21 Useful Tips for Bass Fishing in Ponds!
This post will list 21 useful tips for bass fishing in ponds. Ponds are great spots to fish for several reasons. Anglers do not need a boat to catch fish. Fish are also more concentrated as there simply is less water to fish, thus making them easier to locate. A simple selection of lures and baits will catch plenty of bass in ponds!
Top 21 tips for bass fishing in ponds
These 21 tips for bass fishing in ponds will help anglers have more success. Pond fishing is relaxing and easy for the most part. However, there are strategies and techniques that will result in catching more bass in ponds.
1) Choose a pond with a healthy bass population
It may sound simple, but choosing a pond with a healthy population of bass and other species is critical to success! It is very easy for small ponds to get out of balance. Bass can become “stunted”. This occurs when there are too many bass for the available forage. These fish will have large heads and small bodies. They are usually very aggressive as there is not enough to eat.
The same theory applies to panfish and other forage. Ponds that have a lot of forage and few bass will result in a tough bite. The bass have so much to eat that there is no real reason to take the angler’s offering. Trial and error is the best way to determine a healthy pond.
2) A wacky worm is a great choice in ponds
A wacky worm is a great choice when pond fishing for bass. It works best in shallow water, which most ponds have. The worm is hooked in the middle and undulates seductively as it falls. Weed lines and cover are top spots. The Senko worm (see tip #9) is a great choice when fishing a wacky worm for bass in ponds.
Read more about wacky worm fishing in this article by Capt Jim
3) Early and late in the day are the best times to fish for bass in ponds
Bass do not have pupils that dilate. This means that they can not adjust to different light intensities. They see best in low light conditions. Therefore, early morning, late afternoon, and night are usually the best times to fish. Bass in ponds will be most active during these times. Cloudy days are good as well, especially right before a front moves through.
4) Private ponds are usually the best
Private ponds can be fantastic places to fish for bass! The action can be terrific as the bass (and other species) get no pressure. Often times, it is as easy as asking a farmer or landowner for permission. It is best to ask if they prefer you release all fish and always be respectful. Many ponds will actually benefit from thinning out some predator fish.
5) Rapala X-Rap jerkbait is a productive pond fishing lure for bass
Jerkbaits are very good pond fishing lures. They run a few feet under the surface, which usually keeps them from snagging on weeds and fallen trees. Debrah likes the Rapala X-Rap in the 08 size. It has a subtle presentation and catches a lot of fish. Gold, white, and firetiger are the top colors. The lure should be worked aggressively, with pauses in between.
Check out Capt Jim’s article on jerkbait fishing
6) Take care to be quiet when pond fishing for bass
Anglers should try their best to keep the noise down when fishing for bass in ponds. This is especially true for those fishing without a boat. Bass in shallow water can be skittish. Anglers should walk as quietly as possible. Those fishing in boats, especially aluminum boats, should be careful not to make a lot of noise. Talking is fine, dropping pliers on the floor is not!
7) Depth changes are key to locating bass in ponds
Depth changes are key when it comes to bass fishing in ponds. This can not be stressed enough! Most ponds are bowl shaped with little contour change. Therefore, even the slightest ridge or drop off will be critical in locating bass. The best ponds were strategically designed with contours and holes. However, most simple farm ponds were not.
8) Small boats are best for pond fishing
Small boats are obviously the best choice for pond fishing. A 21 foot bass boat would be out of place, if it could even be launched. A simple jon boat with a small electric trolling motor works well. Kayaks and canoes will work, too. Debrah uses a unique craft for her pond fishing, it is a Pelican paddle boat. It works great for the smaller ponds that she fishes and is quieter than aluminum boats.
9) The Senko is a top bait for bass
The Yamamoto Senko is a terrific fishing lure for bass. It works well in ponds as it has a subtle presentation. Like many anglers, if Debrah had to fish with one lure for the rest of her life, it would be a 5” Senko worm. It can be fished a variety of ways. She like a Texas rig with a light sinker. It works great wacky rigged and on a shaky head jig. Debrah prefers Laminate Rainbow trout, Capt Jim likes the old school green pumpkin, they all catch bass.
