Originally Posted by bulafisherman
good story. I own a house and property the bordered the south side of the Swine Creek Reservation in the early 90s, funny thing is i never fished any of the ponds now almost 20 years later i`am finding out what i missed lol
Well, I wouldn't say all hope is lost on some potential good fishing there for you buddy. Funny thing is that back when I was younger in Swine's "glory days" I would be there all day & even though at times it seemed that half the county would come & go over the coarse of the day, very few stopped to fish. I guess I have the beautiful hiking trails & scenery to thank for that.
But within a few years it seemed like despite me keeping a lid on my fishing success, people caught wind of what they were missing & then descended upon my honey hole with feverish fishing frenzy by the car loads, & sometimes horse & buggy loads. Fisherman have a sixth sense about these things I think, or maybe they ascertained that this kid wouldn't be here constantly for no reason.
Either way, the fishing pressure became unbearable for me & the fish. That is when I moved on to greener pastures.
Now that I have returned to Swine this year & fished it several times over the months I have noticed that the anglers must of followed my lead sometime after, as I have only seen others fishing the ponds once, & they were a caravan of handicapped folks that were enjoying the fast action of the numerous, yet small bluegill that encompass the small dock at the northern pond.
Grant it I havn't had any great success this year like the years prior, but I have seen some healthy looking bass in the 2 to 5 pound range in the northern pond, which gave me the inclination that all hope is not gone there. The last two times I was there I had a few large hits on my favorite texas rigged 10" lizard that I sadly didn't hook, but the hits were good indicators of what might be.
Now I am no professional fisherman, but like many fisherman that fish for a specific species 99% of the time I have become adept at being fairly consistent at least in drawing some good strikes from my favorite "prey" the largemouth bass each outing "on the water", or in my case "on the shore". I have about zero experience in fishing large bodies of water that people consider lakes & reservoirs, as I have made it my fishing life's work to know small water ponds like the back of my hand. This endeavor of mine is mostly based on the fact that ponds spark a childhood joy in myself that I simply cannot find in large lakes & reservoirs, & I am sure I am not alone in that regard. I am not blowing my own horn here, as anyone can hone their craft to high levels through the constant absorption of years upon years of trail & error experiences.
I am not preaching anything new here, but the reason I mentioned the above is that i wanted to share with you & fellow OGFers my conclusions about the ponds at Swine Creek so that hopefully you can have a little better success than you would if you just started to fish these ponds as they can be a bear. I have met a lot of people in the past that scoff at needing any insight in a pond, as they usually retort that "it's a pond, even a kid can catch fish in a pond".
Hopefully I havn't bored my fellow OGF members with the above paragraphs, but I have been enlightened a great deal from the member's posts here on topics I was lacking in education & wish to do my part in adding my 2 cents & hopefully enlightening someone else in return. Now on to the two ponds.
1. The "Lodge Pond" (south pond).
This pond was my favorite by far in the glory days & I spent nearly 90% of my time there as it is more secluded & offers more scenery than the North Pond, & less people frequent this pond with non-fishing pursuits than the North Pond. This pond is also where I caught my personal fabled first 5 pound largemouth I mentioned in the original post.
The southern end is clearly the deepest portion of this pond with a maximum depth of at least 6 to 8 feet deep, but possibly deeper. Weed beds are sporadically abundant in this area & the shore lines on both the western & eastern shores south of the bridge are littered with one of my favorite vegetations the lily pad. The bridge in the center of the pond is a mainstay for generous schools of bluegills, with some being rather large in the 8 to 9 inch range as many people will feed them with bread. The northern end is shallower than I would like but has quite a good supply of downed timber structure in the form of both large trees that storms fell, as well as smaller limbs with spider webbed finger branches that attract the smaller food sources as well as many of my hooks of the past.
I was told by park staff many years ago that this pond is spring fed, & although I have never been able to locate the actual source for this pond, I believe that they know what they were talking about.
This pond contains or at least did contain largemouths, bluegills, & crappie in the past. I only fished this pond once in the beginning of the year & didn't even provoke a strike, nor did I even see any fish activity. It appeared barren, but I must say that this doesn't mean that it is void of fish & is still worth a shot, especially for someone that has never fished it before, as it is a beautiful pond & has a good history of great fishing for me. The most unique aspect of this pond is the fact that it contains to this day the largest population of newts that I have ever seen anywhere period. Literally hundreds can be seen swimming in the shallows in the spring. I have never seen a pond that had newts in it ever & that alone makes this pond very special for me.
2. The North Pond.
I barely fished this pond when I was younger, because it is less secluded & I had no need to fish it since the fishing in the Lodge Pond was so great. But the more I fished the Lodge Pond, the more wary my adversary became & I opted to test the waters north. What I found there was potentially a better population of largemouths as the size is greater than the Lodge Pond & I am sure it is deeper. I am not sure if it is also spring fed or not, & I lean toward it not being spring fed slightly since I feel that the Lodge Pond being spring fed has something to do with the great colonies of newts it contains, & I have never seen a single newt in the North Pond. The deepest portion of the North Pond is obviously the center of the pond, & there is the steepest sloping from the southern end from the small dock out towards the center, with weed beds being the primary, if not only structure in this pond. The north west, north, & north east portions of the pond extend into suitable spawning flats that house the greatest concentration of weed beds.
This pond contains some nice sized largemouth with a few in the 5 pound range at the very least, as well as plenty of bluegills that are a little below average in size, but perfect feeder 'gills for the bass populations. In the past I have seen people catch a few channel catfish, but I am uncertain if any remain to this day as I have never fished for them there.
Both ponds can be tricker than a lot of ponds & sometimes frustrating when trying to actually catch some bass. The bass in these ponds seem a little more picky than normal & seem to revolve around the bluegill populations almost exclusively. The largest bass I have caught from both ponds have all come from fishing live bluegill which can be exceedingly frustrating as it seems that the bass take their sweet time when taking in these bluegills & requires more patience than I want to employ sometimes. The best place to try the bluegills for bass is at either the bridge at the Lodge Pond or the dock at the North Pond. In the Lodge Pond I have tried many times using the newts, but have only caught one bass on them & it was only around a pound. This baffles me as I felt certain the newts would absolutely slay them here since they were so abundant & a natural forage base. I have caught a few above average 'gills on the newts though. If you can keep minnows alive for the trip, they have been deadly on catching numbers of bass in both ponds in the past.
As far as artificials go, I have had the best luck with texas rigged soft plastics & jitterbugs at night. Something to keep in mind here is that the bass see many people around the shores on a frequent basis, especially at the North Pond since it has a paved walkway almost encircling the pond, & there has been heavy fishing pressure in past at both ponds. This obviously makes the early morning hours & early evening hours the most productive.
If you test your luck at Swine Creek, good luck & make sure you post your experience here as I would love to hear how you made out. This post has been lengthy, but I hope it helps anyone that has never fished these ponds before enjoy them as much as I have.