How to Catch Bass in Ponds: 7 Easy Steps

Not everybody has quick access to Lakes, rivers, and dams but a lot of fishermen do have access to little ponds that are scattered throughout the areas that they live in. Also, bass in ponds can be really awesome. That said, the question is how do we make it easy to catch bass in ponds?

Having the right equipment in terms of your rod, reel, and terminal tackle can make the difference between an unsuccessful and a successful fishing trip at the pond. Another thing to consider is targeting key areas as well as doing your research on the specific pond that you will be fishing in.

There is so much more that we need to cover and that is exactly what we are going to do in this article. In fact, I have decided to give you my 7 easy steps to catching bass in ponds.

However, this article will be filled with tips and tricks that come from years of experience in not only fishing in ponds but in lakes as well. So, for everything you need to know keep reading

How To Catch Bass In Ponds: 7 Easy Steps

I think it is important for us to get straight into it. So, here are our 7 easy steps to catching bass in ponds. Be sure to bookmark this page and use it as a reference when you need it.

Step 1: Gear Up

We are going to start our tips and tricks off with a section dedicated to the gear that you need. First, we will draw up a list of equipment that you will need and then we will talk a little bit about each and give you a few tips and tricks. So, here is a list of all the gear that you will need to go bass fishing in a pond.

  • A rod and a reel.
  • Line
  • Pliers
  • Terminal tackle (everything that gets attached to your line).
  • A landing net (optional)

Make sure to check out My Recommended Bass Fishing Gear and Tackle Guide to ensure you have the right gear for your next fishing adventure.

Rods And Reels

When you go bass fishing in a pond you want to be using light tackle with either a bait caster or spin casting reel. Here is a list of suggestions that should act as a guideline as to what type of rod and reel you should be using

  • The Reel: You can use either a spinning or baitcaster reel. Spinning reels are easier to use and easier to maintain. A baitcaster is great and can pull in heavier fish but in a pond, unless you get lucky, you won’t need the heavier equipment.
  • Rods: Depending on what reel you choose, you will use either a baitcaster or spinning rod. Go for something light and not bigger than 6ft.

Remember, depending on what region of the world you live in and a lot of other variables, no suggestions are “final”. They should be used as more of a guideline that is based on experience rather than a final statement.


This section is related to the rod and reel but it is so important that it deserves its own section in this article. That being said, your line is easier to break than your rod and reel. So, here is my recommendation as to what line to use.

  • Monofilament line: I recommend using nothing lighter or heavier than an 8-pound line. If you catch anything heavier, it will just mean you have more of a fight on your hands but it will be rare for bass to snap this line. It also is not too heavy.

It is important to remember that your line won’t just break because of the strength of the bass. There are a lot of other factors that come into play as well. One of the most notable ones is that bass like to duck into logs, rocks, and reeds. This is one of the most common ways that your line might snap.

If getting stuck is an issue for you then I have one more suggestion.

  • Use braided line: This line is perfect for people who haven’t mastered the techniques of fighting bass. Braided line is easier to get out of logs.


This is pretty straight forward. Every fisherman whether you are fishing in a pond or lake needs a pair of pliers. This is so that it is easier for you to handle some of your equipment such as your hooks.

However, the biggest reason why it is important to have pliers is it makes it easier to unhook fish when you catch them. Regarding which pliers you need, there is one recommendation that I do have for you.

You want to take a set of long nose pliers. If you can find a pair of pliers that won’t easily rust this is also the best option because when you go fishing, a lot of water is involved and this can cause rust.

Terminal Tackle

Further down in this article we will give you a few recommendations as to what lures you should be using to catch bass in ponds. So, for that, keep reading.

When it comes to your terminal tackle, you are fishing in a pond and you don’t want to be carrying around heavy boxes with you. That is why I recommend having a small box that can carry your hooks, lures, beads, and small sinkers for when you are using small plastic lures.

Landing Net (Optional)

Landing nets are extremely important when you go bass fishing whether it be in a pond or a lake. However, most people seem to forget their importance when bass fishing in a pond and I don’t understand this because one of their purposes is to protect your equipment from becoming damaged.

When the bass starts coming out of the water it is important to remember that anything weighs more out of the water than it does inside of it. So take a net, not only to make landing the fish easier but also to protect your equipment.

