Fishing Tips
Posted on February 11, 2020 9:15 AM by Landscape & Lakes
Categories: Committee News
I have been fishing the four Coles ponds for approximately a dozen years. Many changes have taken place that impacted fishing success in our ponds. Nature requires a delicate balance of water purity, water levels, weeds (both submergent and emergent), underwater structure such as logs and rocks, amphibians and fish species. If an eco-food web system is present, then fishing will be good. All of our ponds were restocked with new healthy fish in December. Golden Shiners, Bluegill and Hybrid Largemouth Bass were distributed in each pond based on acreage, species, size, the  existing fish community, and other factors. These are the fish species by pond location. Presently there are some large channel catfish in both Coles Pond and Coles Arbor. There are healthy Largemouth Bass in all four ponds. Bluegill and Shiners are also found in all four ponds.
Please do not ever introduce another species into our neighborhood ponds! Here are some examples of invasive species that we do not want yet were discovered in the ponds. We have found Butterfly Coy (carp) and Spotted Gar that were caught in Coles Pond. How did they get in there? Most likely a resident put them in the pond. The Gar are especially harmful to this culture and have been removed. There is a critical balance required especially in smaller one to two-acre ponds such as ours.
It should be noted that the average water depth is only three feet. There are a few seven to eight feet deep pools around the fountains, but the ponds are simply very shallow. The location dictates lure or bait success. Here are some basic tips for fishing in our ponds.
Fan Casting for bass has proven successful. A lot of water along a bank can be covered quickly that way. The first goal should always be to find the fish and determine what pattern they like on that day. Do the bass seem to bite when you are slowly moving your lure through the water? Do they want a faster aggressive retrieve? What color lure do they like? Safely walk along the bank and cast several times from 9 to 3 o’clock until you discover a hungry bass. Where you find one, there should be others so cast more in that area.
Structure will hold fish. Some examples of structure are the gazebo in Coles Pond and the fishing pier at Coles Mills. Both of these locations offer cover or protection for smaller bluegill and are great spots for bass to ambush their prey. The best way to catch Bluegill is to use a small hook, split shot weight and a bobber. Bluegill  like live baits such as worms. Berkley Gulp Powerbait maggots or mealworms also work well.
Some bass lures that work well here are spinner baits, top water lures such as Zara Spook or Rapala Skitter Pop, and plastic frogs.  Cast and work these lures  around weed beds. The greatest success with top water lures can be experienced in the morning or evening hours. If it is a bright and sunny day always use shiny gold or silver bladed spinner lures. If it is overcast, stormy or dark, use darker colored lures. Texas and Carolina rigs with plastic worms work well along the bottom and suspended live baits also prove successful. Don’t use deep diving crank baits or lures. The shallow silt and muddy bottom and branches will cause hang ups and poor results.
Here are a few regulations we recommend that you follow. We need to keep our ponds clean. Always carry away or discard garbage correctly. Pick-up all plastic, cans, styrofoam and fishing line that you find around the water. Treat our ponds with respect. Fishing the Coles ponds does not require a Texas fishing license and remember that our ponds are “Catch and Release Only”. Use barbless hooks when possible. Let us all preserve our fish and allow them to mature. It is more fun to catch a greater number and large fish so please carefully remove the hook and put them back into the water quickly. Lastly, please do not use seine bait nets or bluegill as live bait for bass. Have a great day fishing!
Steven Teel
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