Seasonal Pond Checklist
American Sport Fish understands the importance of seasonal maintenance for your pond. Read our tips below and make sure to contact us if your pond is in need of maintenance.
The cold winter has set in for the year with water temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s, depending on where you are in the country. This time of year the fish are very inactive and typically don’t eat very often. Winter is one of the toughest times of the year to catch fish, but there are still fish to be caught.
These fish normally drop down in the water column to stay safe from drastic cold fronts that chill the surface water to near freezing at times. As these fish stage in the depths, they tend to bunch up together. They will suspend at a certain depth or gather around structure if available. Even though these fish don’t eat very often, they are still catchable.
There are two ways I like to catch them this time of the year. Extremely slow or extremely fast. For example, you either drag a Carolina Rig painfully slow with a Berkley Power Worm or work a Berkley Cutter 110 Jerkbait so slow you might want to set your rod down between jerks.
This presentation is to allow the bait to sit in the fish’s face for a period of time to aggravate him or give him time to slowly swim to it and get a strike. Next is to fish extremely fast, my favorite! Let me explain, a bass has an aggressive instinct in their DNA that tells them to attack, no matter what, if something is moved by them quickly. A couple of things I like to throw is a spoon while sitting my boat over top of them and watching them on my Garmin Depth Finder. I’m ripping this spoon vertically up and down in their face to get a reaction bite. Next, I like to yo-yo a lipless crankbait called the Berkley Warpig. The constant jerking up and fluttering down will trigger a lot of strikes.
Winter can be challenging, but if you put in a little time and patience, you will be surprised how good winter bass fishing can be! Good luck out on the water!
Fall is approaching and now is the time to increase your feeding events to 4 or more feedings per day on your automatic feeders.
Bluegill prefer multiple, smaller meals each day. Take advantage of the cooler weather to add weight to your bluegill!
Early Spring Pond Checklist
This winter has been a cold one and now it appears that spring is here early! The spring fish spawning season is upon us so here are a few items for you to consider.
- Threadfin Shad experience winter kill during very cold temperatures (well, cold for us in the southern U.S.). When water temperatures drop to the lower 40’s (F) for a time, many of the younger shad in your population die. Complete kills can occur when water temps get below 40 degrees. Even before dying, shad movement slows down, making them easy prey for predators. So, between the loss of the shad from predation and winterkill, your shad density has likely declined.
- Plan to restock threadfin shad this spring/summer in order to prevent a long-term deficiency in your forage density, which could eventually lead to a drop in largemouth bass condition.
- Plan to stock fingerling or intermediate bluegill early in spring when stocking fish to build up the fish numbers in an existing population. Getting them in early will allow them to grow to a size where they can spawn at the first opportunity when conditions are right later in spring.
- Inspect your pond or lake for unwanted vegetation before applying fertilizer. Vegetation has persisted even through the winter, so we anticipate a lot of algae problems this spring.