Exploring Local Ponds and Canals for Hidden Gems!

Lately every time I pass by a body of water, I have this desire to throw a bait in and see what I can catch. I have found you never know what you will catch. On Sunday, Tania and I spent about an hour fishing the local spillways and canals.

We started at the spillway on Sanit James drive, where I caught a few bass and cichlids. We didn’t get any bites in the 15 minutes of working both below and above the spillway. Tania and I were both throwing the 1/16oz Roadrunner jig. I had the pumpkin with a chartreuse tail and Tania was throwing orange with a chartreuse tail.

The next spot was the same canal the spillway was off just on Selvitz Rd. Tania and I have seen many folks fishing here as we drive past, so I was hopeful to catch a few bass. On my fourth cast I hooked up with a decent size bass, unfortunately it spit the hook on the third jump. Not much after I landed a bass. Tania still didn’t have any luck at this point and was getting frustrated. I let Tania use my rod/reel since I already had two bass hooked up. I wanted Tania to catch something. Tania had a few fish follow the bait and she had one hit but did not actually hook a fish.

We went to the east side of Selvitz Rd to try our luck there. There were many armored catfish, but I was not seeing any beds or signs of any other fish.  Tania continued to fish with the roadrunner and I switched over to a Slam Shady 2.0. On my second cast I couldn’t believe I hooked up and landed an armored catfish on the Slam Shady. I didn’t think they would eat artificial baits. Well, that was the last bit of action Tania and I had on Sunday.

On Tuesday I decided to try exploring some more. I wanted to try the pond on the corner of Floresta and Crosstown. I worked the south bank for about 20 minutes. I was losing hope of catching anything here as I wasn’t seeing any signs of life; however, a gentleman I spoke with told me there were fish in there so I continued to work the bank. Once again, I was throwing the 1/16oz Roadrunner pumpkin with chartreuse tail. After speaking with the one guy, I continued to fish the bank. A short while later I hooked up with a decent tilapia. I was happy to have caught a fish there. My very next cast I got a hit and it took the skirt off my jig, so it ended my trip abruptly.

As I was heading home, I decided to stop at the local bait shop and pick up a dozen shiners and hit the spillway on Saint James in search of a large bass. When I had arrived, there was already someone there with his daughter. I asked if he had any luck and he said he had just lost something as he broke off and didn’t have any more tackle with him. I offered him a hook and some bait but he declined.

I casted in my first bait and pretty quickly something took it. As I was reel in it came off. I put out another shiner and had received a text message so I was responding when my rod almost got pulled out of my hand. I was pretty excited with the fight and thought I had a monster bass on. When it got close, I saw it and it looked like a snook but I said, “no it couldn’t be”! After many jumps, I was able to land the fish and sure enough it was a snook. I didn’t have a measuring device as I was just going to catch and release, but I took a picture of it next to my rod and when I got home, I took the measurement and it was 24inchs.

I only had about 15 more minutes left before I had to head home and get Tania from work so I hurried up and put on another bait. I kept getting bites but whatever it was kept spitting the circle hook. After about the third time I finally landed the fish. It was a Florida Gar.

At this point it was time for me to pick up Tania and I still had about 6 baits left. To be honest I am sure the bait shop gave me more than a dozen. I decided to save the baits and see if Tania wanted to come back to catch a couple of the gar.

When I picked up Tania, I asked if she wanted to use up the bait as I knew she would catch something. She agreed so we headed back to the spillway. We fished the spillway for about 30 minutes in which time I lost my Roadrunner skirt and Tania landed three gar and one bass. I was hopeful she would have caught a snook but she was pretty happy catching the gar as it’s a new species of fish for her.

Tania and I had a great time exploring new ponds and canals in the area. Although Tania didn’t have much luck, I was finally able to put her on some fish. There are so many ponds to explore in our area, so I hope to get out and try fishing them all at some point.

Tania and I pray all who make it out the rest of the week have a blessed and safe trip. May you all have tight lines and good times!

Click the photo or Call Captain Billy Briggs for a great charter.

Salt Strong is starting local chapters on the Treasure Cost. Our first event will be April 27, 2023. Your insider membership will include access to the in-person meetings as well as all the other perks such as 20% off all tackle, Smart Fishing spots, and insider information on trends in your area. We will also have guest speakers at our meetings and we will be holding monthly tournaments. Click the link below to get a FREE pack of slam shady or a 10-Day Test-Drive of The Smart Fishing Spots App and The Salt Strong Insider Club . . . And We’ll Ship You $35 Worth of FREE Lures, an “Inshore Fishing Manifesto” Book (Physical copy) & Decals – Yours to Keep Even If You Cancel!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



  1. Anonymous

    Always good to find new water. Good report

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ReelBlessed

      Thank you! Yes it is always good to find new spots


%d bloggers like this: