Sports

How early morning or late afternoon fishing creates pond magic

These summer days are meant for late-day pond fishing.

I write this as the day is morphing into a cricket-laden night. It is humid and stale and windless breeze. It is during these days in early summer when the need to find a pond and the magic within is greatest. For this boy, summer has always meant the tranquility of a very still and quiet pond and the opportunity to fish late in the day and early in the morning. This only happens in summer on a pond.

With the heating of the days, fish become slower and they move to cooler waters. They like being in deeper waters or waters bordered by shade. They become somewhat lethargic with the heat and feeding is constrained to the early and to the late of a day.

In the afternoon, the best fishing technique is to cast a popper or a top-water lure from shallow to deep and use a constant action or commotion created on retrieve. This creates a true predatory response to a feeding bass. Casting these lures is all about repetition and creating a frenzy of sorts that may bring a bass into range.

I like to transition to these popper-style plugs during the last half-hour of the day, taking advantage of the immediate coolness and the approach of shadows onto a pond. With a lure cast in clean water and gently retrieved, this sometimes elicits a strike from a bass that is mostly full of splash and twists and predatory energy, leaving much turbulence on what were calm waters.

Eventually, all that is hot during the day cools at night.

Morning fish seek to find the early worm.

Strategies in the morning are as simple as using a plastic worm or a popper lure to create a splash and noise.

Fishing nearby structures, whether it is an overflow pipe or sunken tree or exposed rock, are good places to begin. Smaller baitfish, minnows and tadpoles congregate here.

Early morning fishing can be one of the most productive times to fish in the summer. The cool and darkness of night, rejuvenates fish with energy not found during the day. Fishing can be intense with bass chasing prey all the way to the mud of a bank and it is not uncommon for two or more bass to follow a pulled lure, as if they are jockeying for who will eat the lure, first.

Together, late afternoon fishing and early morning fishing, from a pond, offers anglers the opportunity to fish a transition. This change represents the phenomenon of a setting sun and the coolness of shade or the early parts of the day, when dark and cool give way to heat and the sun. Either way, fishing time on a pond in the summer can be productive, despite the heat and unpleasantness of humidity. By weathering the day, anglers can find good success by casting when conditions change and being ready early, when feeding bass prowl before the heat of the day.

Enjoy your time outdoors. hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com

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