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FatBoy

finding structure in small ponds?

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I've been fishing this smallish 4 acre pond all summer and caught mostly dinks.  All the fish I've caught have come around cover near the bank in less than 4 ft of water.  I know there are some bigger fish in there b/c a buddy caught a 5 lber back in early June.  I feel like the bigger fish are probably out away from shore, presumably on some type of structure.  BUT there are no boats allowed in there so I'm fishing from the bank only.  

My question is, how do I find structure in this pond from the bank?  There must be some humps or drops or whatever, but maybe very subtle.  I've drug around a c-rig and a jig a bit to try to find cover out away from the bank but no luck.  And I can't seem to feel any subtle changes in depth with these techniques.  There are no clues on the bank either.  The bank smoothly curves all the way around and slopes to the water at the same angle everywhere.

Any suggestions?

BTW, this is post number 250 for me!  Wheeeeee!  :D

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Well the best way I can think of finding those dropoffs is to take a shallow/mid diving crankbait and drag it up to the shore. If it doesn't hit then all of sudden (say its diving at 6 feet) it starts nailing a bank that continues to rise or fall then you know you've found some structure. You could throw in a deep diver to find fallen trees, submerged rocks, etc. Hey, maybe you'll get lucky and catch one of them lunkers while its banging around down there  :). Thats how I find depth in ponds if no one knows it.

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Hmmm...........Sounds like a problem. I would suggest casting out your c-rig or a t-rig and counting how long it takes to fall to the bottom. Do this in as many places in the pond and try to get a feel for the deeper areas by how long the bait takes to fall to the bottom.

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Lots of ponds have no offshore structure at all. When the surrounding land is featureless, it's likely to be the same underwater. Can't say for sure though without a thorough search. Are there any rock outcroppings in the area around the pond? If you find anything offshore it's likely to be a very small area. I think you should keep at it with that c-rig until you feel certain you've covered everything. Good Luck.

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In most cases bowl shaped pond with little cover off shore and hot weather with little rain = Big fish suspended over the deepest water in the pond. Thats why the carolina rig and jig won't work. Most small ponds have a thermocline in summer that forces most fish shallow unless they are getting a lot of rain. The bigger fish from my experience will only come near the banks to feed and the rest of the time suspend shallow in the middle of the pond. Also most feeding will be done at night . This make them tough to catch. Most of my bigger sumertime pond fish have been caught on topwaters that I can throw a mile out to where they are suspended.

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The first structure you will find in any pond is the dam, then you can start by knowing the history of the pond and how was it built. Many times the dam of the pond is formed by bulldozers pushing and accumulating the soil from the terrain to form the dam, in that case the bottom of the pond is featureless, the only two structural elements are the bottom and the dam. In other cases the terrain on which the pond was built didn 't have enough soil to make the dam out of it, therefore the dam is made from soil that was brought for that purpose, this means that the structural features of the terrain are there, looking around the pond the terrain above water level will tell you where those structural features are, what you see above water level is the same thing that 's underwater. Weeds will also tell you, looking closely you will see that weeds gro in very distinctive patterns, if the pond 's bottom is featureless weeds wil form an expanded weedbed and will grow as deep as they get enough sunlight to grow, if you see an expanded weedbed the bottom is featurelss but in the other hand, wes gro on patches that means that there 's a change either in depth or bottom composition that 's causing the weeds not to grow like a carpet, the spaces between those patches is where the structural feaures are.

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Well, I really don't know how the pond was formed.  It's essentially a retention pond for my subdivision.  There's no dam really.  There's a drain of sorts at one end that maintains the maximum water level.  There are absolutely no features on shore that give any clue as to what's going on under water.  The plants consist of some 'pond weed' in places near shore, very thick bulrushes/cat tails in one corner (too thick for fish to get inside of), and LOTS of coontail around the whole perimeter that extends to about 6 feet from the bank (at a depth of about 4 feet).  

I think Randall may be right on the money (the bigger fish are suspended over deeper water).  That had been my assumption until I was reading some old threads and started to think about structure.  But there may just not be ANY in this pond.  

