Stocked ponds are some of the best, most pure and fun ways to fish. The professionals and purists rant and rave about the big lakes, and for good reason, as some of the biggest thrills can come from those larger bodies of water. But there is something genuine and simple about grabbing your rod and heading to a pond to catch some fish.
Ponds can be stocked with bass, trout, bluegill, or anything in between and for a number of different reasons. The first, and most obvious, is to let them grow and fish them for sport. The second, which can yield some of the biggest fish, is for algae and bug control. Golf courses, local businesses, and land developers like to stock fish to eat the bugs in the area and keep the vegetation under control. Both of those are good to know when fishing in ponds as they can help you know what to throw, and when to throw it.
Finding a pond when you happen to have your rod in your car is one of the more rewarding feelings. When you and your dad, your family, or your buddies are driving in the car, see a pond, and decide to go see if you can get a bend in your rod, it can lead to the great times and the cathartic experience that got most of us hooked on fishing in the first place.
The romantics in fishing are in it for the escape. It’s like that famous Henry David Thoreau quote says: Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Some people read that and think “Wait, I just want to catch fish…” and you’re not wrong. But what he means there is all we really want is an escape. Going to the neighborhood pond for a couple hours, enjoying the outdoors, shutting off your phone, and being in nature is the root of the reason we all love to fish. Catching is amazing, but fishing is fun all by itself.
If you show up to your grandpa’s house with a bunch of electronics and flashy baits and try to explain to him how you put a picture of bass caught on a Whopper Plopper on your Instagram, he’d probably get lost. And the first place any old-timer goes when they’re lost is to the bank of nostalgia, where they remind you just how the times were back when they were your age. “When I was your age I’d just put a worm on a hook down at the pond…” He’d start. And that old-timey good feeling of pond fishing is what we all love.
Pond fishing is to our sport what playgrounds are to basketball and playing catch in the backyard is to baseball. One of the first things any angler would want in a dream home is to have a pond close by. (After a boat, obviously. Let’s not get carried away.) Pond hopping isn’t the flashiest way to catch a fish, but it is the heart of why we all love this sport. So grab your rod, go for a drive, find a pond, and catch a fish.
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