Fished on lighter tackle I would generally opt for spinning rod for bass is this scenario. You'll need to drop a few sizes from your regular lures as fishing large swim baits on smaller ponds is rarely productive.
Soft Plastics like craws, tubes and toads mimic a variety of small sub-aquatic creatures that bass will regularly be feeding on. This lures can be worked in and around thick cover, bass will routinely be hiding in these locations waiting to strike.
Seeing a bass engulf your lure and strike it hard from below will get the heart racing of any seasoned angler. Poppers, chiggers and frog lures for bass are all big performers.
Working a weedless version of a top water frog over thick cover with lilies or weed beds is one way to snag a bunker in the height of summer. Spinners make great bass lures for ponds as they can be retrieved at a variety of depths and speeds.
They have the added advantage of both vibration and flash which will drive summer bass wild especially when fished in the top of the water column. Smaller crank baits like Papal's for example can be an absolute killer on ponds that have a lot of small bait fish already present.
Line weight stick to roughly 8 lb monofilament which will perform really well on a light spinning setup for the majority of bass lures for ponds. Suitor, the answer is: it depends on the season, the size of the pond, the amount of vegetation, the type of shoreline cover, and whether you’ve been naughty or nice.
Just kidding about the last part, but there are so many variables in ponds and in ways to catch large mouth bass that it pays to be versatile and adaptable. In dirty water, and in ponds with deep cover, try a heavier spinner bait with a single large Indiana or Colorado blade that produces a lot of vibration.
A crank bait that runs 1 to 3 feet deep is perfect for pond fishing, especially if they readily deflect off stumps and branches, have a good wobbling action, and can be retrieved slowly. Texas rigs work well around hard cover; weightless worms are good for slow fishing over submerged grass and around flooded shoreline bushes.
Honorable mention best pond bass fishing baits: Try a chatter bait in murky water and over submerged grass; a wobbling- or walking-style surface plug, especially for use early and late in the day around and near cover; and a weedless frog for fishing the slop and matted vegetation. Ken Schultz was a longtime staff writer for Field & Stream magazine and is the former Fishing Editor of ESPNoutdoors.com.
He’s written and photographed nineteen books on sport fishing topics, plus an annual fishing tips calendar., and his writing has appeared on various websites for nearly two decades. The majority of the bass are still on pre-dawn grass edges gorging themselves to get ready for the winter and their time to spawn.
Flipping a classic ribbon tail worm or a Seiko into the grass, reeds, or pads of these pre-spawn area’s is deadly at this time of year. In my experience the fish at this time of year prefer a slow fall and subtle action.
You’re essentially flipping but covering more water and your bait is more subtly falling as apposed to the little splash caused from pitching every cast. Flukes flat out catch fish in Florida throughout the year, and they work now too.
Throw this thing out around Lily pads, grass lines, or reeds in pre-dawn or spawning flats, and just let it sink to the bottom. Give the rod a little lift to feel if something has it in there mouth and if not then Texas rigged weightless Seiko just reel back up and repeat.
Little fish all the way to the biggest bass in the lake have been caught on these basic straight worms. If the water is dark or murky the darker colors are the way to go, and if it is clean and clear use green pumpkin.
Want to be notified of our latest deals, news, fishing reports/blogs, and YouTube videos? Trout like cold water, so look for them in the deeper ends of the pond, beneath logs and by rocks.
They tend to bite more during insect hatches and during the morning and evening, which is a good time to fly fish them. If you have tackle, spoons and plugs will work for drawing in bass as well, and they're known to hit a spinner bait when the opportunity arises.
Remember to adjust your tackle to the size of the fish as there is usually only one or two “big” bass in a pond while the others are typically smaller. Fly fishermen will also have luck with these fish and should cast around weedy areas and near drop offs in the pond bed into deeper water.
This type of fish, which include perch, bluegill, white bass, crappie and sunfish among others, tend to bite more during overcast days, but can be found near weeds and logs most of the time. If you are unsure about the species of fish in the pond, either scout by carefully observing shallow waters and shadowy areas, or cast in a hook with a worm on the end and a bomber.
Around busy fish cleaning tables), markers, etc. When I head out on a days worth of fishing and IBM not familiar with the area Ill immediately start looking for birds flying in tight circles and diving. Pelicans diving and staying down on the water with heads down means Ill keep running cause there feeding on glass minnows which are too small unless I want them for chumming. If there putting there heads up right away and swallowing there on pilchards or herring. Circling birds also usually mean pilchards. If there diving aggressively in tight-knit circles the bait is on top. If there staying high and diving every once in a while, the bait is down deep. Once you spot birds ease up slowly and look for dimples (like raindrops) on the water. If there up on top put your chum bag out so you can bring them close to your boat. Even if you donut see them anymore once you approached the area put your chum out and wait to see if they come up. If they do, try a cast net or a Sabik rig. Use long surf type rods with 8# test so you can work the Sabik rig slowly up or down. Once you hooked one leave it a little while longer until you feel you have more than one bait fish. If you use a cast net use one with a ¼ mesh so the bait doesn get killed and become difficult to unload. If the bait is down deep use your depth finder. Whenever you see a big dark ball somewhere between the surface and the bottom that the bait.
