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jomatty

fall pond fishing

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ive read alot about the patterns that develop on lakes and rivers in the falls but am having trouble catching any fish in the ponds near my house.  i keep expecting things to heat up a little any day now and the fishing keeps getting tougher and tougher.  these are small weed choked ponds that i usually do well with either frogs, senkos, or fat ikas.  the only thing ive gotten so much as a bump on the last few trips has been the senko.

any info on what you guys do in ponds in the fall, or if the pattern really changes much like it does in larger bodies of water.

matt

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Matt, I fish a small pond pretty regularly that is fringed with lily pads but, aside from that, is not really weed-choked. On this pond, which is in southeastern Mass., the big bass have been hanging around and under the lily pads for most of the late spring and summer, but now that those pads are fading with the oncoming fall, they seem to be in the process of moving out of there and scattering some. I caught a 5lb,13oz LMB late Friday afternoon on a jig just out from one of the smaller pad areas in about 5-6 feet of water.

I don't know where you are, but my theory about this pond is that as the pads turn color and go dormant for the season, and as the water cools into the 60s (on the surface, at least), the bass are out a little deeper and are roaming more, which makes catching them right now a little bit hit or miss. I think it's a transitional stage between the summer pattern and the fall pattern, which means some of the bass seem to be staying close to the lily pads but in slightly deeper water, and some may be even deeper, though I haven't found any deep yet.

I've been concentrating on jig fishing over the past few weeks to get a little deeper and it seems to be working okay, though I have had some tough days. I may start experimenting with a rat-l-trap to cover water and try to hit a wandering fish and as the fall progresses an x-rap or husky jerk might pick up some of the fish near the pads in relatively shallow water, but I'll probably stick with a jig as long as it's working.

Let us know what ends up working for you in your ponds.

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My ponds have been frustrating as well. We are in the transition period from summer to fall. At least where I am fishing that means another hydrilla die off. This causes the water to go from 5 ft vis to about 1.5 ft. Some days its 80 degrees some days its 60. I think that in ponds, because they are so small,  that these changes affect them alot more. I think that with such a small mass of water, temperature changes are much more rapid and drastic. Large bodies of water fluctuate much more slowly. I think that it just throws the fish off. Wildly fluctuating temps, barometer, water clarity, the whole thing. I have basically been relying on making them eat with reaction baits. Chatterbaits have been good, as well as flukes, and senkos fished really fast like a fluke. I think that the rip bite would be good, but there is way too much vegetation. Spinnerbaits have been kicking down some pond fish for me, I have been burning them so that they wake. Topwater has all but shut down for me. I think that until the transition is over and we start getting our regular chain of storms on the west coast, that fishing, and especially pond fishing, will be tough, at least for me.

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My pond is kind of opposite from you it has little or no structure and a bunch of rip raps with no grass except on the bottom. I have been working an x rap from shoreline to shoreline and that has been producing big time. The soft plastic bite has died off so I think they are in a fall pattern already and are feeding on the baitfish.

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Fall equals baitfish! Also find the green weeds. These hold oxygen and baitfish will graviate to them. If I can find a way to transfer it, I did a fall bass fishing article for a mag about 10 years ago. It was a pretty good article, might help.

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I was having the same problem. The pond I fish had high weeds around the edges and was fairly dark and merky. I threw on a 3'' yellow action tail worm onto a 1/8 ounce jig and fished it slowly close to the bottom. I was getting 2 or 3 small fish before I tried this then this time I got 15 nice bass including a nice 3-4 pounder. I'd recommend giving that technique a try.

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I had some success last weekend with a Rapala X-Rap in white. The bass on my ponds are definitely focused on baitfish this time of year. I am still catching better fish on soft plastics, but the bite is much stonger on minnow immitating lures right now. I think the original Floating Rapala, Countdown and other jerkbaits (Rogue, Husky Jerk and Pointer) will all be big producers for you in the fall.

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