This is a question that I sometimes get. Those tiny ponds and those forest ponds..... are they stocked?
Sometimes it pays to be realistic.
While bass do have an amazing ability to somehow wind up in many waters, sometimes, too small is too small. Let's be realistic.... a 20' by 20' patch of water only 6' deep will not have bass. Remember, bass are carnivorous. There's only so many minnows in that puddle until they run out. Granted, some .4 acre ponds I seen have held bass, but don't expect anything below that to hold bass.
Above: Sometimes, they do surprise you.
Another problem is that these ponds don't have a source of fish. While many of the ponds are stocked in the past by the government, got fish from floods, or have had past owners stocking them, many ponds, especially if they are covered in massive, undisturbed blankets of algae and are in the middle of vast woods, have no fish, and are most breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Many ponds are actually vernal pools, large puddles formed by spring rainwater and drying up by the fall. They are breeding grounds for some endangered salamander species and frogs, but there are no fish.
Now, there are signs that point to ponds having fish, in my experience. If there are minnows, there will be larger, fishable fish. If there is a creek nearby, there could be fish in that pond from floods. If the pond is an acre or larger, there is a better chance of it stocked. If it is in a farm, it could've been stocked by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service in the past
To be continued,
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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.