When March rolls around each spring it is time to march down to the banks of your favorite farm pond and enjoy some good bassinâ€™ action.
Yes, there may be icy, snowy days when fishing will be poor in northern Oklahoma. Winter often hangs around for a while in some parts of our state. But a spell of mild, sunny weather can also trigger some excellent farm pond bass fishing.
I used to be the outdoor editor for a Tulsa newspaper and my job allowed me to spend a lot of time with a fishing pole in my hands. There were several years when I logged more than 100 days a year on the water, and I usually kept a journal with details about when and how fish were caught, weather conditions, and more.
Year after year, I found that those nice days in March, when the sun was shining and the temperatures were in the 60s or higher, produced topnotch bass fishing in farm ponds.
A friend and I one March day fished three ponds south of Tulsa and noticed that on all three ponds we caught more bass on the downwind sides of the ponds than on the upwind sides. We speculated that the sun-warmed surface water was blowing to the downwind side and that maybe the fish were more active there because of it.
So I purchased a small probe thermometer and began checking water temperatures at various spots in ponds as I fished them.
Sure enough, on sunny spring days the water was often several degrees warmer on downwind shorelines than it was on the upwind side. With few exceptions, the fishing action was better in the warmer areas. Keeping that in mind served me well on many later fishing trips. It still does.
It was even more pronounced when the wind was from the south and the shallower portions of the ponds were on their north sides. On ponds like that, the difference in temperatures between the colder south sides and the warmer north sides could be 12 degrees or more!
The winds and weather are fickle in March in Oklahoma. One day the wind comes howling down from the north at 40 mph and the next day thereâ€™s a gentle southerly breeze, or vice versa. We can have temperatures in the 70s, even 80s, or the seasonâ€™s worst blizzard can hit us with snow.
But when we luck out and get those little spells of sun and warmth, farm pond bassinâ€™ can be terrific.
Spinnerbaits, or small Beetle Spin type spinners, can be great lures when the bass are prowling the sun-warmed shallows. I also have a lot of luck with small jigs and plastic grubs at this time of year.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board says that it is estimated there are more than 200,000 farm ponds in our state. Many of them are loaded with bass. And at this time of year, when females are carrying a belly full of eggs, it can be your best shot at catching some rod-bending lunkers that weigh even more than theyâ€™ll weigh later in the year.
Farm pond bass fishing is a great way to spend a sunny springtime Saturday in Oklahoma, but our state is blessed with many large reservoirs as well. Many large lakes also offer great bass fishing possibilities, so letâ€™s look at some other spots where youâ€™re likely to enjoy some exciting bass fishing action this year.