Read more about the best lures for pond fishing
10) Live nightcrawlers will catch bass in ponds
Nightcrawlers are a very good live bait for freshwater fishing for just about every species, perhaps the most versatile bait of all. They are terrific for catching bass in ponds as well. The best technique is to use a whole worm, hooking it through the front on a smaller hook and using no extra weight. #4 is a good size. This will allow the nightcrawler to undulate naturally in the water.
11) Topwater lures are great fun in ponds
Topwater lures are great fun to fish for bass in ponds. Most of the time, the best approach is to cast parallel to shoreline vegetation, but any structure may hold a bass. Debrah prefers smaller baits such as the Heddon Tiny Torpedo. It lands a bit softer that heavier baits. Anglers fly fishing can have great fun with a popper on an 8 wt outfit. Early mornings and evenings are best, unless it is cloudy.
12) Swimming a jig works well for bass in cold water
A jig is an excellent lure for catching cold water bass, and this is true in ponds as well. Specially designed bass jigs have bulk and rubber “legs” for action. Debrah likes to add a crawfish trailer. Dark colors are best. Anglers can swim the jig in a slow, steady retrieve. Erratic hops and twitches can be used, but they should be subtle. An aggressive retrieve usually will spook the bass in cold water.
13) Feeder creeks are excellent spots to find bass in ponds
Many ponds are formed by building a dam on an existing creek. The spot where the original creek enters the pond can be a terrific spot to fish, particularly if there is some current flow. The days after a good rain can offer some fast fishing!
14) Big shiners equal big bass in ponds
There is no doubt that anglers seeking a trophy bass in a pond will do well fishing a large, live shiner. This is especially true in Florida and the other Southern states. The shiner is fished under a float near vegetation or other cover. Heavy conventional tackle is usually the best choice. This is a bit involved, as anglers need to catch or buy bait then keep it alive. However, it can result in a trophy bass.
15) Lipless crankbaits are good search baits
Debrah likes to cast lipless crankbaits for bass. They allow her to cover a lot of water in hopes of locating fish. These lures are very easy to fish, as the angler simple casts them out and retrieves them back in. The Rat-L-Trap is the most popular lipless crankbait. Chrome with a blue back and crawfish in the ½ ounce size are good all round baits. They work best in open water and areas with sparse vegetation.
Read this comprehensive article on lipless crankbait fishing
16) Booyah Pond Magic is an excellent bass fishing lure
There are quite a few productive spinnerbaits on the market. However, there is one that is perfect for pond fishing. Booyah manufactured this spinnerbait specifically for pond fishing for bass. It is a bit smaller, on the finesse side of things. The colors available are also unique and designed for pond fishing. It is a lure that should be in every pond angler’s box.
17) The pond drain can be a terrific spot to fish for bass
Many ponds have a drain, usually near the dam. When the water is high, there will be significant current flow in this area. It is often deeper as well. This can result in a great place to catch bass. Also, the creek below the dam can be good to try as well.
18) Frog lures are productive in summer in ponds
Frogs have become very popular bass fishing lures over the last few years. They are weedless and are worked on the surface over vegetation. Frogs work great when there is algae or weed growth on the surface. This usually occurs in summer. This type of fishing will produce explosive strikes! It works well in the middle of the day.
19) Large plastic worms catch bass in ponds
Anglers seeking a trophy bass in a pond on an artificial lure will do well to fish a large plastic worm rigged Texas style. Worms up to 12” long will catch some large fish. Black is a very good color in most ponds and is effective under a variety of conditions.
20) Johnson Silver Minnow spoon is a good choice in lily pads
The Johnson Silver Minnow spoon is an old school lure that has been around for a long time. It is weedless, which makes it an excellent choice in lily pads and other vegetation. Some type of trailer is usually added to give it bulk and action. This was pork rind back in the day, soft plastic baits are used now. Heavy tackle should be used in this heavy cover.
21) Release all big bass in ponds
It is extremely important to release big bass that are caught in ponds. These are the female breeding stock that will ensure the continued success of the pond. Anglers wanting to keep a few for dinner should take a 2 pound or so fish, these are better to eat, too.
In conclusion, this article on 21 useful tips for bass fishing in ponds will help anglers catch more fish!