Florida Pond Fishing
Arguably the best fishing state in the US, Florida has a wide selection of both freshwater and saltwater gamefish to choose from. You could be catching some of the biggest largemouth of your life in the morning and then chasing down snook and tarpon by the afternoon.
Fishing in Florida
The amount of small freshwater ponds in Florida is astounding. It seems like they’re everywhere. On top of that they have one of the best bass fishing lakes in the US in Lake Osceola. Don’t discredit the rivers either. The St. Johns stretches nearly the entire length of the state. It gives anglers over 300 miles of fishable water.
On top of all that, the state is also surrounded by water on three sides. The Gulf of Mexico to the west, the Atlantic to the east and the Straits of Florida to the south. All three of these areas can produce great saltwater fishing opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you want to fish in shore or offshore, Florida has it.
Florida is a state with extreme temperatures. If you plan on fishing during the summer, then you need to dress the part as well as bring adequate supplies.
Sun shirts and shorts or anything that is light fabric with long sleeves will work great. Luckily, many different fishing and outdoor companies make apparel specially for this type of weather. These will help keep you cool and protect your skin from the sun.
If all you have is t shirts and shorts, then that works too. Just be sure you have sunscreen packed along with a hat and sunglasses.
I knew it was going to be a hot day, so I left before the sun rose. I was down visiting family and only had a few hours to fish, which worked perfectly because I didn’t want to be outside past 10am anyway.
It was the middle of July and the pond in the neighborhood I was staying in looked fishy. I walked down to it the night before and spotted several species of sunfish swimming around in the shallows and a few smaller bass ambushing prey.
I only had a couple of poppers in different sizes that I brought down on the drive. Along with one crawfish pattern that I found in my center console. Although, I didn’t want to use it. After all, it would be a morning in the summer, so I really wanted to only fish topwater. My go to rod and reel was my 9' 5 weight.
The sun wasn’t even close to being up by the time I reached the banks of the pond. I sat and listened for any fish that may have been rising to the surface for food or chasing baitfish up to the banks.
What I heard was a whole lot of nothing. It was quiet. The only sounds came from a few yappy dogs that were being let outside.
The quiet of the morning turned out to be some foreshadowing for the day. By the time it was light enough to see I had already thrown a few casts that resulted in no bites.
The added light did nothing to help matters. I thought maybe as the sun popped out the fish could key in on my poppers. No such luck.
Instead, I spent most of the morning unintentionally working on casting accuracy and my double haul.
I continued working my way around the pond. Casting to docks, structure, and overhanging limbs to no avail.
When I finally checked the time, it was 9:30 and I needed to leave by 10. If I wanted to get the skunk off me then I knew what had to be done. Change out my popper.
I didn’t want to do it. It had been too long since I’d seen a good topwater hit from a largemouth, but the crawfish pattern was calling my name.
It didn’t happen as quickly as you’d think, but they came in bunches. By the third cast I’d landed my first bass and caught two more in as many casts. None were too big, but they all ate the fly greedily and put up a hard fight.
I had ten bass in less than thirty minutes. I felt silly for not tying on the crawfish earlier and stubbornly sticking to the popper. Perhaps it was all luck, but I think I could’ve been catching fish all morning by simply dragging the crawfish across the bottom.
It worked so well that I even landed a channel catfish a few minutes before leaving. It bulldogged me all over the pond and pulled line from my reel. I was hoping for a monster bass, but a catfish was nice too.
As I walked away from the pond, I realized I learned a hard lesson, and that is don’t be stubborn. Just because I want something to happen doesn’t mean it will. If you want to catch fish, then you need to stay flexible.