Fishing for bass in ponds rather than in large lakes has its advantages, as gaining access is often easier and requires less of a financial investment in equipment. In addition, most small ponds that hold bass also have one prize fish that the angler can make her ultimate goal.
Scout small ponds in your area in the spring before fishing season opens, gaining access to them by getting permission from landowners. Explain to them that you practice catch-and-release methods, which will keep you from depleting the bass population in a short span of time. Assure them that you will not litter and will contact them beforehand when you plan to fish.
Be upfront if you are going to bring someone with you, and don't tell someone else she can fish the pond just because you have permission. Use the names of property owners with whom you have a good relationship for references to calm any fears the landowner might have about letting you fish on their property.
Where to Fish
Determine the number of bait fish in a smaller pond. If there seems to be a large number of bluegill and pumpkinseed the bass population may suffer, as they share the same spawning sites near the shore and tend to keep bass from reproducing at a high rate. Look for springs and small brooks that flow into or out of the pond, as bass favor these spots in hot weather and while looking for food.
Observe the pond closely and scan the shoreline for areas that offer bass cover, such as water weeds, bushes growing close to the water, and tree branches that hang over a pond. Most ponds have a muddy bottom that makes the presence of weeds a distinct possibility. Try to establish where the most weed beds are and target these parts of the pond.
Surface plugs and plastic creature baits do well in a pond setting. Cast out plastic mice and frogs as well as poppers and other floating plugs and reel them in with a slow, jerking motion. Dawn and dusk are optimum times for this kind of lure. Take a 4-inch plastic worm and rig it to be weedless. Use an offset hook, push the point through the very top of a dangling plastic worm, and bring it through the side less than an inch from where it went in. Line up the hook so it faces the worm and push the sharp point in to it. However, leave it in the worm and do not make it go all the way through. Add a very light fishing weight to your line right in front of where you tie on this rig. Flip it into the heaviest weeds in the pond and retrieve it methodically. Use braided line on your reel. This will hold up when trying to pull a bass through vegetation.