Small Waters Strategies: Development ponds

Small Waters Strategies: Development ponds

Mar 19, 2012

A “rock” steady small waters pattern

By Mike Pehanich

Picture the perfect bass water in your mind’s eye, and it likely looks more like a jungle of fallen trees, matted vegetation and rotting docks than a picture-perfect postcard of a water hazard on a 5-star golf course.

But, hey, bass can get comfortable in 5-star accommodations, too.

Stone cold bassin’!

Notice how the rock extends into the lake. Bass use the breakline where the rock ends.

In many parts of the country, architects design lakes and ponds in residential developments and on upscale golf courses with an apron of rock around the entire perimeter. Like all riprap, the structure prevents bank erosion, which can be an eyesore for the golf course or development complex and a landscape maintenance nightmare — and even a safety hazard.

Pond levels, of course, will vary with seasonal precipitation, so the rock generally extends well below the lake’s surface.  Bass find a breakline at the base along with assorted scattered rock where the pond basin flattens out.

This structure is often the bass’s pivot point and your key to consistent catches! 

Again, much depends on water levels. If water levels are very low or the lake designer opted for only limited riprap extension, the rock edge may receive only limited use by the bass.

But if the rock extends several feet below normal pool, you will want to fish this edge every time out and, if nothing else stands out, as your starting point, too.

Fish corners and teardrop bays from strategic angles.

A rock/sand/silt mix will attract crayfish, frogs and insects, which, in turn, attract bluegill and baitfish. And those critters provide a 5-star menu befitting these happy resort bass.

Often vegetation grows at the base of the rock to create a nice mix of habitat that enhances the value of this aquatic real estate to the bass.

Other areas to fish are the small bays or simple tear-drop ends and corners of the pond. Bass often position themselves in the deep water in the center where they can slide up shallow to feed or ambush forage species on the move from one side to the other.

Tips for Early Season Bass in Rock-Rimmed Ponds

  1. Fish the base of rock (riprap) placed on the pond perimeter to limit erosion.
  2. Work the back ends and corners of the pond, concentrating on the base of riprap and the deep water leading into the ends and corners.
  3. Look for cuts from runoff pipes running into the lake. These can be great fish attractors, especially after a rain.
  4. Debris may gather in the corners of neglected ponds, but bass may gather there, too!

    Find active fish with lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits, covering deep water and flats adjacent to prime fish-holding areas.

  5. Work prime areas and key structure thoroughly with jigs, soft swimbaits, stickworms and Flick Shake worms.

 

One comment

  1. You could definitely see your expertise within the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

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