I fished my first farm pond at about age 8, and it must have been a good experience because since then I’ve visited literally hundreds.  I like them because a well managed pond will have plenty of fish and being small, it can be covered thoroughly in a few hours.  If there are bass there, you’ve got to find them eventually.  But most times when I hit an area pond I’m there just for fun, walking the shoreline with only a couple of extra lures in a shirt pocket tacklebox.

I rarely go with plans to catch as many fish as possible, but I did on my last pond bass trip, because the question arose “How many bass can I catch in exactly two hours?”  And since the results might interest many readers who also like to fish farm ponds, this is what happened.

First of all, I chose an old pond that had been around for at least 20 years, meaning some lunker largemouths should be swimming in its waters.  It was a woodland pond with acres of trees and grass around that kept it from going murky in heavy rains, and the shoreline had a few cattails, some overhanging willows, scattered weed beds, and both deep and shallow areas.  Ideal.

I’d picked a perfect morning too, clear and cool with fluffy cumulus clouds sailing across a blue sky.  Birds were singing in trees nearby, and an old bullfrog who’d escaped the raccoons so far was booming from beneath overhanging shoreline brush.  Since early morning fishing is usually best I arrived at 6:45 a.m. and found the 3/4 acre pond polished silver without a ripple.  It was too much to resist.  There was no chance because the pond was “dead” without a single bluegill breaking the surface and no bass boiling around the weeds chasing down breakfast, but I still opened with a surface bait, a Pop-R, hoping to find a bass on the surface willing to explode like a depth charge below my offering.  No takers.

Then I got serious, clipping on a half ounce pearl grey Roostertail spinner with pure white tail, a lure that I dearly love for pond fishing because its lead body casts like a bullet, it has great eye appeal, and by varying retrieve speed I can fish it deeper or shallow as I wish.  The Roostertail accounted for six bass as I worked around the shore, ranging from six inches up to a pound and a half.  That was a good start.

I’ve caught hundreds of largemouths on this little spinner, but rarely a big one except in early spring when fish are looking for small morsels, so my second choice was a chartreuse spinnerbait.  That lure produced three more bass and two lost fish that ranged up to nearly three pounds.  A black and grey sinking Rapala was next, turning up a single bass and one more lost, then a blue and silver RattlTrap hit the water and accounted for another.  By that time I’d circled the pond several times and covered the water thoroughly, probably hooking most of the bass that were interested in feeding, and time was running out.  But I’d caught no real whoppers, and believed I knew why.

It’s likely that the old mossbacks were hiding in the ponds deepest part, and I simply couldn’t reach them.  A plastic worm wouldn’t work on the green slime (filamentous algae) covered bottom, and deep running crankbaits fouled before they ran far.  A big live minnow fished below a bobber would likely have worked, but I had none.  Still, when I quit at exactly 8:45 a.m. I’d caught 11 bass in various sizes, lost a total of five, and had three missed strikes, for a total of 19 interested fish.  And caught three lunker bluegills on the Roostertail to sweeten the morning.

A good day, all in all, one you can easily duplicate, since Ohio and surrounding States have plenty of farm ponds.  Pick a nice morning, go early, and switch offerings when one wears out its welcome.  A dozen hard fighters or more make pond fishing worth a modest drive and a couple of hours casting.

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