Bass fishing in ponds is one of the most exciting things there is for a bass fisherman. It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out or if you’ve been a pro for 20 years, there’s just something about fishing in ponds that is really exciting!
Seems as though almost anytime you’re bass fishing in a pond, you’re brought back to the “good old days”. Whether those good old days are right now or whether they were back in the past, something about fishing in a pond brings you back to those days.
Although fishing in ponds isn’t as complex as fishing in lakes, reservoirs or rivers, knowing a few things about ponds can really help you to catch more bass.
How To Catch Bass In Ponds
Catching bass in ponds isn’t nearly as hard when you know where the bass are. Considering most ponds across the US are fairly shallow, bass are going to relate to irregularities. This holds true no matter what time of the year it is.
Once you know what these irregularities are and how the bass relate to them, you have figured out the hardest part about bass fishing in ponds!
3 Irregularities Where Pond Bass Hide
Depending on how a pond is shaped, many ponds are going to have small points along the shoreline. These points are perfect ambush locations for bass.
Most of the time when you are fishing for bass in ponds, you are fishing for largemouth bass. Largemouth are ambush feeders and opportunistic feeders. So they are going to try and find a piece of cover or structure where they can hide and ambush prey as it comes by.
A point is a perfect place for a bass to do this. If you mix in a piece of cover such as a tree or rock, you have a perfect spot to catch a bass in a pond.
Another great thing about points when it comes to pond bass fishing, is that this is an easy place for bass to move from shallow to “deeper” really quickly. So if a cold front or thunderstorm comes by, bass can move to deeper water to seek shelter quickly.
Very similar to points, another great irregularity in a pond where you can find bass, are any type of corner.
Depending on the way that a pond is shaped you may have several different corners on a pond. Corners of ponds allow bass to hunt more effectively because it creates a funnel.
If you think about it, when bass are feeding in a corner, their prey is blocked off on which way they can go on 3 different sides. So bass can be more effective hunters when it comes to a corner then they can when they are chasing prey in open water.
That is why corners can produce a lot of bass, as well as some of the biggest bass in the pond!
3. Visible Cover
Probably one of the best places to find a bass in a pond is on some sort of piece of isolated cover. The great thing is, you can typically see this cover with your own eyes!
Cover can come in a number of different forms in a pond, it can include lay down logs and Christmas trees, docks, rocks, grass, fountains, water drains, culverts, etc.
Cover gives a place for a bass to hide so that they can ambush pray effectively as it swims by. It’s important to know that bass can relate to any type of cover as well. Sometimes noodles that are left by swimmers can be an effective way to catch bass that are hiding just under them seeking the shade that noodle provides.
Another form of cover that is prevalent is ponds is “Pond Scum”. This is the algae/scum that typically grows and floats along the side of a pond. This also provides cover for bass that will hide under the floating nastiness.
When you mix cover with points/corners you really have a dynamite spot to catch a bass. So keep things simple the next time you go to a pond fishing for bass. Focus on the three areas listed above and you’re going to catch a lot more bass!
Best Lures For Pond Bass Fishing
One of the best things about pond bass is they are kind dumb. Dumb meaning they don’t get fished for a lot and so they are not educated on lures like highly pressured bass are. Therefore you can really catch bass on pretty much anything you want.
In some ponds, bass have not seen a lot of lures so really you could probably put hooks on a Pop can and cast it out there and catch a bass on it.
With that being said there are a couple of lures that really work well in ponds.
Texas Rig and Weightless Worms
A Texas rig worm or weightless worm (like a Senko) is a great option for pond bass fishing.
Typically, the bottom of a pond is mucky or silty, so a light texas rig worm or senko will trigger a bass to eat, as it is falling towards the bottom. Another great thing about these worms is they can be fished anywhere and they come through cover extremely well.
These two things make a worm one of the best pond lures ever made.
Many ponds across the nation have scum or algae mats in them. They typically collect along the side of a pond and there may be 3 or 4 feet of a scum along the entire border of a pond.
While this slimy scum mess can make fishing difficult at times, it can also be your best friend. A lot of times a scum mat is simply just floating on the surface of a pond. So bass will actually hide directly under the scum mats and ambush prey as it goes by.
A topwater frog is one of the best baits to use when fishing around this nasty scum nastiness. You simply just cast your frog on top of the mat and start dragging it across the scum. Bass will sense that movement on top of the mat and they will literally blow up through the mat and eat your frog.
Not only is this an effective way to catch pond bass but it’s probably the most fun way to catch pond bass!
