Most fishing pressure is focused on big lakes that gain the lion’s share of publicity in fishing reports, tournament results, etc. In contrast, smaller, less publicized waters get only a fraction of the attention – hence, pressure that the bigger waters receive, and fish in these smaller waters grow old, big and naïve.
These are all reasons why anglers should focus on finding and fishing these bypassed spots: creeks, farm ponds, watershed lakes, beaver sloughs, oxbows, etc. A fisherman with good detective skills can uncover an amazing menu of possibilities.
Contact state fisheries biologists (especially stream biologists), and ask for their small waters recommendations. Check online satellite map sites for farm ponds or watershed reservoirs, and then contact owners about fishing permission. Expect to be turned down by some landowners, but don’t be discouraged. A persistent search will turn up possibilities! Look for access sites where backcountry roads cross small to mid-sized streams.
One good thing about fishing small waters is that basic equipment will be sufficient. You won’t need an expensive boat and reams of gear. Instead, with a rod/reel, a simple selection of lures or live bait, and a pair of waders or, in warm weather, sneakers and cutoffs, you’ll be fully equipped for fishing creeks and ponds.
Fishing small waters is like looking for treasure. These overlooked fishing spots dot virtually every landscape in America. The angler simply has to locate and try them. A wealth of good fishing awaits!