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Bass_Akwards

No Boat.  No Shad.  What do YOU look for

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So my deal is this. I have no boat, I have no electronics that come with a boat. I have no topography maps of my ponds.

What should I be looking for in terms of finding and catching big fish? I know all about cover. Weeds, Lilly pads, and other topwater gatherings for bass. But what other types of things should I be looking for? I try to keep an eye out for points and fish them, but is there other stuff I'm missing?

Are there tricks for perhaps knowing what's under the water geographically speaking, from looking at the geography on shore? Ridges, holes, bumps, etc etc?

What about the lack of shad? Lots of people talk about locating the shad, and you'll locate the big bass. But what if my ponds dont have shad? They have bluegill and croppy. Should I be looking for schools of bluegill or something?

T

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Ok, you didn't mention hydrilla as being part of the cover. This underwater moss/seaweed type is also good hiding places for bass. Learn to fish that as well if there is any but it can be difficult. Since you are not seeing any baitfish like shad schooling and swimming around, then next bet would be to find something that they would feed on. Perch and Crappie would be forage but remember that bass are predators too and although they prefer a sizeable meal/bigger lure, there is such a thing as too big for them to eat in terms of the perch or crappie. Tree stumps also can provide good cover and bass will tend to stay on the shady side of a stump for a cooler temp, the ability to conceal better in a darker condition and to ambush.

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look for drop off points into deeper water, also look for  over hanging trees  etc  that  cover water great places to find  a pond  bass  hiding waiting for its  next meal///also try  working a frog  of sumkind  across  tops  of weeds etc  they will explode on it if  they are there,,,,rubber worms are great pond  bait 2  ....//////goodluck heres a pair of  pond  bass from a  small  pond  by  my house and  yes sorry guys  they were dinner .....

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First of all look at the contour of the terrain above water level, what you see there it 's what 's going to be below water level, strutcure ? you are standing and walking on it.

Look at the vegetation above water level, certain trees only grow in very specifical conditions and only specific spots gather such conditions, in my neck of the woods willows only grow naturaly along the banks of rivers and creeks, you see a willow the river or creek channel is running right at it 's feet.

You lake has vegetation like hydrilla, lilly pads or tulles ? those weeds only grow at certain depths and on certain soils, any change you see on the weedbed indicates there 's either a greater depth or a change in the bottom composition surrounding it.

95% of the years I 've been fishing were done fishing from the bank.

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If you are fishing man made ponds, look at the shoreline, usually it will teell you what it looks like underwater. Try snorkeling the pond, I used to do this on LOng Island in alll of my ponds. I found some amazing places and it will surprise you how close a bass will let you get. Not for everyone but it is no more cheating than a fish finder LOL. And a whole lot easier to figure out!

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I spent the first year or so of bass fishing, fishing ponds.  One thing I try to do if you can is if the water is clear, try to get to the highest point around the pond and study the features of the pond. it's a little easier to define detail in the pond from a little higher view point.  if they are man made ponds, look for the original creek bed.  I find a lot of bass cruzing these.  Also, some ponds I fished had massive rocks that re-inforced the dam, or the side of the pond.  these rocks went all the way to the bottom and provided cover for bass.  Just another few things to think about.  Good luck

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I'm in the same boat as you. I'm stuck casting from the banl until next spring when I get my boat registered and back in the water.

The ponds I fish have baitfish, I don't know if their shad though, I think they're shiners. There is also a big perch, bluegill(or bream as the southerners call them), and crappie population. Sure a bass isn't going to eat a full sized perch or crappie, but they will dine on the new first year ones that were just born past spawn. I am seeing a lot of 2 inch bass fry swimming around shore, so I'm guessing most of the first yearer's for bluegill/perch/crappie will be about this same size. Try throwing cranks/jerkbaits in natural forage colors.

As far as what to look for...it's tough. Most fish will still be staging out in deeper 10-15' water during the day coming up the water column or into the shallows dawn and dusk to feed, so that's you best bet to go fishing from shore.

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Our local pond has many weedbeds 10-15' out from the shore.  I wacky rig a worm weightless and weedless hook.  I throw over the weedbed and jig right back to the edge of the bed.  Very good success witht his.  Maybe give it a try, good luck!

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Raul's post was very informative. Checking your surroundings on land is by far the number one thing to do when bank fishing to get a decent read on the underwater layout. After getting a good read on the lay of the land, the next thing to do is tie on a carolina rig. During this time of the year most, not all, but most fish of larger size will be in deeper water close to changes in structure or where easy access to shallower, forage filled water is available. After I find what I believe to be a good area to fish, judging by the lay of the land, I will use the Carolina Rig to start to get a more detailed "map" of the area by fancasting it with the Carolina Rig. Once I find a drop-off or other structural change, I stop and pick it apart meticulously. If ya ain't got a boat, and there isn't any visible forage, then that's probably one of the best tactics to use.

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Weather will be a big factor as pond surface temp. changes quickly in most ponds that are not spring fed.  If the pond is spring fed than you should be able to find the spring and the cooler water by looking for changes in clarity.  I usually start with trying to fish on cloudy days with top water baits and switching to worms or bass jigs on sunny days.  Bigger baits usually mean bigger BASS but in ponds sometimes the fish will not take any larger bait than their forage.  If there are large fish in the pond try to texas rig a large worm, lizard or snake bait and fish it around any cover you can find (Lillys, stumps, rocks or even docks if present) this bait should be at least 7 inch or larger if there are big bass in the pond you will find him/her with this tactic,  as far as bait color if the water is dark and deep use a dark color bait.  One of the best times to fish ponds once you learn where the cover is so you dont get hung alot is at night.  Most of the pond animals come alive at dark (frogs, snakes, bugs etc) this entices the fish to bite.  Just a few tactics I use. Good Luck

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Well... I've been fishing ponds and small lakes most of my life from shore. On these ponds I can almost always manage to avoid the skunk-monster.

How I approach the water depends on how weedy the place is.

If it has good weed cover, I'll be fishing the edges of it and any holes in it. Concentrate on any timber that might be mixed with the weeds. I'll usually use spinners, plastics, and weedless frogs or weightless plastics for the thickest weeds.

If there are too many weeds, I'll use a weedless frog or weightless plastic to fish the holes in the weeds. Topwater action all day long.

For both of these I will also use heavy weighted plastics. Punch a hole in the thin parts of the weeds to get to the bigger bass.

For ponds lacking vegetation, take a look at the lay of the land. Points, laydowns, timber, channels, and dropoffs near the dam (most farm ponds build the dam from earth dug up just upstream of it). These are the areas I concentrate on. Crankbaits, plastics, and spinners are my baits of choice here.

If vegetation is present, but very limited, concentrate on it during the morning or evening, but treat it as a bare pond during the middle of the day.

For both of these I love using Tiny Torpedoes in the morning and evening (and during the day around any trees that overhang the bank).

My personal best came from a farm pond in Oklahoma with limited vegetation. A 4" shallow running "shad" crankbait across a flat with 4 or 5" of vegetation on the bottom about 5 or 6' from the channel brought up a 6.5#er at about 8:30 am.

The toughest pond I fished was a "double" pond. It used to be two ponds, and the dam between them was overrun. Two "ponds" with road-like structure running through the middle (2' deep). The toughest part of it was that it was fed by an underground hot-water spring. I never did get to fish the place during the winter. Would have been great then.

One of the great things about some ponds is that you can fish the opposite bank with good casts. This is especially true of the long and thin ponds that are basically a wider section of a creek. These are also the easiest to "read" as the channel will almost always be in the middle and any underwater points will be extensions of the visible points.

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