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So I’ve been pond hopping around MA a ton this spring, and I’ve found some pretty good holes, but I’m wondering what kind of features you guys look for when scouting out bass ponds?

 

I’m looking to really grind it out this year and try to break my PB of 8 pounds, but I’m not really sure how to narrow down my search. I’ve seen 6+ pounders swimming around in swamps and I’ve been to amazing looking ponds where nothing is over 1 pound.

 

My question is, if you’re online scouting a new pond, what are some features you look for that could increase your odds of finding big bass?

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Frogs and hornedpout and a lack of pickerel.

Though HanoverStripers response gave me a thought.  There is a pond on the palmer river that I used to fish religeously when I was a kid and I never caught a decent sized bass there despite there being a herring run.. but the herring run itself was mostly weed choked and broken.  Rarely would we see herring in the upper part.  They all died below the falls.

Well they fixed the herring run like 10 years ago or more now.

I wonder if it would be worth launching a canoe and trying it out again.
 

DITCH TROLL
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3 hours ago, Zach Lalonde said:

So I’ve been pond hopping around MA a ton this spring, and I’ve found some pretty good holes, but I’m wondering what kind of features you guys look for when scouting out bass ponds?

 

I’m looking to really grind it out this year and try to break my PB of 8 pounds, but I’m not really sure how to narrow down my search. I’ve seen 6+ pounders swimming around in swamps and I’ve been to amazing looking ponds where nothing is over 1 pound.

 

My question is, if you’re online scouting a new pond, what are some features you look for that could increase your odds of finding big bass?

I've not caught a 6 lb bass here in MA since I moved here - a good handful of 4-5 lber's,,,,but with that said, almost all of my above average sized bass have come from rivers, not ponds

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Doesn't the mass pin program post the water body each pin fish comes from?

You could do a search to see if pins have come from the same pond multiple times.

 

I'm no bass fishermen by any means. My 8 lb best bass came ice fishing for trout in a pond that rarely gives up 4 lbers. Dumb luck is good to have occasionally. 

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I look for ponds that are hard to get to and lack boat ramps.  Mainly because I find it more enjoyable to fish.
 

Any pond that holds big bait should hold big bass too.  Big bait could be anything from a solid spawning population of white perch to adult golden shiners to herring.  But remember adult herring are only around for a short period.  When the pond gets flooded with herring fry, it’ll become maddening trying to weed out big bass on small bait.  
 

I just started getting back into freshwater 2 years ago and love the peacefulness of being on a pond a first/last light.  

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6 hours ago, pogie_boy said:

and a lack of pickerel

My biggest bass come from ponds that have giant slime darts.  I think the big pickerel keep the bass from overpopulating and becoming stunted.

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I've always found that the ticket for your best shot at a NE trophy bass can be a pond with known large forage and minimal fishing pressure. A secluded pond with no boat ramp and decent depth/structure should hold good sized bass. A pond with easy access and a boat ramp that sees anglers doing laps around the pond flipping banks 5+ days of the week is more likely to have lockjaw trophy bass.

 

This also contributes to my theory why many people's PB came through the ice on live bait in a pond that they didn't think had large bass just like @mikez2 is because the biggest bass are extremely picky and not so easily fooled by artificials after seeing them non stop most of the year and then in the dead of winter a shiner looks pretty appetizing. 

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19 hours ago, Zach Lalonde said:

My question is, if you’re online scouting a new pond, what are some features you look for that could increase your odds of finding big bass?

 

The biggest bass that I've seen in person (didn't catch myself) was a 9 lber from a trout pond....took up the whole cooler!  Absolutely massive fish.  This guy was a trophy hunter and spent all afternoon casting at obvious structure again + again with giant baits.  Long hours + sore shoulders with mostly catching nothing....interspersed with random moments of hooking a trophy.

 

So, I think for really big bass....stocked trout are high up there on the menu.  Some of those trout just aren't very smart & they make a large protein snack for the bass.  About 10 yrs ago(?), mass changed the trout feed.  They used to stock alot of really small bite sized trout - some still with parr markings.  That changed with the new feed.  Now, the trout are considerably larger (on average) which means the biggest bass that can choke down a 12" trout get even bigger.

 

Other forage is good tho, too - big wild shiners, panfish, herring, frogs - whatever.  Bass will eat anything they can choke down.

 

Another factor which used to be more important is depth.  Years ago, we used to get very hard freezes which could sometimes create fish kills in shallow ponds....we've had milder winters lately so that's less of a problem that it used to be.  But some depth for bass to winter over is helpful.

 

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1 hour ago, z-man said:

Most of the lakes and ponds in this state are so heavily pressured. You really just need to put in a ton of time to catch something big or get extremely lucky. 

HUH?  There are a ton of ponds that get 0 pressure if your willing do the work.  Ponds on the cape get very little pressure once the salt season starts.  

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1 hour ago, FoulHooker said:

HUH?  There are a ton of ponds that get 0 pressure if your willing do the work.  Ponds on the cape get very little pressure once the salt season starts.  

Keep dreaming. 

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50 mins ago, z-man said:

Keep dreaming. 

You clearly don't get out much.  Cape ponds are some of the most productive in the entire state with more then two handfuls of ponds that are stocked and have herring runs flowing into them.  Why would I be dreaming?  Seems like you have a hard time catching anyting.

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19 mins ago, FoulHooker said:

You clearly don't get out much.  Cape ponds are some of the most productive in the entire state with more then two handfuls of ponds that are stocked and have herring runs flowing into them.  Why would I be dreaming?  Seems like you have a hard time catching anyting.

This is what you wrote. It’s complete BS:

 There are a ton of ponds that get 0 pressure if your willing do the work. 

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