Most reservoir anglers know that fall is a great time to fish. As waters cool off from summer’s highs, bass, crappie and other species respond by returning to shallow water and feeding actively to build up energy reserves for the colder months to follow.
This same pattern occurs in ponds and small lakes. If anything, fish in ponds are even more sensitive to these water temperature changes, since the waters are smaller, and they are affected more by cold fronts and warm fronts. After a prolonged warm spell, a cool front might drop the water in ponds by several degrees, energizing the fish and signaling them that it’s time to put the feedbag on.
When this happens, anglers should concentrate on working the banks and the upper (shallow) end of a pond. Cover targets like logs, stumps, weeds, etc. should receive special attention. For bass, active lures like topwaters, spinnerbaits and crankbaits are excellent lure choices. For crappie and bluegill, live minnows, small jigs, and worms (respectively) are hands-down picks for best baits. Offer these beneath shallow bobber rigs. A slip-bobber rig fished with light tackle (6-8 lb. test line) is a great setup for fall panfish.
One other note: fall is when many sportsmen lay down the fishing rod and pick up the shotgun or rifle; hunting seasons are in full swing. This means less competition exists for persistent anglers. So, less fishing pressure, active fish, beautiful fall days: it’s a great package. Fall and farm ponds are a true pleasure for those who take advantage of the opportunities they offer.VICIOUS FISHING
Bonus Video - How to: Fishing a Drop Shot