Many people start off learning to fish, as kids, in small farm ponds. Most of the time, learning to fish begins by catching bluegill and perch with the usage of worms, grasshoppers and grubs as bait. As we gain knowledge as to the ways of fishing, we eventually begin using artificial baits such as plastic worms, spinnerbaits and jitterbugs. Once different techniques are acquired, most often the sport of catching fish moves on to rivers, streams and lakes. Yes, there is most likely more fish in those types of bodies of water, and it comes to a point where we think we are “too cool” to fish in ponds anymore. However, pond fishing can be exciting for kids, families and can be used to sharpen the seasoned individuals' skills, such as trying out new gear, or when one is feeling a little rusty and needs a tune up.
Recently, my wife and I have visited a few small ponds, just to test out new rod and reels. However, once we started catching a few largemouth bass, it quickly became a weekly activity that we both enjoy together. I’ll admit, there has been multiple occasions in which our competitive personalities shine and it turns into a game of who can catch the most, and who can catch the biggest, of course this is all in good fun. Throughout our time spent at these ponds, I have found two particular lures that are ideal for pond bass fishing. They have quickly become two of my favorite go to lures for small pond bass, while at the same time preparing me for bigger fishing trips throughout the year.
Strike King KVD Splash Jr. Topwater Bait
During our first couple of visits to one particular pond, we discovered that it was populated by some decent sized largemouth bass. Even though we were able to catch a few, we spent the majority of our time pulling vegetation from our lures each time we reeled in. I began noticing that most of the vegetation was under the water 2 to 3 feet deep. I had used topwater baits while fishing lakes and had success., so I switched it up and began to use a Strike King KVD Splash Jr. Topwater lure. This is a 3” topwater lure that has a realistic paint job, feather enhanced rear No.4 treble hook and incredible 3D eyes that is perfect for throwing topwater thus keeping the lure above all the grass that is in the bottom of the pond. Since the majority of the vegetation was close to the bank, I used this particular lure with a Lews Mach Crush Spinning Reel that has a 6:2:1 gear ratio, which allows for faster reeling when the lure reaches the grass which prevents any hang up in thick vegetation.
On my second cast using the Kevin VanDam Splash Jr. I slowly reeled the lure as close to the vegetation as possible and when I was about 12 foot from the bank, I could see a wide open mouth coming up from underneath the grass. A nice 2 ½ lb largemouth smoked the topwater lure like it was its last meal. Throughout the rest of the evening and while fishing the next two times at this particular pond I was able to catch several bass that provided some exciting topwater action, and as an added bonus, I was able to fish without cleaning grass off the lure each time. The KVD Splash Jr ended up being the perfect choice for catching bass when vegetation is an issue.
Booyah Pond Magic Spinnerbait
For years I have been a fan of spinnerbait fishing. Actually, it has become one of my favorite lures to fish with in small ponds. When I recently began shopping for a NEW spinnerbait, I searched for a one that was a bit smaller in size since I was fishing smaller ponds where I knew there was a slim chance of catching a lunker 8 to 10 lb giant. In the ponds that we were fishing a 2 to 3 lb bass was a trophy. I spotted the Booyah spinnerbait on the shelf because of the Fire Bug colored 60 strand silicone skirt that was noticeably thicker than other spinnerbaits. As I began reading the package I noticed that the particular bait I had chosen was named the Pond Magic. A spinnerbait designed to be specialized in color and blade combinations that were hand selected to match the forage base of smaller waters such as the ponds we had been fishing.
The Pond Magic spinnerbaits are a 3/16 oz lure with tandem blades and a 2/0 Mustad hook that is strong enough to hold not only the bass I was fishing but even bigger fish in larger bodies of waters. While using the Pond Magic, I was also using SeaGuar Abrazx Fluorocarbon line in an 8lb test. Since this time the particular pond we were fishing was clearer water than the previous pond, I liked the Fluorocarbon line that is virtually invisible in the water. When reeling this particular spinnerbait that has colored blade along with a gold blade, I was able to watch the lure work underwater, even being fortunate enough to watch 2 or 3 bass swim in quick and grab the flashy colored bait. The Pond Magic has caught several bass for me this spring. I’m anxious to keep using it throughout the summer months to see if the success continues. Being able to watch the lure work underwater is why spinnerbaits are my favorite lure for fishing small ponds. For those who are interested, the Pond Magic is available in several different colors.
My first fishing trip this year was during mid April while fishing on the Norfork Lake near Mountain Home, Arkansas. On that particular night fishing trip we caught largemouth bass, walleye, white bass and even a few crappie about an hour before sunset. Being able to catch multiple fish was fun, yet I could tell it was my first time fishing for the year. Since that trip, I have made several trips to local ponds which seems to have refreshed my fishing skills and I feel that I am ready to return to the lake and fish for smallmouth bass on the river this summer, as well as taking a few trout fishing trips. Not only is pond fishing exciting and fun, but having less people watching while practicing allows for one to be ready for any fishing trip that may occur throughout the rest of the year.
Interested in more great bass lure tips? Check out Matt Lee's Best Summer Time Baits for Bass, or for some general tips for success, take a look at Kevin VanDam's short piece about how to be successful in bass fishing.