Sometimes when you have just been driving around you might take notice that a small pond may catch your eye and the thought, “I would like to fish that pond,” crosses your mind. There are literally thousands of them. I once knew a man in Kansas City, who proclaimed one of his greatest pleasures was to be fishing the stock ponds along the Kansas and Missouri border. He would catch some nice fish too.
I wonder just how many people whose first fishing experience was fishing in a farm pond or even a pond in a park. I would be willing to bet it would be a large portion of the native population.
With all of the large, man-made lakes created over the last half century all over the state, it is easy to see where the largest concentrations of fresh water anglers are fishing. All that is necessary is to follow the line of boat trailers on a weekend. Next in popularity would be the rivers and creeks. Many of us may not even consider fishing farm ponds anymore; maybe it’s time to consider them again.
The fish generally found in the ponds are large and small mouth bass, perch, and catfish. The sizes will be directly proportionate to the number of fish in the pond and the size of the pond.
When fishing a pond, you can approach the lure selection from a number of different directions, and a lot will depend on the weather and the time of the year. In the spring and fall fishing, when the bass are likely to be hitting the tops, fishing a pond with a fly rod can be and exceptional adventure. Perch are also fun to catch on a fly rod. For bass I would recommend chartreuse, white, yellow, and combinations of those colors in top water poppers. One of the old timers once told me, when I was a kid, to check your grill or radiator and see what color bugs are on it, when you get to your fishing hole start with those colors. It makes sense to me.
When using spinning or bait casting tackle for bass, start with the above mentioned colors and try top water lures. If no luck go to shallow running spinner baits. Texas rigged worms are always a good lure to try. In the early spring, when the snakes are being born, it is a good time to use dark blue, purple and black, Texas rigged worms.
Catfish can be great in farm ponds. Get you some prepared catfish bait, liver or just about any stink bait and fish on the bottom. That is where the catfish will be.
Don’t forget the children or grandchildren. Take them to a farm pond with a pole, float and a can of worms and watch the fun begin. I don’t know of anything more enjoyable than to watch a youngster catching fish. Also keep in mind if a child gets hooked on fishing at an early age, and is encouraged by his parents and grandparents; it sure beats some of the alternative available to them on the streets.
When approaching a farm pond that you intend to fish, don’t just charge up to the water, drop your gear, tackle up and start fishing. The noise your make when stomping up to the water can quite possibly be heard by everything in the water, thereby making them skittish. So slow down and kind of creep up on tiptoes to the water.
Stand back and try not to cast too much shadow on the water. That too can disturb the fish. So stand a little back from the water’s edge and be quite.
The idea is to offer the fish a tasty looking morsel, in their undisturbed environment, not to drive them to the bottom in abject terror. Then softly present your lure or bait to the area of the pond where you wish to start. Remember these fish are not use to the water skiers, jet skis, and pleasure boaters like those found in the large lakes.
Their most trying day may only consist of the occasional horse, cow, or some other livestock dropping by for a drink. Also watch where you are walking. Texas has no shortage of snakes, and the watery edge of a pond, grown up with vegetation is an excellent home for cottonmouth water moccasins as well as many beneficial, and harmless varieties of reptiles. It can tend to be startling for an angler to all of a sudden find oneself in extremely close proximity of a sunning snake.
If a pond is full of turtles, the chances are the minnows and small fish have been eaten by them. On occasion, some ponds can benefit from a day of shooting turtles. It is necessary to make sure you don’t shoot any of the threatened or endangered species of turtles such as the alligator snapping turtle. There are a few other turtles on the list in your TPWD annual, so be sure of what you are shooting.
As one final note, remember to get the owner’s permission before going on anyone’s property for any activity. It is the law that you must have the permission of the owners or his agent before going on their property. Besides, it is only good manners.