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Farm Pond Fishing

Discussion in 'Panfishing' started by Big Daddy, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. Here's an article from a new contributor to OGF, John Vance. This guy sure knows his crappie and gill fishing. Author of several books, one that was recommended by OGF member JimG(I bought it), Mr. Vance has a wealth of knowledge and is going to share some of it here. Now, his first contribution to OGF. I'm not sure if the link win the article will work, but if anyone would like to contact him, I can get you his info. Welcome to OGF John. Glad to have you.

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    FARM POND CRAPPIE & GILLS!
    By John A. Vance. Environmental Eng. Tech.,
    & Outdoor Writer: Author of fine books such as "Ice Fishing Basics" and "Just Crappie"!( simply 'do' a search on the web for any of these titles or John A. Vance) Copyrigthed material, but permission is granted for print out and reproduction for 'home or personal use', and in such cases, free of charge. Ditto for game/fish clubs, but with the mention of my name, and with permission - just ask, please, ( you will likely be pleasantly suprized)! outdoors@oxford.net

    Lets face it, there's lots of great fishing in local farm ponds, and many 'angling' hours spent in such places! While it's true that many of us will fish larger waters for 'gills and crappie, it sure is nice to be able to 'hone' our fishing abilities on often 'much easier' water. Less equipment is needed, and often costly equipment - and what a great place for us to take 'newby' fishing hopefuls. Too, for hard water fishers, smaller ponds/lakes offer the first of the season fishing, and some years, perhaps the only ice fishing opportunity that some of us may see; such as in the case of a relatively warm winter when larger waters just don't freeze adequately for ice travel.
    And, too, often much less travel time is needed to fish a smaller water closer to home. As an example, when I lived in southern Ontario, the 'in place' to ice fish was Long Point Bay - an hour's drive from my home; then to get out to where the fish were - another hour of 'tough' walking - or if the ice was safe, twenty minutes travel by quad or snow machine! By the time one was to find and ultimately 'fish' and return home, I will have at least a full half day invested in my 'trip! But to fish Lake Little ( as the example), a small ten acre lake not more than a fifteen minute drive, I could be in for some superlative fishing and tasty eating - with total travel and set up time not more than a half to three quarters of an hour!
    Summer fishing was also a snap, in that all I needed was a small canoe, and if really ambitious, I could also make use of my electric trolling motor, so set up and fishing potential even easier/quicker than for ice fishing!
    And the fish in a smaller water body are usually much easier to find than in large expanses of water, albeit one needs to be much more 'selective' in regards to harvest. Very often the overall grade of fish is smaller in such waters, but there are still most often, adequate larger fish to harvest/keep - but we do need to practice sustainable harvest in smaller water, for sure! With this in mind, as an 'incidentally' mention, I rarely use jigs/lures with a treble hook in smaller waters so as to be more successful at live releasing the many smaller fish! And make no mistake, often these smaller waters do hold decent sized fish - the trick is for you to find - and catch them!
    If you can go to the lake - even a 'family ride' to such a place can be a welcome and 'different' sort of a ho-hum chaser; go there and take a look in the nice weather, looking for weed beds, brakes ( rapid drop offs) weed lines and points and any dead heads or trees/branches that may be present - read that water - all crucial info for when you'll return later to fish the 'pond/lake! While I discuss 'how to' find fish in both my "Just Crappie" and "Ice Fishing Basics" books for most water, small, medium and large, it's here in smaller waters that we can really 'practice up' and hone our abilities for when we can get out on larger waters holding usually larger fish! Never-the-less, to fish the smaller waters, simply fish those areas I just mentioned for 'gills/crappie, and for larger fish, look for these fish suspended out in deeper water during the mid day or bright day conditions, and 'in' shallower as darkness approaches or on overcast days - and you'll do good!
    When fishing 'new water' to me, I always keep the first several fish and right there on the spot fillet them out to be sure they are of good quality with no worms or soft flesh. If the fish are good to keep, then I will continue being selective, keeping the 'better' fish, and releasing the smaller fish unharmed. If the fish are wormy, then it's a catch/release 'fish-on' that I will enjoy!
    And oh yes - such places are simply 'the best' to take and 'hook' a kid on fishing!

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