How to “read” a pond?

It’s no secret that the impressive results of the fishermen are long hours of preparation, mental work, trial and error. There is such an expression: “read a pond”. So, only competently “having read a reservoir,” having analyzed a specific fishing situation and making the appropriate conclusions, you can count on a rich catch. Today, the conversation will focus on the principles of studying the reservoir.

Find the key to fish better in the company with someone else. Because a single angler can be sure that he already knows everything about his favorite pond. The fish bite well and consistently. But the next fishing, it turns out that you can catch more here!

This is evidenced by the excellent catch of another fisherman, who was sitting next door. And if after this the person thought about the reasons of what happened, then he is on the right way! This is the main benefit of collective fishing. Comparing your results with the results of other anglers, to draw the right conclusions, you can improve your own skill.

I must say that it is rarely possible to learn the water from the first time. Even if you’ve been fishing here once before, then there is a high probability that the situation has already changed. The size of the fish and its concentration, and perhaps the species composition, could change. Activity, time of approach to the bait, distribution horizon – all this changes from case to case, even from day to day.

But if you are in a new unfamiliar place, then you will have to think even more, before there is clarity and your catches will start to surprise others.

I will talk about how I prepare for responsible competitions. These are detailed schemes, which, at first glance, may seem too complicated. Do not be scared! Some of the stages in the study of the reservoir can be combined, and most often this is what happens. For example, you can combine the search for the optimal distance of catching with the identification of the reaction of the fish to supplementary feeding, with its preferences for baits.

I hope that you will adapt this information to yourself, and draw useful conclusions.

Step one: What is a pond?

This is the starting point in the fisheries analyst. At this stage, I just note for myself the general information about the pond:

  • The size of the water area;
  • Current strength, if any;
  • The origin of the reservoir (natural, artificial);
  • Depth (at least approximately);
  • Species composition of underwater inhabitants;
  • The approximate temperature and transparency of the water at the moment.

This information can be known from previous fishing or obtained from other people. Based on all these data, I outline possible tactical schemes and collect a set of gear for the forthcoming departure. For example, a fast river will need a set of flat floats of different carrying capacity. Of course – a weighty depth. It will also be necessary to have enough sticky bait and clay, as well as gravel – to weight the river mix.

Going to the carp fishing, I will certainly bring with me strong gear; take a few types of pellets, a can of another corn, not less than 100 grams of sorrel, protein dough and some nutritious bait.

By itself, the size of the water area already allows you to draw some preliminary conclusions. In general, on large water bodies, fishing are often more interesting than at small ones, whether it is a lake or a river. Why? If you do not take into account the rechargeable paid ponds, then the larger the water area – the greater the chances of catching a large fish. It’s very simple: on small reservoirs a good fish, especially rare species, gets out faster. High fishing pressure does not allow it to restore the population.

The type of pond is important to know for two more reasons. Firstly, naturally occurring lakes have a more uniform bottom relief. Whereas in reservoirs, various bottom anomalies may occur: alternating silt and sand, flooded grooves and the like. This leads to the unequal, it would seem, similar sections of the reservoir.

With flowing reservoirs, the picture is different. Channels usually dig fairly smoothly. Rivers, as is known, are always inhomogeneous in relief, unless the person has changed their channel.

Secondly, in my practice, it often turned out that the fish behaved bolder in rivers and large lakes, and often a need arose in sensitive gear. But in reservoirs and canals, especially those near the city, fish have to “persuade”.

Step two: Choosing the distance

Consider the choice of distance for fishing in the classical reservoir, where the depth gradually increases from shore to depth. No, no pimples and steps, for which one could “catch”. The flow is weak or absent. First of all, I take into account the kind of fish I want to catch. It is clear that it is useless to wait for bait biting under the shore. Exceptions are rare.

If the target fish is carp, then a short distance, immediately behind the coastal vegetation, can prove to be a winning tactic. But this is provided that fishing takes place in muddy water. In cases where water is transparent, even roach reluctantly approaches the shore, not to mention carp.

In the spring, the short distance becomes more promising, while in the fall the fish goes back to the depths. It’s the same in the summer: if the weather was warm, then it turned sharply colder, then the fish is likely to move away from the shore.

In training before the competition I determine the working distance by experiment. To do this, I am preparing universal bait, which would attract different types of fish. Adjustments will be made only afterwards. First I need to decide on what distance from the coast I will catch, and accordingly what tackle. In the course of fishing, it becomes clear what fish dominates here and now (if there is no such information).


I start with feeding several points at a different distance from the shore with an equal volume of the same bait. I throw five balls of ground bait to a 13-meter distance and five balls to an 8-meter distance. Then I shoot a dozen balls from the slingshot for a long distance. This can be 20 and 30 m – depending on the situation.

In this experiment, it is very important to pay equal attention to all distances fed. Say, 15 minutes I’m half at one point, 15 minutes on the second, and the same on the third. Then again on the first one. All points are fed at regular intervals. Well, then, after two or three hours, conclusions are drawn: on what distance was more luck. If the fish is all the same size, without “bonuses”, then you can simply consider the number of fish caught at different distances.