Step 2: Find The Best Fishing Ponds

image of a beautiful pond with mountains in the background

One of the best ways of finding ponds is to go and speak to local bait and tackle shops, specifically ones that deal with bass equipment. Fishing communities are often extremely friendly people, they want as many people to experience the same joy that they experience on a weekly basis.

Another way to go is to do online research. Search for your area or the area you want to fish. This can be difficult as you will always get results for “lakes”. You need to be specific when doing your searches. You can start off by being as specific as possible and then becoming less specific if you are not having luck.

Researching specific ponds

Researching a pond is one of the most important things you can do. This is also great if you don’t know the area. When it comes to doing research there is a list of things that you should try and find out before going to a pond.

  • What bass does it have, if any at all?
  • What structures does it have and how much coverage is there.
  • What are the best times to fish?
  • What lures work the best.
  • What is the biggest known bass caught in the pond?

These are just a few questions that you can ask but if you get as many answers as possible, you increase your chances of catching bass. It also saves you time as you won’t have to go back and forth getting new equipment.

Step 3: Choose When To Fish

it is almost impossible to give a universal answer as to what time of day is the best to fish for bass in ponds. This is true for whether you live in North America or anywhere else in the world. Instead of thinking of it as a “specific time of day” it is best if you look at the temperatures of the area.

Bass tend to like mild weather with water degrees of up to about 60. So, in summers, it is usually best if you fish in the morning or late afternoon. In Winters you might have better luck fishing at around midday. This is because the water temperature should rise at this time.

If you can’t make it at a specific time of day due to work or personal life responsibilities don’t be discouraged. You can still try and go fishing in a pond for bass at whatever time best suits you.

Step 4: Best Ways To Catch Bass In Ponds

This is probably one of the most obvious on this list. Many lures are specifically designed for bass fishing but that doesn’t mean that they are the only ones that work, however, for this article we are going to mention the best bass lures for you to use in a pond.

  • Topwater Frogs: Frogs work great for day and night fishing. For night fishing, I recommend using green. For day fishing, you will need to experiment with colors. These lures work great when there are a lot of lily pads and reeds.
  • Senkos: These are worm-like lures that are soft, light, and made from plastic. You can control how much they float and how fast they sink by using a small sliding sinker.
  • Spinners: These can be hit or miss. It depends on the vegetation of the pond but if you cast this close to the banks of the pond, you could see great success.
  • Swimbaits: These are great for two things. Catching bigger bass in deepwater and for fishing in ponds that are not so murky but rather, at least slightly clear. They work by bringing bass up to the top.
  • Live bait: For bass, I always recommend using small minnows if you choose to use live bait. You might actually increase your chances of catching bigger bass by using minnows.

For a look at what my top baits are for bass fishing in ponds check out this article: What Are the Best Baits for Ponds

When you go fishing in a pond you don’t really take much equipment with you. This is because the areas are small and you don’t want to be carrying large boxes around with you. So what does this mean?

When you go bass fishing in a pond don’t be discouraged if the bass isn’t taking to the lures that you took with you. Instead, use it as a learning moment and set yourself a challenge because to be honest, the challenges we face in bass fishing or any type of fishing can make the experience a lot more fun.

The next time you go to the same pond where you were unsuccessful in your previous trip, don’t be afraid to try out a different lure. Who knows, maybe you come across something that works better than anything that everybody else is using, and maybe you can become the “expert” in that specific pond.

Step 5: Target Key Areas

When you are fishing in a pond it is not like fishing in a large body of water like a lake. In fact, it is a lot different. You don’t have many areas to cast in so finding the right spot is a little bit easier, however, it can also be a lot more tricky here’s why.

When you are fishing in a large lake there are often a lot more areas in which you can fish that might hold more bass. When it comes to a pond, these locations might not be as obvious. This is because there are generally fewer structures in the pond. 

So, what you want to do is you want to find the corners of the pond or any parts of the pond that are not uniform with the rest of the shape of the pond. You also want to find any structures. If there is a structure, try, and use a spinner. 

When casting towards the center of the pond, you can use either a topwater lure or even a swimbait to draw the bass up. If you are not having luck, try using a medium-depth crankbait.

Finally, fish the banks. Bass tend to hang around about 30 meters from the bank. My go-to lure when fishing the banks is a topwater frog. As we have already mentioned, these lures are great when fishing amongst vegetation.

In the next section, we have an important tip for fishing the banks of a pond.

