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EGbassing

Pond bass in spring

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I've been reading about locating bass in the spring, but every article is about finding them in a big lake; I'm fishing a large, man-made shallow pond so that doesn't help. Aside of shallow cover, where else should I be fishing? I'm stuck on the bank for now.

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Pre-spawn or post spawn? If it's pre-spawn the pond / lagoon bass here are very active late morning through early afternoon and around sunset as they gorge after the colder winter months and as they get ready for all of the energy they need to expend during the spawn process.

 

If there's aquatic vegetation along the shore, weed lines within the basin, or laydowns they'll use those for ambush points. If those items are sparse it's not uncommon to see them come out of the deeper water (relative term) and cruising near the shore looking for prey.

 

During this time of year in the sunset hours I have also seen them using coves to trap bait fish, especially if the wind is blowing on those small coves.

 

As it gets closer to spawning season look for the male bass creating beds in the shallower waters. The bigger females won't be far behind.

 

I love lagoon fishing this time of year because the bass are voracious eaters as their metabolism begins to speed up in the warmer waters. The good thing about fishing ponds and lagoons is that you can cover all or most of the basin with your casts.

 

Personally, I look for the features I mentioned above and if I'm not getting a decent number of bites I'll pick a spot and fan cast the area, then move down the bank and fan cast again while overlapping my previous spot.

 

I'll be attacking all of this this weekend. After a cold snap for 3 days it was in the 60's today and will be in teh 70's on Saturday and 80's on Sunday.

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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4 minutes ago, Koz said:

Pre-spawn or post spawn? If it's pre-spawn the pond / lagoon bass here are very active late morning through early afternoon and around sunset as they gorge after the colder winter months and as they get ready for all of the energy they need to expend during the spawn process.

 

If there's aquatic vegetation along the shore, weed lines within the basin, or laydowns they'll use those for ambush points. If those items are sparse it's not uncommon to see them come out of the deeper water (relative term) and cruising near the shore looking for prey.

 

During this time of year in the sunset hours I have also seen them using coves to trap bait fish, especially if the wind is blowing on those small coves.

 

As it gets closer to spawning season look for the male bass creating beds in the shallower waters. The bigger females won't be far behind.

 

I love lagoon fishing this time of year because the bass are voracious eaters as their metabolism begins to speed up in the warmer waters. The good thing about fishing ponds and lagoons is that you can cover all or most of the basin with your casts.

 

Personally, I look for the features I mentioned above and if I'm not getting a decent number of bites I'll pick a spot and fan cast the area, then move down the bank and fan cast again while overlapping my previous spot.

 

I'll be attacking all of this this weekend. After a cold snap for 3 days it was in the 60's today and will be in teh 70's on Saturday and 80's on Sunday.

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Pre-spawn. What exactly are coves? Also, do you have a good method of locating structure? I feel like I could start catching them more if I could find structure underwater but I just don't know how to find it.

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44 minutes ago, Jigfishn10 said:

EG, what do you have for structure/cover on your pond? Be easier to help ya

As for cover, there are laydowns, weeds, etc. along the shoreline, but the problem is I have no idea what cover/structure there is under the water.

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You say it's a pond so I assume you can walk all the way around it? I fish such lakes and given the fact that I'm shore bound also it doesn't take long to get to know them from experience. Fish it and you'll get to know it.

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2 minutes ago, The Bassman said:

You say it's a pond so I assume you can walk all the way around it? I fish such lakes and given the fact that I'm shore bound also it doesn't take long to get to know them from experience. Fish it and you'll get to know it.

It's a mile walk around the perimeter. I've fished it for years but the only thing I've learned is to fish shallow cover in the spring and deep water in the summer and winter. Nothing more specific than that. If I'm not fishing shallow cover I'm fan casting at random.

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1 minute ago, EGbassing said:

It's a mile walk around the perimeter. I've fished it for years but the only thing I've learned is to fish shallow cover in the spring and deep water in the summer and winter. If I'm not fishing shallow cover I'm fan casting at random.

