It's almost March, and the world is showing signs of springs. Already, some daffodil flowers are pushing their way out of their earth, giving promise to bright yellow and white flowers. Ants are out foraging, small denizens of a big world.
For me, the bass fishing season starts in the spring. The water starts to warm, and once again, the bass regain their monstrous appetite. Granted, bass fishing in the winter is certainly possible, but standing outside in freezing winds and not catching a single fish is not my favorite way of passing time. I restock my tackle online, or trade with friends. I will practice casting in the the basement, and sharpen dull hooks. I give my small tackle box a good wash. And I go on Google Maps.
In HoCo, we have Lakes Kittamaqundi, Wilde, Elkhorn, and Centennial. In the South and Midwest, they barely qualify as ponds. If you're are willing to make the drive, you can go to the vast Triadelphia Reservoir (by HoCo standards, at least). If you watch the videos of local YouTube fishing celebrity 1Rod1Reel Fishing, you would know about Font Hill Wetland Park. And yes, you can fish in the Little Patuxent, Middle Patuxent, and some other rivers.
But I Iive in Clarksville. And Clarksville isn't close to any lakes in HoCo. I can fish in a small tributary of the Middle Patuxent (saw it while driving), but after my 90th fallfish, the excitement starts to cool off. There are not big fish there. Other than some small smallmouths, there are no bass. I never caught a bass there on conventional bass fishing gear, only ultralight gear.
Enter Google Maps. Using Google Maps (satellite mode) is much easier than scouting out the area yourself. Using Google Maps, I have already found two small ponds that I can easily hike to. Haven't fished them yet, but I plan to. Bass can live in very small ponds, and they seem to be in every pond. Sometimes the pond is stocked, or it is a storm water pond connected to another waterway, or there are natural causes (floods, heavy rain, birds), or the fish are just... there. I heard about plenty of ponds where the fish just.... got there (Owner digs a small pond for rainwater, miles away from any waterway, and didn't stock it. After a few months, there are bass, and a sizable colony of bluegill.)
Odd? Yes, but it's true. There are ponds everywhere that no one bothered to mark. There are those woodland ponds (some may be temporary pools, though), there are humble stormwater ponds (lots of them!), there are farm ponds (HoCo used to be farmland, and even after the farmers left, no one bothered to fill in the ponds), and there are stocked ponds. They can be right under your nose. A stone's throw away from my house is a small storm water pond. There are LOTS of them, and they could be close. Very Close.
HoCo is still a suburb, and there are always those little patches of forest that people take walks in. In those little patches, there are sometimes woodland ponds, and a lot of creeks. Some creeks have small but fishable creek chub and bluegills. In many neigh hoods, there are stormwater ponds. They can be everywhere. Some ponds are on private land, and you need to ask the property owner for permission to fish them.
All you need to do is to go to the satellite mode of Google Maps. Look around your area. Look for small patches of blue. Those patches are potential targets. Don't be hesitant to try them out. In the summer though, mosquitoes are rife around these ponds, and you need a good repellant, and should wear long pants and sleeves. It might be hot though, so fish the afternoons and mornings.
I have already found two ponds that I can walk to, and many more near me. Look around your area, and you will be sure to find ponds.
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.