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wasabi_VA

Tips to catch larger fish in private pond?

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I have access to a 2 acre private pond that gets low pressure. I catch a lot of dinks when I throw plastics towards the bank, but have occasionally caught very quality fish over 20". I'm getting tired of burning through bags of plastics catching dinks and trying to focus more on fishing off the bank.

 

I can tell from pictures taken this year that most of my larger fish are hitting more active baits - spinnerbaits, cranks, topwater - usually further away from the bank. Sadly the lake lacks structure to target so what I usually do is work my way around the entire perimeter of the lake in my kayak and both finesse fish and power fish. I'll toss a plastic towards pockets/structure/beaver huts to see what hits, then usually power fish back over top of that immediate area with a crank or something more active. Then move on to the next area.

 

I tell myself to keep with powerfishing, hit more of that water column and don't get caught up in working the bank if all I'm getting are dinks for my efforts. Maybe throw some jigs and work them deeper. It's hard mentally since the lack of underwater structure makes me think the bank itself (except for a couple beaverhuts) is the main structure.

 

What would you do differently?

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Look for subtle differences in cover or structure. Keep doing what your doing, eventually you’ll catch a good one. I’d focus on evening and low light hours with a small buzzbait, spook, Colorado blade spinnerbait and senkos. Hopefully the pond doesn’t have so many small fish that it’s stunted the growth of the fish. 

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9 hours ago, Kidflex said:

Hopefully the pond doesn’t have so many small fish that it’s stunted the growth of the fish. 

 

^ This.  Do your dinks, not to mention the 20 incher, have a healthy girth for their length or do they tend to the lean side?  If it is the latter, then you may be fishing a pond with not enough food for large fish.  I've seen a lot of small ponds with no pressure that have too many bass for the amount of forage available, resulting in skinny fish fighting for every last morsel. 

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Livetarget Sunfish 3.5, match the bluegill in the pond, mostly orange around in my case. It doesn't look like anything special, but mine are shredded from bass teeth. It's bit enough to be worth chasing... The tail has a bit of a chatterbait feel to it, but not too loud. Has worked for me in muddy and crystal clear water. 

 

Go play "little lost bluegill" and see if you can get some bigger attention.

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9 hours ago, senile1 said:

 

^ This.  Do your dinks, not to mention the 20 incher, have a healthy girth for their length or do they tend to the lean side?  If it is the latter, then you may be fishing a pond with not enough food for large fish.  I've seen a lot of small ponds with no pressure that have too many bass for the amount of forage available, resulting in skinny fish fighting for every last morsel. 

 

I don't think the pond is over populated. The bigger ones I have caught are all healthy, nice gut. This pond seems managed or was at one time as it has zero crappie. Just lots of bass and bluegill. There seems to be plenty of bluegill, salamanders, frogs, etc as forage. Just thinking I need to fish it differently to avoid the dinks and find the bigger ones.

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Soft plastics excel in deep water . 

22 hours ago, wasabi_VA said:

I'm getting tired of burning through bags of plastics catching dinks and trying to focus more on fishing off the bank.

 

 

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22 hours ago, wasabi_VA said:

I have access to a 2 acre private pond

 

A pond that small I would wear it out as often as I could!

 

No reason ya can't cover that pond completely a couple of times in a day.

 

I would rotate through topwater, mid-depth, & bottom contact presentations.

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Figure out what they are eating that aren’t the main forage. I think of fish like anyone else, they might eat the same old because it’s what they eat because they have no choice. You need to throw the big ones, who can easily eat all the forage they want a big juicy steak, a nice lobster, an ice cream sundae with hot fudge, a micro brew beer—something special that they are sitting around all day thinking about the next time they can eat it.

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I'd throw a popping frog. Walk it and pop it. It'll pull big girls. I would also start keeping and eating those dinks .

