Jim Casada

The simple pleasures of pond fishing

By Jim Casada


Throughout the local areathe most underused utilized angling resource is ponds. The small bodies, be it farm ponds, municipal watersheds, public or fishing impoundments, offer first-rate fishing.

Ponds do not require that the angler have expensive equipment such as big boats with powerful motors, high-dollar spinning and casting rods, or tackle boxes loaded with lures. Pond fishing is well suited to a cane pole and a can of worms or an inexpensive spincasting outfit with a small selection of beetlespins.

Most small ponds hold largemouth bass and bream (bluegills, shellcrackers, or other species of sunfish). Occasionally there will be catfish and perhaps even crappie although the latter are not ideally suited to smaller bodies of water.

Ponds can be fished in a variety of ways. The simplest approach, and a highly effective one, is casting from shore. You can set your pole and wait for a bobber to bounce, gradually walk along the shore while making fan casts using artificial lures, probe the shallows for bass using a topwater lure or crankbait, or even use a fly rod with a popping bug.

Another possibility, although it is seldom used, is to wade fish. Most ponds have shallow sections or gradually sloping shorelines which make wading possible.

Another approach is small watercraft such as johnboats, canoes, mini-pontoon boats, kayaks and float tubes. Most of these watercraft are lightweight and easily managed by one person, and they allow the angler to get into deeper or more distant portions of larger ponds, as well as avoiding shoreline vegetation or other impediments along the bank.

Ponds can be exceptionally rewarding in terms of numbers of fish caught. When it comes to bass, many hold some real lunkers.

The average pond, however, is home to too many fish which tend to run on the small side. In such situations every fish you catch and keep improves the pond’s balance.

Most, though not all, ponds are located on private property. Often a polite request to fish is all it takes to gain access. Remember you are a guest and act accordingly, making absolutely certain no litter remains behind to mark your presence. You might also want to offer to share your catch with the landowner.

There are also a number of public fishing ponds in this area. Visiting the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website will tell you their locations and the days they are open. Inquiries at your nearest mom-and-pop tackle store, with neighbors, or in your workplace may also reveal destinations where you might obtain fishing permission.

Once you find a location, there is the pleasures assorted with solitude. In a peaceful pond setting, it is possible to realize just how much truth there is in the words offered by fishing’s patron saint, Izaak Walton, when he wrote: “Doubt not but angling will prove to be so pleasant that it will be, like virtue, a reward to itself.”