I was out at Dalton Pond with my brother last November. It was overgrown in the back with scum and there was only the part up by the Dam that was really fishable. We had a good day of fishing, lousy day of catching.
We decided to see if Spring changed anything on this lake. It is deep into Quantico and it will take you a long time to drive there from the front gate – so to be worth it, it should be productive. Sadly to say, it is not. Don’t know if people have cleand it out in spite of the 12 – 15 inch slot for Quantico, or if this lake is just so shallow, nothing significant will grow here.
When we pulled up, another guy was just leaving. He said he caught a bunch of smaller bass and typically had good luck on the Pond. That sounded good, so we plopped the basscanoe in the water and got to work. Checking the depth finder as we worked the lake in a counterclockwise direction to leverage the wind direction revealed that the vast majority of this body of water is very shallow as you can see from the map. In fact, it is only worthwhile to fish up at the dam and the eastern side of the lake. The depth there averages about 8 feet off the shore but nothing appeared to be deeper than 13 feet.
We caught some small bass ranging from 8 to 12 inches; mostly on top water baits – buzzbaits and Scum Frogs. Got one on a 7 inch brown GULP flavored worm.
According to the Sun/Moon calculator that is a tool in my GPS, we hit the lake on a day rated “excellent” and at the “best time”. We did catch fish – just nothing to brag about.
Conclusion: Not worth the long trip to fish here.
Call Range Control to make sure the gates are open since you will drive through the impact area on the way. The way to get to the lake will change depending on which ranges are active. If you forget to call, go by the game check station (first left as you approach the Marine checkpoint off exit 148) and work it with them. You will need to check out with Range Control when you are done – probably so they do not lock you in by shutting the gates that are at every major intersection.
Typical small Dalton Pond bass. Got this guy on a green buzzbait
The view from the boat ramp – as you can see, the lake is plenty big – just very, very shallow that reduces the available fishable water to almost nothing.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore