Hundreds of small bass-water bodies exist in almost every state, ranging from parks departments or city watersheds of a few hundred acres in size to farm ponds of less than one acre. Huge lakes and reservoirs are known to produce trophy bass, but big bass may also be taken from small waters. Do you know how to catch big bass in ponds?
These waters are the best places to catch a big bass without beating the crowds. Some of the public waters have slot limits or minimum length limits that help the bass grow to the lunker level. Private lakes or ponds and small dams near major reservoirs typically receive reduced fishing pressure so that the bass in these waters is less frequent and more aggressive. Doing a little study and scouting will help you find these little hot water spots.
Big bass is always where you wouldn’t expect it to be, for example, in very shallow water. So we’re not going to fish there for them. The truth is, while they stay close to their home range, which is invariably deeper on average than you’ll find smaller bass and closer to deeper water, they do venture outside—moving shallow to eat and deep to avoid the potential threat or unpleasant habitat changes.
The Big Bass Personality
Just as human adolescents are often impulsive and carefree, it can be said that younger, smaller bass are not nearly as mindful of their surroundings and are less cautious and eager to go where the danger is. They’re going to chase a lure quite away, while the tall, grown, tall-mouth females just won’t do it.
Anglers who concentrate on big bass fishing will tell you that big bass is lonely, ever alert, territorial, hostile, and careful. A sense of ever-increasing caution characterizes the lunker bass and adds to the challenge of catching them.
Big bass appears to be the home muscle. They know their home territory personally, having chosen it because it offers all they need to survive and succeed. As a result, they protect it from intruders and seldom travel a long distance away from it.
All these personalities and behavioral characteristics lead to catching big bass and entail a dedication of time and money to big bass fishing.
How To Catch Big Bass In Ponds: Find The Big Bass
Big bass fishing success needs two primary factors if you want to locate the few places where lunkers live. One is the water depth of the lunker bass, and the other is the structure within the region to which they are attracted. You may confidently predict these zones to be 10, 12, maybe 15 feet deep in water. This is what is generally used as the transition region between shallow and deep water. Shallow water offers the bass a chance to eat, deep water close to an escape route from danger.
Bass, in general, but particularly lunker bass, prefers a stable setting, and water in the 8 to 15′ range is often the most stable. Shallow water is the most vulnerable to changing conditions, while deeper water is constantly changing in saturated oxygen and stratification levels. When combined with the required cover form and quantity, this is the region where the big bass sets up a home territory and concentrates large bass fishing.
Efforts are paying off. Big, mature big-mouth bass is a home territory stake. But that’s it.
This doesn’t mean they’re lying down like a balloon waiting for a meal or an attacker to swim. Depending on the season, they migrate daily, often several times a day, to shallow water in search of a meal. Then, as happy as a child on a schedule, they return to their home cover, belly full. Here they can rest in relative peace, alert to danger, or an unwitting, simple meal. When they’re in this state, they’re not in the feed mode, inactive, and they’re practically unavailable.
If you concentrate on big bass fishing, you’ll catch big bass much of the time during their seasonal migrations. Understand that the large lunker bass’s comfort zone is not in the shallows, near to the bank, although they often have to fly there to feed. But when you’re engaged in big bass fishing, get out of the bank.
Look for a 10-15′ deep water with a cover like submerged trees, stumps, grass, or some sort of overhead cover. Try to locate the “trails or paths” used by lunker bass to travel to and from home to shallow water.
All this means that when you’re fishing for big bass, you’d better tune the way you’re looking for them and the methods you’re using to catch them.
A Few Words About Big Bass Fishing And Best Time Of Day To Catch It
The structure is a shift to the bottom of the body of water. Examples will be creek-channels, humps, rock piles, bluff walls, and dots. There are break lines within the framework.
Break a hard edge where there is a distinct shift in width. Examples will be the edges of the canal or the slope of the steep stairs.