I'm almost 65 and I cover anywhere from a half to two miles when I fish. If you're on the bank you're not going to know what's on the bottom except for what you feel anyway. You'll sense depth changes by your lure drop time. Look for activity. Sometimes on my waters bass will seem to start chasing bait at the bank all at once then stop. Cover some ground and enjoy. Always something new to learn.

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As mentioned, dragging a bait across the bottom can help you feel what's there. I prefer using a jig for something like that. If you want to invest some money you can also use Deeper or iBobber to map the bottom. I have an iBobber but in hindsight I should have bought the Deeper castable sonar. Here's a comparison of the two:

 

https://deepersonar.com/us/en_us/comparisons/ibobber-vs-deeper

 

If you do purchase one of those I suggest using a heavy or extra heavy rod and 50 pound braid. You don't want to break your rod or have the line break and lose it.

 

Honestly, I mile around should be no problem for a young guy like you :) I bank fish and cover a ton of ground on foot and if I'm lagoon hopping I sometimes ride my bike. I've also found that it's easier to cover ground with a backpack than using a shoulder bag.

 

A cove is like a mini bay. It's a narrow area with land on three sides making it easier for bass to trap prey.

 

If you aren't ready to purchase castable sonar you can get creative with Google maps and different colored drop pins and markers  on your smartphone. Or better yet, download the **free** Anglr app and record your trip. You can drop markers for vegetation and structure and record where you catch fish. Do this enough and no doubt you'll start to see some patterns. In fact, I think this is your best option.

 

I've started doing this with Anglr, but I'm inconsistent with using it. I get too caught up in fishing.

 

I love bank fishing and hopping from lagoon to lagoon (except for the alligators). I'm lucky enough that there are nearly 300 of them in the residential community where I fish and literally thousands of them in my area.

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Koz said:

As mentioned, dragging a bait across the bottom can help you feel what's there. I prefer using a jig for something like that. If you want to invest some money you can also use Deeper or iBobber to map the bottom. I have an iBobber but in hindsight I should have bought the Deeper castable sonar. Here's a comparison of the two:

 

https://deepersonar.com/us/en_us/comparisons/ibobber-vs-deeper

 

If you do purchase one of those I suggest using a heavy or extra heavy rod and 50 pound braid. You don't want to break your rod or have the line break and lose it.

 

Honestly, I mile around should be no problem for a young guy like you :) I bank fish and cover a ton of ground on foot and if I'm lagoon hopping I sometimes ride my bike. I've also found that it's easier to cover ground with a backpack than using a shoulder bag.

 

A cove is like a mini bay. It's a narrow area with land on three sides making it easier for bass to trap prey.

 

If you aren't ready to purchase castable sonar you can get creative with Google maps and different colored drop pins and markers  on your smartphone. Or better yet, download the **free** Anglr app and record your trip. You can drop markers for vegetation and structure and record where you catch fish. Do this enough and no doubt you'll start to see some patterns. In fact, I think this is your best option.

 

I've started doing this with Anglr, but I'm inconsistent with using it. I get too caught up in fishing.

 

I love bank fishing and hopping from lagoon to lagoon (except for the alligators). I'm lucky enough that there are nearly 300 of them in the residential community where I fish and literally thousands of them in my area.

 

 

 

Ok, thanks. There are several coves in that pond then. I've actually never thought of taking my bike, but that might be really effective for covering water. It would be nice to be able to get to the other side of the pond in ~1 minute or so.

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I used to fish ponds in Central and Western Missouri all the time.  I wish cartable sonar would have been available at the time.  Real early spring in ponds I had 4 baits that I would rotate through, and generally sooner or later one of them would work.  Part of it was lifestyle, but I seldom got out on the water  prior to noon or 1 pm, and even then I was looking for the warmest water in whatever body of water I was on. I focused on reaction baits, lipless crank, spinner bait, rooster tail/Mepps/various other brands on in-line spinner, curly tail grub on a jig head 1/8 or 3/16 or 14).  Grub would be purple or white, all the other baits would be white or white-ish.

