Pond catfishing is excellent. Most anglers don’t even think about fishing for cats in ponds, because it means not being able to use a boat and other handy things. But, it’s a shame, because you can catch nice 10-pounders in ponds all across the nation. There are a few things you have to think about when angling for catfish in ponds, but once you get them down, you’re all set.
Pond Catfishing Tips
Ponds are small, and that means that those cats will hear every move you make. For that reason, you have to be especially quiet when you’re pond catfishing. Walk as softly as you can, don’t talk too much, and make sure your tacklebox and other things don’t bang around too much. Once the cats get wind of you tromping around in their pond, they’ll get away quick.
If you can find a good spot to drop your line that’s close to the shore, you don’t even have to get into the water. This is the best situation. Crouch right on the shore and get your line out as far as you can. This technique sometimes works wonders in ponds.
Same as with a river or lake, put your bait as close to the bottom as possible. In a pond, catfish will be even more likely to stay close to the deeper parts, so you have to get your bait way down there.
Finding catfish in a pond is not so different from finding them anywhere. Look first in the deepest parts of the pond, especially if there is a hole or dip in the ground underwater. They love to hang out way down in the depths, and this is just the same with ponds. If there is a dam or other obstruction, you will often find catfish down under it. At those depths the water is nice and cool, and that’s what cats prefer. Around any kind of obstruction like a pile of rocks, a beaver dam, tree stumps, logs or humps you’ll find catfish. Keep in mind that wherever it’s dark and cool, that’s where they are most likely to be.
If you have a creek that feeds water into the pond, that is a good place to look for catfish. Drop your line in the area of the pond right where that creek comes in. This will be a great place for catfish to feed, so they’ll be looking there for something to eat.
Some ponds have algae and other vegetation floating around, and this is a good place to find catfish. We call this “cover,” and you can almost always find catfish hiding out underneath cover.
A good technique to use when pondfishing for cats is to tightline. This is where you attach a tiny weight to your line, get it way down there, and keep the line extra tight so you can feel those bites.
The best bait to use is anything stinky. Catfish will always go after live bait much quicker than any other, and the more it smells the better. This is because they have a great sense of smell, and they use it to find most of their food. Earthworms, chicken guts, shad and other fish are all great ways to catch pond catfish.
Night time is the best time to find catfish in a pond, but you can find them any time of day, depending on the spot. Each pond is different. If you plan to fish that spot again, you might try angling at different times of day. Conduct a little experiment and see when the local cats like to come out and bite.
Finally, just because you’re pond fishing doesn’t mean you won’t get a big fish. Pond catfish can be pretty big, so there still might be a fight. Never underestimate your enemy!