During cloudy conditions, focus casting your frog to the outside portions of the scum. Bass will be right on the edge looking to feed.
During sunny conditions, cast your frog right on top of the mat and drag it across. In sunny conditions bass will be tucked under the scum out of the sunlight.
Chatterbaits (Vibrating Jigs)
One of the best lures to use in a pond is a Chatterbait or a vibrating jig. Something that is great about a Chatterbait is it comes through grass and vegetation very effectively.
A lot of ponds across the Nation have some sort of weeds or grass in them so fishing a Chatterbait is fantastic in those areas.
Another great thing about a Chatterbait is it mimics a bluegill very well to a bass. Bluegill (Sunfish) are probably the number one meal that a bass eats in a pond.
Typically all you really need is a green pumpkin colored Chatterbait with maybe a chartreuse dip tail. A Chatterbait works best in cloudy or windy conditions.
What Do Bass Eat In Ponds
There’s really a number of different creatures that live in a pond that bass could potentially eat. Bass can eat small bullhead catfish, shad, minnows, crappie and other panfish. They could eat baby ducks, earthworms and birds. They might even eat other bass. The options are truly endless for pond bass.
With that being said, the two most prolific creatures that bass eat are bluegills and crawdads. These two animals are located in almost any pond across the Nation and they are really the number one meal for bass.
However, it is important to remember that bass are opportunistic feeders. This means that a bass is going to take the opportunity at eating something, if the opportunity provides itself, no matter what it is.
Bass Fishing At Night In Ponds
Bass fishing at night in ponds is one of the most exciting things that a fisherman can do. The best bass fishing at night in ponds is typically during the summer months.
During the summer, the water can get really warm in a pond, so therefore they may do the bulk of their feeding at night.
There are only about two lures that you need for pond fishing at night. A black zoom horny toad is probably the best bait to use at night and during the summer it may be the only lure that you need.
At night bass are going to roam the shallows in search of a meal. Simply cast your horny toad parallel to the bank and start reeling it in and wait for the explosion. It is super fun and it is a great way to catch a big bass at night.
One of the most important things to remember when catching bass this way, is to wait a couple of seconds before you set the hook. This will allow the bass to eat that horny toad a little bit better so you can get a hook in that fish better.
The other great lure to use is a spinnerbait. A spinnerbait puts off a ton of vibrating which allows a bass to find the lure at night. It also comes through cover really well which is ideal for fishing when you really can’t see anything.
Pond Bass Management Tips
Managing a pond for bass is a whole other subject all on it’s own. However, with that being said one of the best tips to really creating a good bass pond is by annually harvesting some smaller bass.
Catch-and-release is super popular when it comes to bass fishing and it should be done most of the time. However, there is such a thing as too many bass in a pond and it can affect the way a bass grows.
Why are bass in my pond small?
Have you ever fished a pond where it seems like all the bass are small? Have you ever fished a pond where all the bass are the same average size, about 1.5 lbs? If so, that’s a good sign that there are probably too many bass in that pond.
What happens is all the bass in the pond are competing for a finite amount of food. No matter what this food is, there is only so much of it to go around. If there are a lot of bass in a pond then the bass is not going to eat enough and its growth will be stunted.
If you start harvesting some smaller bass every single year, it’s going to allow bass to have more food and they will start to get bigger. This is really important to be able to maintain a healthy bass pond.
Bass Ponds Near Me
None of the above can happen if you don’t know where a bass pond is. The good thing is most ponds across america are stocked with bass. I am not going to say that 100% are stocked with bass, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 90% were.
The best way to find out if there are bass in a pond, is to fish it!
Now you definitely don’t want to trespass on someone’s private property, but one of the best ways to find a pond is by using Google Earth.
With Google Earth you’re able to see all the ponds that are close to you or in the area that you wanted to fish.
You’ll be able to find ponds that are public and you’ll be able to see the ponds that are private. Never trespass on somebody’s private property but you can do things as simple as knock on the door and ask the homeowner if you can fish that pond.
Of course make sure you let them know that you won’t be harming the fish in any way, and you might be surprised at how many say yes. However, you can expect that people are going to say no sometimes. It’s somebody’s private property and they have the right to say no but there is nothing wrong with at least asking.
Many times, large neighborhoods have public fishing ponds located in and around them. These ponds can potentially be great for fishing and they are public which is even better.
Next time you go pond fishing for bass, remember the tips above and you will do a lot more catching than fishing!