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hollandbass

The tale of 3 ponds, help me understand BIG fish!

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Let me start by saying that I fish mostly from the shore due to many small ponds around here, just not worth taking a boat to.  So here we have 3 ponds that I have had experience with lately.

Pond a) Small, murky green from the runoff and vegetation, quiet, very weedy lots of bass most are 1-2lb variety but large ones are there as well.  I have been fishing this pond for over a year and usually catch 5-10 fish within an hour or two, mostly around 1lb mark.  I have tried every lure I own and everything works more or less.  Now, I have pulled out a 7lb hog on a topwater frog from here as well as a few 4lb ones on a frog as well and quite a bit of 3lb ones on senkos/jig/etc.  Getting BIG fish takes a LOT of work and hours, I can be throwing the frog for 3 days with no big fish and on the fourth get a hit from the lunker.  Not easy for sure.

Pond B) Long but still small, about 300 yards in length and 50 yards across, fairly deep.  Very little structure, the bottom is mostly muck and dead sticks and leaves, very clear water.  Bass fishing is on FIRE anytime I go I catch 10+ fish an hour.  All fish are 1.5lb and UNDER.  I have caught 7 or 8 fish in a row on every cast on a senko, other lures work great as well.  I have tried to catch bigger fish with no luck, even a 3/4oz jig gets taken by 1lb fish!  So I have over 200 fish out of this place with nothing over 1.5lb mark.

Pond c) Recently discovered, located by a big river also small and looks like a bass haven.  Lots of rocks, fallen trees, weeds, drop-offs, heavy and nasty stuff.  Throwing anything with trebles gets snagged on every cast.  Second time out I work the jigs and produce the following fish within 4 hours: three 4lb fish, one 5lb fish and a 6lb fish!  Also got two 2lb fish not worth mentioning.  All fish came on a jig-craw combo, all hit softy (watching the line!) within 4 feet of the shore, basically I was flipping and pitching the jig into the heaviest cover I could find along the shore and it was awesome getting a hog with a few feet of line out.  Fish were sitting in heavy cover by the shore easy to find.  

Now, all 3 ponds are located within 20 miles of each other, all are secluded with VERY little fishing pressure so these fish have not seen too many lures and I fish all of them the same.  I have my own thoughts about all of this but would love to hear from others who would have some more years on me.  How the hell are the fish in pond B so little and why is Pond C producing monsters on command while pond A has monsters that are near-impossible to catch?  

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 No expert by any means, but take for instance, there a 3 ponds almost within spitting distance of each other near my house. All almost as different as the ones you describe. IMHO there are a number of factors age of pond, type of forage, if somehow the preditor prey factor got out of balance and fertility of the water in each. I would imagine you have probably thought of all these. What is your thinking on this?

                                         As Ever,

                                          skillet

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Well i am thinking pond B is just full of stunned bass, they cruise in large packs around the shore and just eat anything you throw in there, so they are always hungry and overpopulated.  Too many small bass, not enough protein to consume.  Pond C seems just perfect, tons of spots for big ones to hide out and just eat the cray fish that come from the river rocks.  Pond A i have no clue, i have fished this d**n pond alone for 100's of combined hours and only have 1 7lb fish to show for it.  I dont know why the big fish just refuse to bite on a normal schudule.  It has a LOT of golf course chemical drain off so maybe it messes with the fish?  

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The amount of variables could be so numerous from what is the age of the bass in each pond, amount of bait available in each pond, available of cover in each pond & on & on & on; short of being a marine biologist one could only guess.

