While small pond fishing for bass with some out of town friends recently, I was reminded how everything can be relative…and also how sometimes we don’t realize how dramatically our frame of reference can be altered, little by little, over longer periods of time.
To me, Jarvis Creek Park is a big pond (above)…the ponds in my neighborhood are small ponds (below). To my out of town friends, Jarvis Creek is a small pond and my neighborhood ponds are roadside drainage ditches.
The great thing about that perspective is it reminded me of my initial impressions of those ponds when I arrived here in Bluffton. While I am accustomed to fishing bigger water, I’m always peeking at any body of water or secluded woods to check for signs of wildlife. I’m sure most of you do the same…it just comes naturally with being an outdoorsman.
So, after scouting my local ponds and deciding they were healthy enough to hold fish, I started fishing them (why not, right?).
Sure, I had no idea if there were actually fish in any of the ponds…and some of the people walking by gave me strange looks and asked jokingly if I was catching anything…but I didn’t care, because it was still more fun than sitting at home. And at least I was practicing my fly casting. Still, I saw birds and turtles in some of the ponds and where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire…so I persisted. I was changing flies and tactics and quickly learning the ponds held small bass in addition to bream.
As an inexperienced bass fisherman, I made the incorrect assumption that small ponds can only hold small fish (seemed logical enough?). It was neat that small bass were hiding in the ponds…but I never guessed those little guys could grow to anything notable in size.
But I was wrong.
I’ve caught what I consider to be fairly big bass in VERY small ponds…some not much bigger than a swimming pool (the one below came out of a ~0.5 acre pond). Sure, it’s not as challenging as scouting a 30,000 acre lake and zeroing in on trophy bass…but I pull great fish out of small bodies of water most people wouldn’t even consider fishing. And that’s probably the most rewarding part of this kind of fishing: finding a body of water, learning how to access it, learning what hides beneath the surface and what they’ll eat, and then landing a trophy fish you never thought existed in that water.