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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a pay to fish pond in Four Oaks I have fished a few times with very little success. I am thinking about taking the canoe out there for the first time today and maybe again next week. I am looking to target crappie. One end of the pond is a rock dam and it is pretty deep. Only ever fished from the bank so I am not sure how deep. No electronics so I will have to find structure by trial and error. Any advice for targeting crappie this time of year? I usually only crappie fish in creeks near bridges and stumps so this is my first time targeting them in open water. I will be using artificial baits and fishing mid day when it warms up a little bit. Thanks for any help.
 

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I would slow troll a couple of crappie jigs, one barely off the bottom, one about half way up parallel to the dam. First couple of passes you will need to stop and drop the deep one every now and then to see if the depth is consistent or not. Once you find them, drift and jig in that area or anchor if it is windy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've always wondered how the hook sets work on trolling like that? Do i need to make a quick grab for the rod or do they set themselves? I appreciate the help. how far off of the dam do you think I should stay?
 

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Some of each on the hooksets when really slow trolling, IME. A lot of times I really am drifting and jigging but call it slow trolling because I am moving. I don't know the pond, but a lot of them have the drain at the deepest point, usually only a few yards out from the dam and it is often about the same depth that far from the dam for most of its length. That is pretty standard on man made ponds but certainly not universal. I would try the deepest part first. Most smallish lakes aren't great slab lakes IME.
 

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Swampin, not knowing anything about the place you're talking about here's my advice. Generally if I fish a pond like that(granted I do have electronics) I'll start shallow and work my way deeper, this typically will allow you to cover more water in most ponds. With the cold snaps the past few days, I'd assume fish had been driven deeper and probably holding to whatever brush or structure that may be on the bottom. Maybe rig a drop shot with a bait up above it and "feel" the bottom with one rod, and drift a couple more as OM described above.

The trick will be finding the depth, cause the fish are more than likely hungry and willing to bite, assuming there isn't heavy fishing pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No luck today. It is a 8-10 acre pond in a cow pasture that is fished pretty regularly. I've fished it three times now and only ever caught one fish. Near as I can tell the whole pond is about 8 ft deep. I floated all around it today just trying to get a feel for the deep spots and there really weren't any. From about 5 feet off the bank at the **** up to the other side it was a flat level bottom. No structure or points or channels. Ponds like that are the bane of my existence. That's why I wanted to go today, hoping that I could break the pattern. No such luck. I slow trolled and then tried casting a beetle spin and then even did a little bass fishing. The only cover in the entire pond is the side towards the road that has a big patch of lily pads. Probably could have pulled a jack or bass out of that if I had tried hard enough but I really wanted crappie. I know there are some in there because last year when I went for the first time there was a man in a bass boat with radar who had a couple. I got there when he was pulling out so I never saw where he caught the. Give me a millpond or a creek and I can locate fish every day of the week, but a man made pond like that with no channel or woods around it has never been good to me. I appreciate y'alls advice, I may go down to warren mill next week and give the tactics another shot, that place is loaded with crappie and has a ton of natural channels and cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How would y'all fish this place? For crappie or bass in the winter. Bernardo has been here with me before and caught a jack right where the farthest left red arrow is. We saw tons of bass in the pads but they wouldn't bite for nothing. This was a few months back. Map Geological phenomenon Screenshot Font Terrestrial plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's only $3 a day. There are definitely some nice bass in there but no where near worth the money to fish it. It's kind of a personal challenge to me to figure this pond out but I may just have to abandon it. Three strikes, I'm out.

And yes it definitely needs some sort of structure or something to draw the fish together. There aren't even any docks or anything to concentrate the fish. Literally a flat fishbowl
 

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unfortunately the bait shop was the opposite direction. Next week when I go to warren mill, minnows will definitely be my bait of choice
Hair jigs tipped with minnows.

(btw, you can get the jig heads and tie those with your fly tying kit, we used to get 3 or 4 guys together and pour our own jigs while the others were tying them up)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have always been curious as to why a hair jig tipped with minnows is more effective then just a minnow? Doesn't make much sense but it's time proven to be more effective. I reckon fish are dumb.
 

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I like the map. I would start dead in the middle of the dam and go straight out, slow trolling a silver or glass Rapala 3 or 5. I caught my PB 2 1/4 lber and many more using that method on a similar sized pond. The funny thing was we were slaying them while everyone around us was being blanked while drowning shiners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I need to learn to troll from a canoe a lot better. The only fish I've ever caught "trolling"was several bass, crappie, and bluegil over the years when I have left one of my lures dangling over the edge of the boat while I rigged a different one up. Always unintentional. When I try and catch fish this way intentionally they never bite.
 

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on ponds of this nature, I've done best fishin the "corners" where the dam meets the original bank. you can fan cast this area with sinkin baits, lettin them sink to various depths usin the countdown method. cover all the water an all the depths. I've done best usin sinkin, vibratin plugs like the Rat-L-Trap in the 1/8th an 1/4 oz size. many times the fish will be suspended in this area an you need to determine the depth in a methodical way by countin down each cast. I usually start by lettin the plug sink 5 seconds, then 10, then 15 til it hits bottom. retrieve at different speeds, from slow to fast. start by castin parallel to the bank an then fan ya casts out in an orderly fashion. I've found bass, brim an crappie in ponds usin this method. you can also use crappie jigs an in line spinners in the same scenario. Windy days are better as are cloudy days. If I can't contact fish usin this method then I change to a Black 1/16 oz twistertail jig an fish the same area by bumpin bottom. Looks like the shade from the trees along the dam are on the water. These shadows can be used by fish in ponds with no decernable structure.
 

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Get some minnows and set a couple rods at different depths, 12 foot, 15 foot for example. Rig yourself up a tightlining rod as well and put a dropper where the minnow is about a foot off the bottom. Move around as slowly as you can in the deepest part of the pond- near the dam I would guess and you should eventually run across some. Keep moving and when you get a hit- circle back in that same area and you should pick up several.
 
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