Bass Fishing Techniques

Bass Fishing Techniques

Pond bass fishing can be an exciting and rewarding venture. More big bass are harvested from ponds than from any other water type in Kansas.

The bass is probably one of the easiest fish to catch, which explains why overharvest of bass in ponds is so prevalent. One angler can overharvest the bass in an acre pond in a single successful fishing trip if bass are actively feeding.

Small bass will bite just about anything tied on the end of a fishing line. Artificial baits such a spinners, jigs, beetle spins, plastic worms, and surface lures are deadly. Yellow, purple, and black are the preferred colors. Natural baits such as minnows, worms, frogs, crayfish, and grasshoppers will also catch bass. Big bass will also hit any of the above baits but not as readily as smaller fish. Technique is important if the angler wants to catch big bass.

Techniques vary according to the season. Spring time in a pond means cold water and relatively inactive bass. They will move to the shallows during the day as the sunshine warms the water but are difficult to catch there. Slow moving spinners or small jigs should be fished near habitat structures or along steep drop-offs at this time of the year. Bass may also be caught in deep water along the edges of vegetation.

As summer approaches, bass move to the shallows to spawn and can be caught fairly easily. Plastic worms and fast moving lures such as spinner baits work well. Minnows and crawfish fished around shoreline habitat will produce bass in the May-June period.

Hot summer days mean warm water temperatures, probably pond stratification, and vegetation growth. This drives bass to shady areas around shallow habitat. Bass are aggressive at this time, and surface lures, popping bugs and floating plastic worms excite them. Grasshoppers and frogs make excellent summer baits, either fished on the surface or hung 12-18 inches under a bobber. Many times, bass will come out of the water to hit a bait in the summer. Nighttime fishing may increase success even further.

Fall weather cools the water and bass feed actively, fattening up for the winter. Surface baits become less effective as the water cools so the angler should again use spinners, beetle spins or plastic worms. Minnows are a good fall bait. The angler should fish around any existing habitat (brushpiles, vegetation, or fallen trees).

During the winter bass are slow, sluggish, and finicky, but they can be caught through the ice on small minnows or jigs smaller than 1/16th ounce. Deep brushpiles, habitat structures, or areas near deeper parts of the pond should be fished in the winter.