Migration happens as the bass travels along the path from shallow to deep water or vice versa. This movement almost always takes the direction of the break-lines and covers them along the lines as we humans avoid taking a bite or a quick rest while on the road, so do the bass. Their pit stops, if you prefer, including stumps, weed beds, and brush piles.
Best Time Of The Day
But when’s the right time to catch big bass? We’ve all been taught to expect the best bite to be early in the morning, late in the afternoon, and early in the evening. This is undoubtedly true of the bass fished for and captured near the shore as the bass moves large and small shallow to eat during these times.
But it’s interesting to remember that many experienced bass anglers catch their best bass in the hours between 11:00 a.m. And at 2:00 p.m. The explanation for this may be that when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, the greatest amount of light and heat penetrate the deepest into the water. The hypothesis is that plankton blooms are caused as a result. Baitfish are drawn to feed on the herb, and what follows? Our mates, big-mouth bass, and small-mouth bass.
The easiest way to find small public lakes is to contact your state’s forestry or wildlife department and ask for a map of these waters. State topographic maps will also show you the positions of city watersheds, private lakes, and larger farm ponds. Small farm ponds and private lakes are ideal for bank fishing, float tubes, or two-man portable boats. These waters are perfect if you only have a few hours to fish because you can get on and off the water in a few minutes, and the bass is limited to a smaller location. However, some of the watersheds or protection lakes are big enough for full-size bass boats if you want the luxury of fishing from your bass rig.
When fishing small waterways, the key to the lake’s shallow end, dam field, weed edges, brush piles, and any dropoffs. Since most ponds are bowl-shaped, the bottom typically has a deep edge or lip where the larger bass concentrates. Lights and small spinners take many basses from small waters, but heavy baitcasting equipment is preferable for flipping and pitching to large bass in weeds and brushes.
Pond Fishing Provides Excellent Bass Sports
With an estimated 80 percent of the population living within 10 miles of the bass pond, it is much easier to fish locally and spend less money on gas and less time on the road.
The memory, in a nutshell, summarizes some of the appeals of pond fishing. Lots of action, no other anglers on the water to contend with, and a place so accessible that you could slip into a fast hour of fishing without making a huge day-long event out of it, as most major big-lake destinations need.
Fishing activity is one of the most important attractions of the ponds.
More and more anglers notice that these waters offer some of the best bass sport in America. There are no long drives to get to the water, no queue waiting for the boats to be launched.
It’s a more low-key style of fishing. There’s just rivalry between you and the bass. You will find quiet, solitude, and a relaxing environment in the ponds. If any vessels are used, it’ll be small ones that you scull softly with a paddle or a quiet electric motor.
With an estimated 3 million ponds spread throughout the world, these small waters are also extremely convenient for fishing. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports that 80 percent of the population lives within 10 miles of the bass pond. Instead of spending half of your fishing trip on the road, you can spend more time actually fishing and saving on gas costs. And as we pointed out in the scene mentioned above, if you’re pressed for time, fishing ponds are perfect for a half-day session or even just an hour or two on the water.
Yet activity is also a major draw for ponds. The North Carolina survey found that farm pond anglers take twice as much bass per hour as fishermen on broad lakes. And not just the little ones. A good pond may produce big bass. Ohio, Maryland, Kansas, and Louisiana are among the states that had the current or former state record bass caught in ponds.
How To Catch Big Bass In Ponds: How To Find The Fish Ponds
Not all ponds offer good bass fishing, but with a little trial and error testing and detective work, you can eventually discover a handful of ponds within a short driving distance. Then intend to split the time between them so that you don’t over-press either of them.
You can try topos research, aerial images, and Google Earth. Also, just try driving down the country roads to check. Try to find ponds that are not readily accessible from the road or those that need a walk to enter. They are likely to deliver the best fishing.
