Creating better ponds and lakes for fishing and recreation takes active pond management. You can only expect to get out of a pond what you are willing to put into it. When it comes to creating better fish structure within a pond, various devices can be used in ponds to concentrate fish and improve fishing. The best results are obtained in ponds that are absent of natural cover such as stumps, tree tops, and aquatic vegetation. Fish structure should be located within casting distance of the shoreline, and you can even use floats to mark the location of your submerged fish structure.
The creation of submerged brush piles is an excellent tool for developing underwater habitat in ponds devoid of weeds. Any available woody trees or shrubs can be used to make a brush pile. Keep in mind that the more vertical the pile, the better for fish. Cedar and discarded Christmas trees can be set into cement blocks, secured with polypropylene rope, and set upright on the pond bottom. Several trees located together work better than single trees. Since they degrade, brush piles generally have to be replaced every 2 to 4 years.
Another great pond management tool for creating fish structure is stake beds. Any type of wooden stakes can be driven into the pond bottom or nailed to a weighted frame and sunk. The stakes should be placed 6 to 8 inches apart, and the bed should cover an area of about 200 square feet. The stakes should extend from the shoreline into water that is from 6 to 8 feet deep. The tops of the stakes should extend out of the water so they can be located easily while fishing. Pieces of plastic pipe can also be used as stakes, especially when set in concrete within plastic buckets.
Another option for creating fish habitat is through the use of automobile tires. Old tires can be used to construct a satisfactory permanent fish structure, but they must be prepared properly. First slit them to allow them to sink and prevent them from floating around the pond. Then tie them together with polypropylene rope to keep them in position. Adding one or two cement blocks to the bundle will help stabilize your tire structure. The higher the structure is above the bottom of the pond, the more cover it will afford fish populations. Pyramid-shaped bundles are commonly used with great success for artificial fish structures. Tires can be covered with brush to further increase their attractiveness to fish. Tires tossed in a pond at random will either wash ashore or silt in and provide no fishery benefits, so take your time when creating fish structure for your pond.
In summary, creating fish habitat through the addition of pond structure is a great pond management tool. Pond structure provides small fish with a place to hide and big fish with a place to feed. It is especially helpful to small fingerlings after fish stocking occurs in a pond. Big fish eat small fish, but some small fish are required to become big fish. Pond structure will also allow anglers to pin-point these sites while fishing. Fish structure can really add a lot of ponds devoid of vegetation or downed trees, so consider placing structure within your pond for fish habitat.