Are You a Small Water Angler?

By: Frank Jones

I’ve often said that if you tell me “they’re biting”, I’ll fish in a mud hole for a tadpole. So the answer to this question is easy for me. It’s a resounding yes!! When you consider all the places folks fish I believe the answer would be the same for most anglers. That’s because whether we fish from the bank in a small pond or from a boat in a large body of water, most of us fish in small areas whenever we are on the water. From the first time we were handed a cane pole and dropped a worm off the end of a pier, to running down a lake or creek in a boat to get to that secluded cove, this hasn’t changed. We’ve always been fishing in small or protected areas, we just didn’t think of it that way at the time. This month I thought we should take a look at some of the many places we love to fish.

Small Ponds

This one is easy because the name gives it away. In the city and suburbs you may call them retention ponds, or if you’re out in the country you call them watering holes or farm ponds. No matter the name, they can be anywhere from 1 to 10 acres in size and most all of them offer up a chance to wet a line and have some fun. During a week’s time most of us drive by many of these ponds without even thinking a minute about them, but if you get the chance you should take a little time to see if you can get access to a couple of them. If the pond bank is clear or has a spot you can launch a small boat, they can offer a great mid-week stress release.

Small Natural Lakes, Reservoirs, and Mill Ponds

These are my favorite, and if I can launch my Twin Troller X10 in the water you don’t have to ask me twice. I class these together because most range in size from 25 – 400 acres and offer the same type of fishing opportunity, and can be located in every city and state across the country.  Natural lakes of this type are generally located in the northern part of the country, and were formed at the end of the last ice age when glaciers retreated to the north. Usually they are deeper, the water colder, and offer great fishing for smallmouth bass, pike, and all types of pan fish. Living in North Carolina I’m constantly on the lookout for new small reservoirs and mill ponds to explore. As the industrial age took hold and spread across the country, anywhere that man could dam running water to power a mill or create a water source, you can find a body of water like this. From my personal experience they receive far less pressure than larger lakes and offer outstanding fishing opportunities.

Larger Lakes, Coastal Rivers, Creeks, and Flats

These are some of the most overlooked small waters in the country. That’s because they come disguised as big open bodies of water when in fact a closer look will uncover the many protected, small water areas that make them up. When I see a 10, 20, 30 thousand acre body of water, I see the very same number of small 1-acre fishing holes. Because of this I often fish larger bodies of water with my Twin Troller in many of the small coves and backwaters that the big boats overlook. Most of these large bodies of water are open to the public and offer launching locations so we all have access to them. The protected waters they contain make them great small water destinations.

That covers most of the small-water locations that are available to us across the country. So if you find yourself “wishing you were fishing”, remember there are great small-water fishing locations all around us that we can get out and enjoy. Think small, fish big.

By: Bob Lusk

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