John's Journal...

Fishing for Beaver-Pond Bass

Rawhide Beaver-Pond Bassing

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: When beaver-pond bassing is right, it can be some of the most-explosive, exciting fishing that an angler can experience. There is more than one way to catch a beaver-pond-bass because there’s more than one type of beaver pond to fish.

Finances, age and equipment often determine the best way to attack beaver-pond bass. While in college, my finances were small, my equipment was limited, and I was at the agClick to enlargee when wrestling alligators didn’t seem too far-fetched. For that reason my friends and I waded beaver ponds in the Deep South to catch bass. Our equipment consisted of a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of blue jeans, a t-shirt, a rod and reel, some line and a 5-inch Rapala lure. The tactic we utilized was unorthodox. From our research, we learned that the best beaver-pond bassing in our area was in the hottest part of the summer and during the middle of the day. We discovered that, in the beaver ponds we werefishing during the heat of theday, the bass would come out of deep water in the center of the pond and move into the shallows under the large shade trees around the edge of the pond. Many times, the big bass’s backs would be just under the surface. Also, in these areas, there were plenty of logs, bushes and brush where the bass could hide. By casting the Rapala into the shade and twitching it slightly, we usually could trigger a strike. But, when a bass hit in the shallow water, escape was the first thing on its mind, and there was plenty of cover for the fish to get wrapped around. We soon discovered that to be successful beaver-pond anglers we had to practice a set, reel and run technique. When a bass blew up on the bait, the angler would set the hook hard and fast. Then, while holding his rod high overhead to keep the bass’s head up, he’d run directly at the fish. The trick was to get to the bass before it could reach the cover and break free. We soon learned that the faster we ran and reeled, the more bClick to enlargeass we could capture. Also remember that during these early years of raw-hiding for beaver-pond bass, the heaviest line we could find in our small college town was 12-pound test. Worm rods and flipping sticks hadn’t been invented, so finesse was used to land a fish rather than brute force.

Modern-Day Wade Fishing:

Now that wrestling alligators doesn’t have the glamour that it did in my youth, I’m more concerned about water moccasins than I once was, and I’m not as fleet-of-foot as when I was a sophomore in college, my beaver-pond-bassing tactics have changed. Today, when I’m wading a beaver pond, I put on a pair of flyweight waders for several reasons. They’re waterproof and lightweight. If I step off in a stump hole, the air bladder at the top of the waders keepClick to enlarges them from filling-up with water, and there is some more protection in case of a fanged encounter. If my attire has changed, so has my equipment. I now use 25-pound-test line, a strong flipping stick and a bait-casting reel. When a beaver-pond bass blows up on the Rapala nowadays, I don’t have to chase it down to captureit. I can use the power in the rod and the line to bring the bass to me instead of having to go to the fish. Because of the heavier tackle, I also can utilize different lures that I couldn’t use in my college days.

Although the plastic worm is a deadly lure on beaver-pond bass, it is also effective on grinnels, often called bowfins or mudfish. Even a small grinnel will tear up 12-pound-test line in heavy cover. But, with heavier line and heavier rods and by being able to afford to buy more than six plastic worms a week, I don’t fear the prehistoric, tackle-busting grinnels as much as I did in the early days. As a matter-of-fact, I really enjoy battling bowfins on heavy tackle when the bass aren’t biting.

Tomorrow: Leisure-Time Canoeing

Check back each day this week for more about "Fishing for Beaver-Pond Bass"

Day 1: Beaver-Pond Bass
Day 2: Rawhide Beaver-Pond Bassing
Day 3: Leisure-Time Canoeing
Day 4: Belly Boating
Day 5: How to Find Beaver Ponds



Entry 414, Day 2