Now the fun part begins: enjoy the fishing you’ve discovered. Luckily, because of their small size, you’ve already conquered one of the big lakes’ biggest fishing challenges. The fish are positioned for you. When you work the pond thoroughly and methodically, you know that you’re putting your lures in front of the water.
How To Catch Big Bass In Ponds: How To Get To The Fish Ponds
Whenever possible, it’s best to fish a pond entirely from shore. This solution is the simplest and most convenient. It also helps you to measure the water with the least noise. This is especially important when the pond is less than an acre, as the bass in these tiny waters can be very small.
Several fishing opportunities are available for larger ponds. Wading can be effective if you travel slowly and stop producing a fish-disturbing wake. Only make sure the bottom of the pond is solid enough. Float tubes are useful in many acres or more deep ponds. Small one or two-man mini-bassboats, Jon boats, canoes, fishing kayaks, or inflatable rafts are other good choices propelled by either oar, boat paddles, or electric trolley motors.
Fishing Tackles For Pond Bass
Because of the small quarters in which they reside and the water’s visibility, the pond bass appears to be skittish. It’s typically better to approach light. The ideal pond fishing rod and reel dress will consist of a medium weight spin or bait cast fishing rod of 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet.
A decent fishing reel will also be spooled with 6-12 pounds of monofilament fishing line or 8-30 pounds of braided fishing line, depending on the size of the bass present and the amount of cover.
Fish Using A Stealthy Strategy
Fishing big buckets will teach you bad habits that will help you catch if you bring them over to fish ponds. To thrive in small waters, you must be more like a trout fisherman than big water more bass. Wear camouflage or drab-colored garments, walk quietly, and maintain a low profile.
Think Of The Three Water Column Levels Of Wetlands
Essentially, it helps to separate the ponds into three water levels: shallow, medium, and deep. The shallows are usually situated at the top of the pond or feeder arms. They range from 3 to 4 feet tall. The medium depth levels are in the mid-stage areas. The deepest depths are located downstream in the bottom third of the reservoir in front of the dam.
From late spring through autumn, explore the shallowest waters right at dawn. Switch to the middle depths after 8 or 9 a.m. And the fish there until near noon as the light intensifies. Switch to the deepest waters near the dam from around lunchtime to late afternoon. Holding this guideline in mind helps place you at the most active part of the pond at the most optimal time. Reverse this technique in the winter. First, fish the deep end, switching to the thin water late in the morning and afternoon as the sun warms the field.
How To Catch Big Bass In Ponds: 7 Options Of Fishing Lure
The secret to good pond fishing is to be methodological. Leave no possibly bass-holding spot unheard of, and use a range of retrieves from swift to plodding, chaotic to smooth.
Lure’s option is going to differ. As a rule, use lighter, more lightweight lures than you would for large impoundments because of the bass’s low-pitchiness and the smaller, often simpler, setting in which they reside. Here are a few established options.
1. Topwater lures
These lures are fun to fish in ponds, but it is generally best to reserve them for the water of at least one acre or more in size. Topwater lure behavior can be too loud and obtrusive to be used in tiny ponds, and in those cases, it can spit fish. Use smaller versions of the available propeller plugs, wobblers, stick baits, and choppers. Keep the lure movements as subtle as possible, operate with slight twitches and calm, steady retrieves.
2. Thin-Minnow Plugs
These are the most flexible lures for ponds. Try twitching minnow plug lures to the tip, screwing them deeper into a stop-and-go bobbing retrieve, and cranking them slowly and gradually to shape a distinct V-wake on the surface. The best sizes for ponds are 3-5 inches, with silver sides and black backs of the most durable color.
3. Crankbaits Shallow-to-Medium
Deep-diving crankbaits sometimes hang up in ponds, but small, shallow, and medium-sized crankbaits can be successful. Go for bluegill, crayfish or shiner finishes to mimic the key forage for bass in most small water and choose versions for tight, subtle wiggles rather than big, wobbling action.
