Catfish in man-made ponds are typically fed by the pond owners. This can alter their feeding habits, getting the cats used to coming to the surface to eat floating food pellets. The Texas Agricultural Extension Service recommends that you adjust your fishing habits accordingly and suspend your bait 1 to 1 1/2 feet below the surface. If you can, fish while the cats are being fed to improve your odds.
Man-made catfish ponds are carefully controlled ecosystems stocked with a chosen array of fish. Introducing unwanted species can unbalance the ecosystem or introduce diseases to the pond. The Texas Agricultural Extension Service recommends fishing man-made ponds with shrimp, crayfish, cut bait, dough or stink baits, earthworms or catalpa worms. Do not fish with minnows or sunfish, because you may inadvertently introduce these species or spread a disease to the pond.
Man-made ponds are typically small, making it easy to find where the cats are lurking. Game & Fish magazine says catfish like the deeper areas of ponds, particularly during the heat of summer and cold of winter. Fish for cats near the mouth of the creek feeding the pond, on the outside edges of stands of aquatic vegetation and near submerged obstacles such as logs and rock piles.
The type of rod and the tackle you use play a big role in determining your success in catching cats. When you cast from the shore on a man-made pond, use a rod 7 feet or longer. Game & Fish magazine says a long rod will allow you to cast farther, more easily manipulate your rig around obstacles and control your bait more effectively. It will also assist you in setting your hook and give you more fighting power.
Make sure that your hook is sharp. Game & Fish says a sharp hook should dig in when you run it over a fingernail. Bait it with the barb exposed to make it easier to set.