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How To Fish Small Catfish Ponds

Aug 15, 2008
Across the country there are many small catfish ponds for our enjoyment. Most owners stock catfish because they are a very hardy fish that can survive in a variety of conditions. They also of course are excellent sporting fish that fight well. Most of the fish stocked are Channel Catfish with occasional Flathead or Blue Catfish. They also many have large quantities of bullheads, the smallest member of the catfish family.

When you fish these ponds you need to approach them with a different strategy than you would when fishing on a big lake. The first thing you need to understand is that these ponds receive an enormous amount of fishing pressure. It may not seem that they are over fished but when you consider the amount of anglers compared to the size of the body of water you can get the point.

Catfish are not generally considered a wary fish. They are not very difficult to catch and often can and are caught multiple times within a few days. But when you put them in a small pond they do eventually develop an instinct to avoid a hook and line. You need to start thinking differently than others who use the pond for angling pleasures.

For starters I would keep your line as light as possible. This is a good strategy whenever fishing in a small pond. If the average size of the fish in a pond is no more than five pounds you should be able to get away with using six pound test line with no problems.

Another piece of advice concerning the tackle is to keep the hooks as small as possible. There is no reason to use a very large hook when fishing for catfish. Enough to cover the bait is more than enough hook. This is especially true when fishing for the smallish catfish that generally inhabit small ponds.

Your next issue is what baits to use. My suggestion is to come with a complete arsenal of different baits. Fishing in a big lake can be much easier in making this decision. In large lakes you match the natural forage for the best results. Small ponds generally do not have natural forage that is constant. Fortunately catfish eat a wide variety of foods.

As always I would start with live fish as my first choice of bait. Choose a fish that is size appropriate for the size of catfish you are angling for. My next choice would be cut fish that is freshly killed. When using a live fish I like to hook it once through the upper meaty portion of the back. I also like to cut the tail a bit is the swim swims like a wounded fish, this provides an attractant that is often too hard to avoid.

Live nitecrawlers generally work well for catfish. I like to hook a nitecrawlers twice, once through the nose and a second time through the middle of the body when using them for catfish. Just make sure there are not large quantities of pan fish in the pond also. If there are pan fish it will make using nitecrawlers impossible.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best catfish fishing information possible. Get more information on catfish fishing small ponds here: http://www.askcatfishfishing.com/
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