If you are like me, you love to fish at the drop of a hat. While I do plan fishing trips, I also like to go on a whim.
Sometimes the urge strikes out of nowhere and I get up and go right now. Or, maybe I want to stop on the way home from work (or go instead of work like any bass fisherman worth his salt would do).
But then again, living in the city, there are not many places I can get to quickly enough to accommodate this habit. Most of the lakes in my area are over an hour's drive away, which is reasonable unless you are in a hurry.
After being frustrated by this, I decided to start a campaign to help scratch the itch a little bit. Talking to people didn't help much because very few of them were privy to any local fishing holes. So I turned to the Internet.
Bingo. I discovered a bunch of local parks that had ponds in them stocked with largemouth bass and catfish. So with that information and the help of Yahoo maps, I set out to learn every fishing hole in every local park that I could find. I'm still working on it.
While this was a sacrifice from actually heading out to the lake, this did help scratch the itch somewhat. Some of the ponds I found in the local parks ranged from 3 to 7 acres and were absolutely beautiful. One of the best kept secrets in my city.
In fact, I actually met people IN those parks who either did not know the ponds were stocked, and some didn't even know the ponds were there because they were back off the beaten path.
Admittedly, the fishing can be slow, but it is fishing and I do catch fish from time to time. Just the other day I went to one beautiful little pond hidden in the back of a local park and landed myself a little 2 pound bass (I don't think the bass appreciated my hugs and kisses). Trust me, that was enough to keep the interest up for a few more trips!
Another thing I discovered was some of the local creeks. There are all kinds of fish in them, including bass, catfish, bream and carp (don't tell me about the carp - if you never caught a big one, you are really missing something).
A good addition to your local fishing is privately owned ponds. Sometimes, if you get to know the owners, they will let you fish in there ponds, as long as you respect their property. There are probably more of these privately owned ponds than you realize. Some are open to the public and charge admission and/or require you to be a member of a club to get in. Check into it - it could be well worth it.
So, don't let the fishing blues get you down. If you don't have time to make the trip out to your favorite lake, try one of the local ponds. Especially if you have kids. These parks are a great place to break in a young angler.
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