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Small Waters, Big Fish: Tackling Ponds, Small Lakes, And Reservoirs

Small Waters, Big Fish: Tackling Ponds, Small Lakes, And Reservoirs

Hundreds of small bodies of bass waters exist in nearly every state ranging from conservation department or city watershed impoundments of a couple of hundred acres in size to farm ponds of less than an acre. Massive lakes and reservoirs are noted for producing trophy bass but heavyweight bass can also be taken from small waters.These waters are ideal spots to catch big bass without battling the crowds. Some of the public waters have slot limits or minimum length limits, which help the bass grow to lunker size. Private lakes or ponds and the small impoundments near major reservoirs usually receive minimal fishing pressure so bass in these waters see lures less often and are more aggressive. Doing a little homework and scouting will help you find these small water hot spots.

How To Find Small Waters With Big Bass

The best way to locate small public lakes is to contact your state’s conservation or fish and wildlife department and ask for a map of these waters. State topographic maps will also show you the locations of city watershed reservoirs, private lakes and larger farm ponds. Small farm ponds and private lakes are best for bank fishing, float tubes or two-man portable boats. These waters are ideal if you only have a couple of hours to fish since you can get on and off the water in a couple of minutes and bass are confined to a smaller area. However some of the watershed or conservation lakes are large enough for full-size bass boats if you prefer the comfort of fishing from your bass rig.When fishing small waters, key on the shallow end of the lake, the dam area, weed edges, brush piles and any drop-offs. Since most ponds are bowl-shaped, the bottom usually has a deep edge or lip where bigger bass concentrate. Light spinning tackle and small spinners take plenty of bass from small waters, but heavy baitcasting equipment is preferable for flipping and pitching to big bass in the weeds and brush.

Small Waters Lures

The best lures for catching big bass from small waters are a jig tipped with a plastic craw, flipping tubes, 10- to 12-inch plastic worms and spinnerbaits. On overcast days, buzz baits and topwater plugs are also good choices for big bass on small lakes. When pursuing trophy bass, small waters give you a better chance to catch a wall hanger fish than trying to pinpoint a lunker on massive lakes.

Updated January 22nd, 2021 at 2:45 AM CT