Small Waters Warming

Pond fishing isn’t always as simple as some might assume, in fact, they are often more sensitive to weather changes than nearby, larger waters.

Plentiful sunshine, minimal wind and a forecast high in 60s screamed “pond time” on Saturday, so my 16-year-old son and I hopped in his truck, and he pointed it toward our favorite nearby ponds. The two previous nights had been cold—well below freezing—so we knew the fish might not be as active as daytime conditions suggested. Still, it was too nice outside to not try.

As anticipated, the bite was slow. We each caught one bass in a couple of hours of fishing, and we only a saw a couple of other fish. Both fish caught were on shallow flats where the bass haven’t been since fall, though, and the others we saw were cruising just beneath the surface. Our early pond season has begun, and I anticipate several productive outings over the next month or so.

Relatively shallow ponds respond quickly to weather changes, and in the South these waters provide a head start on spring bass fishing. Because they are small, it typically doesn’t take long to see what the fish are doing (or aren’t doing) any given day.

Early outings lend themselves to simple fishing with limited tackle. I used a shirt pocket as a tackle box yesterday. Nathaniel carried a little drawstring bag.

Our spring mainstays are weightless soft-plastic lures, either hooked Texas style or nose hooked with circle hooks. On cooler days, I’ll slow things more with a Road Runner Pro Marabou 2.0. To cover water when the fish seem active, we’ll also throw square bill crankbaits.

Whatever the lure, we simply work the banks, casting to shoreline cover or covering flats. The bulk of the bass in the ponds we fish the most weigh a couple of pounds or less, but occasionally one provides a nice surprise. See for yourself.

Check out my blog to keep up with fishing travels.

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