It’s no secret that I love fishing — fishing of all kinds — with a variety of equipment, and in a variety of situations.
Certainly, our local rivers, streams, and lakes are high on my priority list, but I also enjoy an afternoon on a pond from time to time.
There are a number of positives when it comes to pond fishing, and high on that list is that most ponds don’t get a lot of fishing pressure, even those on public lands.
It’s a must to get permission first before heading out to a private pond, but many farm pond owners will allow some fishing if you ask first. When I’m fishing in someone’s private pond, I return all fish; I’m there just for the fun of fishing.
Not only is there a lack of fishing pressure on most ponds, but there is seldom much activity of any kind to disturb the fishing. By this time of year, most lakes, especially those big enough to allow gas motors, are constantly being churned up by all sorts of watercraft, making it difficult to find a quiet bay to work your lures, and even small lakes these days can become very busy with kayaks, canoes, and other small boats.
Of course, when it comes to pond fishing, you are probably going to be somewhat limited in your target fish since most ponds offer warm water fish only, such as bass, pickerel, bluegills, perch, catfish, and maybe crappies. Most ponds aren’t cold enough to offer trout fishing, but the list just mentioned is hardly a problem. In fact, some of my very best bluegill fishing has been on fairly small ponds.
I remember several years ago when fishing a small pond open to the public, I rigged my flyrod with a small popper and caught and released nearly 60 bluegills in hardly an hour — what a blast.
Because most ponds are small and often surrounded by trees, wind is often not a problem, and a flat surface is great for presenting any number of surface lures.
A pond is also a great way to introduce kids to fishing since they can usually be fished fairly well right from the bank, and if you don’t have access to a boat, this is a great way to get the kids on the water. A chunk of worm on a bobber can be a real treat for youngsters, and it’s a good way to get them started in fishing.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking, however, that pond fishing is just for a kid’s trip — not hardly. I’m just as serious about my fishing on a pond as I am on a lake or stream. Largemouth fishing on a pond can be very challenging but also rewarding.
Ponds by this time of the year are often pretty well plagued with lily pads and other weed growth, but what a great opportunity to work that weedless surface frog pattern. Heavy casting equipment is probably best in this situation, but the action can often be great. Dragging that frog over lily pads until it hits an opening, followed by a sudden explosion, makes it all worthwhile.
Ponds are also a great place to work any number of soft plastic worms, lizards, and creature baits. Texas-rigged or Carolina-rigged worms can be great producers on the weedy edges or deeper water since they handle the weeds well without hanging up. It’s also a great spot to work a weedless wacky worm.
It’s not just about the bass fishing, however, since small jigs fished with or without a bobber can make for some pretty good action on bluegills, perch, and especially crappies if they are available.
Any way you look at it, an afternoon on a pond can be well worth the trip. And by the way — if you want to enjoy some good night fishing for bass with a surface lure, a pond is hard to beat.
Kara Wilhelm shows off a nice bluegill caught while pond fishing.