Approximately 80% of the total land area of our great state is considered rural (this means that around 20% is considered metropolitan).
On the flip side, around 82% of the state’s population lives in the comparatively small metropolitan areas. So what does this mean to you? Well, since the majority of the activities we enjoy (hunting, shooting, camping, fishing, boating, off-roading) occur in the rural areas this means that you’re probably thinking that there is not much to do where you live. As far as hunting goes you’re probably right but for fishing there are countless small community lakes throughout the state where you can catch a fish.
Let’s start with where you can fish inside the city limits before we get into how to chase the fish in these waters. Have you ever driven by your local park, jogging trail, or university and noticed a small body of water in the middle of it and wondered if it was fishable. Chances are it is and if you have any questions check the link below which divides the state into regions, showing the community fishing lakes for each. I checked it and there are a couple small lakes within 5 minutes of my office.
Keep in mind that these are small bodies of water. The vast majority of these lakes are around an acre in surface area, occasionally you’ll see one that is over ten acres but it is rare. Don’t expect to go launch you bass boat on these, but some might allow small craft you can launch from the bank (kayak, canoe, float tube) but check before you go. Plan to spend most of your time walking the bank and making multiple casts to any likely fish holding structure.
As far as what to use, think small. It’s possible that these lakes might have a large bass living in them but don’t count on it. Go with medium action spinning gear so you can throw light lures a long distance or place the lure precisely if needed.
Baits of choice should be something that imitates small minnows, creature baits rigged weightless, or tiny poppers. These small ponds won’t support large populations of forage fish so the bass in them rely more on other food sources than their large reservoir cousins. Don’t be afraid to use live bait either.
If you can’t get away for a long weekend on the lake, ran out of gas money for the boat, or it hasn’t rained so long that your local boat launch is 100 yards from water then it might be worth a few minutes to check the lake in the local park to see if the fish are willing to bite. It beats sitting at home and doing yard work.