How to Find and Catch BIG Bass in Small Water

How to Find and Catch BIG Bass in Small Water

Most shows and tournaments are fished on big lakes, and we expect to see big fish. That doesn’t mean that small ponds, lakes and reservoirs can’t hold big bass either. Small waters and water systems fish slightly differently than some big lakes, but offer great fishing often without a boat! These ponds, lakes, and reservoirs are plentiful and numerous across the country, and can often be fished without much pressure or crowding.

Finding the Right Water

There are so many great bodies of water around locally that you may have some in mind! However, take a look at your state’s official natural resources website for complete lists and maps! That may be the easiest! Secondly, check  Google Maps and Google Earth for some hidden gems often too small to be registered with the state. Be sure they are not privately owned before scouting on foot! If they are, politely asking to fish the property goes a long way. Remember that you will be a guest, and treat it as if you are stepping foot into someone’s home for the first time!

How to Fish It

The pond or small lake may be small enough to cast the entire pond, or large enough to require a boat. Small float tubes, rigid inflatables, or small jon boats are great tools for differently sized small bodies of water, but regardless, small waters are great for anglers with little time. Most often, focusing on shallow water structure is a great place to start when fishing small water for bass. Tree laydowns or garbage cans/tires dumped into the water make great bass hunting grounds or refuge. Finding weed beds and grass lines are also a great place to try your hand at finding pond bass.

Lure Selection for Small Water

Jigs with soft plastic trailers, stick worms, tubes, and spinner baits are great choices for small lake and pond bass. This covers the majority of retrieval paces you will need, and also the profiles needed to catch bass. In-line spinners are a great choice that take loads of bass out of ponds, but remember to diversify your blade baits. I like texas rigging a structure bug as well. I lightly weight the bait, and use a slower spinning rod to swim the bait like I am covering water with a crankbait. This works well in clear shallow water because the bass can see the bait, and also feel the flapping of the appendages.

Hopefully you see small ponds, lakes, and reservoirs in a different light! Remember that these waters can produce great fish, and can often provide you with the relaxing fishing experience you’re after without crowds. Go find yourself a small body of water, and get after a monster! Tight lines!

Colton Orbaker
Author, teacher, guide, content creator...


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