Step 6: Make The Right Casts

The most common bass that you will find in ponds is largemouth bass. The thing with largemouth bass is that they are rather lazy. This means that you need to be making the right casts in order to attract their attention, they aren’t going to swim very far to get your lure, even if you cast close enough for them to notice it.

We already spoke about targeting key areas. When you are making your casts you want to get your lure in the perfect position. Making the right cast will take a lot of practice because every pond is different and over time you will find out where the bass like to hang out in that pond.

When casting while fishing the banks, cast longways. You want to get as far away from the area you are standing in. This is because you might have scared the bass away from that area. When I say “cast longways” I mean, not towards the center of the pond but rather, horizontally.

If the pond has any structures, you want to get your lure as close to those structures as you possibly can. If you aren’t having any luck after a few casts, try and cast to the other side of that structure.

Reeling In

There are various techniques when reeling in. Some work better than others depending on the lure.

For topwater lures and fishing the banks, use the old “walk the dog technique”. While reeling in, you want the rod to be pointing toward the lure. Every now and then, point the rod down and to a slight angle away from the bank. This will pull the lure diagonally giving it a sense of realism.

My go-to technique with any shallow or medium lure is the stop and go. This is the best technique for beginners. Reel in, stop, and reel in. It is that simple and yet so effective.

Step 7: Catching And Landing

Once a fish takes your lure, you don’t want to make the mistake of not hooking the bass properly. It has taken a lot of preparation and a lot of learning to get to this point, so let’s hook the fish properly.

When the fish bites, set the hook properly by flicking your rod up. Never use your full body to strike as you would do with big fish. Doing this will rip the hook out of the bass’s mouth. You also want to give it a good flick so that the hook properly sets. It is a fine line between the 2 but with practice, you will get it down in no time.

Hooking a bass doesn’t mean your job is finished. You are not instantly going to bring the bass in. In most cases, it is going to put up a fight. I know we mentioned that largemouth bass are lazy but once they are hooked, they are going to give you a little run for your money.

Be patient when bringing your fish in. Don’t fight it too hard but also, don’t let it get into any logs, and try and keep it away from the reads if you can. This is because you will run the risk of getting your line stuck. This means you will lose your bass and most probably your terminal tackle.

In order to actually catch the fish, this is where you will need the catch net. Once the bass gets close enough, you want to make your way down and scoop it up with the net. This not only gives you a higher chance of landing the fish but it also protects your rod, reel, and terminal tackle from breaking. Basically, a bass weighs a lot more out of the water than what it does in the water.

How To Catch Big Bass In Ponds

Most bass fishing guides like to tell you that you need to target certain areas of the dam or pond if you want to catch big bass. While this is true, I have another technique for you.

If you are targeting the biggest bass in the pond, you could try your luck out by using live bait. This is because the larger the bass is, the lazier it is. You want to entice it as much as possible to take your bait. Live bait such as a minnow which is what I recommend using, will be more appealing than a fake lure.

If you combine that with targeting the right areas, you will have the best chance of catching big bass. While I know it can be inconvenient to switch from live bait to lures, you can make it a little bit easier by having two rods with you, each set up for different scenarios.

Swimbaits are another great technique. If you are targeting big bass, it means you are casting to slightly deeper spots of the pond. Use the swimbait to lure them up.

One last tip for catching big bass in ponds is to try some night time fishing. Keep reading for my suggestions on catching bass in ponds at night.

How Do You Catch Bass In A Pond Without Cover?

If you are fishing in a pond with little cover, it is important to remember that the bass will still need to be somewhere. Just because there is no cover doesn’t mean that the bass magically disappears from the pond.

In a pond with little to no cover, you still want to target key areas such as 30m from the bank or any structures that the pond has. However, because there is little cover, the bass in this pond will be slightly deeper than they would be if there was cover. So, I recommend using something like a crankbait.

Bass Fishing At Night In Ponds

Pond fishing for bass at night is pretty similar to doing it in the day except you might want to use a different type of lure. In my experience, topwater lures work best at night. You want to use a lure that makes as much noise as possible. I have also found that using a green lure works best.

Using either a spinner or a topwater frog are two of my favorite lures to use when I’m fishing at night whether it be in a pond or even a lake.

Final Thoughts

That brings us to the end of this article and I have said so much that I don’t think there is much more that I can say about fishing for bass in ponds. What I can say is, the next time you go fishing, have fun, be patient, and remember, releasing your bass is always the best thing to do.

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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