 

Procedure with all these baits was the same, throw them as far as I could and retrieve them fast enough to keep them just off the bottom.   If you never snagged you were fishing too high, snagging all the time meant you were fishing too slow.   At that point, keep moving, keep throwing.  I threw the baits with spinning gear then - didn't own any decent bait caster at the time.

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1 hour ago, Jigfishn10 said:

@EGbassing, what pond are you fishing and what town is it in?

It's in Alabama, but I don't even know what it's called. It's just a neighborhood pond with no name. (if there is one I don't know it)

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I'll second the recommendation for the Deeper, in particular the Deeper Pro that will let you make a map of the lake. 

Another tip I picked up here (from the guy with the killer bass biology vids, @Paul Roberts ) is that sometimes the structure is out of the water. Look for about anything different... trees as an example. And flukemaster made a good point about transitions in bank type being an interesting spot. 

 

Barring that, start fishing in one direction and just keep going. Notice whats in and around the water when you are catching. You'll find the pattern pretty quick. It's 132 casts to get around the lake assuming a 40' cast. One afternoon, at two minutes per cast. And I'd guess with that much shoreline, there's more than one spot, so you'll be on them before you get hungry.

 

 

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Try fishing with a spinnerbait.

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Neighborhood ponds are man-made, and are usually notorious for being a shallow, structureless, featureless bowl. In those I've fished there are rarely any features to cast to, and aside from maybe a fountain, has very little current flow.

 

In these cases there's not much you can do in terms of finding out if it has any structure because you might be searching for something that doesn't exist. I have seen some ponds that have humps in the very middle as that's where the excavator sat as it went in a circle digging out the pond. 

 

Add to that if the pond is controlled by an HOA, they usually work their darndest to eliminate aquatic vegetation as it's not aesthetically pleasing, thus limiting even further what we can visibly cast to. 

 

The only forms of structure, if you want to call it that, could be the inlets the pond has. Also look for drainage culverts that run into the pond and target them heavily just after rain showers. 

 

That leads to the catch-all concept of just trying lures until you find what works for that body of water. While you're in AL, up here in IN I find that those types of ponds usually produce decent results with finesse soft plastics (Senkos, Ned Rigs) and finesse blades (small spinners and spinnerbaits), and can do pretty well on warm summer nights with topwaters (Jitterbugs, Whopper Ploppers, buzzbaits). 

 

But as for your OP, there's not much to actually find in them most times. Your technique will usually just consist of casting from the banks until you find places that hold fish. I've used the SonarPhone castable bobber before, but you're only looking at a short distance to cast these things, which usually end up confirming the fact that the ponds are featureless anyways. 

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2 hours ago, Preytorien said:

 I've used the SonarPhone castable bobber before, but you're only looking at a short distance to cast these things, which usually end up confirming the fact that the ponds are featureless anyways. 

 

That's one of the things I don't like about the iBobber - it has a 100 foot max distance. It also has a narrow sonar cone which doesn't do a whole lot of good when the lagoon is only 8 feet deep.

 

But the advanced Deeper products have a 300 foot range and also allow you to switch between a normal scan and wide scan. If you have a heavy or extra heavy rod and a round baitcast reel that holds a ton of line I bet you could cast it out there pretty far.

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10 hours ago, soflabasser said:

Try fishing with a spinnerbait.

I throw spinnerbaits a lot. They do work pretty well.

3 hours ago, Preytorien said:

Neighborhood ponds are man-made, and are usually notorious for being a shallow, structureless, featureless bowl. In those I've fished there are rarely any features to cast to, and aside from maybe a fountain, has very little current flow.

 

In these cases there's not much you can do in terms of finding out if it has any structure because you might be searching for something that doesn't exist. I have seen some ponds that have humps in the very middle as that's where the excavator sat as it went in a circle digging out the pond. 

