Jan 11, 2017 - While some anglers ignore smaller pools of water preferring the spanning thousand of acre inland sea, many are finding great success in smaller lakes whether they are parks, quarries, or even a backyard pond. Whether an acre to a hundred, these smaller bodies of water can provide the same diversity as their larger counterparts.
Some only consider these fishing holes for nicer weather, but Don Wirth of Bassmaster.com shares some tips from the pros for small lake success during the harshest winter months.
"I've caught some of my biggest bass from small lakes in winter," Charlie Ingram reveals. In his spare time, the veteran Santa Fe, Tenn., B.A.S.S. pro and host of TV's Fishing University loves fishing the many reclaimed phosphate pits and state park lakes in the Middle Tennessee area.
"Their small size makes them prone to rapid heating and cooling," he explains. "In midwinter, it usually takes two weeks of air temperatures above 40 degrees to stimulate a bass bite in a big lake, but a small lake can turn on overnight. Conversely, I don't think they can get too cold for bass.
But mini lakes can bring either feast or famine, Ingram cautions.
"In winter, you need to fish the right kind of lake for the conditions at hand," he adds. "When the air temperature has remained cold for a week or so, you'll have the best bite on a clear, spring-fed lake.”
"If you're ever going to fish a small lake, winter is definitely the time to do it," insists bass expert Joey Monteleone of Christiana, Tenn. "You may not catch a lot of fish, but you'll have a great shot at catching your biggest bass of the year — possibly the lunker of a lifetime." He knows — he's caught hundreds of big bass, some in the 10-pound range, from mill dams, farm ponds and small municipal reservoirs during the winter months.
"Fishing pressure comes to a halt on most small waters after October; by late winter, many of them haven't seen a lure in months. These waters' compact size means you can work them thoroughly on a short winter day, often from the bank. I've had winter outings when I've caught a dozen big bass from a 20-acre lake in a single afternoon."