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On 6/24/2019 at 10:29 AM, wasabi_VA said:

I have access to a 2 acre private pond that gets low pressure. I catch a lot of dinks when I throw plastics towards the bank, but have occasionally caught very quality fish over 20". I'm getting tired of burning through bags of plastics catching dinks and trying to focus more on fishing off the bank.

 

I can tell from pictures taken this year that most of my larger fish are hitting more active baits - spinnerbaits, cranks, topwater - usually further away from the bank. Sadly the lake lacks structure to target so what I usually do is work my way around the entire perimeter of the lake in my kayak and both finesse fish and power fish. I'll toss a plastic towards pockets/structure/beaver huts to see what hits, then usually power fish back over top of that immediate area with a crank or something more active. Then move on to the next area.

 

I tell myself to keep with powerfishing, hit more of that water column and don't get caught up in working the bank if all I'm getting are dinks for my efforts. Maybe throw some jigs and work them deeper. It's hard mentally since the lack of underwater structure makes me think the bank itself (except for a couple beaverhuts) is the main structure.

 

What would you do differently?

Hey that’s pretty awesome!! 

 

 

And thanks for the tips everyone! 

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Suggestions to your query:

1.  Get on the water at least 30 minutes before daybreak and start with topwaters of all types. If you can hit the pond sooner please do so. The more casts you get in before sunrise the better. Poppers, Whopper Ploppers, RICO's, frogs, buzzbaits, Manns Minus One's, Sammy's. Jerkbaits, Spybaits and the like to get the bass to hear the baits and then see them for an easy breakfast.

 

2.  Remember to match the hatch. Bluegill colors! Minnow colors. Baby bass colors. Green Pumpkin and Junebug for plastics. Watermelon Candy can be a good choice, too. Red if there are any crawfish in the pond.

 

3.  Fish the northern and western banks that get sunlight first. Bass like to go into these areas where the water is a little warmer to feed and sun themselves. Fish the western bank first, looking for where the sun's rays hit the water. Follow up on the north side and then go back to the western bank and do it all over. As the sun gets higher in the sky, hit all parts of the pond.

 

4.  Use larger baits and get ready to be driven nuts by the bluegills and small bass hitting them. But the larger baits may attract the larger ladies you are seeking. Upsize your jigs and pigs. Upsize your spinnerbaits. Upsize your red Rat-L-Traps. Don't forget your swimbaits. Small, medium and large swimbaits. Hooks on top and treble hooks on the bottom. Use a number of swimbaits to see if they will attract the larger ladies.

 

5.  Patience. You need patience. Those bass did not get large by being dumb. You have to make them angry or aggravated at your baits. In the early morning they will be feeding and you don't want to miss that window. But be patient. You will get lots of hits as stated above from the dinks and bluegills. Use trailer hooks on your spinnerbaits and buzzbaits for the short strikes.

 

6.  Cheat. Catch a bluegill and use it as bait. You will be surprised at the number of big bass that will hit your live bluegill if they think the bluegill is in a stressful position. My friend outfished me using live bluegills in his family's pond a number of years ago as I was throwing plastics. I was really upset but he is a saltwater guy and he has no idea what a Senko is so you roll with the punches. He put me to shame.

 

7.  Don't forget your Senkos, drop shots, Carolina rigs, MOJO rigs, NED rigs, shaky head rigs, Tokyo rigs, etc. Have a Senko ready to throw if the bass misses your topwater. Throw to the same place to see if the bass will hit the Texas or Wacky rigged Senko.

 

8.  Experiment. You know the drill. You throw your presentations for so long until the bass tell you what they want. And concentrate. Keep your full focus on your baits and line. Keep a finger on the line coming off your reels to feel all the hits. Have a good breakfast with you so you will not get hungry and lose your focus.

 

9.  Keep a log. Yes, a fishing log for everytime you hit that pond. Use a map of the pond to magnify the report showing where you caught what using which bait, time of day, weather conditions, water temperature, water clarity, etc. There is a log in the Tools link above so please check it out and make copies.

