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Best Lures for Summer Pond Bass Fishing: 5 Essential Baits
Tackle & Gear

Best Lures for Summer Pond Bass Fishing: 5 Essential Baits

Steve Raath
Co-founder

Pond fishing for bass is the perfect way to prepare for those holidays or tournaments on the bigger systems. Ponds are usually close to home and we can find time to fish them, whether it’s before work or a quick hour on the weekend. Every pond that holds bass has a micro-ecosystem that emulates bigger lakes/rivers and we can use that to our advantage. Let’s talk about some of the best bass lures for summer pond fishing. 

Summer Pond Fishing for Bass

One of the best ways to stay on top of your fishing and confidence is to visit your local pond whenever you get a few hours of spare time. Most of us have a pond close to home which is usually easily accessible and many will hold bass!

Personally, I will try to visit a pond or small lake at least once a week. I do this because I purely love catching bass, but I also love acquiring confidence in techniques that I struggle to bring out when fishing a bigger lake. Here are some key reasons to engage with pond fishing in the summer:

Figuring out a pattern

Figuring out bass in a system can be difficult, especially when fishing a huge lake or river. One can practice figuring out a pattern in a smaller water and apply what they’ve learned when going to fish a bigger system.

Gain confidence in new techniques 

Pond fishing offers the perfect opportunity to build confidence in baits and applications that you previously didn’t. Don’t trust crankbaits? Bring one down with you for your next pond session and try it until you catch.

Improve fishing efficiency & casting

Covering water and casting efficiency is crucial if you’re looking to improve as an angler. Hitting a pond and practicing efficient, accurate casting will exponentially improve your ability to cover water in bigger lakes.

Keeps you sharp

Perhaps the most important of all - they keep you sharp! Often when we arrive at a large lake we feel uncomfortable and take time before we start fishing effectively. Visiting a pond as often as you can will make sure you’re ready for any trip, whether it’s a holiday or a tournament.

Pond fishing is the style of fishing we have the easiest access to and one should take advantage of that. Let’s talk about some of the best lures for summer pond bass fishing.

Pond fishing for bass
Lily pads are common features you'll find in local ponds

5 of the Best Lures for Summer Pond Bass Fishing

The beauty of a small pond is that it’ll often have all the features of a large lake, but just with a much smaller surface area. This gives us the ability to fish various forms of cover and try several different techniques. 

Most of the lures and baits in this piece are better suited for shallow scenarios as we’re often fishing the banks when fishing a pond. Banks will often showcase the most obvious bass-holding cover!

Some of the best bass lures for summer pond fishing are hollow-body frogs, squarebill crankbaits, swim jigs, wacky rigs, and the weightless Texas rig.

Hollow-Body Frogs (Topwater Frog)

Small ponds will often offer some of the best topwater action around. These small lakes will have ideal vegetation for this presentation, such as lily pads, reeds, and weeded mats. 

Throwing a hollow-body frog in the early hours of the morning or late afternoon will without a doubt be your best bet as water temperatures will be slightly cooler and bass will be looking to feed (aggressively). 

One of the challenges of fishing a topwater frog is getting a clean hookset. Personally, I lose a lot of fish because I just can’t get the hook and this is very frustrating. Fishing a frog in nearby ponds gives you the ability to practice hook setting as well as finding the most attractive cadence on your frog. 

Golf courses and parks for example will have epic little waters that hold bass. As mentioned, look for lily pads and thick vegetation near the bank. The weedless profile of the frog means you won’t have to worry about getting snagged!

There’s not much better than getting on a topwater bite - even if it’s in a pond. A hollow-body frog is one of the first lures I’ll throw in a pond, especially if it’s early morning or late afternoon after work. 

Here are some of my favorite frogs (links to store):

Best bass lures for pond fishing
The classic profile of a hollow-body frog

Squarebill Crankbaits

When we’re fishing ponds, we’re generally targeting visual vegetation and this will usually be near the shore or on the banks. This makes squarebill crankbaits the perfect option for covering this shallow structure and potentially eliciting a reaction bite. Squarebill crankbaits run shallower because of their smaller lip.

One of the epic parts of crankbaits is the ability to cover water efficiently. This means we’ll be able to target all the key zones when fishing a pond and cover them effectively. 

There are many variations when it comes to running depth of a squarebill. Personally, if I’m fishing a pond, I’ll run a 1-5 foot running crankbait. I love casting right against the bank and giving it a slow retrieve. Bouncing off forms of cover such as a log or a rock will give the bait a change in movement and this can often result in a reaction bite. 

