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Old 03-22-2013, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

Thanks for all the advice, guys. I never knew shallow ponds were deprived of oxygen in the really hot months. Looks like I ma going to have to try poppers, too.

But I do look at this as a chance to develop my skills. This should help for when I can finally get to a stream.

After all this talk, I think I am going to stash my stuff in my trunk for Monday, even though the temperature has been only in the mid-30s lately and for the foreseeable future. I has me a pair of finger-less gloves, so I am ready.

I have poked around these ponds the past few days and have yet seen much activity but I know there are fish in them.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

Still water ponds is pretty much ALL I fish. If you are going for gill, regular trout stuff will do, including rod weights, fly lines, and even flies. As I doubt there are any large bass in these small ponds, most of the gear will also work for them.

I assume you probably have a 5wt or something, and that will work fine, even for some bigger bass flies as you wont have to cast far given the size of the ponds.

If you tie, I would whip up some simple woolly buggers, some smaller zonkers, and some top water stuff (like dragon flies, poppers, frogs, and water spiders).

I personally prefer still water fishing over any other, as you can really see everything that's going on, and its all up to you to make your flies move and seem realistic.

Just make sure you ask the golf course if you can fish their pond before you head out. Don't want to be in the paper next day: "Fortune 500 company owner arrested fishing for Koi at golf course."
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

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Originally Posted by nick k View Post
Just make sure you ask the golf course if you can fish their pond before you head out. Don't want to be in the paper next day: "Fortune 500 company owner arrested fishing for Koi at golf course."
hahaha, well, the golf course has since been converted into a business park. There are a number of business buildings there now but they left a lot of the golf cart trails and the ponds. I do not think Barney Fife will be out to get me. Of course, I wouldn't even know who to contact if I wanted to. I will simply have to plead ignorance and ask for forgiveness. But if you do see those headlines in the paper, well, you will know it is me!

I have a 9' 5# with floating line. The suggestions to add a nymph to a grasshopper or something is a great idea. I do not expect any really large fish out of either pond but it has to help me get better. And, as I read these responses, I should get valuable practice that will only make me better once I get to moving water.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

I'm sure the grasshopper dropper idea will work great. You may even hook up with two. Many times, golf course fish are easily fooled as they receive little fishing pressure and don't expect to be faked out by a potential meal.

The 9' 5# will work fine. My normal bass rod is a 6wt and I use that while float tubing as well. I recently moved and have identified some new small still water pockets. I just bought a 2wt for going after bream and small bass around me, getting into ultralight. Something to look into if you are gonna be targeting small fish for a long time.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

You're getting good advice with these posts. I thumbs up just about everything said. Bass and bluegill ponds are mt bread and butter. so I'll chip in my $.02

To reiterate: Floating line should be fine. No need to get carried away with leaders. I frequently use regular monofilament in various lengths. Start with a bit of 20 or 30 pound test, then lengths of smaller diameter. 6lb or 4lb test on the end threads through most eyes of trout and panfish flies. You could always add a length of actual tippet for the small stuff if needed.

Here's my own thoughts:

1.) There might be a good chance to nail some carp. They're often in ponds, including grass carp as they often stock them to cut down on weeds in urban ponds. There's a good excuse to buy another rod as carp are big game. You might want some actual leaders to make a gentle presentation.

2.) I've found it helpful to learn the roll cast and tower casts for these waters. I often find myself fishing off the dam and that high embankment makes backcasts a challenge. These casts overcome that problem.

3.) Flies: a lot of ponds have their own list of insects and other critters. Pay attention to what you see, and maybe tie/buy accordingly. Standard nymphs and buggers are great everywhere. One that stands out for me is a flie that suggests a small bluegill or green sunfish. Bass feed on them here. You also mention koi. I wouldn't be surprised if you were successful with orange streamers.

Edit: In answering your question on retrieves, I vary mine. There's long been a tradition among bass fisherman of casting a frog imitation or popper on the surface, letting the rings dissipate, and then give it a twitch. Let the rings dissipate, and give it another twitch. Repeat. This certainly works, but I don't let myself get too glued to it as it's ulitmately up to the fish.

The twitch doesnt have to be much, even just a slight movement. You'll find the hits will happen just after you twitch it in most cases, often right after the initial cast and the first twitch. I think the initial splat attracts the fish's attention, and the twitch provokes a reaction strike, especially with bass. (If you really want some fun, throw that thing over a bed of spawning bluegills and watch them bat it around defending the nests.)

I vary retrieves subsurface as well, fast, slow, creeping, erratic, consistent, whatever. The most underrated I find is creeping things along the bottom superslow.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

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Originally Posted by Flyfisher for men View Post
1.) There might be a good chance to nail some carp. They're often in ponds, including grass carp as they often stock them to cut down on weeds in urban ponds. There's a good excuse to buy another rod as carp are big game. You might want some actual leaders to make a gentle presentation.
That brings up another question: Aren't koi nothing but fancy looking carp?? I would suspect these things may be pretty big by now.

