There’s no better adventure each summer than beginning a farm pond pilgrimage. Find as many as you can get access to and fish them until you catch every bass in the pond.
I’m starting mine at a farm pond on steroids. It’s actually a small lake right outside my brother's back door, and it’s loaded with big bass, blue gill, channel cats and chain pickerel. I have a week to fish it and a kayak to get me wherever I want to go. Throw in a nephew, niece and son, and I have the chance to play fishing guide again.
Don’t get me wrong, the allure of big water is fun too. There’s an ocean 15 minutes from my brother's house, but being able to completely fish a small body of water is too much to pass up.
Life in the farm pond or small lake is steady right now. The heat of the day turns the bite off, but mornings and evenings are prime time for fishing. Spawning season is over and it’s time for fish to fatten up. It’s eat or be eaten, and co-existing can come when the weather gets cold again and metabolisms slow down.
You don’t need expensive gear to have a great day on a small body of water. You can fish from the bank and do just fine. Most of the time, I pick one lure and do the best I can with it.
It also doesn’t consume an entire day to fish a pond or two. An hour or so in the morning or evening is perfect for harassing as many fish as you can get to bite.
I find that bass in farm ponds like to move to corners where the wind is blowing into. The up-wind sides of a pond usually produce less fish. I spend most of my time in the down-wind corners, and go back over them after I make a lap around the pond.
My go-to summertime farm pond lures either float or have no weight. A long, slinky soft plastic bait with no weight is perfect for staying above the weeds. It can also be fished to look extremely crippled and makes bass eat when they don’t want too. A floating jerk bait can be used in the same fashion.
Don’t forget the live bait when fishing farm ponds. A little dog food in a minnow trap caught the baby bluegill that caught the last big bass of the first day from my brother’s lake. It gave me the perfect excuse to break out the bobbers match the bait to exactly what the bass were after.
The best thing about farm pond is that access can be easy. Often a phone call or knock on a door can get you casting a line. I promise to practice catch and release and rarely get turned down.
Summer has barely started and now is the time to begin a quest to fish every farm pond you can. They all have big bass waiting, and it’s up to you to catch them before cold weather returns and disrupts the summer feeding frenzy.
Jon Kocan is the Stillwater News Press outdoors writer and a longtime hunter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.