A great fishing trip is rarely defined by the fish. For me and my kids it's a quick pond lap.

Many of my favorite fishing trips are of the simplest sort, and they may only last an hour. On quite a few afternoons, I grab one of my children, and we drive four miles to “the pond” and do a single lap in the canoe or johnboat, just to see if any fish want to play.

I’m an admitted fool for bluegills, so I normally carry an ultralight rigged with a Crickhopper, Road Runner or little “Ugly Bug” that I have tied. Occasionally, it’s a fly rod, rigged with a popper and dropper. My older boys typically cast for bass. I rig the younger ones with something small and easy to fish that either bass or bluegills will eat, and I do more guiding than fishing.

The pond isn’t very big, but following its shore gives us a variety of bank slopes, a shallow pocket, a pond dam, some dollar pads, a couple of small islands, and a handful of downed trees docks to work. The best bank seems to change daily, so we always do at least one full lap. If the fish seem extra willing and time allows, we’ll continue and make another lap.

Usually a few fish cooperate. Occasionally we catch a bunch. Trip success doesn’t depend on the fish, though. We all enjoy afternoon pond outings, often taken about the time the sun starts to dip behind the trees, and I’m immensely thankful to have ongoing access to a productive pond that’s sized just right for a quick lap.

Check out my blog to keep up with fishing travels.

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