Pond Fishing: A Complete Guide On How To Fish a Pond

If you’re a keen angler, there’s a good chance you’ll have cast your very first line in a pond.

There are many significant advantages to pond fishing, and the purpose of this article is to give you a complete guide on how to fish a pond.

In it, I’ll dip into (sorry for pun!) aspects of pond fishing including the advantages, characteristics of a pond, the type of fish you might find in them, and tips on catching them.

So how do you fish a pond? There is more than one method of fishing a pond. Much will depend on the size of the pond and the fish that live in it. However, ponds are essentially smaller versions of lakes. The fish behave in similar ways, and so fishing a pond offers some similarities with lake fishing. However, some elements make it a unique experience.

Advantages Of Pond Fishing

This type of fishing is an excellent way to begin your angling journey.

You won’t need lots of expensive equipment and the ponds hardly ever big enough to require a boat.

Meanwhile, if you’re going pond fishing with children, walking to find a prime spot is likely to be gentle and short enough to cater for the younger ones.

child fishing

Ponds are often exceptionally well-stocked with fish too, so making a catch shouldn’t be that difficult. Again, this can be another advantage when taking children along as an early catch will likely take their interest – and keep it!

Pond fishing is also a great way to catch a variety of fish. From bream to catfish and bass, ponds are often an excellent place to find different types of fish,

Finally, there are ponds worldwide, so you shouldn’t need to travel far to get to one. You definitely should always seek permission from the landowner before fishing one, of course.

But, still, if you’re out for a spot of pond fishing, finding a good one shouldn’t take long.

What To Look For When Pond Fishing

OK, so now I’ve convinced you (hopefully!) that it might be worth giving pond fishing a go, let’s look at the kinds of things to expect of a pond.

Ponds can reach anything from a depth of around 5-6 feet to approximately 30 feet. However, because they are relatively small compared to, say, a lake, the fish in them are likely to be big because they have all the food they need within a small area.

But how do you tell a good pond for fishing from a bad one? If a pond seems quite clear, this can be a sign it is benefitting from a freshwater source. A clear pond usually means it’ll have healthy fish, so these are an excellent place to start.

On the other hand, a muddy pond can often be a sign that catfish are abundant. That’s because catfish are bottom feeders, so they tend to churn up some of that mud on the floor, giving the pond a more murky look.

One thing almost all ponds will have is a proliferation of weeds. While these can be an excellent place to find fish, too many weeds can deprive fish of oxygen, leading to the pond being underpopulated.

If there is a grassy bank around the pond, this can mean it’s excellent for bass fishing. Similarly, fallen trees also provide an ideal place for bass to hide.

types of fish

Do I Choose A Stocked Pond Or Naturally Populated Pond?

The answer to this question will depend on whether you have a particular type of fish in mind you’d like to catch. Catfish, for example, is one of the most popular fish that owners will deliberately add to a pond.

In ponds such as these, you’ll typically either pay the owner a fee for a day’s fishing or a price per weight of fish caught.

If you’re less concerned about the type of fish you catch and want to go along more for the experience, one that is populated naturally (most commonly as a result of birds flying from pond to pond carrying fish eggs on their legs) will be your best option.

What Fish Will I Find When I Go Pond Fishing?

Some of the most common fish you’ll find are bream, bass, and catfish. Bass are most likely to be on the move from late spring to early summer. The best place to look for them is in the shallower areas of ponds.

Also, look out for ponds where bass can find cover, such as stumps, grass beds, and weed. The early morning and late afternoons are the best time to fish for bass.

Bream typically lurk in areas of ponds more than 10 feet deep. You’ll find them swimming just above the part of the water where the water changes temperature dramatically, while the summer months are the best time to go fishing for them.

Most catfish tend to lurk in the deeper areas of ponds, except when the light is low, and they tend to come closer to the banks.

For this reason, an excellent time to catch catfish is when it is cloudly, or very early or late in the day. Summer is the best time of year to catch catfish too.

If you want to know the difference between catfish and carp, I have a great article here.

Tips For Making A Catch

In general, when it comes to making a catch while pond fishing, much of it comes down to being stealthy.

When you approach the pond, it’s important to make slow movements and stay as quiet as possible, because pond fish will be more sensitive to your presence than in many other environments.

Also, keep in mind that if you go pond fishing in the hotter months, going early or late in the day is your best option. If the pond you’re fishing has a more shady side, use that.

Ponds share similarities with lakes in that the ideal ones for catching fish will have natural covers for the fish, such as fallen trees and stumps. If the pond you’re fishing has features like these, there’s a good chance you’ll find fish lurking in those areas.

I also recommended you stay a few feet back from the edge of the pond if you can. For this reason, opting for a longer rod is not a bad idea.

For bass fishing, vibrating lures are an excellent choice for murky water, while in clearer water, spinnerbaits and crankbaits are decent options. Live bait in the form of crickets and worms is a good choice for bream, while scented baits or worms tend to work well for catfish.

As with your careful way of approaching the pond, you should adopt a similar mindset choosing your bait. You won’t need particularly showy baits to lure a pond fish. Indeed, the sight might put them off. If in doubt, reach for an earthworm, as most pond fish will find them irresistible.

Having said that, catfish, in particular, are not fussy eaters and baits involving cheese, liver hotdogs, and jello (yes, really) are not uncommon.

One final tip: Take a foldable stool with you. While pond fishing can offer one of the easier ways of making a catch, there are still likely to be reasonably long waiting periods. In an environment when not making sudden movements is the best policy, you might as well make the experience as relaxing as you can.

Final Thoughts

In this article, I have attempted to give you a thorough guide to the advantages of pond fishing, as well as the characteristics you’ll find in many ponds and the types of fish you’ll find.

This type of fishing is a great place to start for beginners and with good reason. There are likely to be plenty of options near you, the fish are often big and easy to catch, and it’s not a particularly expensive way to get started. It’s also a great way to introduce children to angling’s unique pleasures for all of these reasons.

But what about the more experienced angler? Does pond fishing still hold the same allure as it may have done when starting out? Perhaps not, but I think it can be every bit as rewarding as fishing in many other environments.

Fishing in a pond may not be as challenging as river fishing or sea fishing, for example. However, in many ways, it can offer a profoundly satisfying fishing expedition, whatever your age or level of experience. And, who knows? You might just find yourself falling in love with it all over again!

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Nathan Barker

My wife and I are huge adventure seekers! We've traveled and explored over 40 countries and want to share what we have learned on our journey. We'll be talking about everything from hiking and camping, to guides, reviews and tips that we're sure will help any avid adventurer no matter what walk of life. So relax, grab a cup of coffee and we hope you enjoy the read!