And now you are making me think I should look for a cheapie rod in case I break it. Whenever I caught a big, old smallmouth back in October, I darn near snapped my rod reeling him in. I must admit, it was a load of fun landing it but nerve wracking since the rod tip was totally bent.

I think there is a cheap fiberglass rod for sale on Craig's list. It is an old Diawa 6# for $35. It has been there for a while, wouldn't be surprised if it were gone.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

A proper carp rod one of those things you'd want to ask others about, and there will be tons of threads on it on this board. I'm not yet a carp fisherman; one of my plans for the summer is catching one on the fly.

I would think a 5 or 6 weight would be ok for bass and koi, unless one of them was truly behemoth. The sites I've consulted lead me to put 6 weights at a minimum for actual carp. I have twice had carp foul-hooked on a six weight. and it was all I could handle. FWIW, I lost both fish. One was nearly at the end of my backing and I had to try to force him in. (snapped leader). The other I overhorsed stupidly and broke off.

Slow action 8 weights are traditional for largemouths for throwing bigger flies and those big deer hair poppers.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

To be honest, I wouldnt get another rod for the carp. Heres why:

1. You aren't sure there are any.
2. Koi may or may not take flies, and if they do, they probably arent huge koi
3. If its a small pond, there probably isnt a great deal of structure to yank them out of, and its not like they can run far.

I myself plan on trying to land a carp on my new 2wt this summer. The rod wont break on you, you dont need to worry about that. All you will have to do is let them take their time a little more.

Above all, let your experience govern the gear you need. Go out, catch some fish, see how your gear handles what you catch. If you find yourself outgunned (which I STRONGLY suspect you wont), then consider purchasing something new.

Even if you are a little outgunned, I prefer it that way, puts more fight in the fish, even if it takes a little longer. I used a 5wt as my primary largemouth rod for a long time, and even used it everyday in florida during college to catch small jacks, barracuda, and other hard fighting fish.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

I will start with leaders. I am no expert but I have been flyfishing BG and some Bass for over 40 years.

I have gone to a 2wt for BG and bass. On my light outfits I use a 5ft mono fureled leader and a 2 to 3' 6# tippet. I tie many flies on aberdeen hooks and if I get snagged on something I can usually pull the fly free and then use needlenose to rebend the hook and keep on fishing rather than needing to retie an maybe put on a new tippet as well. I would rather be fishing than re-rigging. If you are fishing bass and there is heavy cover you can go to a heavier tippet but heavy mono will not always go thru small hook eyes.

If the water is cold the fish will not chase much and many times the fly needs no movement. Just let it sink and watch closely and be quick with the hook set. The fish will school very tight and sometimes if you are outside a 2ft diameter circle they will not hit the fly. 30 second wait is not unreasonable and sometimes longer. Yellow is always a good color IMO. Soft Hackle or sinking spider with rubber legs.

As the water warms they will start hitting surface bugs. A craft foam spider or a small popper will work. Size 10 in yellow for both. Sometimes they like it moving and others not moving. Spiders for BG and Poppers will work for both BG and Bass. I make poppers 1/4" dia on a 12 hook.

I seldom use the rod to move the flies. I put the rod tip at the water level an use the line hand to manipulate the bug. I also strip set the hook.

For bass I prefer a deer hair bug. ( mostly because I enjoy tying them ) I seldom go bigger than a 6 hook. For bigger flies I go to a bigger line outfit of 5 or 6 but I don't use /0 sized hooks. There are also many bait fish patterns that will work well and I am also sucker for frog patterns. One last pattern that I would recommend would be a Blind Squirrel. It will catch anything I believe. Size 10 thru 6. Supposed to be a great carp fly too but I don't have any here locally to try it out on.

I have seen some large bass come out of small ponds. 7# plus in Indiana and that my friend is large in Indiana. So be prepared. I once had a bass hit so hard that he pulled the reel out of my finger so fast it pulled skin off my knuckles. And I missed it, sorry to say. It would probably been the largest I have ever caught.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Effective small pond fishing

Probably someone already said this, but you can make things a lot easier on yourself simply by adding your own structure. This can be anything, an old christmas tree, rocks, whatever. probably the best single 'add-on' structure is an old tractor tire. Simply sink it in at least 5-10 feet of water. It becomes a hide out for sunfish/baitfish within a week. That will draw bass to the area, or any other predator species in the water. Now you know where the fish are and what depth. just add appropriate flies and get bit.

Be a little cautious though. You don't want to add structure that interacts with the water or damages the ecosystem, as that will probably kill the fish. Also, i never sunk anything that came too close the surface. So if i sunk something in 10 feet of water, it was only 5 feet high, and usually not even that. Anyway, good luck, and don't forget some pics.
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