Catfish in Ponds

I remember setting up jugs in a pond a number of years back. We had this idea that if jugging would work in a river, why wouldn’t it work in a pond. To our surprise, we really nailed them. We figured that we’d catch a few small catfish since the pond was stocked a few years back with some blue catfish. But to our pleasant surprise, we found big catfish in that pond. 10 pounders in only a few years worth of growing. That day we learned that catfish can grow extremely well in ponds. Maybe just as good in ponds as they do in rivers.At that point, we were dedicated to figuring out how catfish use ponds. It didn’t take long to figure this question out. Today’s article will help you find those catfish and consistently catch them.

Where are They Hiding?

Catfish have been known to completely fill a pond up. People have electro shocked their ponds and found a population of catfish that could feed you for a year. But this doesn’t mean that you won’t find a peaking order. Small catfish get the bad locations while large catfish take the best holes. Whether you have a healthy population or are over stocked, this will always hold true. Finding the best locations is all about uniqueness. Do you have something in your pond that stands out as completely different?

Have you ever noticed how much someone with pink hair stands out in a crowd? Well a catfish would post up beside that person if that person was in the water. Some more realistic examples would be different types of cover. Imagine if you have a pond that is full of grass. Its pretty hard to find where the catfish are holding in a grass lake. But it you find a stump or tree in all this grass, you find a place that will hold more catfish. Imagine a bank with nothing on it. Now throw in any piece of cover. That piece of cover will hold fish. The key is that it must be unique to the area.

Any number of things can make an area unique. You might have point in an area that is very straight. You might have a deep hole in a flat area. You might find that a few stumps that hold fish are bigger than the rest of the stumps. You might find that a ledge is holding fish in an area with a bunch of points. Or you might find that one of the points that is holding fish, extends closer to deeper water. Anything that make an area unique, but you have to figure out what is it. Changes concentrate fish. If you can find something unique that is holding fish, then you can side similar areas that will give you a pattern to follow. A pattern is a established when you find fish holding in similar locations throughout a lake, pond, or river.

One of my personal favorite types of unique locations is a big laydown in a stump field. Most of the times, you find that ponds are old flooded fields or valleys. Sometimes the creator of the pond will let a timber crew cut the area before the pond is built. This means that a stump field is sure to happen. But finding catfish in these fields can be hit or miss. Add a laydown tree and I promise you that it will consistently hold fish. Think about it.

But what about a Dug Pond?  I understand that most of these types of ponds don’t have cover. and that’s okay. Because unique areas don’t have to be cover. They can be changes in the bottom or structures. If you are fishing a dug pond, here is a place that almost always holds catfish. The corners of your pond. Typically catfish will sit in the middle of the pond while they are inactive. When they turn active, they will travel to shallower water and start doing a lap around the pond. They will swim until they have to change directions or swim around something. Call them lazy but turning left or right will make them stop for a few minutes to rest. At this point you can find that those corners of the pond that are created by dams will hold the fish. Some might even use those corner to travel up and down from shallow to deep water. All I’m concerned about it that they are there and that I can catch them.

I’m sure this has given you a few idea on how to catch your pond catfish. Let me know what you think and what ideas come to mind when you think about finding pond catfish.

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» Tony said: { Jul 26, 2014 - 03:07:53 }

Yes, the thermocline is in the martoijy of waters step out into the slough or river & you will feel the diderence in the water temp as you wade deeper. Not stepping on any toes but I just took a class at my university on the thermoclines effects on rivers & its inhabitants. It was an easy 3 credit hours just taled about fishing for a semester! Your article was spot on! This was the same information as well as similar examples to what is being taught to biologists in college!