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#11119551 - 09/22/15 09:55 AM Question about finding the big fish in ponds
kiteman Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/06/14
Posts: 22
I fish a pond that is about 600x400ft…pretty big pond but definitely not a small lake by any means. That pond has a lot of fish in it…I’ve caught perch, LMB, and catfish. Pretty much every time I go I spend about an hour and catch at least 5-6 fish. I mostly just fish for LMB, and I’ve caught them on just about every type of weedless bait from large senkos to topwater frogs/rats. I can’t use a crankbait from the bank as there is just too much vegetation. There are only 3 spots I can bank fish from, all the other banks are heavily covered and inaccessible on foot.

My question is although I know there are a lot of fish in the pond, I’ve never caught anything bigger than a 3lb LMB. I’ve caught many, in fact most, in the 1-2lb range, but never anything bigger than 1 3lber. I’ve tried the whole bigger bait/bigger fish approach but with no real success. On the other hand, the perch in there are huge for perch. But since I’m not eating any of them, I’m really just looking for a big fish to fight, a 5lb+ LMB. I’m starting to wonder if there just are no fish that are bigger in this pond, or if there are so many smaller ones that the odds of catching a big one are just statistically slim. Also I wonder if the bigger ones hang out on the other side of the pond that I can’t access. There is really no cover inside the pond, no trees or anything where you’d think LMB might be hanging out, and quite honestly the pond looks deep but I have no clue how deep it really is. I cast my senko out pretty far and it seems like it hits the bottom after a few seconds…so maybe 5-6’ deep 75’ out from the bank.

Just curious on your thoughts about what might be going on here, and/or recommendations for how to find those big ones. Also this pond has been around for years and to my knowledge is not stocked, so I would think unless fish just started arriving a couple of years ago, a big bass would have had enough time to get big in this particular pond.

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#11119651 - 09/22/15 10:32 AM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: kiteman]
Anchorman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/02/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Small Town NE Texas
Don't beat yourself up trying to catch the biggest fish in the pond. If there are big fish in it, and if you fish it enough, you will eventually catch one. Just fish it and have fun. It is what it is. Sounds like a kayak or jon boat may be a good tool to look into if the bank limits you that much.

The senko style baits should work well. In my pond when the bite is slow they seem to get the larger finicky bass to bite about as good as anything.

Try a buzz bait at dusk. The smaller fish often don't know what to think about it but it's a great big fish bait. They hate buzz baits. From my experience the first few casts can be really productive but once you work a buzz bait for a few casts it seems to shut them off. So you might try that last instead of when you first arrive.

I've also always caught nice pond bass with large spinner baits like a 3/8 terminator, white skirt with red head and hook.

If the cover is right, a craw worm might entice one to bite. A frog is also a good choice.

Keep at it. If there are 3lb bass in a pond that size you can rest assured there are some 5-6 pounders in there too.
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#11119669 - 09/22/15 10:39 AM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: kiteman]
Rhino68W Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 11/06/14
Posts: 5675
Loc: Benbrook, TX
Get a kayak!
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#11119684 - 09/22/15 10:48 AM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: kiteman]
timwins31 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/04/11
Posts: 5545
Loc: DFW
I fish a pond in Lewisville that is about that size. . .I didn't catch anything over 5 for at least 3 or 4 years fishing it. Then in the spring of 2013 I caught 3 over 8lbs in a fairly short time frame. Only one of them was sight fished. The other two I caught on the same lures and techniques I usually use in the pond. Sometimes it's just a numbers game, more time fishing means more chances to catch a big one. If they're in there, you'll get one eventually.

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#11120289 - 09/22/15 02:47 PM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: kiteman]
lukedawg40 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 131
Kayak fishing is your best choice.

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#11120312 - 09/22/15 03:00 PM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: kiteman]
JacksonBean Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 3163
Loc: Greenville, TX


Bass populate at such a fast rate, they typically overrun the forage base and become stunted in growth. You end up with a pond with way too many fish in it so even eight year old fish are the three pounders you mentioned. A good guess is to just look at the fish. Are they long and skinny or short and fat? My guess is they are long and skinny and it's going to be very difficult to catch anything five pounds plus.

I know, I know..... Everyone has a story to debunk this basic biology but I'm speaking in generalities here. Most ponds left unattended will overpopulate with small, stunted fish with a low relative weight and growth potential.

But is sounds like fun. wink

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#11120665 - 09/22/15 05:47 PM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: kiteman]
Donald Harper Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 12276
Loc: Justin, TX.
Here are your two choices that I suggest to finding a Big Bass in a pond full of vegetation.

