Retention Pond Bass Fishing Tips

Catch bass in a retention pond. Storm water retention ponds hold a lot of bass. This type of pond usually has a steep bank that has been cleared of brush and weeds. This makes for easy access to the water.

Storm water retention ponds hold a lot of bass. This type of pond usually has a steep bank that has been cleared of brush and weeds. This makes for easy access to the water. The problem is the bass are hard to find and harder to catch. Any water weeds that remain often only extend a few feet out from shore before the water gets to deep for them to grow. To make things even worse the bottoms are often flat without any obvious structure. You are more likely to find an old tire than you are an under water stump, and this means the bass could be anywhere at any depth.

The most effective way to fish retention ponds for bass is to stay mobile. Many of these ponds are small enough to walk all the way around. Cast along the shore as well as out into the middle. It is not uncommon to find bass within a few feet of shore. Take note of the depth and speed of the cast when you catch one. Sometimes a pattern will develop so double your efforts around areas that the storm water run-off enters the pond. This is especially true after a rain storm.

Spinner baits are a retention pond fisherman's best friend. Their versatility is unmatched. A fast retrieve will keep them at the surface. Slow the speed down and they can be fished at any depth. They can even be slow rolled across the bottom. The spinner baits safety pin shape help keep them from getting hooked on weeds or what ever is on the bottom. Use spinner bait with a large blade, as this style disturbers the most water even at a slow speed. These characteristics make a spinner bait the perfect lure to find bass in open water retention ponds. Often a short pause is what is needed to entice the bass to strike.


Crank baits like the Rattle-Trap are very effective at dawn and dusk. Silver/chrome sided with black or blue tops are popular lure colors. The colors are supposed to mimic the bait fish that bass love to eat. Rip the lure with your rod tip during a stead retrieve. This will create a darting action similar to a real minnow.

Soft plastics are no secret to the bass fisherman. While the standard methods of using them work well in a retention pond a few tricks can improve their success rate. Peg a sinker about 18 inches up from the hook with a toothpick. Above the sinker you should have two beads on the line. These will rattle against the sinker during the retrieve. Bass will hit the worm as it falls through the water. Keep your eye on the line for irregular movements.

After it hits the bottom let it settle for a ten count. Make the worm hop across the bottom with your rod tip during the retrieve. If there are some lily pads or hydrilla that has made it to the surface cast beyond it. Do not let the soft plastic sink rather swim it across the top of the vegetation. As it reaches the other side stop, and let it fall to the bottom at the edge. This trick should be tried at any holes or empty spots in the weed bed.

Retention ponds are overlooked by most bass fishermen. These sides of the road ponds can be filled with bass. While others are fishing over-crowded lakes you can have a pond to yourself. That is enough reason to keep a rod in you car for the trip home from work.

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Josh Vandamm
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Posted on Oct 18, 2016