Pond bass fishing is a fantastic opportunity to hone our skills and build confidence in techniques we perhaps don't try often when we’re out on our favorite lakes. The ponds we fish are commonly riddled with grass and weed, and this can present a challenge to us in getting our bait to our desired zones. This article will dive into some of the best and most effective lures for fishing grassy ponds for bass, along with some handy tips to help you catch more bass in your local pond.
Like any system we fish, bass are going to favor sitting around vegetation and other isolated forms of cover. This gives us as bass anglers easy points of focus. Any form of vegetation within the water marks a high percentage area where we can expect bass to be holding. As ponds are much smaller systems, this gives us less options to fish, but also more obvious zones to focus on.
Often the ponds we have access to predominantly have grass as the main type of vegetation, it might be the only form of vegetation visible in the pond we’re fishing. If this is the case, we need to prioritize our fishing session on these areas, cover them well, and most importantly, throw baits that move through grass well, and retain a lifelike presentation.
How to Fish Grassy Ponds for Bass
Pond fishing enables us as anglers to fish more often as they’re generally more accessible than our favorite lakes. This gives us the opportunity to practice, and also include catching bass within our weekly routine. Pond fishing is no different to normal lake fishing, however, here are some tips to help improve your time on your nearest pond, especially if its loaded with grass:
Use weedless lures: While the lures don’t need to be completely weedless, having our hook point less exposed will decrease our chances of getting snagged or catching grass as we retrieve.
Focus on isolated cover: Arguably the most satisfying part of bass fishing in present your bait in and around vegetation and other forms of cover. With pond fishing, it's no different. Focus on isolated cover and cast your baits as close to the cover as possible. 1 meter short of your target landing spot? That’s not close enough, and the chances are you shouldn’t expect a bite. Cast again!
Stealth is key: A smaller body of water means we have to be extra stealthy when we’re fishing. Spooking a single bass could spook a lot more, within that zone. There may not be many zones left to fish in your pond, so make sure you’re quiet and stealthy when you’re fishing.
Be experimental: Use your time fishing ponds as time to learn new techniques and build confidence in techniques you don’t normally fish. Ponds are the perfect time to work these fish out and add a few new lures to your arsenal for your next big fishing trip.
Top Bass Lures for Grassy Ponds
When it comes to fishing in a grassy pond, choosing the right lure is crucial. After conducting extensive research, I have found that the following four lures are the most effective for catching bass in grassy ponds.
Swim jigs absolutely thrive around shallow vegetation, especially grasslines. Their profile is able to imitate a wide array of baitfish and other forage, and their head shape is designed to glide through grass and other light vegetation effortlessly.
They’re very satisfying baits to fish around grassy vegetation, and personally, they’re one of the go-to baits for pond fishing in general, but in particular, flooded grass lines or other grassy cover.
In terms of how to fish a swim jig around grassy areas, cast into the thicket of the grass, and let it fall to the bottom. Once you’ve hit the bottom, commence a slow and steady retrieve and let the natural action of the swim jig glide through the grass. Focus on keeping your swim jig within these grassy areas as these are your high-percentage zones.
The chatterbait, otherwise known as a bladed jig, is another well-known bait to fish around shallow vegetation and in particular, grass. The added blade on the head of the bait adds a bit more flash and vibration than a swim jig does, and this makes the chatterbait more suitable in lower-light conditions and more stained water.
What determines which bait I’ll throw between the swim jig and the chatterbait, is the state of the water of the pond I’m fishing. For clearer, calmer water, I will throw a swim jig. When the water is more stained and less clear, I will look to a chatterbait as the noise made in the water is more likely to catch the attention of a nearby bass.
In terms of how to fish a chatterbait around grassy ponds, fish it in a way very similar to how you’d fish a swim jig. However, with the chatterbait, you’ll want to stick closer to the outskirts of the grass rather than directly in the grass. This is because the chatterbait doesn’t have a weed guard, meaning you’ll have a greater chance of getting snagged or taking some grass with you. Don’t feel like you have to avoid the cover completely though — the blade does a pretty good job at deflecting vegetation.
There’s no debate that getting smashed on the top with a hollow-body frog is some of the most fun you can have with bass fishing, but this is also a technique that can draw big bass out of heavily covered grass areas.
It doesn't get more weedless than a hollow-body frog, thanks to the upward facing hooks. This means you have full license to throw your frog right into the heart of grass-covered areas. Once on the water, give your frog a twitch every few seconds. Often, you’ll get snatched on the pause.
Setting the hook for these baits is a hot topic and its something many get wrong. As these hook points hide themselves from vegetation, they also hide from fish mouths. Always try to strike vertically when a bass hits your bait, aiming for the roof of the mouth.
Shaky Head Rig
I felt I had to include a finesse technique here, purely because sometimes it's the only technique that will work when the fishing isn't so easy. The shaky head is a finesse presentation that thrives around vegetation and grass thanks to its weedless profile.
It’s an incredibly simple rig to set up, making it a fantastic option for us anglers looking to grab a rod and head to the local pond. It’s also remains one of the most effective soft plastic rigs in the sport, so it’s definitely one worth owning.
When it comes to fishing a shaky head, the weedless manner in which the soft plastic is rigged means we can throw our bait right into the grassy cover and let it sink to the bottom. Make sure you let your bait sink with a semi-slack line, ensuring the bait stays in your desired zone. Once it’s on the bottom, give a few minor twitches with 2-second breaks in between, and cast out again.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Bass Lures for Grassy Ponds
Like any system, it's crucial to take the following factors into account when selecting your baits:
The color of your bait should depend mainly on the clarity of the water you’re fishing. If you’re fishing clear water, stick to your natural colors such as a green pumpkin or watermelon. However, if you’re fishing more stained water, try include a shock color in your bait, such as chartreuse, or a dark pattern like junebug.
Size of the Bait
Profile size should also be determined by water clarity, but also take into consideration the feeding activity of the bass in the pond you’re fishing. When it feels like the bite is getting tough. always look to downsize in bait profile. If feeding activity is high, a larger profile may elicit bites from bigger bass.
To add on this, clearer water suits smaller profile baits, while more stained water allows you to throw bigger profile baits.
Time of the Day
The time of day you fish should largely determine which of the above-mentioned baits you throw.
In the early mornings and evenings, bass’ feeding activity in generally higher, especially in the summer and spring months. For this reason, I will look to a hollow-body frog, swim jig, or a chatterbait during this period.
In the middle hours of the day, bass are generally more lethargic and feeding less actively. A shaky head will always produce better results in these hours.
Like always, make sure you’re fully conscious of the season you’re in as this will have a direct impact on how bass are behaving.
Certain baits, like the shaky head, will work throughout any season, however, frogs and chatterbaits won’t be your best option in the winter the colder periods of the year.
When it comes to fish grassy ponds, it can be tough task in selecting the right bait. The above-mentioned baits are a perfect starting point, and always consider the factors mentioned when deciding on what bait to throw.
Remember, pond fishing is a fantastic opportunity for us as bass anglers to build confidence in new techniques, as we can then take these with us when we fish our favorite systems.
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