Most people know that fishing private farm ponds catches you lunkers, but what about their less well known but just as good cousins, the forest pond?
Forest ponds are as the name says: Ponds in the forest. But we aren't talking about your regular park pond, or those town lakes with a small grove of trees. No, we're taking about the ponds deep in the forest, well off the beaten path. Those ponds that maybe see one or two hikers, or better, none at all. When the pond is shielded by a barrier of bushes, brambles, and wild hedges, then it is good fishing.
Above: One of my honey holes, in a small natural preserve. A small stream feeds into it, leading to fat, healthy bass, and sees no fishing pressure.
One of the other reasons that forest ponds are such good fishing is that trees often shield the pond from much of the elements. In addition, some forest ponds are fed by small creeks or springs. The influx of fresh, well oxygenated water and stream forage fish, such as small trout or chubs, leads to fat, healthy bass. I also have found frogs and bugs to be especially common near forest ponds, leading to some intense topwater action in the summer. Always carry a frog or two in natural colors when you are going to a forest pond in the warmer months.
I have found forest ponds to be especially weedy in the summer, due to the nearby trees dropping their leaves in to the pond, leading to increased nutrient levels in the water as the leaves decay. The high nutrient levels trigger increased plant growth. Definitely do not use anything with trebles in the warmer parts of the year. Fishing most forest ponds is like fishing a farm pond. On the weediest of the ponds, however, the only things you could use are weighted texas rigs (I like curly tailed, thick worms and bigger craws with flapping claws - think large profile) , punching gear, and frogs. Make sure you are also dressed for the environment - wear long pants, hiking boots or at least old sneakers with traction, and put on plenty of bug spray. I don't recommend using long rods (use rods around 7') unless you have to, because the rod gets caught on the brush.
Triadelphia Reservoir is an 800 acre lake is located on the Patuxent River, in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland. The reservoir was created in 1943 by the construction of the Brighton Dam on the Patuxent. The reservoir is maintained as a drinking water source by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). WSSC provides recreational facilities to the public on portions of the Triadelphia property.
Fishing: This lake really makes for prime fishing. It’s stocked with trout, muskies, catfish, bass, and panfish each spring, and being far from any pollution sources in rural HoCo, the fish there seem to taste levels better than fish you catch in the pond near the Columbia Gym. There are plenty of places for your boat, and the fish here are “uneducated,” meaning, they have not experienced any fishing pressure, and will readily bite your lure without another thought. Even the lake trout don’t seem to suspect anything. There are massive shoals of bluegill and perch. However, bass fishing seems to be slim pickings around the shore. Try going on a boat.
The 337-acre park owns a 54-acre, man-made lake, which is stocked by the State Department of Fisheries, and is home to a variety of wildlife. There is a 2.6-mile paved pathway that runs around the lake. There are bass, trout, sunfish and tiger muskies (which, btw, I never caught there). From late spring through early fall, boats are available for rent at the General Store/Boat Rental Office located in the park’s South area.
Fishing: A common problem that I see among the amateur anglers near the lake is that they frequent the pier too much. Let’s face it; catch and release teaches fish about the logic of blindly biting every nightcrawler floating around. So if you want to catch something, fishing near the pier will not work. Your best bet is to fish near the treeline to yield some largemouth.
However, this lake is very frequently by anglers, and you won't get too many good days on this lake. While some days we have got good fish, don't expect really good fishing everyday.
This 37-acre lake, in the village of Owen Brown, was built by the Columbia Association in 1974 with a watershed of near 2,500 acres. The lake depth is about 8 feet and is 15 feet at its deepest point. The lake is stocked with trout each spring. The lake is a reservoir for the surrounding populace. A convenient boat dock allows for quiet relaxation on the lake. Lake Elkhorn features a picnic pavilion in its 23-acre park.
Fishing: The lake, while infested with Elodea, Hornwort,and a myriad of other invasive plants, the bluegill population has abounded in the cover, but weedless hooks are a must. The pavilions make for good fishing, but the pier does not. As a general rule, piers that often see fishermen are not good fishing spots because the fish there are educated through repeated catch and release. Fishing near the treeline away from the pier yields plenty of bluegill that are of eating size.
As part of our effort to promote fishing and good fishing practices, we are starting of series about fishing in Hoard County, Maryland. Enjoy!
Lake Kittamaqundi is a man made 27-acre (110,000 m2) reservoir located in Columbia, Maryland in the vicinity of the Mall in Columbia. It is also adjacent to the Rouse Company's offices.
Fishing: Kittamaqundi is known to harbor lots of bluegill, a few crappie, and pumpkinseed. There are largemouth bass present, and perhaps some smallies. There also are bullheads. The pier isn’t very good on windy days, but there are shoals of bluegill present when it is not. The lake has gone a dramatic change since it was dredged, and is covered in hornwort, an invasive plant that tangles up in your equipment. It is crucial to wash equipment to prevent the spread of invasives, such as the didymo plague. Also, the trees that provided shelter for the fish were stripped during the creation of a trail. The fishing in lake Kittamaqundi at night is not advised, since the Howard County police reported teens gathering there at night, causing crime and violence.
Prime fishing spots: The Little Patuxent River flows out of the lake. You will know you see it when you pass a bridge over the river. The river contains two pools near the lake. They contain vast shoals of bluegill and largemouth.
Wilde Lake is a 22-acre man-made lake built by the Columbia Association during the time of 1967. The lake depth ranges from 13 feet to around 8 feet in the lake’s center. The dam stands 15 feet high and 200 feet wide with the dam face constructed of four poured concrete step. The dam itself is very good for fishing largemouth.
Fishing: Wilde Lake’s dam has some great fishing in the pool at it’s foot. The residential half, where the homes are, cannot be fished due to the complaints of residents. The pier makes for poor fishing, but the surrounding area with the trees has some nice schools of slab crappies and monster bullheads. It can be accessed near Hyla Brook Road in The Birches neighborhood off Little Patuxent Parkway.
Prime Fishing Spots: Wilde Lake’s pier is too frequented and makes for a bad day’s fishing. The treeline, and the small stream, are great fishing spots.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.