Pond Fishing Good Now
Inside the Outdoors, August 24
, 2012

I happened to be talking to a gent who used to patronize my store once upon a long time ago, when he reminded me that this is a good time to pond fish. He then shared the facts of what he used for bait and that he purchased them from me.

“I slammed bass with those Kelly’s Worms I used to get from you,” he said. “When I didn’t use them, I switched to the Berkley’s Power Worms,” he said.

One thing he said that really impressed me was this. “Before we fished at any of the ponds, we always went to the owners and sought permission first.” That is so important and I can’t stress enough to be respectful toward those who own the land.

Pond fishing is definitely the place to get large bass this time of year. Different than fishing lakes where it is a bit harder to find the lunkers, all one need to do to use night crawlers, plastics that resemble worms or creatures that inhabit the waters, or lures that imitate baitfish or amphibious inhabitants. Even mouse look-a-likes, when pulled slowly in the water along the shoreline will interest bass thinking their dinner is at hand.

Bass are territorial. Anything floating or making a noise within their domain, will attack. That’s the first thing to remember.

Second, since ponds aren’t fished often, one has a good chance of catching nice-sized bass with little effort. The most important thing is not for fish to see you. If you fish to the left or the right or a good many feet straight out, chances are better you’ll get a nice-sized fish. Also look for sticks projecting out of the water, grass along the shoreline, or cattails growing out from the banks. They are usually hiding nearby.

Surface plugs work best on calm summer mornings and evenings, when bass feed in the shallows. Four types are good for bass fishing: (a) propeller-type plugs, which have long, thin bodies with a propeller at on or both ends; (b) “poppers” and “chuggers,” which have a concave face that makes a gurgling sound while being retrieved; (c) top-water crawlers, which have a metal lip that causes the lure to wobble; and (d), “stickbaits,” which look like propeller-type plugs without the propellers.
One of the proven lures that became part of the contents of my tackle box from way back yonder has be the Arbogast Jitterbug. Used early in the morning or just when the sun is going down, it's’ a sure plug for hungry bass that comes in to feed during those hours.

Made by the same company is the Hula Popper. Like the previous plug, it is rated right up there when thrown out and retrieved slowly along the water near the shore. The third, one of my favorite, is the Rapala X-Rap, which has proven to be the ticket for catching big bass for me this year. The trick is to vary the retrieve.

By the way, when asking the owner whether or not you can fish on their property, also ask if you can harvest any of the fish. Sometimes the ponds become too full of fish and get stunted and it is good if some of the fish can be removed. Otherwise, all the fish will grow to one size only, and that is not good for the confined population.

Also, remember to clean up after you have finished. There is nothing that makes an owner happier than to realize that the angler left the premises just as he found it.


People are killing deer for the thrill of it, Tribune Review Outdoor Writer Bob Frye reported in the Pennsylvania Outdoor News recently. But it doesn’t stop there. After shooting the animals, they are running them over with their vehicles and then leaving the scene, it was reported. How sick is that. This is part of a trend, he said. “Deer are shot and left to rot,” he said.

It is this reporter’s opinion that we all have to make a diligent effort to do all we can to stop this kind of criminal activity. I can only hope that these culprits are apprehended and given a stiff fine with jail sentences and their weapons taken from them indefinitely. This type of thing has to be stopped if it means strict enforcement. If you note such violation, contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission at 724-238-9523.


Finally, Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, marks the second of two free fishing days in the Commonwealth. Fish for Free Days allow anyone – residents and non-residents – to legally fish in Pennsylvania. From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. no fishing license is required to fish in Pennsylvania waters. All other fishing regulations apply.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.