John's Journal...

Fishing for Beaver-Pond Bass

Leisure-Time Canoeing

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: When beaver-pond basing 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 pClick to enlargeond to fish.

The problem with most beaver ponds, at least the ones I like to fish that don’t receive a lot of fishing pressure, is that most of them are in hard-to-get-to places. You hardly ever will see a fully-rigged, modern bass boat deep in the woods on a beaver pond. However, a canoe that drafts little water and is lightweight makes anexcellent craft for beaver-pond bassing, since it opens up new water that’s hard for the wader to fish. One of the best areas in a beaver pond to catch bass is at the dam, because the flat-tailed beavers use sticks and mud to construct their dams, leaving lots of underwater cover in these regions for the bass. But landing bass caught around a beaver’s dam is not without problems. When the fish takes the lure, the bass usually will run from the dam to the middle of the pond, straight toward the angler, making setting the hook and keeping the line tight difficult. The first time I noticed this phenomenon I had 12 strikes on one dam. I saw four bass, weighing 5-pounds or more each, break the surface and throw the lure. I cringed every time I set the hook, saw the rod bow and tried to retrieve line to catch up to the bass as it headed toward the boat, only to find that it had thrown the lure. I have learned that a better technique for catching beaver-dam bass is to cast parallel to the bank. In this way, when the fish takes the bait, I can get a good, solid hook set and keep pressure on the bass as it heads for deep water. For anglers who aren’t secure when fishing from a canoe, a small, Click to enlargelightweight single-person boat may be the answer. However, no matter what kind of craft is used, some type of boat in a beaver pond gives the angler some advantages that wading doesn’t.

Starlight Beaver-Pond Bassing

During thClick to enlargee spring and the summer, most of the big-bass activity in beaver ponds will be carried on at night. Bass move to the edge of shallow water cover and feed more actively when the moon comes up, and the stars come out. Ron Smith, an avid nighttime angler and conservation officer for the State of Alabama, explains, “I’ve caught some of the biggest bass in my life while fishing beaver ponds at night. There are certain key factors that are important to taking hawgs by starlight – like being as quiet as possible when putting the boat into the water at night. When we beat on the side of the boat, fall or drop something in the boat just before and during the launching, the bass wait a long time before they begin to bite. However, if we quietly slide the craft into the water, we can begin, almost immediately, to catch fish. When night fishing, an angler must have heavy line, stout rods and noisy baits. I use 30-pound-test line so that I have enough power to break the fish away from the cover as soon as it strikes my lure. I want a strong, stiff rod so that I can keep the fish’s head up and keep it from coming to the boat. I like a noisy bait like a Lunker Lure or a Lucky 13 Lure, because at night, bass hone in on the sound of the bait. I have fished the same pond during daylight hours and at night, and I consistently catch bigger bass at night than I do in the daytime. Depending on how clean the edge of the pond is, and whether or not I can get a boat into it, I often will wade beaver ponds at night. I will always make sure I have a buddy with me if I’m wading. Whether wading or fishing from a boat, nighttime fishing for beaver-pond bass is the most-exciting fishing there is. When I am out there at night listening to the “Putt! Putt! Putt!” sound of my Lunker Lure, and a big bass suddenly blows up, I really get excited. Battling that lunker largemouth to the boat when I can’t see the bass really makes the fishing more thrilling.”

Tomorrow: Belly Boating

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 3