Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned fisherman, you would certainly enjoy the following scene. Imagine yourself fishing at a little farm pond, on a nice warm day. Well, it sounds lovely to us as well!
Some of our readers may be aware of the fact that fishing in smaller lakes and ponds is different from fishing in rivers, for example.
This includes big lakes as well. In contrast to bigger lakes and rivers, the temperature of ponds changes rather quickly. Luckily, this change in temperature can make the experience easier for us.
If you are struggling with larger water bodies, you’ll find ponds much more welcoming. However, if you are already aware of this fact, you’ll also benefit from knowing when the best time to fish for bass in ponds is.
The best time to fish for bass in a pond is in Spring & Fall. Once the water temperatures go above 10° C (50° F) bass will look to shallow areas to spawn in the spring. In the fall they will be looking to feed. Another great time is after a significant rain fall.
We’ll first look at the seasons and how they affect pond fishing. Then, we’ll go over the individual parts of the day. Let’s begin our hunt for the best time we should fish for bass in ponds.
Winter — The Greatest Challenge
As you may have guessed, winter and early springtime are tough for fishermen. During the day, rivers and lakes maintain a temperature of around 7° Celsius or below. Most fishermen don’t even dare to go out in such cold weather. While the snow is a sight to behold, sitting in your boat may not be as pleasing.
We all agree with fishing professionals who say fish is hard to catch in rapidly decreasing temperatures. While it is possible for bass to bite in such cold temperatures, it will not do it so often. However, bass fish are cold-blooded creatures. This means that their metabolism is slower, which in turn makes them sluggish.
In the winter, bass will often hover in deeper waters. Other places include riverbends, sheer creek channels, and points that extend sharply in the direction of the main channel.
Luckily, winter warming events make the bass move to locations where you can catch them more easily. That is, if you have enough patience and do it slowly. We advise that you put on warm clothes, go slowly and use smaller baits.
Spring — A Fisherman’s Friend
In all fairness, many pond fishermen start the season off when water temperatures go above 10° C. This is a good time for the fish to begin searching for shallow areas in order to spawn.
The weather can greatly impact the fishing before the spawning period begins. During this time, the water temperatures range from 10° to 18° Celsius. Usually, the water becomes warmer the fastest where the Sun hits it the strongest. Once again, we note that the temperature of ponds changes more easily, thanks to their size.
Before spawning, cold fronts decrease the chance of biting because the fish remain in deeper water, where they wait for the conditions to improve. If shallow coves are giving you a hard time finding fish, we suggest fishing along their entrance points.
Here’s a complete guide on bass fishing bait.
Speaking of periods before and during spawning, it’s worth mentioning that some states close the fishing season during this time. They do so in order to protect the females that carry eggs and need some careful handling.
Summer — A Period of Stagnation… or Is It?
As summer begins and morning water temperatures start going above 26° C, the fish become rather scarce. In fact, it may feel as though the lake has no bass at all. During this hot period, some of them even go into deeper water. Either that or they spread out, so you won’t find them in larger groups. Generally, many experts out there agree that summer is the slow period for pond fishing.
But, is summer really that stagnant for bass fishing? Actually, it seems the prospect of it might not be as bad as it seems. In fact, according to some fishermen, the heat is what brings the greatest catch. If the pond you are fishing in has big bass swimming in it, you can use top water lures. Some say they managed to catch bass as large as 15˝ this way.
Additionally, fishing in particularly muddy ponds increases the odds of you catching some big bass during summer. Because the density of dirty water is higher, the shallows will become warmer much more quickly.
While it’s comfortable to fish from the bank during summer, weeds can be problematic. In that case, we recommend using a canoe, a small boat or a kayak to make your fishing easier. If you’re opting for a boat, make sure you can tow it.
However, we advise you to kick the habit of casting your bait at the pond bank, as the shoreline won’t be teeming with fish at all times.
Autumn — Calm and Abundant
As autumn kicks in and the temperatures slowly decrease to about 15° C, fishing becomes much easier. This is because the bass now has to start feeding so that it can prepare for the upcoming winter.
At this time of year, we can often find bass in more shallow water. This is because schools of baitfish also move towards this point, and bass tend to feed on baitfish.
Autumn is also when the pond water tends to turn over because cold days or cold rains reduce the temperature of the surface water. This happens so fast that it becomes cooler than the water underneath.
The air, now depleted of oxygen, rises towards the surface. The resulting oxygen depletion makes the bass less active. Luckily, the turnover doesn’t occur simultaneously in all parts of the lake. If the turnover leaves you empty-handed, just change spots.
All in all, autumn is welcoming for fishermen, especially the afternoon hours. By then, the sun will have warmed the pond to a temperature good for fishing.
Times of Day
Now that we’ve gone over some pros and cons of the seasons, let us look at the candidates for the best time you should fish during the day.
Many experienced fishermen will tell you that early morning always brings a good catch. This is due to the increased activity of baitfish. Low light conditions, typically around sunrise, are the cause of this increase in baitfish activity.
If you are fishing for bass in the morning, we recommend using a shiner or a minnow bait. However, if artificial lures are your cup of tea, you should know that poppers or topwater plugs work as well. Still, they’ll work only if you manage to work around the surrounding vegetation.
As the sun slowly sets, bass will again try to benefit from lower light levels. Similar to early mornings, the late afternoon hours can create excellent conditions for using topwater lures.
This is especially true in the summer, even though some experimentation is required. By this we mean trying out different speeds of retrieval, to see whether the fish react better to a fast or a slow retrieve.
The same experts who agree that early morning increases the odds of a bite, also agree that fishing at night is even better. This is because the bass go into a feeding frenzy at night, which increases their overall activity. But not only that — there is less commotion overall due to fewer fishermen being present.
Summer nights are especially good for fishing, thanks to cooler water and low light. Both of these conditions make it easier for the bass to feed, and fortunately, bite on your bait as well.
After a Storm
This may sound awkward, but some fishermen say fishing in a pond after a storm is pretty effective. Because of abundant rainfall, the water rises for about 30-32 cm. This means the shallows are refilled with nutrients, which immediately attract the baitfish. And where the baitfish go, the bass follows.
As for the bait, a Texas Rig or frog bait will do nicely. Also, the bigger the rainfall, the greater the odds of a good catch. Additionally, the rainfall will muddy up the pond, making it all the more welcoming for fishermen. The bass mostly congregates where the inflow and outflow drains are.
Based on what each season and time of day have to offer in terms of suitable conditions, we conclude that the best time is definitely a comfortable summer night.
Although each of the seasons offers a number of perks, summer nights are the right choice. If you like a calm environment and bass aplenty, you will definitely appreciate them. We also based our conclusion on the feeding patterns of bass, rather than their spawning periods. This is because some fishermen consider fishing before and during spawning unethical to some degree.
However, if you’re not the type of person to fish during summer nights, our second best choice is autumn afternoons, as they are also calm, and the sun hits the pond at a good angle. Also, since autumns bring about storms, we recommend our readers to try this bountiful combination as well.