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How to Tell If a Pond Has Fish

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Boat

  • Fish food

  • Fishing pole

  • Bait

  • Radar

A pond is a body of water shallow enough to support rooted plants. Ponds can be found in a variety of terrains and are very important to the life cycle and habitat of wildlife. Man-made ponds are often used for agricultural or irrigation purposes. Natural ponds often serve a wide range of animal species. However, not all ponds you see have fish in them as normally expected. There are a few subtle and no so subtle ways to find out if fish are in the water.

Paddle boat to the center of the pond and begin to spread (throw) fish food on the top of the water. Sit in the boat and patiently wait to see if you notice small nips at the water's edge--this is usually fish feeding like you would see in a fish bowl. Or walk around the banks of the pond throwing feed out and observe if the fish begin to feed. If you see boils in the water (where the water seems to bubble or ripple), most likely it was caused by a fish rolling in the water or a fin breaking the top of the water's edge.

Add live or artificial bait to fishing pole and begin to fish the pond. Start with artificial bait first and work the bank area of the pond. Bass, a fish most commonly found in ponds, like to feed off the banks. Use another pole for live worms or chum bait and, using a bobber attached to the line, throw the line into the water as far out as you want. The bobber will sit about 2 to 3 feet above the hook and bait and will go under water as a fish starts to bite the bait. if you notice the bobber moving around the water, chances are you have a fish.

Turn the radar depth finder on as you move your boat through the water. It makes the fish easier to find as you circle the pond. This is used in most fishing tournaments on lakes but can also work well in ponds. The machine bounces a signal off the bottom of the pond and radar picks up any movement or objects that may be underneath.