You can use both small spinners and in-line spinners for pond bass. If you don’t fish larger 3-to 10-acre ponds, stick with tiny one-eighth and one-quarter ounce spinnerbaits, since larger ones will spit fish. In-line spinners can be even more effective at times due to their lightweight silhouette and subtle movement.
5. Weedless Spoons
Offerings and other weedless spoons can be excellent pond offerings, particularly where brushes, snags, and weeds are prevalent. The top colors are silver, gold, and blackfish with a slow to medium retrieve, dressed in a slice of small pork or plastic twister tail.
6. Plastic worms and crayfishes
Rigged Texas-style or double-hook versions, 4-6 inch plastic fishing worms can be deadly on pond bass. And the crayfish models are outstanding in the spring. They enter the water with a light plop that doesn’t scare fish, and they have a subtle, slinking motion that can fool even the heaviest bass. Most of your biggest pond bass are likely to come with these offerings.
The top colors are black, blue, green, purple, and brown. The typical bottom-hopping retrieval is always easiest, but don’t get caught in a rut. Try mid-swimming retrieves with a split-shoot that crimps the head of the worm’s foot or slithers the lure across the surface without the weight if the bottom drag does not deliver. Be imaginative, guy.
These are the ultimate day-savings for pond fishing. If all else fails, grubs soft plastic fishing lure rigged on light lead-heads, or Carolina-style 2-3 feet behind a fishing slip and swivel are the lures to attach. Motor oil, smoke, pumpkin seed, lime, yellow, black, and firecracker are the prime colors for fishing in ponds. The best size is 2 to 3 inches.
Their compact size and subtle action make fishing with plastic grubs a great option for finicky fish on a cold front, or when the normal selection of pond lures is not made.
How To Catch Big Bass In Ponds: 8 The Prime Pond Covers That Bass Goes To
At first glance, the ponds can appear unprecedented and uniform. But when you research and fish them, you’ll learn there’s a bit of a cover that the bass has to do with. While some ponds might be small enough for you to simply fish all the water, areas with a structure need special care.
The edge of the shoreline of the pond is the best place to hunt for bass.
1. The edge of the coastline
This is the place to start with. Bass also remains there if it’s not too shallow. This is especially good at covering late in the day, at night during hot weather, and at midday in late winter and spring. The bank offers a foundation, and food also comes from the farm.
2. Water close to the dam
This is an enticing bass spot since it is typically the deepest part of the pond. Also, look for pipes that drain excess water. They deliver great bass spots where they can hide and pick off unwary baitfish finning.
Suppose a reservoir was formed by damming a stream, the inlet where the present washes is a great place to hold the bass. The cool current attracts them, and minnows and insects are found there.
Even a foot or two of sharp changes in depth will trap a bass in a pond.
A tree branch overhanging the side of a pond provides shelter and security and food when insects fall into the water. Brush in the water is a perfect place for minnows to hang out nearby and bass that wants to gobble the baits.
6. Rocks and logs
Any structure such as this can carry crayfish, baitfish, and insects and attract bass to the protection structure it provides.
Any grass, such as lily pads, milfoil, bulrushes, arrowheads, or cattails, is a bass magnet in ponds.
These are favorite targets for large bass lakes, but they can also hold bass in ponds due to a shift in the aquatic topography and structure they offer.
How To Catch Big Bass In Ponds: Tips For Fishing In Small Ponds
We love to fish farm ponds for bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish, and we’ve always caught bass in the 3-8-pound range in small farm ponds, and we have always seen even larger bass that we haven’t had a chance to capture. Here are some tips to help you!
If you’re hoping to catch big bass in farm ponds, you need to fish the pond when there are few if any, people fishing around the pond. And in your approach to the pond, you need to be stealthy. If you’re just walking up to the typical farm pond, talking to your buddy as you enter the pond, you’re not going to have a lot of luck catching the big bass.
