Summer is an excellent time to visit local farm ponds. Not only is fishing good, but summer is the perfect time to scout out ponds and learn more about their geography, fish populations and other characteristics.
Bluegill and pumpkinseed are among the easiest of fish to catch in farm ponds. These prolific fish are opportunistic feeders and typically will bite throughout the day and in a variety of conditions. Nightcrawlers, earthworms, insect larvae, grasshoppers, small crickets, mosquito fish and other small baits are all effective for farm pond sunfish.
The simplest technique for catching farm pond sunfish utilizes a classic rig which consists of a simple live bait hook, bobber and earthworm or nightcrawler. These traditional baits are inexpensive, widely available and can often be found wild along the pond’s edge. A bobber-bait rig can be fished on spinning or baitcasting outfits or from a very simple cane pole.
Ponds with open shorelines and nearby areas of grass or low brush may offer a bonanza for sunfish as crickets, grasshoppers, moths, beetles and other insects land on the surface. When these conditions occur, excellent opportunities exist for fly fishermen to present lifelike flies or poppers to these fish. Sunfish anglers often survey farm ponds before fly fishing, in order to match dominant food sources.
Springs and streams sometimes feed into ponds, creating feeding areas for sunfish. These sources usually offer shallow areas, lined with vegetation and other cover where small minnows, insect larvae and other prey are found. Large sunfish will patrol these areas, waiting for food to be swept into accessible areas. Depending on the size and flow of these water sources, anglers may find that casting artificial lures, live baits or either technique will catch fish.
While fishing in farm ponds, anglers should be aware of other species that may be caught along with sunfish. Some farm ponds are stocked with species such as rock bass, largemouth bass, crappie, bullhead catfish, pickerel, perch, carp or other fish.