Here are 8 lures that will help you consistently catch fish in one of Ohio's many farm ponds or other smaller bodies of water.
If you are getting ready for a trip to a long treasured fishing hole or heading to a newly discovered pond or lake, read on for some tried and true lures to use.
The rolling, green farmlands that make up a large area of Ohio are frequently interrupted by blue expanses of water. These small, isolated ponds are commonplace on Ohio farms as a source of water for livestock and humans alike. However, in addition to their utility, these liquid gems also offer some of the best fishing to be found in the inland portion of the Buckeye State.
In order to maintain good water quality in these farm ponds, a healthy ecosystem is a must. That means that once a new farm pond is dug and filled with water, they are commonly stocked with a variety of different fish often including largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and, in larger ponds and lakes, even crappie and grass carp.
These fish are often under-fished and unpressured, making for some big fish and hot action. In fact, Ohio's state record largemouth bass was caught from a farm pond. Use one of the following ten lures and you are almost guaranteed to get at least a few bites and maybe even land a new state record.
Any Ohio fisherman worth their salt has at least one Arbogast Jitterbug banging around in their tackle box. The Fred Arbogast Company was founded by Fred Arbogast in Akron, Ohio in 1928. Arbogast was one of the pioneers of the early lure industry and his tried and true designs are still catching fish today. In the lowlight times of the day, slowly work a Jitterbug along some lily pads or the shore of any farm pond and get ready for some explosive strikes. If you don't have a Jitterbug in your box for any reason then do yourself a favor and remedy that situation immediately. You don't want to miss out.
The Texas Rig is one of the most proven methods of catching bass from farm ponds. With enough patience and the correct presentation, you can pull bucketmouths from a farm pond in any conditions and at any time of the day with a Texas rigged worm. With this rig, you can get an enticing lure in front of bass in a variety of presentations and cover a lot of water quickly to find exactly where the bass are. This is very valuable in a farm pond considering that the majority of them must be fished from shore eliminating fish finders and sonar. So grab your favorite soft plastic worm, rig it up Texas style, and catch some big bass.
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The beetle spin is another useful and versatile lure for fishing in farm ponds. Available in a plethora of different sizes and colors, a beetle spin lure is an effective lure for several different fish known to inhabit farm ponds. Everything from the biggest bass to a feisty little bluegill will strike a beetle spin so if you are after a variety of species, you should consider tying on a beetle spin for at least part of your fishing adventure.
Frogs are another very common creature found in farm ponds. Their croaking at night along with peepers and tree insects creates a summertime symphony that many an Ohio angler is extremely familiar with. They also make great bass food. When the day starts turning into evening, it is time to break out the plastic frog lure. My favorites are always the ones that most closely imitate a real frog. Work them along any available reeds or other structure and get ready to hang on.
While we are on the subject of topwater lures, I'd be remiss if I left out the Hula Popper. Another Frank Arbogast creation, the Hula Popper has been catching bass from farm ponds since it was first created. Its scooped front mouth, variety of patterns, and enticing back skirt all combine to make this a deadly bass lure when fished in farm ponds. As with any topwater lure, working the Hula Popper in shallow, near-shore water and along structure offers anglers the best bet for success.
Running a lipless crankbait in your color of choice is another great way to get into some lunker farm pond bass. Imitating any bait fish present in any given farm pond will often attract the most attention, but a color that fish haven't seen before can be equally as deadly. The more shallow-running lipless crankbaits are ideal for the oftentimes more shallow water of farm ponds. A great choice is a Rat-L-Trap by Rapala.
This one may seem like a given, but it isn't unheard for anglers, including myself, to shy away from the basics and try all sorts of different methods to catch fish. However, fishing in farm ponds is about simplicity and taking things back a step. Instead of wasting your time trying the latest fishing technique you saw in that magazine or on that fishing show, remind yourself to get back to basics. Tie on that trusty old spinnerbait (or a shiny new one) that has been in your tackle box as long as you can remember and catch some largemouth bass with it.
You haven't truly fished a farm pond until you have used live bait suspended under a float. Everything from earthworms and crickets to maggots and mealworms are fair game and absolutely slay the fish in a farm pond. There is just nothing quite like watching that bobber or float dipping beneath the surface of the water indicating a bite. Spend a few hours bobber fishing with a close friend or teaching someone how to who has never fished before and I promise that you will come away from that trip feeling refreshed and energized. Bonus points if you catch the bait yourself by hand.