Movement is what will scare a large bass into deeper water, so the best thing to do if a pond has weeds rising in the water around the edges is to fish from the sides and cast aside so that the bait tends to fall naturally into the water. Wear the colors that blend with the background. If it’s spring or early summer and all lush, dress in leaf camouflage to blend into the background. If it rains, wear the fall colors to blend into the back of the field.
Never run up or hurry to the edge of the lake. Hang back a few feet from the bank and keep from making any fast moves, and you can just catch the big bass you’ve seen for years. If there is a big rock on the edge of the pond, make it simple to fish from either side of it. You can also use trees this way. Try it, and we guarantee you’re going to start catching some big bass.
Try A Little Boat
If you’re going to do a lot of pond fishing, the next thing you can do is to buy one of the heavy-duty little boats that’s shaped like an inner tube. Currently, you’re going to tie it around your waist and get into the water with it. Make as little noise as you can, and if you need to use a paddle, tie it to you with a rope and paddle around slowly—approach from shallow water and fish to deeper water.
If the wind blows even a bit, it carries you across the typical farm pond. Most of these inner tube-style devices have places to deal with, and so on. But you’re always going to have to be as close as you can and not make abrupt movements. I’ve been sitting in farm ponds for a few hours in one of these kinds of instruments, and I’ve caught some pretty good bass.
If you’re in a farm pond in one of the inner tube devices or another form of a boat, be as nice as you can and don’t make abrupt movements. Keep talking to the utter minimum and operate from deep water casting down towards the shore, and you can get on a big bass this way. Try to find out what you can about what’s under the water in the pond you’re in. If you know about rocks, leaves, and other stuff under the water, you’re going to be able to catch more fish.
Natural bait will work better in spring and summer than at other times of the year. Ask the owner of the farm pond what kind of bait other people have captured. But remember that while nightcrawlers may work fine in the fall, they may not work at all other times of the year. You’ve got to deduce what the big bass feeds on, and you’ve got to sell them something close to what they feed on. In the local farm ponds in western North Carolina, rubber worms with spinners perform well much of the time if you fish correctly.
You ought to do your analysis to find out how hard the fish are biting. And in most cases, from shallow depths in the early summer to deeper depths later in the fall to the winter’s lowest depths.
You’d be well advised to learn more about any farm pond you fish. Keep a journal and make notes, and you’ll see trends evolve. You should also make notes as to where the holes are that you’re catching a big bass because if you’re catching a big bass out of the right spot for bass this year, it’s very likely that you’re going to catch a bass in or around the same place next year.
Also, be sure to make notes about what kind of lure you catch your fish and be sure to write down the time of day and weather conditions.
How To Catch Big Bass In Ponds: Try To Get The Edge Of Little Things
If you’re a bass catcher, and particularly a big bass catcher, you have to do everything you can to get the slightest advantage over the bass. If you can do this, you’re going to be the one catching the big bass. We think a world record of big mouth bass might very well be caught out of a farm pond. And if you’re in the right position at the right time, maybe you’re the one to catch the world record bass.
Whenever possible in farm ponds, if you’re going to use afloat when fishing, buy a supply of different sizes of clear plastic floats. We know the red and white ones are easy to see and fun to watch, but they’re just going to scare away the big bass, so they’re going to go with the transparent plastic ones.
Let us also add, please, don’t over harvest bass from farm ponds. The 3-4 pound bass might look pretty in the cooler or on your stringer, but if you leave it in the pond, it’ll grow up. You will catch him one day in the future when he’s 6-8 pounds, but you won’t if you don’t leave him in the farm pond. So please practice capturing and releasing the bass whenever you can.
Be sure to ask for permission before you fish in any farm pond and be sure you know and understand the fishing laws in your local area. What may be legal in one part of the United States may violate the law in another part of the United States. So get a copy of your local fishing rules and read them a few times.
We hope the tips on how to catch big bass in ponds here can help you catch that big bass, and when you do, please come back and post a comment here. We hope you’ll soon catch a large bass!