 

10.  Louisiana, Florida, California, Texas, and the Chick River by the dam all have lots and lots of large ladies just waiting for you. These are "Florida and Texas Strain" bass. They are the B-I-G ones. Think about a vacation to New Orleans where you can fish for largemouth, redfish, drum, croakers, etc. and then hit the French Quarter in the evening. Remember to yell "Geaux Tigers" when you set the hook in Louisiana. OK, if the Quarter is too much for you since you do live in Virginia you can skip it and stay at one of the many camps so you can get an early start without a hangover or from being in shock from what you see in the Quarter. P.S. Leave the family home when you hit Louisiana. Nothing going on in the other states so you can make it a family vacation.

 

11.  Google Earth. Check out the pond on Google Earth to see what you can see. You may be surprised by what the photo shows.

 

Let us know how you do. Keep us posted on Wasabi vs. The Pond.  So far it is The Pond 1, Wasabi 0.  You need to change the score. Even it if means cheating a little by using live bait.

 

Good luck and be safe. All the best for continued success!

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Try fishing larger baits. Instead of a soft plastic, try dragging a football head jig around the bottom. Also don't forget about swimbaits, chatterbaits, larger spinnerbaits (and colorado blades often catch larger fish), frogs and larger topwaters.

 

Figure out what you get larger ones on, and where you get them. The larger ones may come shallow but will likely be in an area they can swim to a deeper spot without simply swimming down -- they like to follow the bottom to the deeper area. If you find a pattern, especially at feeding times vs mid day then you can probably figure out where those larger bass are going. With a pond that small, it shouldn't take you that long to figure that out.

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You know I used to be of the school of thinking that said you had to use large baits for large fish, but this year my top 5 have all come from a #2 gold bladed Vibrax spinner, last year my top 5 came from either a Ned Rig or a 90 size Whopper Plopper......go figure.

 

I think the key is to put time in on the water, be smart about your locations you target and eventually the weight will show itself

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Choked it! Image may contain: one or more people Upper Chesapeake Bay. From Pete G.

 

 

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Size balance in a smaller pond can be almost impossible to maintain. There are a lot of factors that can be beyond your control. Take as many dinks out as you can. Bass from a clean pond are good eating. Get others to help you to the same end. Persecute them. Eat them, give them away or toss them over the dam. Make fertilizer out of them. As long as they're there, the average will always be smaller. I fish a dink factory on the regular. I fish the biggest baits I own and still get almost all dinks. They're starving so they'll take a chance on a big bait.

 

Short of that, fish the traditional big bass baits. You can fish a bait that won't fit in a small bass. You'll probably get a lot fewer bites and you might even go days without one. If that happens you can always bust out the same old and get some action going.

 

You can fish at night. Bigger bass are less wary at night, but you'll probably still be culling dinks. Go early and late in the day. That's about all I have for you.

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Big bass baits for me. 

 

Topwater of any kind. 

5" swimbait 

Chatterbait WITH a trailer. 

Jig. 

 

I've caught big bass on a 4" senko tho and an 8" bass on a twelve inch worm . 

 

Timing and location are much more important than bait choice in my opinion. 

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Belated post but took some specific advice here and caught my personal best last week - 22" and a Virginia citation 😀

 

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17 minutes ago, wasabi_VA said:

Belated post but took some specific advice here and caught my personal best last week - 22" and a Virginia citation 😀

 

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Great Bass ~ Nicely Done

Congrats

A-Jay

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53 minutes ago, wasabi_VA said:

Belated post but took some specific advice here and caught my personal best last week - 22" and a Virginia citation 😀

 

Nice, congrats on the PB!  "But officer, look at this great fish!"

 

I'd love to hear more about the fishing details if you'll share.  What did you end up doing  Or did they just turn on and this giant had to eat what you were throwing?

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This pond has typically provided me a great late morning bite, so I had become lazy in getting up and out there early. So the next time I went I was on the water by 6:30 AM. And it hit a topwater frog.

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