Lake Fork Fishing Tips
From Lake Fork Guides
Pond FishingArticle: March, 2005
One of the lost fishing experiences is the pond hopping of years ago. I would be driving down a road or highway and spot a likely pond out in a field. Back then you could drive up to the house and knock on the door and ask permission to fish the pond. Most farmers would have no problem with you going out and fishing for a while. He would ask you to close any gates you may open or not to leave trash around the area. This age old fishing experience is fast declining as now people who don’t know you don’t want you on their property or around their house. I live out in the country and there are a few places I can still get into and have a great day. Pond fishing can be very rewarding as most ponds don’t get the pressure lakes do. You can look at the pond and usually see where the fish should be and a few cast to the areas will let you know if the fish are biting. When pond hopping you should have several that you can get into for that day because as on a lake they may not all have biting fish all the time. As on a lake the fish will relate to the existing cover. The dam end will usually hold the deepest water and sometimes the fish will be there. The bite may be better in the early mornings and late afternoons but I have had many midday great fishing experiences. My favorite bait to fish small lakes and ponds consist of one bait. The H&H spinner bait. This lure has been around for a many of years. I like the chartreuse and blue and the black and yellow. Always get the double bladed one and when you open the package the hook will be separate. The first this you do is pull the skirt off and put it back on opposite the way it was on as this will cause the skirt to flare. Now when putting on the hook always have the hooks pointing up. You will probably have to put it on twice to get the right way. I usually do. This little bait can be found at Wal-Mart and most tackle stores. This bait will catch anything in the pond from bass and crappie to big blue gill. The biggest tip is to put the package in your pocket not on the ground. I remember long ago a brother in-law and myself went pond hoping and he had never used the H&H. The first thing he did was pull the bait out of the package and throw the package on the ground. Breaking rule number one. As he walked off I retrieved the package I noticed the hook still inside. Being the quite shy type I never mentioned this to him as I had told him the rules of the land. As I went off on my quest for biting fish I caught and released several nice fish. I noticed he had several fish on but was having trouble landing them. HUH! Finally he hollered what was my secret in landing the fish. Now I for one would have noticed pretty quick there was no hook on the bait. Needless to say as we came together after walking the around the pond he goes Hey! There is no hook on my bait. I had a really surprised look on my face as I inspected the bait going well I can’t believe that. He asked if I had another bait I said no but I do have the package you threw on the ground and handed it to him. He quickly figured out what had happened. I told him his actions could have cost me my permission to fish at this pond.
Now back to pond hopping. If you have several ponds close by you can try several till you find one with biting fish. There are times where top water can be fished in the middle of the day. The key is to use small baits. The other thing about pond hopping is you can cover the area pretty quick to see if the fish are biting. This is harder on the big lakes as there are more areas to cover. One thing you may notice on some ponds all the fish may be the same size. This is call stunting. The amount of avaible food can only sustain so many fish. When you see this you need to take out fish to even the ratio of food and fish. This will also increase the size of the fish. This will not happen over night but will after time. The other thing about pond hopping is usually these fish are more aggressive and if you are trying to get the youngsters to fish this is a good time. The brim and sun fish are usually plentiful and a cork and some worms will usually keep them and you busy baiting or taking off fish. So the next time you are thinking of going fishing try the pond hopping. Things to pack are plenty of bug spray as red bugs are plentiful. There maybe a few ticks as most ponds are for cattle to drink from.
Remember this is not your land and to leave it as you found it. I have many times picked up other peoples mess to keep the land owner from stopping everyone from coming in. I will usually ask if I can take some fish as some ponds are for catfish they may not want you to take out there favorite fish.
This can be a good trip for all and is easy to set up and return without the boat and all the other things that usually cause you not to go fishing.
Keep this in mind and don’t forget there are some big bass in some very small waters. I have customers who fish the water hazards on the golf courses and have caught some thirteen pound bass from them. Here make sure you have the golf course permission before just walking out and fishing.
Thanks and Good Fishing,
by EX Lake Fork Guide Jim