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Pond/Small Lake Fishing: Part 1

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Pond/Small Lake Fishing: Part 1

By: MinnesotaAngler

Special Thanks to Roadwarrior for his contributions.

I am writing this in response to the many questions that are asked about pond fishing nearly every day. This should provide a lot of the answers people are looking for. Please let me know what you think and if I need to add anything. Thanks.


Most anglers have fished a pond or small lake sometime during their fishing career. A pond is deceivingly one of the best fishing opportunities there are. Some of North America's largest bass can be found in ponds and small lakes. These bodies of water are also much easier to fish due to their smaller sizes and higher concentrations of fish. If you have not fished a pond or small lake, you are missing out on some great fun and, normally, a great day of fishing. While ponds and small lakes all have their days just as lakes, reservoirs, and rivers do, they seem to not be as often.

Alright enough background information. Let's get to the fishing. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Just like you wouldn't, well I hope not, launch your boat in a large, unfamiliar lake without at least knowing where some good places to fish might be. Anyways, you may know of small bodies of water in your area that you would like to fish. Well how do you know those ponds even hold that giant largemouth bass you are looking to catch? There is not tell-tale way to know if the pond you are staring at holds any bass. There are a couple of ways to find out if there any bass in the pond. First, you can ask the locals. If there are houses near the lake you can ask the people who live there. That's the best way to do it. Another way is to go ahead and start fishing. You may catch bass, you may not. Don't give up after one day though. I usually give a pond at least two days before I give up on it.

So you found out the pond does have bass in it. Great! Now we can get down to business. Now what we need to find out is the availability and/or amount of structure of the pond. Most of the ponds I fish tend to have some kind of timber in them, either being placed there or being thrown in during a storm. This is good. If not, it isn't a terrible thing. You don't need the timber to fish a pond. The good thing about timber is that it tends to hold larger bass or just bass in general. What better way to ambush something than in the shadows of a fallen tree? Ouachitabassanger, who is no longer a member on BassResource.com, put it the best with this quote.

"Predators usually lurk in dark places if available. It's a great cover Mr. Bluegill to Mr. Crappie: "Hey, look at big ole Mr. Bass over there in the middle of town square. He ain't scarin me. I ain't gittin close to him." A minute later Mr. Bluegill passes by a stickup, and Mrs. Bass nails him outta the shadow. Mr. Crappie yells out "It's a SETUP. Run for yer lives." It's the way it is down there. Murder in the shadows."

Fortunately, fallen timber isn't the only way to fish a pond. Most ponds have overhanging trees and weeds as well. The shadows of the overhanging trees and the cover of the weeds are also great places to find bass. Even when it starts to cool down, shadows are still a good place to find bass due to the ambush factor. However, when it starts to get cold, I wouldn't recommend fishing the shadows. I shouldn't have to explain this ;). Just like a normal lake, bass hold to weeds for two, well usually two, reasons. Weeds produce oxygen, and they also provide more ambush cover. This is why I like to cast parallel to the weeds and just drag my lure in front of them until, hopefully, a good ole' bucketmouth strikes it.

Well that's it for Part 1. Hopefully this helps pond pro and pond rookie alike. In Part 2, I'll get much more in-depth. I'll bring up the kinds of lures to be used and the ways to use them. I'll also bring up some techniques to be used at this time of year.

Good luck and Happy Fishing!

- Jake

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