Grassy Pond: June Bass With Finesse Tackle
This 250-acre Lowndes County pay lake is a good one for bass.
Another summer is upon us down in Georgia, and as you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet one of two things. Either you’re sitting in the air conditioning somewhere or you are wiping sweat from your brow in the heat. It’s hot in Georgia, and summer is just getting started.
But the good news for bass anglers is that there is a good bite happening at Grassy Pond in Lake Park, just outside of Valdosta and only a short ride down I-75.
Never heard of it?
Yes, unless you live somewhere nearby the lake, you probably have never heard of the place.
Owned by the military and part of the Moody Air Force Base, Grassy Pond is a nearly 600-acre area that is laid out similar to many Georgia State Parks. They have a campground, hiking, playgrounds for the kids and some great bass fishing.
At 250 acres, the lake will make any angler drool as they pull into the parking lot. Grassy Pond is a fisherman’s dream and well worth making a trip to south Georgia this month.
When we put Grassy Pond on the GON calendar for this month, I knew Davey Allen, of Naylor, would be the right man to give readers some insight as to how to fish the lake in June.
“I’ve fished Grassy Pond since I was a kid. It’s a great fishery that has only been open to the general public for the past few years. It used to be for the military and their families only. My stepdad was in the military, and we first started fishing here nearly 30 years ago,” said Davey.
And even though it’s not a big reservoir, don’t let Grassy Pond fool you, it’s home to some big bass. Davey managed to snag one of the lunkers that lurk in the lake.
“I caught an 11-lb., 1-oz. fish out of the lake, and there are plenty more way bigger. If you go in the little store next to the boat ramp, there are several pictures of fish that have been caught in the teens. Fish grow big in a hurry in the lake’s thick vegetation,” said Davey.
So when Davey told me the night before our trip to leave my heavy bass-fishing gear at home and to opt for a setup with some lighter line, I was a little confused.
Why in the world would I come to a big bass factory filled with heavy vegetation with a light spinning combo as my tool of choice?
I asked Davey that question while we unloaded our kayaks and prepared our gear.
“Pressure. These fish get hammered hard, and lighter equipment and smaller baits is something the fish aren’t used to seeing,” Davey said. “They see swim jigs, topwater frogs and big plastic worms by the hundreds. Throw a finesse worm at them, and they will eat it every time.”
We spent a few hours out on the lake, catching several nice fish before being pushed literally off the water by the wind. Here’s a breakdown of how Davey recommends fishing the lake in the month of June.
Tools Of The Trade
If power fishing and finesse fishing had a head-on collision, the ending result would be Davey’s tackle. Davey pairs a medium-heavy Berkley Cherrywood rod with an Abu Garcia Silver Max reel and spools it with 8-lb. Seaguar Red Label fluorocarbon line. It’s a strange pairing that proved to be perfect for the heavily pressured lake.
“You need that medium-heavy rod to get them away from some of the thicker vegetation. The 8-lb. fluorocarbon enables you to have plenty of sensitivity, and you can keep that drag a little tighter than you would with traditional finesse fishing gear. This setup is the best of both worlds for me,” said Davey.
Davey uses one lure for targeting the lake in June, opting for a Zoom Finesse Worm in a handful of colors.
“Most days I won’t bring anything else with me to Grassy Pond to fish with. If they aren’t biting the finesse worm, they probably aren’t going to bite anything else either,” said Davey.
Davey says you only need three colors for the lake, and they are black, junebug and cherry seed. Cherry seed can be hard to find, so Davey has resorted to special ordering his worms from Satilla Feed & Outdoors in Blackshear.
“You can find them on Facebook, they will special order anything for you, and either ship it to you or you can pick it up. It makes getting your special order fishing tackle much easier than searching for hours online,” said Davey.
Davey threads his finesse worm onto a 3/0 Owner worm hook and uses a 1/32-oz. slip sinker to complete the Texas rig.
“The hook is on the bigger side for a small worm, but it does a few things for you. First it gives you more strength when pulling on fish in the pads. Secondly it helps with connecting with fish that only grab the worm’s tail, and finally it gives the worm a spinning action as it falls, and that draws most of your strikes,” Davey added.
Davey says in his opinion, the side of the lake directly across from the boat ramp is tops for summer fishing.
“It slopes off pretty gentle over there from the edge of the thick pads, and there are lots of scattered pads that run way out into deeper water,” he said.
Davey prefers to start farther out from the main run of pads and focuses on the isolated pads in deeper water first. After positioning his kayak, Davey will make long casts to isolated pads in all directions.
“It’s that one stem out in no man’s land that will be holding a fish. The one pad that most anglers don’t even notice,” he said.
After making a long cast, Davey will slowly let his worm fall for 10 seconds or so, giving time for it to slowly fall to the bottom. After letting it sit for a second, Davey will pick it up, pause, then repeat. If he doesn’t get results after a few hops, he burns the worm back in and fires to another target.
“I’m finesse fishing, but I’m not trying to make the fish bite. I’m looking for aggressive fish that are ready to eat, and I will stay moving until I find them,” Davey said.
Davey recommends spending the first hour or so of your trip working your way through the isolated pads until you can find where the fish are holding. When you get a bite, it’s important to make a mental note of it.
“Most of the time, wherever you catch one, others will be holding in similar areas along the bank. If you catch a fish 15 yards off the main pads on an isolated pad stem, it’s pretty likely other fish will be holding up and down the bank in a similar place. It’s simple fishing, but you have to pay attention to details,” said Davey.
If Davey fails to get a bite, he will work his way into the pads, and that’s where his Kaku Wahoo kayak comes into play.
“I bought this thing a while back from Satilla Feed & Outdoors in Blackshear, and let me tell you, it’s a bass fishing machine. You can work your way over and through thick grass to fish those little holes in the lilies where bass like to hide,” Davey said.
If the pads fail to produce, Davey recommends turning your efforts to the two buoy type markers out in the lake.
“I don’t know what exactly the markers are, but I can tell you a long ditch runs between them where the water drops from 5 to 6 feet to 8 to 10 feet pretty quickly. If you have a depthfinder, you can see it on the graph, but you don’t have to have electronics to fish it. Visualize a ditch running from one marker to another, and make long casts across it. When you get bit, pay attention to where, because there will almost always be more fish holding in the area.”
Davey recommends fishing the worm slowly with short hops and working the entire length of the channel, saying there are almost always fish holding in and around the ditch throughout the summer months.
After a few hours of fishing, I managed to see the one major down fall of Grassy Pond, as the wind quickly picked up to 15 mph, making fishing nearly impossible.
“Anything stronger than 10 mph on this wide open lake is going to make this style of finesse fishing tough. If you’re in a kayak, it’s nearly impossible. Be sure to check the weather before you make a trip to the lake,” said Davey.
We ended our morning trip to Grassy Pond with several nice fish, and I have no doubt if the wind wouldn’t have picked up, we would have had a phenomenal day on the water.
For readers interested in planning a trip to Grassy Pond, there is a $5 fee per vehicle, and a $5 dollar per day fee to fish. Department of Defense card holders gain free entry and pay $2 per day to fish or $10 per year. It’s a good idea to contact the area before making a trip since rules and regulations are subject to change. The area number is 229.559.5840.
Davey had these final words for readers
“It’s worth checking out this month. Show the fish something they don’t normally see, and you will get bit in no time. Grassy Pond is a great place to fish,” said Davey.
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