Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pondering thoughts about ponds......

When I decided to go and try and fish the local park pond this past weekend in Red Bud, IL, I had no idea what to expect from my first time there. My views of the pond from the golf course (which we play most years) adjacent to it showed some promise, but I had always wondered if it would be worthy of my limited time spent in Red Bud. About 5:00pm on Saturday evening I decided to give it a few of those minutes. Earlier in the day I had pulled out Claude's (my brother-in-law) fishing gear from the garage and began to prepare the rods and reels for Sunday at the Waterloo Sportsman's Club. I tied on a 2 inch countdown Rapala (the only one he had) to the end of the line. Yes I can read your mind. You are wondering why I didn't have my own gear with me when I fish all the time, right? Well, if you can believe this one, I wasn't planning on fishing. Sounds crazy doesn't it?

I arrived down at the pond and took a good look around. The left side of the pond was the golf course side and there wasn't any good looking cover over there. No visible signs of anything that the Bass would be looking to relate too. To the right of me was a small stretch of shoreline that had cattails and such, but most of it was still bent over from the previous winters weather. There were a couple of fishermen directly in front of me who were fishing with live minnows on slip floats.
I asked them if the fish were biting and I got the usual reply. "Nope, not today."
Looking out over the pond one more time I found exactly what I was looking for. Right smack dab in the center of the right side was a sunken brush pile. Not to get off the track here but I can not stress enough the importance of polarized sun glasses. If I wasn't wearing them I wouldn't have seen the cover. The best $20 you can spend on fishing equipment, period!

The first cast was made and nothing. I must not have been close enough to the cover, I thought. On the second cast I proceeded to get a little closer to the brush pile, and on the retrieve something bumped the lure. My third cast was made to almost the same location, but this time I paused for just a split second as I passed the cover. Whammo! The Bass smacked it and within a minute or two I was holding a chunky 16 inch Largemouth. The locals ran over to see my fish and commented that they had been fishing there all day and hadn't caught anything but a few small gills. You do not know how many times I have heard that when fishing a small pond.

I arrived back at the house that evening and showed them the picture of the fish and told the story of how I got that one. We were all laughing when I described the look on the local fisherman's faces after just three casts! the lesson learned from all of this is to study the pond and it's structure long before you make the first cast. I've done the same thing on other ponds, and have caught fish right in front of people who have been there all day. Sure, my presentation was completely different than how they were fishing, but I still would have taken my chances with that float and minnow a little closer to that brush pile.

So the next time you go out to the local pond. Remember these two important tips. Wear your polarized sunglasses, and stop and take a few minutes to look around for the best available structure. You will be glad that you did, and before you know it, people will be running over to take your picture. Believe me, that's a story that never gets old.

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