Tilapia make delicious dishes, a fresh and brackish water fish that many anglers love to catch for its taste! These are natives from the Middle East and Africa but are not available worldwide in warm waters. However, they are herbivorous and a bit shy, so catching them will test your fishing skills.
It will all be worth it though, as you get fish with a mild taste and delicious white flesh you can cook in many ways. So if you want to learn how to catch tilapia in a pond, read on as I show you great tips to follow.
How to Catch Tilapia In a Pond
You can find tilapia in ponds around states like Florida, Texas, and Alabama. But just because you have a general overview of where to find them doesn’t mean you have a sure catch! You need to prepare the right equipment and plan correctly for success.
For a better chance of catching these shy fish species, here are helpful tips on how to catch tilapia in a pond:
1. Use the Right Baits and Tackle
As mentioned, tilapia are herbivores and would feed on plants such as corn and peas. If you don’t have that on hand, you can bait them with bread balls! You can use frozen bread balls to make it easier for the hook to penetrate and still entice tilapia.
However, take note that their diet would differ depending on the fishing spot. Most anglers recommend using cheese with the usual bait, which tilapia will like because of more flavor!
As for lures, you can use artificial lures mimicking invertebrates and small fish, which tilapia would delicately bite. Be sure to have short lures for a stronger hook set. Other times, you can use an earthworm on smaller-sized hooks.
And because they are small fish, use light tackle, such as a seven-foot-long lightweight fishing rod and spinning reel. The spinning reel should use a four to eight-pound test monofilament line with No. 4 hooks. Use small floats to suspend baits over spawning areas and light split shot to keep the bait on the bottom of the waters, near spawning beds.
Besides this fishing equipment, prepare your fishing license as well, as some states and areas require it. This prevents you from getting in trouble and having to pay a hefty fine.
2. Focus On Your Posture
The majority of tilapia anglers would hold their fishing rod horizontal and vertically. This is an effective way to fish, though not the optimum posture to hook tilapia.
I recommend that you use downward sweeps, moving your fishing rod between the 3 to 5 o’clock positions.
As I mentioned, you will need to be patient and this will take a lot of time sitting and/or standing. It’s best that you also focus on a proper standing position to prevent back pain and fatigue from long hours of waiting.
3. When to Fish For Tilapia
You can catch any fish like tilapia for two reasons: Either from heir hunger or their territoriality. That’s why the best time to catch tilapia is during their spawning season when they get very territorial and attack anything that would pass over or through spawning beds.
Lucky for us, these fish species spawn for extended periods, not stopping until water temperatures are below 60 degrees F. This will give you a lot of time to drag the lures near spawning beds.
Go during spring season and time your fishing trips according to the water temperature and light. You’re better off fishing before sunrise or during sunset, as well as the middle of the day.
If you missed the spring season, no problem! You can still catch tilapia all year round, though not as much as you would during spring and spawning season.
4. Where to Fish For Tilapia
Since we’re talking about ponds, head on to your nearest pond known to have tilapia. You can use a fish finder to know the depths and areas that tilapia are most abundant in.
You are most likely to find tilapia in slow-moving waters in subtropical and southern regions near banks.
When you’re by the pond already, you can find tilapia in the shallow waters. The majority of them prefer spawning in shallow waters with lots of vegetation, as it has protection from fish and predators. It’s pretty easy to spot spawning beds, as they look like creatures that cover the pond.
Avoid going too deep in the waters, which reduce the caches of getting a bite. Cast in areas that have a lot of structures, like rock formations, dead shrubberies, and immersed branches. However, avoid getting too close to a tilapia population or their spawning beds, as they are shy and may swim away the moment they feel something suspicious!
5. Keep What You Catch and Handle With Care
Once you hook the tilapia, expect it to start fighting. When this happens, wait for about five seconds before you raise the fishing rod straight up to set the hook.
Remember, tilapia have tiny and soft mouths. Focus on being gentle with the rod and reel because if you become aggressive, you can tear the hook off the fish’s mouth!
Once you have caught it, KEEP WHAT YOU CATCH! Don’t release tillage, as they are not considered as game fish. This is because the fish colonize their habitats and you’ll want to keep their population in check to prevent imbalances in the ecosystem. Take them home for your next meal instead.
Do you want to learn more about catching tilapia? This video shows you more visuals and tips you can try:
Wrapping It Up
An important skill any angler should learn about is how to target and catch specific fish species. You can start with tilapia, a popular target for their taste and challenge. With the right tips, you can try to catch them anywhere, specifically in ponds!
I hope that these tips on how to catch tilapia in a pond helped you out. So don’t wait any longer and look into following these tips for better success in catching tilapia.