First, try fishing it at night at your 3 areas of open water. Use two baits; a black bladed single spin spinner bait with a black skirt. The large black Jitter Bug is also excellent for night fishing a pond.

Now if you do catch a big one you will want to make some arrangement with a friend that has a small boat to get off shore.

Second, the big bass are staying pretty much under the deepest grass in the pond. Using the boat at 12:00 Noon will allow you to get vertical over the deepest pods and use a heavy drop shot with a creature bait attached about 4 inches above the 1 oz. weight. It goes in and comes out of the grass much easier than the heavy jigs that most use to punch grass. Just shoot me a PM. when you are organized to get off shore and I will send pictures with details of the rig, so you can easily put it together.
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#11121368 - 09/22/15 10:11 PM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: JacksonBean]
kiteman Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/06/14
Posts: 22
Originally Posted By: JacksonBean


Bass populate at such a fast rate, they typically overrun the forage base and become stunted in growth. You end up with a pond with way too many fish in it so even eight year old fish are the three pounders you mentioned. A good guess is to just look at the fish. Are they long and skinny or short and fat? My guess is they are long and skinny and it's going to be very difficult to catch anything five pounds plus.

I know, I know..... Everyone has a story to debunk this basic biology but I'm speaking in generalities here. Most ponds left unattended will overpopulate with small, stunted fish with a low relative weight and growth potential.

But is sounds like fun. wink


You know what you're talking about. They are all 14-18 inches but only 1-2lbs. In fact, I never really understood pictures I saw where people had 15" LMB that were 8lbs, but I'm a newb.

Thanks also for the recs about the night fishing. I'm definitely trying that next.

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#11121809 - 09/23/15 07:59 AM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: kiteman]
Fishbreeder Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 1271
Loc: Brazoria County, Texas
Originally Posted By: kiteman
Originally Posted By: JacksonBean


Bass populate at such a fast rate, they typically overrun the forage base and become stunted in growth. You end up with a pond with way too many fish in it so even eight year old fish are the three pounders you mentioned. A good guess is to just look at the fish. Are they long and skinny or short and fat? My guess is they are long and skinny and it's going to be very difficult to catch anything five pounds plus.

I know, I know..... Everyone has a story to debunk this basic biology but I'm speaking in generalities here. Most ponds left unattended will overpopulate with small, stunted fish with a low relative weight and growth potential.

But is sounds like fun. wink


You know what you're talking about. They are all 14-18 inches but only 1-2lbs. In fact, I never really understood pictures I saw where people had 15" LMB that were 8lbs, but I'm a newb.

Thanks also for the recs about the night fishing. I'm definitely trying that next.


The folks over in the ponds section would catch onto this right quick. This is the typical, usually unmanaged, weedy fish pond. There could be a large fish in it, but not very likely if all the fish in the pond are underweight for their length. There is a thread over there now (ponds and private water section) with one of those large, well fed, fast growing, short and fat bass in it. That fish has an abundance of easily available forage, likely supplemented by stocking on a regular basis, to eat.

There is also the exception to this rule, the "undiscovered" unmanaged pond full of big, easy to catch bass, but it would not be full of 14-18 inch skinny bass.

But JacksonBean is right on target with this one and I seriously doubt the "big one" you seek exists in this pond.

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#11121836 - 09/23/15 08:09 AM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: kiteman]
Chris G Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1673
Loc: Frisco, TX
It sounds like a clear case of an overpopulated pond without enough forage to go around to create the larger bass you are looking for. Any time the perch are all BIG as you stated, it means there's nothing in there that is capable of eating them on a regular basis. The best thing you could do as long as it's legal for the pond you are fishing would be to start keeping some of those skinny bass and either eat them or move them to another pond somewhere.
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#11121874 - 09/23/15 08:24 AM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: kiteman]
Anchorman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/02/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Small Town NE Texas
When you walk the bank do little frogs jump every where? Does it sound like a musical at dusk?

Is there evidence of a lot crawfish?

My pond has (for some reason) both in huge numbers. I've never really managed my pond much. But before it got so low where I lost almost all my bass I had some huge bass. I always felt it was mainly because of the crawfish and frog population. I guess my pond is one of the exceptions to the rule.
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If it ain't yours don't mess with it!
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#11122948 - 09/23/15 02:27 PM Re: Question about finding the big fish in ponds [Re: Anchorman]
senko9S Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 10/15/03
Posts: 21588
Loc: Bedford, TX
a cheap float tube will allow you access to the spots you cant from the bank.
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