By the way, the pond is pretty wide...probably 200 yards across.  So if the big ones are suspending over that deeper water, there's no way I can reach them from the bank.  I'm going to be trying more at night and just waiting for the water to cool a bit and for the big girls to tie on the old feeding bag in the fall.  

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the bigger ones would definitely be in the middle, the deepest point in most small ponds, all day long. maybe if you try fishing at sunrise and sunset the fish will be feeding in shallower water.

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I fish similar conditions.

Fishing from the bank requires extra long casting . U can achieve that by using spinning salmon/steelhead rods and braided line (15lb or 20lb).

Carry with u only 1 rod and some lures that u have carefully selected from before. Avoid the extra weight because this kind of fishing requires lots of walking in order 2 explore the pond.

Cast as far as u can and use t-rig ,spinnerbaits and topwater lures. After some outings u would be able 2 figure out the pond.

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Are there any tall trees around the pond?If there is,climb up one of them as far as you can and see what you can see.....you might be surprised.Be sure to wear your polarized shades and do it when the sun is straight up.

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i have the same problem at the pond i fish see the real big 1s jumping out in the middle but cant reach them

all i catch is dinks near the shore might get lucky and get couple pounder

but i know theres some hogs in the spring i was using a shallow crank near shore and missed a momma bass that was probally close to 7lb or better

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoView.jsp?UAUTOLOGIN_ID=54349609211&collid=54349609211.43030709211.1156366572586&photoid=17490709211&folderid=0&view=1&page=1&sort_order=0&albumsperpage=&navfolderid=2006

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoView.jsp?UAUTOLOGIN_ID=54349609211&collid=54349609211.43030709211.1156366572586&photoid=88490709211&folderid=0&view=1&page=1&sort_order=0&albumsperpage=&navfolderid=2006

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoView.jsp?UAUTOLOGIN_ID=54349609211&collid=54349609211.43030709211.1156366572586&photoid=61590709211&folderid=0&view=1&page=1&sort_order=0&albumsperpage=&navfolderid=2006

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoView.jsp?UAUTOLOGIN_ID=54349609211&collid=54349609211.43030709211.1156366572586&photoid=52590709211&folderid=0&view=1&page=1&sort_order=0&albumsperpage=&navfolderid=2006

heres a few pics of the pond

i average atleast 5-10 bass a trip

all 1/2 pound to 2 pounds

1 trip got 10 and 5 were over 3lbs.

any ideas

i have been looking for a little 2 man boat but havnt had any luck

i have a rubber raft but worried sticks and such will pop it

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If it's a retention pond, then odds are it has a "safety shelf" designed into it. These are features where the bottom slopes slowly away from the banks for ten to thirty feet creating shallow water for safety purposes. This Saftey shelf may well be the only inorganic structure the pond has, and in untreated ponds this shelf becomes covered with weeds.

Past the safety shelf, the bottom drops away dramaticly to gain storage volume, and some modern ponds have surprisingly deep centers. (I inspect parts of new subdivisions so I see these ponds being built often.)

If you can get your bait out and over the safety shelf vegitation, I think you'll find fish at some depth on the steep slope.

Problem is, if you're on the bank like me, it may not be easy to get him out of there once hooked.

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Hey, pondhopper, is that shelf something you can see from the bank?  I've never noticed anything like that.  But then I've looked for it either.

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I've got a small pond in my neighborhood and I figured out that it was about 7 feet deep in the center.  I used a big Silver Buddy and threw it on spinning gear, you can chuck those things a mile.  I counted it down to 7 before it hit the bottom and repeated tests verified the depth.  It isn't scientific but it gave me an approximate depth.

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Nothing finds brushpiles better than a slow rolled Rat-L-Trap ;D

Aint Texan ain 't kiddin ', it 's for real.

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Nothing finds brushpiles better than a slow rolled Rat-L-Trap ;D

All I have to do is just cast a Lucky Craft and I'll find a tree submerged 30 feet down  :'(

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