I often fish the lakes or many rivers near my home in Missouri. During summer, however, I often take advantage of the longer daylight hours to fish in nearby ponds. No matter how often I fish a local pond, it always takes me back to my childhood when I first began fishing with my father and two siblings. These local farm ponds are where I learned to fish, made my first angling memories, and fueled my passion for bass fishing.
Best Times To Fish
Regardless of an angler’s experience level, a farm pond can always be a fun time and a learning experience. One of the many things I have learned over the years when fishing ponds is to start early in the morning or during the last couple hours of the day.
On a recent Saturday morning outing at a local pond, I cast my first line into the water at approximately 6:00 a.m. I chose to fish in the early morning due to the cooler temperatures. I’d also learned from previous trips to this specific pond that the fish bite better early.
While fishing ponds, I have noticed that fish are like humans. They like to eat early, then rest for a while. Same thing in the evening; fish love a good snack before it gets dark. I have caught pond bass throughout the day during the summertime, but they feed most frequently and aggressively in the early mornings and late evenings.
Best Spots To Fish & What Lures To Use
I began fishing with a topwater lure that morning. Starting this early, I knew I could beat the forecasted 90-degree heat, but after nine or ten different casts, I started to think I might have missed the peak bite. I decided to try my luck with a topwater frog. On the third cast with the frog, my line caught my finger and a sharp edge on the reel, snapping during mid-cast. Trying my hardest not to become aggravated, I proceeded to tie on a smaller spinner bait. I landed the first fish on my second cast, a nice largemouth bass that weighed approximately a pound and a half. Typical for hot, summertime fishing, I made my way around the pond bank, casting to shaded areas and any visible cover or structure, as bass tend to stay in cooler areas where they have places to hide and ambush their prey.
After catching a couple more, I discovered a pattern and proceeded to reel in 25 bass over the next two hours.
Like clockwork, the bass would bite where the sun and shaded areas met. I would cast into the sunny areas and slowly reel my spinnerbait into the shadows. As soon as the lure reached the shadows, a bass would bite within seconds. Whether fishing mornings or evenings, use the shadows in your favor when fishing ponds. I’ve found it is more effective to cast out of the shadows first, then reel into the shadows. Reeling the lure slowly to where the fish are located resembles baitfish swimming into the shade to keep cool as well. This direction of retrieve keeps the bass biting longer, at least it did on that particular summer day.
As the morning progressed, the temperatures climbed. When the bass bites began slowly tapering off, the shadows lessened and the sun began shining directly down on the water, I knew it was time to switch back to the frog and began fishing the heavier cover.
When fish need to stay cool, they often lay in the thick cover such as grass or lily pads that help shade them from the sun. The live vegetation also produces oxygen that bass and baitfish both appreciate. The problem is that these areas can be hard to fish without getting your lure hung up or tangled. Using a frog lure made up of a frog-shaped plastic body with hooks that wrap upward closely on each side of the soft body prevents the lure from getting snagged or picking up weeds. And nothing is more exciting when a bass explodes on a topwater frog. When using frog lures, I like to cast past the cover then reel the frog over the top of it to mimic a real frog swimming into the cover to find a resting place or cool off.
You're missing out if you have never tried pond fishing for bass. Whether fishing to keep your skills sharpened or simply fishing for fun, there is no better way to begin or end a summer day than enjoying the great outdoors at a pond. Try these tips when you go, or experiment on your own; observing and learning firsthand is what makes a good angler. And speaking of making anglers, don’t forget to take along a young person or someone new to fishing every once in a while. Sharing a bit of your fishing knowledge at a farm pond could be all it takes to plant the seeds of fishing passion into someone else.