Fishing small ponds for bass has a distinctly summer feel, but that not to say they're not worth focusing on in the wintertime.
Regardless of whether you reside in a milder part of the nation, or get a couple of mild, ice-free days in a cooler region, winter is an excellent time for you to hit those smaller bodies that get hammered in the warmer months.
If you can find a good farm pond or even a small lake you can have great results catching bass in the winter. Of course, the pond plant life is shriveled or long gone. The bottom composition is soft and silted so far as you can see, the water is quite clear, and the leaves of fall are littering the bottom. Not so much as a baitfish is flickering on the surface. So what’s your small-pond-in-winter strategy for maximum success?
It’s really quite simple: make long casts towards the center of the pond. Bass in these small bodies of water commonly seem to vanish during the cold months, but the majority of the hogs look for sanctuary around deep structure, or just in the deepest basin.
The secret is to fan cast the center and feel for any irregularities in what is essentially just a soft bottom. You might make contact with a log, stump, or ditch in the deeper basin, or maybe even be a small rock pile anchor for the drain (or intake) pipe that stretches underwater from the bank.
When you do not see turtles and baitfish, you should consider that a good sign. That means the bass have no reason to come shallow. They are going to be pegged on the bottom out in the center someplace.
Since you are making long casts, your gut will tell you to throw baits that are somewhat heavier. But by going with that approach, you are will be plowing the bottom and pulling in lumps of decaying sludge. Begin by selecting a super-light line and a spinning outfit. Light jigs of one-sixteenth or one-eighth ounce and four or five inch shaky head worms are excellent choices, but do not rule out one-eighth to one-fourth ounce rattle baits, small shad-shaped balsa baits, or silent flat sided crankbaits.
Smaller narrow-body lures with a tight wobble are awesome choices. Often times these pond bass will have to be woken up with some deflection to cause a reaction bite like during the summer on a big lake. Even if you do not feel any definitive structure, these lures often astonish a few sluggish pond bass into biting.