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Small Waters Strategies – Farm Ponds

Small Waters Strategies – Farm Ponds

Feb 28, 2013

Down on the Farm (Ponds) with Edwin Evers

If  Norman Rockwell were  to paint a picture of “angling America,” no doubt he would cart his easel to a nearby farm pond.

Away from the bustling boat ramps, these “grass roots” settings can be idyllic retreats and quiet classrooms where anglers, new and old, can observe, practice and learn.

Just ask Edwin Evers, perennial star on the Bassmaster Elite Series tour.

“Farm ponds are where I learned to fish and where I really started my fishing career,” says the athletic bass pro from Talala, Oklahoma, who will be fishing home state waters at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake of the Cherokees this month. And it’s no coincidence that farm ponds have trained countless professional anglers on the Bassmaster and FLW tours.

Farm ponds trained Edwin Evers for his highly successful career on the Bassmaster Elite Series tour.

“Think about it,” says Evers. “You are not old enough to drive. Your parents are still working when you get home from school. That was me…I was running to farm ponds, fishing different ones every chance I got. That’s how I grew up. Throughout the country you will find farm ponds, and they have some of the best fishing anywhere!”

Why are farm ponds such consistent producers for numbers and big fish? Most of these waters receive little to modest fishing pressure. Many are situated in fertile regions that add to the fish-carrying capacity of the lake with the nutrients that come naturally from the surrounding land and, frequently, from fertile runoff as well.

That access to them is limited makes a difference as well.

“They just don’t get a lot of fishing pressure,” sums Evers.

Pond profile

Unless the farmer is an avid angler who was conscious of structure and habitat when he built the pond, your farm pond should be a “simple read.” Impounded waters will be deepest near the dam. Cover and vegetation will hold the fish.

The YUM Money Frog is one of Evers' top picks for catching farm pond bass.

“These are manmade ponds,” explains Evers. “The farmer dug a hole in the ground or put dirt across a drainage. Many are pretty featureless. If that’s the case, everything will be shoreline related.”

Tread carefully as you walk the shoreline. Bass hugging a shoreline are sensitive to movement along the bank.

“In my opinion, bass in farm ponds face the edge because everything they eat is coming from the edge whether it is a frog or a minnow or a crawdad up there hiding,” says Evers. “I think it is important to present lures parallel to the bank.”

Evers’ Favorite Five…plus one!

Many a farm pond has played laboratory to anglers experimenting with new lures and techniques and testing garage shop prototypes and lure modifications. But ask Edwin Evers for his favorite farm pond baits, and he narrows the field quickly to a friendly and reliable half dozen.

Buzzbait – A downsized model serves best. Evers’ choice is a ¼-ounce Booyah Buzz.

Spinnerbait – The Oklahoman goes small with his subsurface spinners as well, opting for the Booyah Pond Magic (tandem Colorado and willow blades) and other compact models.

YUM Money Frog – No need to stay small here. Big bass feast on hefty frogs. “A lot of ponds have grass, and that Money Frog is really good on farm ponds,” says Evers of the buzz-style frog. “Try watermelon red if the pond is clear; black if you find darker water. The Money Frog is a great bait!”

XCalibur XCS crankbait – Squarebill crankbaits excel in shallow water where they can bounce bottom and careen off cover.

Farm ponds prove time and again that small waters can produce giant bass.

Tube Jig – A tube jig can masquerade as a crawfish as it bounces bottom or a bluegill  or any number of foods on the bass menu as it drops or darts near cover.  A small profile tube, rigged weedless, serves multiple needs.

He might alternate or substitute a finesse jig with light weedguard for the tube – an option that fills a similar niche and function.

Today, of course, Edwin Evers walks tall in the Bassmaster Elite Series ranks and doesn’t have to fish farm ponds. Does nostalgia or love of those early angling experiences ever draw him back to small waters?

“Well, yeah!” he exclaims. “ I have a pond outside my house that I fish every day!”

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