As of Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Ponds are the underdogs of Idaho’s fishing waters, but acre-for-acre, they can provide as much fishing opportunity as Idaho’s famed destinations.
“Ponds get a lot of use, and we really like to put fish in them,” fisheries biological aide Jamie Carpenter said. “I love ponds because everybody can fish them, young and old, and they make fun, quick fishing trips.”
Ponds are in prime condition during spring. Their waters typically warm fast, which makes fish active and conditions perfect for stocking trout, which Fish and Game crews are doing. Thousands of catchable rainbow trout are added weekly to a variety of ponds throughout the state.
Carpenter recently stocked trout in ponds near Caldwell, and she explained that although they are productive and convenient places to catch trout, the prime trout-fishing period can be surprisingly short.
“We have a fairly narrow window between when they’re covered with ice during winter and get too warm in summer to stock trout,” she said.
Some ponds are too warm for trout as early as June, but most last into July, or even August. However, many ponds also have bass, catfish and panfish, which are more tolerant of warm water than trout.
Fish and Game has many online resources for anglers. The Fishing Planner provides an overview of all the state’s fishing waters in each region, including ponds. Many ponds are classified as Family Fishing Waters, which means they have the same fishing rules and bag limits. Before you go, you can also see the latest stocking schedules so you know when it most recently got a fresh batch of trout and when the next round is planned.
The Fishing Planner will also tell you what fish you’re likely to find in a pond, and if you’re taking kids fishing, ponds with bluegill can provide a lot of angling action for kids with short attention spans. Many ponds located in parks and are adjacent to playgrounds and other activities for kids, so they can fish for a while then go play in the park.
Experienced anglers should not overlook them. Despite fishing pressure, ponds can produce some surprisingly large fish, particularly bass and catfish.