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MinnesotaAngler

Good Small Pond Fishing Advice

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Bass Ponds

Many of North America's small ponds are home of our biggest and most densely populated bass. Here I will tell you the tricks in landing that lunker from small, and often overlooked, ponds.

Farm Ponds:

Farm ponds are usually a very small and featureless lake filled by runoff or it may be connected to a stream. On average they are around 15 feet deep throughout the whole pond with no shallow areas, In these type of ponds largemouth bass will usually stick to the very edge of the water. On sunny days, the larger bass will be sticking to the side with the most shade. For example, if the sun is at the east, then fish the east side of the pond which will give the most shade due to long grass or other land-grown vegetation. Since farm ponds are mostly featureless, look for any irregularities that exist. If there is an overhang tree providing shade, work the area very thoroughly because without a doubt there will be a big old bucketmouth waiting there to ambush its prey. If there is other cover (ex. flooded brush), again, fish it thoroughly. The thing about farm ponds is that cover is scarce and if you know of some, then the largest bass in the pond will be close by. If you do not notice any cover you should cast parallel to the edge of the pond. Since farm ponds are not usually a tourist to fishermen and are mostly hiding in the middle of nowhere they get fished seldom. Therefore, the bass are usually very active and will be willing to strike a wider variety of lures and colours.

Mine Pits:

When operations cease in strip-mine pits they often fill with runoff and can become excellent fishing areas for largemouth bass. The colour of the water can be as clear as clear can be and this may cause difficulties in bass fishing. Also, for some reason, they are full of vegetation. Some have sharp drop offs right off the edge, and others generally slope into the deepest part of the lake. For mine pits that have a general slope, clear water, and lots of weeds, I usually start the day off with a natural, or natural, coloured plastic worm rigged texas style with the lightest sinker I can get away with. What I like to do is throw it ut straight, let it sink to the bottom, and twitch it back towards the shore, or boat. You must reel in a little faster than you would normally fish a plastic worm in clear water. Long casts are a must in general sloping, clear water because it is, most often, a very shallow slope meaning 5-10 feet of water, where the big boys hang out, may be a fairly long distance from shore. Also, the bass in the shallows can see you and may spook them out of being catchable.

For mine pits that have deeper drop offs, clean, and full of weeds I turn to the texas-style slug-go with no bullet sinker. I will flip this lure into open pockets, let it touch bottom and give it light jerks, just enough to make it dance. It is important to let the line off the real when flipping this lure in open pockets so that it goes down completely vertical, not allowing the lure to wrap around the weeds.

Pond in General:

Ponds are predominantly overlooked and definitely not over-fished, making them the perfect bass areas. But, these ponds are not always easily accessible. Some require knowledge of the area and a hike to get to. what I mean by "knowledge" is that you must know where some of these ponds may be hiding. There are not going to be any signs stating, "Great Bass Pond, 1/4 Mile East in These Woods." What you must do is find an aerial or topographic map of your area or, easier but less accurate, just go to a website such as www.mapquest.com and zoom-in on your area. This will show a lot of water but it is hard to tell what type of water it is. It may be a drainage ditch or the best bass fishing pond in the state (unlikely but not entirely impossible). And to top it off, most of these ponds have no other fishermen, leaving it to yourself. But what if it is on private property? That's no problem, just work up enough courage to knock on the owners door and ask politely if you can fish his pond. Make sure you look respectable, and maybe even bring along a six-pack.

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Thanks for those tips. They all sound solid to me.

One question tho....how do you know if there are even bass in that small pond?

I mean I can spend hours fishing only to find out that it only have cats and bluegill, or nothing at all.

I have a small creek fed waterfall near my house. It's only 50 yards across, and 100 yards long.

It might be 15' deep at it's deepest.

Any suggestions to find out if there are even bass there?

Thanks,

Vince

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I wish I had some solid advice for ya on this part of it  :D. Unfortunatly, there is no real way to tell (that I know of) if there are bass in there or not. The best way is to ask other anglers who fish there, especially people that live near by. Most of the time there are bass because bass are obviously the most popular gamefish. I fish a man-made pond that is similar to yours a lot when I go home in Iowa. It's probably a little bit bigger, and it runs anywhere from 12'-15' deep I think, too.

The only way to find if bass are there is to fish. I was lucky because it happens to be my uncle's pond and he stocked it himself. Either way, the first fish I caught there was a 1 lb. largemouth. Just fish it for a day or two and if you don't catch any largemouths, well you get it. If there are cats and bluegill, I'm going to bet that there are bass in there as well. Don't ask me why because I can't answer why  8-). Just call it intuition. But, I hope there are largemouths in there for ya. Good luck with it and Happy Fishing!.   Post some pictures of the largemouths you catch in it later.  ;)

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What you must do is find an aerial or topographic map of your area or, easier but less accurate, just go to a website such as www.mapquest.com and zoom-in on your area.

Google Earth: the pond hunter's best friend.

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Google Earth: the pond hunter's best friend.

I actually have that, and I forgot all about it. Google Earth is a great tool.

Do you find that smaller baits work best in the smaller ponds ?

As for that, it depends what you are fishing for. My buddy went with me last time I went and threw in a 3" PowerTube all day. He caught 16 fish (2-3 of which were LMB). I was throwing a 7" PowerWorm and caught a 4.4 lb largemouth. Thats the biggest bass in the pond. It just depends what you want to catch. I do find though that T-rigged worms and lizards perform the best though.

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Do you find that smaller baits work best in the smaller ponds ?

I don't have an answer to that, all I have are my opinions. For the most part, I use the same lures in ponds that I use in lakes. A bass is a bass and it doesn't know what the acreage is of the water it lives in. I really can't understand why a bass in a lily pad bed in a 15-acre pond would act substantially different from the bass in a similar lily pad bed in a larger lake.

For what it's worth, the large majority of my big bass have come from ponds of 15 acres and smaller and they haven't come on smaller lures than I use in larger waters.

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