Color selection is also crucial when fishing a crankbait. Having a basic idea on the baitfish within the pond you’re fishing will help with this a lot. Always try match the hatch when you can, but shock colors will also work if water clarity is low. 

Here are some awesome squarebill crankbaits (links to store): 

Crankbaits for summer pond bass fishing
A clean squarebill crankbait. Notice the broad but short lip

Swim Jigs

Fishing a swim jig is incredibly satisfying and it can get reaction from some seriously big bass. It’s a lure that’ll work in all forms of cover and it can imitate various forms of bait. 

An epic bonus with the swim jig is that it’s weedless. This means you can really throw it right into the heavy cover and trust that it won’t get snagged. Big bass will often sit in the heaviest of vegetation, especially in the hot summer months. 

The head design on a swim jig also makes it suitable for getting through vegetation and other forms of cover more easily. 

The swim jig is also a quieter presentation. Pond bass can often be pressured because the water is so accessible and they may be put off by the slightly louder action of a crankbait or a spinnerbait. The swim jig has a slightly more finesse profile and it may be slightly more attractive to a released fish.

Here are some great swim jig options from some respected brands (links to store): 

Jig fishing for summer pond bass
Strike King's Hack Attack swim jig


Wacky Rig

Let’s now dive into the more finesse side of things and talk about lures that’ll get the job done when there is fishing pressure. There aren’t many better applications than the wacky rig when it comes to finesse angling, especially when you’re fishing shallow cover. 

The best form of a wacky rig for pond fishing would be a weightless wacky rig. The reason for this is because you’re generally fishing shallow water and you don’t need the added weight to get down deep. 

The subtle shimmy on a wacky rig is incredibly hard to resist for any bass, especially when you’re using a soft stickbait such as a senko.

Throwing a wacky rig into isolated cover on a bank is one of the most prolific techniques to get a bass to bite and it’s just a must-try when you’re fishing your nearest pond. It’s also important to note that’s it’s one of the best techniques to get confidence in if you’re new to finesse angling. 

It’s an incredibly simple application to setup and you’ll be shocked to see how many bites you’ll get if you fish it effectively. 

One thing to consider is that it might be a better option to fish this technique with a spinning rod as it can be difficult to get the ideal casting accuracy on a baitcasting setup. There are however weighted hook options if you're looking to fish this presentation on a baitcasting rod.

Here are some incredible soft plastics to throw on your wacky rig (links to reviews):

Wacky rig for summer pond fishing
The unique profile of a wacky-rigged senko


Weightless Texas Rig

The weightless rig remains one of the simplest but most effective techniques to catch bass in shallower waters. It’s incredibly versatile when it comes to bait selection, and its more subtle action will get the pickiest bass to eat. 

The Texas-rig application is so impactful because it’s weedless. The beauty of this is that you can throw your bait right into the thick of it and not have to think about getting snagged. For example, the wacky rig can be slightly frustrating at times (unless you’re using a weedless hook) because of the exposed hookpoint. 

The hidden hook point on a Texas-rigged soft plastic means you can hit those cover regions where you think a lunker might be sitting. 

There’s simply not much else to be said about the weightless Texas rig. It’s simple, it’s weedless, and man, it just works. 

Here are some of my go-to soft plastics for the weightless Texas rig (links to reviews): 

Best baits for summer pond fishing
The Caffeine Shad dominates on a weightless rig

Wrapping Up

Summer pond fishing is one of the best ways to stay sharp as a bass angler and build confidence in techniques you’re looking to add in your arsenal for those bigger fishing trips. 

It’s important to consider that you’ll generally be focusing on shore-based cover the most, so in my opinion, shallow water lures and techniques work the best. 

Use your local pond to your benefit and improve your efficiency as an angler. You’ll quickly start noticing your improvements and your ability to break down a system when you visit those bigger lakes and rivers. 

Steve Raath
Co-founder

Steve is a complete bass fishing maniac. He is constantly looking for creative ways to catch bass, and is always throwing some interesting lures out on the water. Steve has always been fascinated by bass. Whether it's their eating patterns, behavioral changes, or just their moody nature. Every time he fishes, he aims to learn something new about their habits and how he can trick them into planned strategies. He is however a topwater freak, and will always throw at lily pads if he spots any.

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