There are an estimated 1.5 million ponds and small lakes in North America. Not all hold fish, but most certainly do and there’s nothing more fun, and affordable, than fishing a small lake or pond.
I was recently invited to fish a farm pond in south-central Missouri. A friend of mine has a neighbor that owns a large piece of property populated with several small, to medium, sized ponds. One in particular was a short drive down a lane behind the owners house. After a visit to ask permission, we towed my 16th aluminum boat down the edge of a cornfield to “the pond that never disappoints!” Shortly after shoving the boat off the trailer one of us was hooked up. After a few hours of late-afternoon/evening fishing we must have caught and released about 40 bass from 12 inches up to about 5lbs or so! There lies the beauty of these small waters. With little time, and some effort, we had an entertaining day of action. Most of the fish were caught on buzz baits which made the trip even more exciting!
I own both the fishing boat mentioned in the story plus a little 10ft “Pond Crawler.” The boat is a 1977 module I salvaged from a field where it was abandoned decades ago. I spent one winter, and less than $1,000, rebuilding and restoring both the boat and the $35HP Johnson on the back. The “Crawler” I picked up for $100 after it too was left on a pond bank filled with mud and moss. The point is you too can find these “gems”, and like precious stones, they too can be “shined up” and repurposed.
Of course, farm ponds are the perfect venue to take kids fishing and get them hooked on this sport we love. It only takes a trip or two to get them asking, “when can we go fishing again”? So keep an eye out for an older boat stashed in a field or a driveway, talk with the owner and make an offer. With an investment of time, work, and little bit of money, you too can be “Bassin’ On A Budget!”