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Age of the pond is a definite factor as well as age and maybe fishing pressure i do not know how long you have been fishing those ponds but it is possible with pond A that a while back it was hit very hard with pressure and now the fish that took the grunt of it are older and smarter with small bodies of water very little things can affect them massively. Maybe Some fish eater keeping bass from pond C made room for fish to get bigger while pond B had no one taking fish and just got over crowded. The only way to really find out is fish it a lot and maybe ask a local game warden or fisheries manager/biologist

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Ponds are there own ecosystem it dont matter if they are a bank apart or a drain pipe away ,I fish 2 ponds so close i can turn around and cast to each one .1 pond the fish tear up buzzbaits the other they wont even look it takes a fluke to get them

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That's what I have been concluding as well.  These are all private ponds so no game warden would know anything about them and like I said the fishing pressure is very low most days the fish are all alone.  Its funny how some ponds have a hot lure, I went through 15 lures until I found where/what jig the bass liked in pond C.  You can read all the books in the world but all seems worthless sometimes until you try it for yourself.

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My favorite place to shore fish is a little chain of 4 ponds near some old railroad tracks.  Two ponds are totally segregated, and the other two are connected by a water pipe.  I found these on Google Earth, which, by the way, is an amazing tool to find little out-of-the-way ponds.

In the first I've caught nothing but dinks (but there just HAS to be some nice fish in there), the water is stained green with algae, and there is a defined weed line all the way around the shoreline in about 8-10 feet of water.  I've seen the fish relating closely to this edge, especially points.  There's a very good population of bluegills and crappie (they're always near the middle making wakes and feeding on bugs - sometimes mess with them on fly).

The second has just one shoreline with a weed edge, the rest is covered in reeds with a little bit of timber.  The water is clearer in this pond, and all the bass I've seen just roam the shoreline (this is the pond I was referencing when I replied to the "Roaming Bass" post).  I caught my biggest fish from the 4 ponds from this pond in my float tube - it's tough to fish thoroughly from shore.  There's also a good population of gills and crappies.

The third and fourth ponds have a lot of scummy weeds and slop, the water is pretty murky, tons of laydowns, and two awesome flats that drop off on either side from 1-2 feet to 6-7 feet.  There are always big fish around the water pipe on either side.  I've caught more big fish (many fish in the 2-3.5 range) in the fourth pond than in any of the others even though my big fish came from the second.  Again, great population of gills, no crappies yet, and I've caught some HUGE pumpkinseeds in there on 4 and 5 inch senkos.

In the first and second ponds, spinnerbaits, topwaters, and X-Raps seem to be the ticket.  In the second and fourth, the bass can't seem to resist jigs and senkos.

Point being (well I mainly just wanted to write about these ponds because I love them but..) even these ponds that are right on top of each other (it's not more than a 20 yard walk between them) display very different characteristics, as do the fish.  You just have to keep truckin' and try everything.  That's part of the fun - knowing that the ponds hold fish and trying all the different tactics/baits in your arsenal trying to trick the fish.  You'll never totally figure them out, but the more you try the more successful you'll be.  

I wish these things had 5-6-7 lbers you're talking about, but I'm in CT so they probably aren't that big.  Darned if I won't spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to find that 7 lber though...

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I fish 3 ponds, that are withing 50yrds of eachother.  Theres a big, deep one that everyone fishes with minimal luck.  Then theres a medium sized one that is hard to fish, because of all the trees that are in the way.  Then theres a small one, and no one, i mean no one fishes.  I went to the small one about 3 weeks ago, and pull out the biggest fish out of all 3 ponds.  They have a board that says how big the fish is and which pond they were caught  in.  Now my pic is up there, and everyone fishes it.  

So now, I go to the ponds that no one fishes at, and still get big fish out, but I wont tell anyone now.  I doubt this helped, but goodluck.

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like guys said earlier not all ponds fish the same not that you were thinking that...there's many factors forage,different feeding cycles,available oxygen,population management,and 100 other factors.. I use to fish local ponds in WA growing up. The key imo to fishing ponds is not throwing the same lure all the time even if it's productive,stand as far from the bank as you can while casting,fish in lower light conditions or when there's cloud cover,throw realistic baits,treat the pond as if it had 40' of visibility,fish around the moon cycle,and get out there in the nastiest weather the big fish need as much of natures help as they can get!

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