations! You have just found some structure that will attract the bass.

 

You can do the same with a "MOJO" rig. The weight is a cylinder type which can move over structure easier and may not get hung up as often.

 

By doing this you will be able to locate any underwater structure that will hold bass.

 

But that's not all!!!!!!

 

Draw a map.

 

Yes, draw a map of what you feel on the bottom. Then fish the areas to find the most productive locations.

 

And keep a fishing log for every day you fish the pond. Check out the Free Fishing Log in the "Tools" section of this page on the upper right hand side.

 

Good luck and have fun with your recon mission and map drawing. :) 

 

 

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Some of y'all need to come here, I got access to 3 ponds that are hard nuts to crack!

 

One has F1-Tiger-Gorilla bass or whatever adjectives y'all wanna call em!

 

They're supposed be an aggressive bass...they aint!

 

The other 2 ponds have 100% Florida strain!

 

All 3 have good populations of bass including some Double Digits!

 

We struggle to put 3-6 bass in boat on any given day.

 

Not all ponds are that easy 😉

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15 hours ago, Sam said:

EG, as the days, weeks and years go by you will learn the pond.

 

For starters, look up the "Carolina Rig" and set one up using a one-ounce weight (or at least a half-ounce weight) with no hooks or baits.  Use a braid line to have the best conductor of communication via the weight and line back to your fingers. Just tie the weight onto the braid and you are ready to hit the pond.

 

Then walk around the pond and throw the rig, reeling it back to yourself slowly. You can use a "fan" pattern every where you stop to throw the rig. 

 

The weight will move over what is on the bottom giving you an idea of any structure (wood, tires, bushes, grass, etc.) that is on the bottom that the bass will be attracted. If the weight gets hung up and you have to cut your line, congratulations! You have just found some structure that will attract the bass.

 

You can do the same with a "MOJO" rig. The weight is a cylinder type which can move over structure easier and may not get hung up as often.

 

By doing this you will be able to locate any underwater structure that will hold bass.

 

But that's not all!!!!!!

 

Draw a map.

 

Yes, draw a map of what you feel on the bottom. Then fish the areas to find the most productive locations.

 

And keep a fishing log for every day you fish the pond. Check out the Free Fishing Log in the "Tools" section of this page on the upper right hand side.

 

Good luck and have fun with your recon mission and map drawing. :) 

 

 

Thanks for those tips! They're all really helpful. :) I've been fishing a texas rig with a 3/16 ounce tungsten bullet weight a lot recently, so do you think that would work for locating structure, or would it be too light? Also, the map is a great idea. I found one spot with no visible cover, but when I drag a texas rig through it, it feels like it's coming through a tree or something. It's just a few feet off the shore so it might be perfect for this time of the year when they're up shallow. :D Thanks again! I'll keep all that in mind when I'm out fishing today.

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Wow, EG! You have some great results now. Way to go!!!!

 

A tungsten weight is smaller but it transmits what it hits better than the lead weights.

 

However, you need a heavy lead weight to drag to find what you think is on the bottom.

 

You use the 1/2 to 1-ounce weight to find structure and if you get snagged you have not lost a valuable tungsten weight.

 

Keep on mapping that pond, without getting into it, of course. :D 

 

 

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Every pond I fish is different. I would echo the post above. When you know nothing about a pond, a Carolina rig is a good choice. If it's as shallow as you say, you don't need a mega size weight to fish it. I like a bullet weight and a Zoom Trick Worm or Finesse Worm. The C rig can be called the poor man's fish finder because it tells you depth, the composition of the bottom and it catches fish even if you are initially casting blindly. The cool thing about a pond is you KNOW some fish are seeing your bait. 

 

If the C rig doesn't pat off, try a wacky rig or weightless version of the same worms. When the sun is high, bass will more closely relate to visible cover. Often, they'll pounce on a weightless Trick Worm dropped beside a stump or log. I have yet to find the pond where this bait won't catch something. Throw the kitchen sink at those locations when it's sunny. I don't know what the weather's like there, but the water is still cold here. They may turn on when the water warms.

