Some of the best ponds during the heat, day or night, have been Millsboro, Killens, and Canal pond.
First of the closest ponds to both upper and lower Delaware is Killens in Dover. Killens is located right off rt.13. Turn left onto State Park Road, follow the road around the curve, past the main park entrance, and about a mile and a half down the road is the pond. It has parking for about six to eight trucks with trailers, with an adequate launching ramp. Killens is a state park, and they also rent boats and cabins, but you will find little competition for bass except on the weekends.
Most of Killens is one to five feet deep at the shoreline, except in the extreme upper end, where it is just inches deep. The lake has an Island in the center with some wood cover and grass. It drops off to six feet quickly on the channel side (main lake), and is about three feet on the right side. This is a particularly good area to work in the day with “Senko's" in four and five inch sizes in black and watermelon on a 3/0 WG hook, with eight and ten pound test line. In addition, clacker type buzzbaits produce bass in the three to six pound range many times in this area, even in the bright afternoon sun. A Tournament Frog, or “Sumo Frog" is a good choice for the pads especially in the daytime heat. The action will be slower, but you can connect with some big explosions through the grass and pads at times. A Tournament Frog is the best choice of topwater, and a 1/2 ounce in black works best all around. Vary the retrieve, both day and night, sometimes letting the frog sit after hitting the water, as long as thirty seconds, then use a few quick hops. If this doesn't produce, try working it very fast and pausing only once, on the way back to the boat. This is especially effective in large pads.
Jigs in black and blue take their fair share of nice bass from here also, but you must be extremely accurate and quiet in your presentations or you will not connect. The bass will be in the heaviest of cover, lying in wait for a slow moving, crippled bait to come overhead.
"GO AT NIGHT"
Fishing at night when the water cools to seventy or seventy-five degrees, is the best time to connect with bigger bass now. Explore the shallow water right at the drop-offs on the left side of the lake with buzzbaits cast to the main channel edge. Do not be afraid to experiment with some older, forgotten baits, such as a “Devils Horse", or similar prop baits. They work wonders sometimes in highly pressured lakes.
Millsboro Pond is in Sussex County, Delaware, in the town of Millsboro off Isabella and Main Street. It has room for only a few boats, and the launching ramp is very shallow, you can get off all right, but getting back on the trailer can be real tricky. Most of the lake is shallow, with lots of grass. It has several Islands, but the bass go to shallow water at night in the upper end. Buzzbaits are best, but Tournament Frogs work well also, in the day and night. Several bass have been caught in the three to six pound range in the past at night, using the frog and Senko's mostly in the day. Cast the buzzbait wherever possible at night, it is worth removing the grass. Use Senko's by the lower end of the lake in deeper water in the day, and do not forget to let them sit a long time, raise the pole once or twice, and then cast again. Use these techniques and bring plenty of insect repellent, and you will connect with some lunkers, and many others in the two to three pound range.
Canal Pond is located by the railroad bridge in the C&D Canal area. Turn right under St. Georges Bridge and follow the road to the pond. It has beautiful structure, pads, and has a deep shoreline with a deep hole. This was where a few years ago, the thirty pound landlocked striped bass was caught. There are some real Lunker largemouth's still there also. You will need a small cartop boat to fish it, but it is worth the trouble of getting in. It is about thirty acres of real good drop-offs, and structure, where bass up to nine pounds have been caught. Please remember to practice Catch, Photo, and Release so we can all enjoy the bass fishing there for a long time to come. Senko's and four inch straight tailed worms work best throughout the year in watermelon and green. At times spinnerbaits and frogs will work, but this is a plastics lake.
Noxontown has long been known for producing big bass. In the late seventies and early eighties largemouth of seven and eight pounds were not uncommon to hear of each week.
Since that time, with all the recreational and tournament pressure, its big bass numbers seem to have declined, or have they?
The answer is no! They are still there, just older and wiser. This was proven when I caught a 10.16 pound largemouth bass in 1999 in Noxontown, just ounces short of the state record.
That bass was featured in a full page article in the News Journal paper, in Bassmaster Magazine Lunker Club, North American Fisherman, and Bass Pro Shops Master catalogs.
The trick to getting these larger bass to strike is to fish the lake at low pressure times during the weekdays, and employing some western techniques such as swimbaits off the deeper points. Just because they are northern strain bass and aren't 20 pounds, it doesn't mean they don't want a big easy meal.
Follow these tips and tactics in these Delaware Lakes and Ponds this year, and you will catch the trophy of a lifetime!
The swimbaits and other big bass baits are available at Delaware Tackle in Wilmington, or on the web at www.delawaretackle.com
Steve is the 1998 Big Bass World Champ/De and in the NAFC Hall Of Fame. His site is http://www.reeltimeanglers where you can talk with him live.