I just found this site today and it is awesome! More info than I can wrap my head around.
I have a one acre and quite deep (23ft in some spots) pond that I have been working on to fix a bass overpopulation problem for the last 5 years. Two years ago (2017) I decided to add 100 6-8" catfish to the pond for fishing pleasure. In 2018 I caught one catfish about 14", but since then I have not as much as had a bite from a catfish. I'm starting to wonder what happened to them all. The bass are coming along nicely but I am worried about my catfish investment. Should I start feeding a floating fish food to confirm their existence, or could that cause problems? Anybody have some other suggestions for confirming my whiskered friends are in there still? Thanks in advance from the newbie.
Welcome - My answer would be yes try feeding them. I got my feed from farm store. What I did was feed the same time every day. Shake a coffee can with the feed in it. Mine will start stirring when they hear the can rattle. Throw it in 1 place only to start with. They will get use to it within a few days if they are in there. Know I'm no expert that's just my opinion and what worked for me. Welcome again. And yes lots of info and very helpful people on here
Catfish may take to feeding faster than my HBG did which took a couple weeks. So, don't be surprised if it takes them a while to show up. I would suggest adding some sinking feed to the mix. I think it would aid in getting them to come to the dinner bell a bit sooner, but not required.
Either way, establishing a feed routine will help you access the situation and be good for the fish. I can't think of a another way to check. Even with a good routine, don't expect all of them to show up for feed at the same time.
Do not overfeed. A good rule of thumb is to only feed as much as they will eat in 15 minutes and they probably won't show up the first few days, so, just throw a handful a day to get things started.
Welcome from Mid Western MO!
Ron, welcome to Pond Boss. Depending on the size of the bass, there is a decent chance that the bass got them. A bass can take a fish that is approx 40% itís size.
Iím new here too but have already had some kind folks answer some of my questions. I can confirm that the bass could have eaten your cats. When I stocked mine last year I was in the process of thinning out my bass. Within days of stocking I caught three different bass with catfish tails sticking out of their gullet. One of them actually had two tails sticking out. I was told by the guy I got them from that bass wonít eat cats because of the spines. Now I realize thatís laughable. Thankfully for me I think I managed to thin the bass out quickly enough that some of my cats survived. I strongly recommend feeding them. Itís cheap and fun and the growth rate is remarkable. Itís also a great way to estimate mortality and see the overall health of the surviving fish.
Thanks for your replies so far. When I started working on this pond my bass were all pretty much 6-8" and skinny. In 2017, when I stocked the catfish the bass were averaging between 8-12". I did some research through the Missouri Dept. of Conservation and was told to stock the larger cats from the hatchery (6-8") so I hope they were large enough to prevent the bass from getting them. I will take your advice and start feeding them and will hopefully have a positive post in a few weeks about all of my cats. Thanks again for the tips. This site is awesome!
Cross your fingers n pray for them. My guess is they are still in there.
Ronald how and what are using for bait when you fish for your catfish?
I have used stink bait, worms, shrimp, chicken liver, and live minnows. The one I did catch was on the liver.
Stocked 100 4-6in CC in Oct of 2018 as soon as the tank filled. To date I found the head of 1 dead one and snagged 1 while fishing for BH. It was about a foot long and skinny. I feed daily and cannot confirm any are feeding. I use cut up YOY LMB, GSF or BH.
You could try running some jug or trot lines overnight to see if you caught any that way, that is the most reliable way for me to catch them in my pond.
Just curious if you been throwing any food in for the cats. I thought my neighbor got all but 2 or so of mine but I had prolly 10 come up tonight. And a hungry turtle.