Farms offer laid-back fishing at its best

OUTDOORS

May 22, 1994|By LONNY WEAVER

Ted Davis, a fishing pal from the Linthicum area, hijacked me last Saturday for a morning of bass and panfish fun on a farm not too far from Bristol, in the southeastern section of Anne Arundel County.

I am a big fan of farm pond angling and claim more fish per cast over the course of a year at these spots than probably any other hot spot in the region. It's laid-back fishing at its best.

Most farm ponds measure from one to maybe three acres. The one Davis and I enjoyed last weekend went about 2 1/2 acres and kept us busy. Largemouth bass and bluegills willingly hit just about anything we threw at them.

Davis fished about half the morning with an ultra-light spinning rig, then switched to an 8 1/2 -foot graphite flyrod throwing a delicate DT5F line. I did the reverse and began the day with an old friend, a 7 1/2 -foot fiberglass Fenwick flyrod that also uses a double taper 5 weight floating line, then switched to a light action graphite Shimano outfit loaded with 6-pound test mono.

I began casting a woolly worm around the edges of the pond and on my third cast nailed a fat bluegill. We had decided (with the pond owner's permission) to keep enough gills for dinner and this one certainly exceeded our self-imposed throwback minimum.

As my old Fenwick busily produced a half-dozen bluegills, Davis was battling a couple of largemouths on the opposite side of the pond.

He landed the first without any trouble on the whippy little rod, but a second hit snapped the jig and twistertail combo being used on the light 4-pound test line.

That's why I seldom use line lighter than 6 pounds for any angling except put-and-take trout in clear water. In fact, if I had to choose but one line for all my freshwater panfishing and smallmouth bass fishing, the nod would go to 6- or 8-pound mono, depending on conditions.

After nearly two dozen bluegills and a handful or so of small bass, my woolly worm was the worst for wear. That's when I switched to a small white sponge spider, and the action turned up another notch.

If you're new to pond fishing with a flyrod, grab a white sponge spider, and I will guarantee you of success regardless of how bad your casting may be. The spider has been my top bluegill medicine for a long, long time. Just toss it out in front of a 5 to 8 weight floating flyline, let it rest, give it a little twitch, let those long rubber legs dance and hold on!

By the time I had worked my way half around the pond with the white spider, it had taken on enough water to allow it to sink naturally just under the surface film. Those gills hit it with an appetite. If I had wanted to fish it high again, I'd simply squeeze the water out, false cast a couple of times and lay it back down on the surface.

Davis tied a fresh spider onto his tapered leader while I tied a 6-inch, motor oil-colored Power Worm directly to my spinning rod's mono line. The worm was rigged Texas style, with the hook buried to the side and a sliding cone sinker just heavy enough to slowly drop the lure to the bottom, pinned in place at the head of the worm with a toothpick.

On my fourth cast around a stand of cattails a nice 14- or 15-inch bass picked up the Power Worm and I set the hook. As I played the fish to the bank, Davis watched the action as he unhooked a jumbo-sized bluegill and held it up for me to see.

PD This is the kind of fun you can expect when working a farm pond.

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