Fun Fishing and Farm PondsFun Fishing and Farm Ponds Ponds, people and places like these remind you with the spirit of adventure, and great fishing!
By Carol Martens
What does a city girl know about fun fishing and farm ponds? You might be surprised. Country folks just walk behind their house or to the neighbors to fish a pond. To get to a river, stream or bigger pond, they can take a horse and get there and back in a short time. Okay, I know they have trucks and can get to a nearby lake but it takes a little more effort for us city dwellers to engage in such activities. In my territory we have wheels on everything. In my Ford 150 on an 8 lane freeway I can be at a lake in less than an hour, okay, two hours with traffic. City kids have bicycles and skateboards and can zip a few miles and get to their fishing spots. I remember in the old days when my boys jumped on their two wheelers and rode to a nearby private lake, jumped the fence and fished. When I tried to do it, jumping the fence wasn’t a good thing.
Out west we have aqueducts. We have lots of them if you can get to one and fishing is allowed. In years past, our family would sit on the bank of an aqueduct and fish for hours because there are huge catfish and stripers lurking about and we caught us some. It would be important for you to know that most aqueducts have slippery, mossy sides that I found out about the hard way. One nice afternoon while we were fishing my hat flew into the water. I stepped just an inch into the water to get it and quickly slid all the way in. Did I mention there is usually a fast current as well? My family burst into laughter until they realized mom was in a panic and quickly heading down stream and reached out with a net to save me!
A safer place might be the many piers and docks you find on lakes and the ocean. Piers can be a blast! It’s really how my boys and I got hooked on fishing. It’s usually free and something a family can do in addition to shore fishing. And those who would rather sunbathe will probably be able to do so nearby.
I call all of the above fun fishing and I’ve done a lot of it. But now I want to take you somewhere else. May of this year I had the privilege to attend the Outdoor Writers of California Conference in Placer County, Calif. We actually stayed in Auburn, the home of the famous Reese family that includes Skeet and older twin brothers, Jimmy and John. It’s no wonder Skeet and Jimmy became pro anglers being surrounded by more than twenty of some of the finest bass lakes and reservoirs. Bassmaster just announced the Top Ten Best Bass Lakes for 2016 and three of them are a short drive from Placer County. Clearlake was rated #3, Sacramento Delta #5 and Berryessa #7. Some of the others you may recognize are the American River, Lake Tahoe, Folsom, Pardee, Oroville, Comanche, New Melones and Don Pedro.
Within that circle are many smaller lakes and a new lake called New Bullards Bar Reservoir that has been in the news lately. December 2015 Paul Bailey caught a new record 11.4 lb. spotted bass. In February a 10.8 lb.spot was caught and released by biologist Adam Koons. According to web sites, there have been multiple spots over 7lbs. caught this past year. Bullards Bar is definitely on my bucket list! Most of the lakes I mentioned are well known for having all three species of bass which allows for good fishing all year round. Denis Peirce (another writer) and I had the good fortune of going on a guided bass trip with well-known Don Paganelli from Sacramento. We spent a few hours in the afternoon on Folsom Lake and caught some nice bass. He took out some of my associates that morning and caught bigger ones. That’s what we get for sleeping in. Don conducts guide trips on Folsom, Berryessa and the Delta for low and reasonable rates. His website is www.Guidebass.net for more information. Don let me know that if we take your own boats to any of these lakes and reservoirs that Quagga mussels are not a threat because of the higher elevation and that’s great news. You still need to research the lakes you want to visit for their hours, fees, accommodations and restrictions before you go.
Speaking of accommodations, I highly recommend the Auburn Holiday Inn near the corner of HWY 80 and the 49. My friend and Editor Jeannie Komorech and I extended our stay after the conference for a total of 5 nights. We were impressed with the rooms, conference facility, resteraunts and staff. Every morning hotel guests can have a healthy breakfast with made to order omelets and great coffee for just $5. Plus, just a short walk next door and you’ll be at the infamous In-N-Out Burger. How can you miss?
Now for the highlight of our trip to Placer County that Skeet may not even know about. Hidden off hwy 49 less than 30 minutes from Auburn is a private pond and farm house on a 5 acre site. Denis Peirce found out I had a passion for farm ponds while we were on Folsom and made arrangements for us to meet Tom and Andrea Moreno. They have owned this property for over 20 years. Jeannie and I fished for over 5 hours on this unique 2.5 acre pond surrounded by cut grass for easy access. It also has a covered dock extending over the water that serves as a kitchen/dining area that can also be fished from.
This pond was created and is well-managed by Tom in every way. He planned way ahead to have a large variety of healthy fish and took steps early on to make sure this happened. He pumps his own well water to the deepest part of the pond by using his windmill and has an aerator that provides the needed oxygen and prevents stagnation.Tom supplements the food chain to maximize his fish numbers and size with an automatic feeder. He also introduced mosquito fish as a prime forage for the fish and to control pesky mosquitos!
Tom took the time to explain the many things that make his pond successful including the importance of duck poop and proper runoff. Who knew? In addition to a few ducks there is a family of Canada geese who have made this pond their year round home. When it comes to catchable fish, there is an 8 lb. Largemouth named Moby who was recently caught by Collin on his 21st.birthday. Collin is the son of Denis Peirce and fishing this pond brings him pure joy. I heard the biggest catfish weighs about 40 lbs. and Jeannie caught a 2 lb.smallmouth right next to the dock! The largest trout so far is about 3 lbs. I saw for myself the abundant blue gill around the dock that will bite your hook just for fun. If you want to build a pond, I suggest you visit and copy this one. There is still another surprise!
On this spacious property their just happens to be a two bedroom farm house with all the amenities of home. The whole inside is pine and outside a covered porch around the whole house. It’s totally furnished so all you need is some clothes and your fishing tackle. I’m serious. You have a huge and secure area to park multiple cars and a boat.
The house overlooks the pond that belongs only to you while you’re there. Yes, I said while you’re there, because it’s rented out year round. You won’t believe the rates per night so I’m not telling. All I know is I’m heading back as soon as possible and taking a well deserving friend or family member with me. Check out www.basskickincabin.com. Tom and Andrea selectively share this jewel at low rates to make enough income to pay for the maintenance but they also love to see people enjoy themselves and come back as friends. In closing, as a writer and lover of the outdoors and fishing, I hope to share people and places like these with you in the spirit of adventure. www.carolmartens@com.
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