I discovered the little Salem Pond in Utah County by accident while driving home from work in Payson. I saw the pond off the side of the road, so I pulled over to check it out. I got really stoked when I read the sign that said, “All fisherman strongly encouraged to release all Largemouth Bass.” I then crept up to the edge of the bank of the pond and got doubly stoked when I saw two Largemouth sitting on a spawning bed. The stokedness came in full swing and I decided to start mucking around to figure out how to catch a few. After initially discovering the pond, I made a few feeble 20 minute attempts from land to catch a bass. Much to my dismay I continue to have no luck. I got my brother involved and we decided to put together an evening trip to release the “Kraken” on some bass. Here is what we did, where we went, and how we did to help you be successful on your next Salem Pond bass fishing trip.
Where & When:
My few attempts to catch bass were randomly spread throughout the month of June, but this trip was in the heat of the summer on July 8, 2013. Here is a map of Salem pond marked with the places we fished and where we caught bass.
What we used:
While driving to and from St. George, I made a couple quick attempts to catch a fish at this pond from the shoreline. These attempts helped me get a gauge on where to go and the likely spots I could possibly catch a bass. My brother, Casey Spilker, has a little raft called “The Mariner 3,” and when I told him about the pond he was stoked to try it out with me. The pond only allows non-motorized vessels, and the little raft worked perfect to get us around. I felt like the raft helped us get to a few good spots that can’t be reached from the bank.
Previously when I had fished it, I used baits to cover water to see what I could find. I threw a spinnerbait and a topwater popper. I had no luck, so I went for more subtle presentations this time around.
There were two baits that wound up working. The first was the shaky head green pumpkin finesse worm. The second, which I caught the big one of the night on, was an Iobee frog. (Check out the embedded links to see the baits to help you know what they are)
Here is a YouTube video on the Iobee frog. After you watch you will have to get one because that is what happened with me. They are awesome in the summertime. The color that I love is the sunfish/bluegill. One trick I’ve found is to cut the skirts in half. I feel it makes it look more like a sunfish imitation, which a lot of these bass feed on in these small ponds & lakes.
How we did:
Bottom line, it was fun fishing with my brother. We had an awesome time trying to pick apart the pond to find us a bass. What helped make it such a fun time is we both went into it with low expectations of hoping to catch one fish, or maybe even just get a couple bites. It was super challenging, which made it much more rewarding when we caught a few.
My brother and I were excited when he hooked up on a small Largemouth on the shaky head. It invigorated us to know there are catch-able bass in this pond. Then, just before dark, I started throwing the frog up to the bank and twitching it back. After about the fifth cast, boom! The water erupted and I set the hook. A solid bass started leaping from the water, and our raft started moving his direction. It was quite a challenge getting him in the raft. He kept pulling us around. It was awesome. We didn’t have a scale, but the dude probably just hit the 2.5 lb mark.
The Salem Pond Bass Fishing project is not over. My brother and I are dissecting this place to help give you some more information to release your “Kraken” on the bass in Salem pond. In the meantime, I hope this gets you excited at the opportunities there are around you to find bass wherever you live.
Hope you enjoyed this post! Please feel free to send me comments and feedback about what you would like to see included in these posts. I would love to here your insights about what would be valuable to you as you become a legitimate “Kraken” on bass!
Exciting. I lived in Payson nearly all my life and thought of Salem Pond as a joke. I have never caught a bass inn my life and so as I’ve spent hundreds of dollars to gear up it came as a surprise that there are bass in Salem Pond. Went there yesterday afternoon for the first time. Basically fished from the north bridge using a drop shot rig. Nothing. But I’m not done. I’ve just begun. I know it’s early in the year but I’m going to continue on. I will catch my first bass. Any tips for this early in the year?
This time of year, I’ve heard of a kid crushing them on a trout imitation jerk baits. A lot of the bass will feed on the trout in the pond. If they haven’t restocked it yet, give them a try. The water is still super cold, so work it really really slow. Good luck!
Thanks for the tip. I bought six jerk baits today and plan on testing them tomorrow. I will keep you posted on my quest to catch my first bass.
Stellar! Jerkbaits are a great thing to have in your tackle box. They work everywhere. Here is a good video I found on how to fish them effectively: http://youtu.be/QFPymz15cHo Good Luck! Salem can be a tough beast to “Krak”
Ok, a report. I used the jerkbaits on Thursday, 13th. No luck. Went back on Friday. It rained most of the day. I tried using a variety of shakey heads. No luck. Went again on Saturday morning. Tried some jigs and drop shot rigs. No luck. Went again on Monday(presidents day). This time I tried everything in my arsenal. I would cast something 6 times and if I had no bites I would change color. Jigs, shakey heads, jerkbaits, I tried Texas rigs with worms and craws. I just suck at this. But….I don’t quit at anything and I’ll keep on trying. My attitude is great. I know it’s just a matter of time. I think that my problem is that I’m not fishing slow enough. So next time I go I will slow, way, down. Btw….I fished the north part of the lake by the bridge. Both sides. And then, at the urging of an old fellow, I moved up to the South end of the lake, on the west bank and fished in the trees and cat tails. I believe feeling the strike is where I’m lacking. I’ve had what I think were bites, but I’m not sure.
Love your passion dude. Keep up a great blog. I will soon be joining you in the bass society.
Your going to think I’m insane but here is how bad I want to learn to catch bass. I bought a Humminbird PirahnaMax 230 fishfinder. It is wireless and portable. I then purchased a Radio Control boat. I’m attaching the transponder to the RC boat and will cruise it around and see if I can see a couple of things. How deep is the lake. The structure. And see if I can find a school or two of bass. Is this cheating? Should I be ashamed? Tell me now before I use this devise….lol.
All is fair in catching bass! Thats awesome! I wouldn’t become too frustrated. Bass aren’t very aggressive this time of year. Water temprature is your best gauge of when they will become active. I’ve found that once the water temp hits 50 your odds of catching bass dramatically increase. I’ve gone out several times myself and have only had one bite.
There are monsters in there, me and my brother go, and thats where he caught his biggest bass ever, and my 2nd, plus a 5 pound smallie!!! We never get stumped there, and always get 10 plus big ones, amazing pond!
So I am going this weekend Do you think a Chatterbait would work.? And if so what colors or what would you recommend P.S. I have fished Utah since I was born and have never caught a largemouth Bass So where would you recommend please help
Summertime is topwater time. Try throwing a popper or a frog early morning and late evening. During the day bust out the drop shot, and huck it out deep. Hope you “Krak” a few. Salem is a good pond to try. Deer creek has some largemouth in there as well. Mantua is always a safe bet as well.
Hey JB, I forgot to tell you how my trip went. I caught my first bass ever! I caught six little 7 inch bass using flies I tied like streamer baitfish/leech patterns and a top water foam frog in the evening. I hope to get some bigger ones this fall! any tips? Like where to find structure, etc.?
Congratulations man! Thats dope! Way to use your fly skills, to crush some bass! You’ll have to teach me those things, I’ve never done it before. I like to use jigs, or a drop shot rig to feel whats on the bottom to locate structure. Try beefing up your baits, to something bigger to get a bigger fish to bite. I’m super stoked for you man. Keep pressing forward.
Went down there this morning and fished right next to the bridge you have marked on the map. Pulled out my first ever bass! it was about 2 lbs and it hit my shaky head rig about 3 feet out from shore.
Heck yeah man! Nicely done!
What would you recommend to use this time of year?
Nothing beats a weightless wacky rigged green pumpkin senko. I also like throwing flukes this time of year around the shallow cover.