 

I fished one small clear pond when I was young that you could see big bass swimming around in. I mean there were multiple potential PB's in that little hole. I only ever got one strike on a spinnerbait. Nothing else ever. I should ahve gone back with nightcrawlers at dusk or dawn, but I didn't have access that time of day.

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42 minutes ago, the reel ess said:

Every pond I fish is different. I would echo the post above. When you know nothing about a pond, a Carolina rig is a good choice. If it's as shallow as you say, you don't need a mega size weight to fish it. I like a bullet weight and a Zoom Trick Worm or Finesse Worm. The C rig can be called the poor man's fish finder because it tells you depth, the composition of the bottom and it catches fish even if you are initially casting blindly. The cool thing about a pond is you KNOW some fish are seeing your bait. 

 

If the C rig doesn't pat off, try a wacky rig or weightless version of the same worms. When the sun is high, bass will more closely relate to visible cover. Often, they'll pounce on a weightless Trick Worm dropped beside a stump or log. I have yet to find the pond where this bait won't catch something. Throw the kitchen sink at those locations when it's sunny. I don't know what the weather's like there, but the water is still cold here. They may turn on when the water warms.

 

I fished one small clear pond when I was young that you could see big bass swimming around in. I mean there were multiple potential PB's in that little hole. I only ever got one strike on a spinnerbait. Nothing else ever. I should ahve gone back with nightcrawlers at dusk or dawn, but I didn't have access that time of day.

x2 I’ll just leave it there because he covered it much better than I can, great tips!

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On 3/16/2018 at 1:04 PM, the reel ess said:

Every pond I fish is different. I would echo the post above. When you know nothing about a pond, a Carolina rig is a good choice. If it's as shallow as you say, you don't need a mega size weight to fish it. I like a bullet weight and a Zoom Trick Worm or Finesse Worm. The C rig can be called the poor man's fish finder because it tells you depth, the composition of the bottom and it catches fish even if you are initially casting blindly. The cool thing about a pond is you KNOW some fish are seeing your bait. 

 

If the C rig doesn't pat off, try a wacky rig or weightless version of the same worms. When the sun is high, bass will more closely relate to visible cover. Often, they'll pounce on a weightless Trick Worm dropped beside a stump or log. I have yet to find the pond where this bait won't catch something. Throw the kitchen sink at those locations when it's sunny. I don't know what the weather's like there, but the water is still cold here. They may turn on when the water warms.

 

I fished one small clear pond when I was young that you could see big bass swimming around in. I mean there were multiple potential PB's in that little hole. I only ever got one strike on a spinnerbait. Nothing else ever. I should ahve gone back with nightcrawlers at dusk or dawn, but I didn't have access that time of day.

Thanks for the advice! Those tips are all really helpful. I've been thinking about what you were saying about the weightless trick worm so I decided to try it out today. :D And yeah, there are some huge bass where I fish. A guy I know caught an 8 pounder there and I've hooked one that looked around 8 lbs. It got off though. ;)

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I have a pond I have exclusive ability to fish and I've fished it for 5 years and still finding new things about it! For a pond without anything I'd pay attention to the height of the grass around the edges, as well as the position of the sun. On those sunny days, those bass love that taller grass that throws shade on the water. Another thing I'd recommend is wading if you feel comfortable doing so. During the summer I throw on my boots and wade a couple feet off shore and cast parallel to it. From this angle you notice small differences in the shoreline, and on a featureless pond, a place where the grass hangs a little bit farther or a small point on the bank can make all the difference. Just my .02 from personal experience 

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My experience with ponds & other smaller bodies of water has been to downsize & slow down.  Most prey in ponds tends to be smaller and there is no place for them to hide, so predators often aren't in the mood to chase. 

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