The Scum Pond Chronicles

Struggle was the name of the game for my friends and I when it came to fishing this past summer. Consequently, all summer long we dodged thunderstorms or were only able to fish for an hour or so at a time.

Additionally, my friends had jobs and so our fishing time was also limited by demanding bosses. Similarly, I also worked, however while many of my friends had restaurant gigs at the time, I in contrast worked in a bowling alley as a janitor. Certainly no one took trash out better than me.

On a typical day when Mother Nature was prepared to send us her worst, because of this, one of my friends said something amazing, and as a result I discovered the scum pond chronicles.

Wicked weather

Photo by William Korte

The Setup

My two good friends said,” lets go catch some tarpon.” First of all, this was crazy because the weather was too bad to take a boat into any pass or even to fish off the beach. Secondly, I couldn’t think of anywhere deep enough to hold fish. Thirdly, it looked like it was going to pour rain in traditional Florida summer fashion.

I said that the weather was too bad, however, they insisted and said that we were going to a “scum pond”.

In contrast, I was used to slicked out bays and flats looking for laid up fish. For that reason (among many others, I was intrigued).

I didn’t really understand what he meant by that, despite this, two friends and I piled into my car and started on “The Scum Pond Chronicles”.

The Scum Pond Chronicles: Putting in Work  

We arrived at an open field, parked our car and started on a trek through heavy woods. The mosquitoes thick and the spiders seemed to be everywhere, as a result I was starting to doubt if this was worth it.

I was assured that it almost certainly would be.

Finally, we came to a small pond that could only be described as disgusting on its best day. Furthermore, the tiny body of water seemed very shallow and only seemed to have turtles in it.

I thought that there was no way there were any fish in this puddle; until finally I saw a blue crab. I thought it was a strange anomaly and looked on scanning the water for signs of life. Then I saw the first mullet jump.

I couldn’t believe it, mullet! Even more mullet started jumping and I eventually noticed an entire school milling around on the opposite shoreline.

Not only that, but I also saw tarpon start to roll. As a result, I felt weak in the knees and was thinking, “no way, there’s no way”.

Nate and Will explained to me that there were three fish that we would probably catch:

  • Firstly: Tarpon
  • Secondly: Snook
  • Thirdly: Bass

Furthermore, he explained that we would most likely hook a big fish and that I should hold on.

Will echoed this and likewise added the Mayan Cichlids could also be a possible bycatch.

The Scum Pond Chronicles in Practice

Sure enough, there were saltwater fish in this pond. Most noteworthy, large, predatory saltwater fish.

We made casts which resulted in many airborne tarpon, consequently, we landed a few. Will and likewise Nate also lost a giant fish apiece. Besides the silver kings, we also landed some nice snook.


Photos taken by Nathan Hitt


Conclusion: The Scum Pond Chronicles Forever

As a result of this trip, my eyes opened to a fishery that I had never previously known existed. The heart pounding feeling of hooking a snook or tarpon in a small pond is one of the most amazing things an angler can experience, if not for the novelty of it more than anything else. That being said, I won’t ever forget it.

Above all, “The Scum Pond Chronicles” isn’t just a name of a one day adventure, but all our adventures catching fish in ponds all summer long. Most noteworthy was that many of the fish were baby tarpon and snook and were caught on fly.


Photos taken by William Ward

Finally, after a day of hooking multiple good fish we started on our hike back to the car. We had too much fun, and as a result we hadn’t realized how dark it had become. That being said, we would be back at it the next day… all summer long.

We hiked though woods and high grass to find fish and also shared fishing grounds with alligators. Most importantly, we put in the work. Likewise, if you put in the time and effort you too can find these true diamonds in the rough.

Hence, maybe you’ll start your own “Scum Pond Chronicles”.


Photos by William Korte

Until next time, Tight Lines

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