The Northeast is speckled with small ponds—you need only look at Google Earth to discover just how many fish-filled waters lie a short drive from your home. While accessing some of these ponds may take some creativity, the reward is often quality fish that rarely, if ever, see artificial lures.
At the height of summer when weed mats and lily pads coat small ponds, a weedless frog hopped across the vegetation brings furious surface strikes from big largemouth bass. There are dozens of weedless frogs on the market, but the kicking legs of the Lunkerhunt Lunker frog give it some added realism that make it effective in both thick vegetation and open water.
Small pond fly-fishing is best done from a float tube. Drift quietly and cast bass bugs to weedlines or Wooly Buggers to brook trout in the Lost Lake Float Tube, a great introduction to the craft at a reasonable price.
Shallow ponds are chock-full of minnows that bass and trout feast on all season long. In the early evening, when these baitfish come to the surface to feed, an Original Floating Rapala will catch just as many fish today as it did 50 years ago.
At just 42 pounds, this sit-inside kayak is perfect for carrying into out-of-the-way waters or for hitting multiple ponds in a single day. A roomy cockpit makes it easy to enter and exit, and an anchor trolley allows you to stay on the hotspot.
This lightweight combo will cover just about any bass-fishing application you’re likely to encounter on a small pond. From crankbaits to topwaters to soft plastics, the fast-action, medium-power Crucial can handle it, and the Saros has a smooth, solid drag for when Mr. Big strikes.
This tiny spinner was built for trout and matches up perfectly with an ultralight rod. It holds 100 yards of 4-pound-test line and has a reliable drag for when the biggest trout in the pond takes a swipe at your spinner.
This lightweight Sea Eagle pontoon comes rigged with everything you’ll need to get serious about hunting down large bass in small waters. In addition to the hull and boat bag, the Pro Package comes with a swivel seat, a motor mount for a 3-horsepower motor, two Scotty rodholders, an oar set, a floorboard, and a foot pump.