August is not a terribly fun month to fish. There’s a reason it’s called “dog days.” Most of the fish at our bigger, man-made reservoirs have been under tremendous pressure. They’ve seen thousands of buzzbaits and floating worms the past two months.
With fishing as tough as it is, it only makes sense that it’s a good time to take advantage of pond fishing — your pond, your neighbor’s pond, your friend’s pond — any pond where you’ve got permission to fish.
The weather is still hot, but smaller lakes and ponds haven’t had the pressure that big, man-made lakes have experienced, and, generally, they hold larger populations of fish per acre than major reservoirs. They’re worth taking advantage of, as long as you don’t go out thinking you’re going to catch ’em like it’s March.
I’d start fishing for bass because at most ponds you have that option. And you can have some exceptional topwater fishing at lakes that haven’t had a lot of pressure — although pressure at big lakes is incredible most of the better-weather months.
You still can have great fishing days during August using big buzzbaits, Pop-Rs, and plugs such as a big Woodchopper. The fishing can be excellent early and late.
Depending on the pond — some have timber, some vegetables — different patterns will work. A lot of it is what you have available.
Typically, you aren’t going to catch fish with your deep cranking stuff like you will in bigger lakes. You’re going to be fishing more big plastic worms, jigs and spinnerbaits — baits you wouldn’t typically use at big lakes during August.
If you’re at a pond or small lake that has any sort of vegetation, I would start there early in the morning, and as the sun gets up pretty good, I’d go to the dam area, usually the deepest water in the lake.
One thing that’s really neat is that at a pond some of the old-school lures will work really well, stuff like Jitterbugs, Devil’s Horse, big spinnerbaits, big buzzbaits, Woodchoppers.
A lot of fishermen do most of their pond fishing from the bank. But at a lot of ponds, you can fish from a johnboat, a canoe or a little boat like a Bass Hunter.
There’s an old saying about how to fish at ponds — if you’re in a boat, cast to the bank, but if you’re on the bank, cast as far out as you can.
The other thing you can do at most ponds is fish for bream. If you’re not doing well with bass, you can absolutely bream fish.
They’ll spawn several times during the summer, and if you’re near the full moon, it’s a great time. There’s nothing fancy about it. You can fish anything with anything from a cane pole to a fiberglass crappie rod to an ultralight spinning outfit or a fly rod.
Live bait such as crickets and red worms are hard to beat. Some fishermen swear by nightcrawlers.
When you break out a fly rod, you can fish small cork popping bugs or rubber and plastic spider imitations. Beetle-spins and other tiny spinners, or even tiny crankbaits, can produce great panfish results with ultra-light equipment.
Given my background, I’d probably try bass fishing first, but bream is another thing that almost everyone can do — and you need to do it during the dog days of August.
And remember largemouth bass will start to stir and move around a little bit when September and cooler temperatures get here.
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