All of us at FishVault love a good fishing tournament. Most fishing tournaments are fished on big lakes, and we expect to see big fish. That doesn’t mean that small ponds, lakes and reservoirs can’t hold big fish either. Small waters and water systems fish slightly differently than some big lakes, but offer great fishing often without a boat! These ponds, lakes, and reservoirs are plentiful and numerous across the country, and can often be fished without much pressure or crowding.
Finding the Right Water
There are so many great bodies of water around locally that you may have some in mind! However, take a look at your state’s official natural resources website for complete lists and maps! That may be the easiest! Secondly, check Google Maps and Google Earth for some hidden gems often too small to be registered with the state. Be sure they are not privately owned before scouting on foot! If they are, politely asking to fish the property goes a long way. Remember that you will be a guest, and treat it as if you are stepping foot into someone’s home for the first time!
How to Fish It
The pond or small lake may be small enough to cast the entire pond, or large enough to require a boat. Small float tubes, rigid inflatables, or small jon boats are great tools for differently sized small bodies of water, but regardless, small waters are great for anglers with little time. Most often, focusing on shallow water structure is a great place to start when fishing small water for bass. Tree laydowns or garbage cans/tires dumped into the water make great refuge. Finding weed beds and grass lines are also a great place to try your hand at finding pond monsters.
Lure Selection for Small Water
Jigs with soft plastic trailers, stick worms, tubes, and spinner baits are great choices for small lake and pond fish. This covers the majority of retrieval paces you will need, and also the profiles needed to catch fish. In-line spinners are a great choice that take loads of fish out of ponds, but remember to diversify your blade baits.
Hopefully you see small ponds, lakes, and reservoirs in a different light! Remember that these waters can produce great fish, and can often provide you with the relaxing fishing experience you’re after without crowds. Go find yourself a small body of water, and get after a monster! And remember, when you need to outfit yourself with the latest tackle and gear, give a monthly FishVault subscription a try.