An amendment is made to adequate anglers if they are sitting next door. In fact, even on water bodies with a perfectly flat top of the bottom, the concentration of fish differs from place to place. Somewhere there was a predator, not allowing a peaceful fish to come. Somewhere at the bottom lay a dead fish and poisoned the water. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to neighbors, from whom the distance worked.

Step three: What kind of fish should I bet on?

It may happen that, for example, at a long distance bream bream, and on the nearest roach. It is clear that it is more interesting to catch big fish. But if, say, a fish weighing 300-500 grams bites rarely, and 100-150 one, one, then the angler-athlete, without hesitation, will choose to fish for the near point. Although, of course, it’s more interesting to catch bigger fish.

But let’s say that the optimal distance is already defined, and different fish are caught on it. Then I try to separate the fish of different species, and see which fish to catch more profitable. Perhaps, if you adjust the bait slightly, change the bait; it turns out that the result can be much better.

To conduct such an experiment, I again feed two points – left and right in front of me. The distance can be 3-4 meters or more. Now I’m using different baits that have a selective effect for a particular species of fish. This does not mean that a bait with the inscription “roach” is applied to the left, and “bream” on the right. Important is not the inscription on the package, but the specific properties of the bait: nutritional value, weight, stickiness, particle size, color.

Naturally, such an experiment is possible only in standing water bodies or on a slow flow. On a fast river the bait “blows away” in one line, and it will be impossible to draw any conclusions. As an option – compare the results with a partner sitting above or below the flow.

The presence of a perch on the bait signals the absence of white fish. Perhaps, the bait used now does not interest her. This situation is especially typical in competitions, when competition between bait is big.

Step four: Select bait

If we are talking about baits, then it should be noted that in this respect the preferences of fish are very dependent on the water body. In many reservoirs the bloodworm works best. Especially if the object of fishing is not a large fish. In general, the bloodworm is effective where the fish is familiar with it. And this, first of all, ponds with a silted bottom.

The effectiveness of any bait is enhanced when it is included in the bait. Over time, the fish thoroughly accustomed to the proposed delicacy and responds to it better than the natural food of the reservoir. On some reservoirs can be effective plant nozzles. Summary is: going to an unfamiliar pond, take with you more different baits. This will greatly increase your chances of success!

Step five: What to feed, how to feed?

What should I look for here? The first is the water temperature. The water is colder, the lower the nutritional value of the bait. Feeding a bucket of “fat” bait, there is a risk to remain at all without bites. The most chance is to overfeed passive fish.

Reduce the nutritional value of bait can be added by adding soil to it. True, this is not always good. A more interesting addition for smaller fish is coconut cake. A large active fish in warm water is almost impossible to overfeed. On the contrary – the bait should be nourishing, to keep the fish on the point.

How to read a pond

Second, we take into account the transparency of the water. It largely depends on temperature. The transparency is higher, the better the bait of dark tones or even black. This is especially critical when catching roach. On the contrary, in muddy water, and if the target fish is bream – it will be more effective bait, creating a contrast at the bottom: yellow, and in some cases – white.

You can use the already painted bait, and you can change the color of the feed mixture independently with the help of a special dye.

In summer, in muddy water, most fish respond well to a splash from a falling ball of bait, identifying it as a signal to “eat served.” However, in shallow water, careful fish can be frightened away in this way. In such cases, it would be wiser to toss the friable food with a slingshot, creating peculiar acoustic crackles on the surface of the water.

The frequency of complementary feeding is determined experimentally. You can do this in parallel with the previous steps. There are general patterns. So, on the rivers, any fish almost always “responds” to intensive supplementation. But if you catch in standing water, for example, tench, then it will be safer to give up feeding altogether or do it very carefully.

If I need to feed the mixture instantly began to attract fish, then I mold the balls with a little effort. Then immediately after the fall, the bait starts to “dust”. True, such “explosive” balls quite quickly stop working. So sometimes I make combined bait. A few balls compressed very tightly, somewhat with medium strength, and somewhat weakly compressed.

The amount of water added to the bait is a key point that allows changing its operation in a wide range. In general, the main thing is to know how to change the work of bait and what it will lead to, and then everything is determined by comparing the results.

Step six: Adjusting gear

Now, when the distance is determined, the target fish and bait, you can experiment with the gear. On an unfamiliar pond I try to find out to what extent it is possible to use a coarse tackle. After all, there is no point in catching ultra-thin fishing lines, small hooks and micro floats, if the fish does not bite better.

On fishing, immediately after the starting casting of bait, when everything is boiling at the bottom of the particles of feed, you can try to catch a few centimeters above the bottom. And only when all the dregs settle down, adjust the descent so that the bait was almost at the bottom.

Adjustment in the rig should also be made in view of weather conditions. Catching in the calm, when the fish is cautious, implies easier tackles. In windy weather, with the advent of the wave, the fish starts taking bolder. And it is more convenient for us to work with a heavier rigging.

And one moment. If the float is poorly visible on the water, then perhaps you should put a different color. Absolutely not the fact that the red-orange antenna float will be seen best. It must be borne in mind that on a light background, when the sun is in front of you, the black antenna of the float is better visible. On the dark background of the reflected forest, the yellow color of the float is better seen.

Leave a Reply