Georgia-Florida Fishing Report - Fishing Tips, Trips, Tricks and Techniques
Farm ponds produce bigger bass in spring
By Robert Alan Richardson

There are fishermen and then there are the true addicts like cohorts Alvin Richardson and Steve Cisson.  These two boys have a serious problem when it comes to fishing.  Not only do they fish a lot together, they are two of the best in Morgan County at pond fishing for monster largemouth bass.  There are many aliases fishermen use for these massive fish of the deep including pig, hog, hawg, basszilla, fatty, sow, lunker, toad, football, leviathan, donkey, and big momma to name a few.  These two guys have caught their fair share of big fish and have access to almost every farm pond in the county.  It doesn’t take much nudging from the other to take off fishing anytime simply because they can.  Most of you know Cisson as the athletic director and former coach at MCHS who has been answering the bell for 40 years.  Richardson is also well-known as a retired head football coach, assistant principal, and principal for the Morgan County school system as well as a weekly columnist for the Morgan County Citizen. 
Here’s what Richardson had to say about his addiction to pond fishing, “The big reservoirs get all the ink, but if you want to catch more and bigger largemouth, you need to attack the small farm ponds in your area.  Pond fishing is much less expensive and about all you need is a small aluminum boat, trolling motor and battery, a bait-casting reel spooled with 12 pound test line (his choice), and a well-stocked tackle box.”  His lures of choice in the spring are mostly tried and true ones that have been used for years to entice the predators you are seeking.  Plastic worms are his go-to baits with several colors on the menu including Zoom u-tail or curly tail worms in these colors: june bug, red shad, green pumpkin seed, and moccasin blue.  He is also partial to the bubble gum colored floating trick worms that have been a staple of his for many years. 
Cisson chimed in with these remarks, “Alvin and I have fished just about every body of water in the county, but when it comes to catching largemouth, you simply can’t beat farm ponds.  We fish a lot of the same lures like Zoom plastic worms fished on a Texas rig setup that are about as good as you can find.  I also like to use spinner baits and buzz baits in the spring, but I’ve found a new lure made by Rapala called a scatter rap.  It floats and when you jerk it, the plug goes under with a very erratic wobbling action to it.  I’ve caught three bass over eight pounds and six over seven pounds on this one lure this spring.  I like it and am looking forward to using it for hybrids and stripers on Lake Oconee especially when the fish are schooled up.”
No matter whether you are casting worms or Cisson’s new killer bait, this stretch of spring and early summer months is your best bet for taking a wall-hanger out of one of the hundreds of Morgan County farm ponds.

Special note:  Georgia’s biggest bass of all-time is the famous George Perry fish that weighed in at an astonishing 22 pounds, 4 ounces.  It was caught in 1932 at Montgomery Lake and no one has come close since then.  The second largest was an 18 pounds, 1 ounce fish that was taken from nearby Marben Farms in 1987.  Marben Farms (in Newton and Jasper Counties) has produced another one of the top 54 bass caught in Georgia with a number six all-time fish that hit the scales at 17 pounds, 4 ounces in 1990.  This is located in the Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center.   Most local anglers would agree that the largest bass ever taken in Morgan County was caught by Robert Hilsman in 1961 in a farm pond.  It stands at number 15 on the list registering 16 pounds, 2 ounces.  The Georgia Outdoor News published the list in this month’s issue where they featured a 17 pound, 9.6 ounce behemoth on March 30.  It is the largest recorded bass since 1987 and ranks fourth on their distinguished list.

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