Send your Sabik down quick and load up on as much bait as you can. Dont wait to long to bring them up because other bigger fish will take them and your rig. I always carry a few cans of cat food (Cozy Kitten seafood at Winn-Dixie) on my boat. It never goes bad, so I leave it on my boat. It works as good as any other chum for catching bait. The only drawback is that you need a can opener and someone to actually scoop it out and scatter it on the water. Find the forage that's native to your area,minnows, shad etc.use this and catch fish. The best basic kind of bait to use for fishing is meet worms, or grasshoppers.
However, depending on what fish you are targeting there are many other live bait and lures to choose from. A bait and tackle shop is a store with all fishing accessories.
You'll start on your computer of all places using a handy little tool called Google Earth. And when you find them, the second half of these marsh fishing tips will tell you how to catch them based on their behavior and what lures to use.
All this information comes from Sonny Mills, who has years under his belt kayak fishing the Texas Gulf Coast. But don't let Texas scare you off, because these marsh fishing tips will work anywhere redfish are found in skinny water.
I also found out he had a straight forward and informative writing style, and was more than willing to share his fishing experiences with others. Hopefully the information provided on the next several pages will be valuable to those interested in catching redfish in shallow marshes.
As I gain more knowledge and experience over time I’m sure I will change my opinion and approach on many of the following methods. I've spent a countless number of hours looking at areas all along the upper Texas coast that I believe are worth exploring.
From there I will name the map and start marking certain areas that I believe are worth checking out so that I can save them and view later if needed. Patches of shell will show up as tiny dots that can be a lighter or darker color on the map.
It’s good to make a note about the location of shell because you will probably be trying to fish around it or keep away from it so that you don’t tear up the bottom of your kayak. The reason a gut shows up as this color in the marsh is because it is at least a few feet deep so the satellite is capturing the water in the image and not the mud bottom.
Drains are areas where faster moving water is being released after it has been funneled through a narrower channel or pinch. I like to look for multiple channels or pinches that are emptying into the same location and have formed a deeper gut.
Reds, trout, and flounder will stack up in these areas on a moving tide. Good marsh fishing tips to remember are that drains can be productive on both the incoming and outgoing tide.
When fishing a drain that has a depth of at least a couple feet I like throwing a popping cork with any of the popular scented soft baits like Gulp!. I am constantly moving around looking for a reason to pick up my rod and make a cast.
If I don’t see or hear anything that lets me know a fish is in the area then I like to stay on the move. The only time I ever stop to blind cast an area is when I come to one of the drains mentioned on the previous page.
(I left the advice on lures untouched except to exclude specific brand names. I'm certainly biased towards Bugs, but will freely admit that there is more than one way to skin a cat / catch a red.
They will normally be hovering about 10 feet or fewer above the water and occasionally dropping to pick up the small bait fish or shrimp that the reds may have missed. Pods may consist of a few reds cruising a shoreline or more than a hundred out in the middle of an open lake.
The marsh fishing tips here are to throw a few feet in front of and past the pod and work the lure back into their path. You will normally see their heads or tails breaking the surface of the water and/or hear a distinct popping noise.
If the pod does break up they will sometimes regroup so it's important to watch the direction they scatter in. Preferred Lure: As mentioned above, a soft plastic on a light bighead will work well.
This normally occurs in a few inches of water and results in seeing the entire redfish from head to tail. It helps to have a lure here that will just sit on the bottom, hook point up so it doesn't snag.
Preferred Lures: Similar to crawlers, tailing fish can be a bit skittish at times. I like Bugs, soft plastics, shallow diving crank baits and wake baits in this situation.
When a predator is in the area and bait fish feel threatened they will ball up and try to seek protection in numbers. When a redfish darts through a ball of bait they will scatter in every direction leaping out of the water to escape.
If you see little flashes of light in the distance its possible you are seeing the sun reflect off the bait fish as they jump out of the water. Shad tail soft plastics on a lighter bighead are another favorite of mine.
Redfish cruising a shoreline or open lake will make a small wake if they are shallow enough or near the surface of the water. Just make sure the lure gets a few feet in front of and past the fish and then work it back so that they eventually meet up.
When a red is spooked in the marsh and a “blowout” occurs it will normally leave a relatively straight wake that will be 5 to 20 yards long moving about 90 mph. Shrimp jumping near a grass line is one of the harder things to spot even if you’re constantly scanning the shoreline.
As redfish move down a shoreline they are trying to spook shrimp and other bait fish from the grass and mud. When a redfish moves over a shrimp that his hiding in the mud or grass it will try to escape and many times leap out of the water to avoid being eaten.
They don’t really make much of a splash or noise when they jump so you really have to be looking for the slightest bit of movement. Sometimes you’ll see a shrimp jump every couple of seconds a few yards apart and that will show you the direction the fish or pod is heading.
Preferred Lure: A soft plastic shrimp imitation on a light bighead put a few feet in front of the fish will work well. When the tide is high in the marsh redfish will move into the grass searching for food.