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Farm Pond Success

by: Eric “Elfish” Elshere
Are farm ponds really what they are made out to be? That question I can answer in this little informative article. I will key you in on some of the key baits to use and how close to real lakes they are. Ponds anywhere have bass in them. You just need to have a rod ready and permission to fish them.
Well wherever you go you see little nooks and crannies that could hold potential of bass or other game fish. More than likely they do hold fish. I prefer bass and tons of anglers do as well. That’s what my main topic will be on here. If you see a little pond or run-off out there, take a good look at it. If there are posted signs around it saying “No Trespassing”, well you should probably ask the owner if you can. Most people are pretty nice if you are very courteous when you ask them. Make sure it is alright to look around before anything. After you do, then explore the pond up and down. More than likely they will hold bass of some type. A lot of ponds here in California and around the country have a very basic structures. They are either sticks, tules, or pads. These offer the best action and the bass will bury up in the structure. This is when you need to pattern them. Just like any other lake, if it is hot they will be deep or in tight to cover, and if cold they are up shallow but very sluggish. Check water temps., to help you determine how the bass will react.
There are a few key baits that I key in on to catch my pond bass. These fish don’t get a lot of pressure but you do have to “match the hatch” as they put it. If there is shad or shiners, throw something that resembles these. If they don’t, the fish will look at it like it was something stupid. So make sure you aren’t throwing something the fish have never seen and don’t know what it would resemble. My key baits that I prefer and work just about anywhere you go are plastic worms, crankbaits, and BASSTRIX Swimbaits. These baits work anywhere you go. I feel that these baits will be very attractive to the fish and they resemble just about what is in all ponds: bluegill, shad, or crawdads.
I prefer to use my plastic worms on the new and best producing, Drop-Shotting. This works the best. I prefer to throw Deadly Duo and Roboworm brand plastic worms. These have the best action and scent on them. Shake them on the drop-shot and you will get bit well and fast. The second bait of choice would be the crankbaits.
In my opinion one of the most fun ways to get your bass. My crankbaits of choice are Norman and Excalibur Fat Free Shads. These two cranks have the best action of any I have fished. I have caught all my biggest crankbait fish on these. I love to throw these if the bass are very aggressive and the fishing is awesome. This way will usually produce you your biggest bass of the pond. The final way is if the bass are especially big and there is big forage baitfish in the waters.
This bait is my favorite big bait made. The BASSTRIX Swimbait. Here in Southern California there are very big Florida Strain Bass that eat big baits and get huge. So this is why these baits work so well. When fishing say Casitas, Perris, or Castaic, I throw the huge 10” Swimbaits. At the ponds I size down to the smaller 6” Swimbait. This has produced my biggest pond fish ever, 9.5 pounds. If the bass are big and the baitfish are big, then throw these baits and you will get the biggest and most aggressive fish in the pond. Ponds will offer the younger angler a lot of fun. You really don’t need much patience to do it. The fish will almost jump on the line for them. This is a good place to spend an afternoon with your buddies or family. A lot of little kids get hooked on fishing on ponds. Ponds offer you fishing you can’t experience in the Lakes around the country. If you ever see a pond or get the chance to fish one, do it. It will be worth it. Trust me here. I have fished Casitas all summer and the fishing is tough, but went to a few ponds and the fishing was awesome. Had 40 bass days and got big bass. But the main thing you need to do in these ponds is to get permission to fish them. It will make your day better and you won’t get into trouble. The key thing to keep these ponds as good as they are is to release every fish you catch. This keeps the fish in the ponds and they will be there other times you go out there and fish the ponds. So remember to ask for permission and please “Catch and Release”. Good Luck with your pond fishing!

Eric “Elfish” Elshere

Added: Mon Apr 07 2008
Last Modified: Fri May 15 2009

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Catch and Release - Not always 0 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by: rickprice, Jul 24 2010 6:58PM

Check with the pond owner. While a strict catch/release policy is important on large lakes, it can kill a pond. Our policy on our pond (5 acres) is anything OVER 3 lbs goes home with you and the rest go back to get bigger. This keeps the big bass from eating all the smaller guys and ensures a good crop of 3 to 3 pounders each year with a few 5 - 8 pounders in there. Remember - when the water is in the 80s and 90s those big girls may eat 2 or more times a day and a 6 pounder will eat a 1 pounder easy. Check with the lake owner on this policy.
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