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HOOKED ON EAST TEXAS: Private pond fishing is a hidden gem for anglers

This hidden gem for fishing is between two private roads along State Highway 155 just south of Big Sandy at the Circle M The Venue.

BIG SANDY, Texas — Some lakes and ponds across East Texas can get crowded. So, in this week's Hooked on East Texas, we're talking about private ponds and offering one suggestion where you might land a lunker.

Lane Carlson is an experienced angler and typically fishes in bigger lakes such as Fork or Tawakoni.

“I used to, here recently not as much, but when I ever get a chance, I like to go to my lure in the water when I can”, said Carlson as he cast his line toward the shoreline.

Today, Carlson traded in the big lake for a small pond and showed us the best place to catch fish on a private lake in Upshur County. When it’s hot, Carlson recommends heading for the shade. That’s where he found a four-pound bass.

“I caught him on a jig worm. With an eighth ounce weight and I was fishing the top side of the bed. In the late evening over by the bridge where the sun's gonna set over on that side," Carlson said. "So, I moved my way across the pond that evening. And I caught him right underneath there (near the) bridge and the lilies, where he was bedding up for the evening.”

Lisa Werner is the marketing director of Circle M The Venue.

“The pond itself is nine acres and it's packed full of fish- there's catfish, there's bass. So that's naturally stalked by mother nature. And you don't have to have a fishing license. According to the state of Texas, private ponds don't require a license to fish," Werner said.

This hidden gem for fishing is sandwiched between two private roads along State Highway 155 just south of Big Sandy at Circle M. But the catch is you have to book a night’s stay at one of the cabins or the house to fish the pond. While there you can fish from the banks, the bridges and docks which are all free to use. Private ponds may come with a cost or permission from the owner, but these bodies of water aren’t overcrowded like public lakes or ponds.

“Ponds with less foot traffic, lakes with less foot traffic, have more spawning beds," Carlson said. "So when you get up in the shoreline, your deeper dive baits for your big lakes don't work out here as much so you have to use your jig worms, your little crappy baits if that's what you want to fish for up in the shallows by those beds, your bluegill will bite your smaller stuff and so if you if you want some of the bigger ones you got to stick to some of your bigger baits."

And who knows maybe you’ll have a haul at the end of your day.

“There are some really big fish in this pond. I've seen quite a few pictures of the fish that people have caught, and I know that there are even bigger ones in there to be caught," Werner said.

Remember if you are going to fish a private pond, make sure you get permission or pay the fee. At Circle M The Venue, it is catch and release so remember to snap a picture before throwing the fish back into the pond.

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