The salty sea is not the only place around here that you can catch scaly friends. There is a wide variety of freshwater ponds spread throughout Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Fish such as carp, catfish, yellow perch, blue gill, sunfish and the infamous large mouth bass can all be tugging at the end of your line in these waters.

When it comes to fishing in general, you normally have a specific species in mind that you are targeting, and with that comes specific fishing gear. There are buncha of different lures and bait out on the market but bait usually depends on the time of year and water condition. According to Paul Boniface, Camp Lejeune’s chief conservation law enforcement officer, top water normally is best for this time of year, as well as weedless, copper-colored rubber worms. Do not use minnows or live bait in these ponds. Using such bait leads to disruption of the pond’s ecosystem. Fishermen must remember only natural baits like crickets, shrimp, worms, cut bait and artificial bait are the only baits permissible for use in the ponds.

It can be tempting to consume your catch of the day but proceed with caution. Some fish like wild caught catfish and large mouth bass have high mercury levels, which can lead to potential health risks. It is advised by the North Carolina Division of Public Health that you restrict consumption of fish.

Joseph Didiervis a frequent fisherman to the ponds of Camp Lejeune. Didier has been fishing for years in hopes of catching a catfish but has never been successful. He does however catch a lot of large mouth bass but never keeps them.

“I have been coming to these ponds for years now and have yet to catch a catfish,” said Didier. “I get all kinds of fish, bass, blue gill, perch but never the fish I seem to be after, but that’s why they call it fishing, not catching.”

Currently, eight ponds are maintained by Camp Lejeune and are stocked with fish in order to help keep your line wet. The following ponds require a MCB fishing permit, Cedar Point. Henderson, Hickory, Mile Hammock Bay, Orde, Ward, Old Landfill and New River. The permits can be purchased at the main exchange and then obtained at the base game warden office. To fish these ponds and other waters, you still need the appropriate state fishing license.

“One of the benefits of fishing on base is that base stocks the ponds.” said Boniface. “The fish also reproduce and customers are always catching fish in the ponds.”

The great thing about fishing, is that you don’t need much to be successful. A pole, bait and some patience, and you are all set.

For more information, visit www.lejeune.marines.mil/Offices-Staff/Conservation-Law-Enforcement/Recreational-Activities/Fishing.