In order to be successful at pond fishing, the approach should be nothing more than going back to the basics of fishing. Start out by making a decision of what you want to fish for, then arm yourself appropriately. That’s a good start to get you on your way to catching fish.
Most ponds will have bluegill, catfish, and largemouth bass. Of course some others will go a step further and have crappies and other panfish. Where it is not know what species are stocked in the lake, it’s best to stay simple. Start out with fishing for bluegills and other panfish. It is pretty much a guarantee that the pond will have some gills in it. From there, you can get lucky and catch something else like a cat or bass. Start simple and go up from there.
Bring out the light fishing gear. A five to six foot long fishing rod that has light to ultra light action is a good way to go. As for the line, four pound test is fine but don’t go larger than six. Too often anglers use hooks that are just too large. Big hooks are okay for bass and big catfish, but for gills, use small hooks.
Another mistake is a bobber that is too big. Use one that is no bigger around than your thumbnail. A slip bobber is probably the best way to go.
Now look at the pond. Are there trees that hang over the surface of the water? How about bushes? Is there a fallen tree in the water? These are a few things that will act as cover for the fish.
Bugs will fall from trees and bushes into the water. It happens often enough that gills become accustom to the easy meal. These are good starting points.
Look for concrete tubes that flow rainwater into the pond. The flow of water will cause a washout in the bottom of the pond. This means a difference in bottom structure and fish will relate to that. This is another good place to try. It’s basic and yet a successful approach to pond fishing.
Weeds are also fish magnets. Fish the outside edges of the weeds and you should find some gills.
For bass fishing I suggest that you use a bait that won’t hang up weeds or under water structure. A spinnerbait will work well. The universal starting point in the spinnerbait box is where you find the white ones. White just seems to be an all around good color.
If the weeds are starting to come up on your pond, try a buzzbait. To me, color doesn’t seem to be that critical for a buzzbait. The reasoning is because fish must look up toward the bright sky to see the buzzbait. The lure will be backlit by the sky or sun and therefore all the fish will see is a dark silhouette.
For catfish, prepared baits, cut baits, cheese, liver, and worms will all work. Often, ponds will have a lot of silt on the bottom so you will need to get that bait suspended. Using a bobber will work. Some prepared baits will float. If you like to use a slip sinker type of rig, use floating baits or a floating jig. One more bait example is hot dog slices. Check them out first. Some float while some sink. Go with the floaters for fishing off the bottom and sinkers when using a bobber.
Keep your approach to fishing the ponds simple. Live bait will always work well for you. Minnows on floating jigs or below a bobber will catch bigger fish for you. Worms and grubs will get panfish. Don’t be afraid to move around because it will be better for you if you do. Travel light and fish light. Getting back to the basics of fishing on our local ponds will quickly show you that great fishing is not that far away.
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