 

Add to that if the pond is controlled by an HOA, they usually work their darndest to eliminate aquatic vegetation as it's not aesthetically pleasing, thus limiting even further what we can visibly cast to. 

 

The only forms of structure, if you want to call it that, could be the inlets the pond has. Also look for drainage culverts that run into the pond and target them heavily just after rain showers. 

 

That leads to the catch-all concept of just trying lures until you find what works for that body of water. While you're in AL, up here in IN I find that those types of ponds usually produce decent results with finesse soft plastics (Senkos, Ned Rigs) and finesse blades (small spinners and spinnerbaits), and can do pretty well on warm summer nights with topwaters (Jitterbugs, Whopper Ploppers, buzzbaits). 

 

But as for your OP, there's not much to actually find in them most times. Your technique will usually just consist of casting from the banks until you find places that hold fish. I've used the SonarPhone castable bobber before, but you're only looking at a short distance to cast these things, which usually end up confirming the fact that the ponds are featureless anyways. 

Thanks. I found an area that I've been catching a lot of fish in recently. I think it's because it's shallow water near deep water so they're just moving up there as it warms up.

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I have essentially an identical situation with my local city park lake. 

 

Last year around the end end of February we had a warm spell of a week with temps in the 50s-60s with sunshine. So I threw a orange craw colored lipless around the bridge with the thought that the structure would hold heat and have the warmest water. 

 

In one two hour session I managed 5 really nice bass just off the bridge. Since then I haven’t caught a single bass out of this lake. As mentioned above this lake is mostly featureless, a few fountains one rocky point, some cypress and a couple big sycamores. The whole thing is no more than 5-6’ deep when the water is up. Only really “structure” would be the bridge that crosses it and the one rocky point. 

 

I habe fished all over it with lipless, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged craws, jerkbaits... Th bottom foot or so is thick mossy weeds. Last trip out with the Deeper Pro it measured the temperature at 51 degrees so it’s warming up quick. The water is clear but stained. 

 

During the warmer months i manage manage to catch a lot of bluegills on the fly in there. 

 

The other main main feature of the lake is it is full of ducks and geese the people like to come feed with bread so they are constantly in the way and being pests. 

 

Im at a point where I am stumped. 

I will follow the advice given above and continue to work the lake. I’d love to be able to figure this lake out. 

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5 hours ago, EGbassing said:

I throw spinnerbaits a lot. They do work pretty well.

Spinnerbaits are very effective for small waters and often a overlooked lure. Buzzbaits are good in small waters, especially at night.

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Bass in lakes and ponds are the same critters. The biggest difference -besides some potential prey types- lies in the sheer size of lakes. So bass can travel farther. But, realize most bass, even ion lakes, live in less than 20 ft of water, most probably <10fow. Shorelines are important in both, but in ponds, most "structure" where the habitats bass use develops, are attached to the shoreline. Whereas, in lakes, a lot of that habitat is not a casts reach form shore, and some of it may not even be attached to shoreline contours. Same is actually true in small waters, but, there's just less away-from-shore structure because there is simply less a-f-s real estate in a pond.

 

In any small water though -although this varies pond to pond of course- there are places that are better than others in terms of those bass getting fed. One really good idea, instead of just walking up and starting casting, is to walk the shoreline and identify the best areas. I esp look for prey fishes, like bluegills in my waters. Some spots have lots of them, others few.

 

As txchaser mentions, tall shoreline "structure" counts! In many, if not most, small waters, (and lakes too, when bass are on shorelines) shoreline trees -often the larger or denser the better- or high banks serve as objects for bass to relate to. On some of my waters, I can simply head straight to those high and dry "structures" and be on fish. What's in the water matters too, but shoreline objects can be a focal point within those important habitat areas.

 

I've posted a lot on BR about spring fishing over the years, esp in the Fishing Reports section. My video fishing journals on YT essentially follow the seasons on small waters. A good one to start on might be this one, although there are several that hit spring fishing on small waters:

 

 

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