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#11135 - 09/25/04 09:23 AM HYBRID STRIPED BASS
george Offline
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Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
Based on the interest shown by the number of threads on Hybrid Striped Bass recently, I want to share my one year experience with HSB.

Our 3 year old, two acre pond is located in N.E. Texas.

As an avid striped bass fisherman of many years and an occasional HSB fisherman on local lakes, I am very familiar with the sporting potential of this species, especially on fly tackle.

Our original stocking plan consisted of the recommended numbers of Largemouth Bass, Coppernose Blue Gill, RedEar Sunfish, and Channel Catfish.

HSB were not considered at that time since the state biologists I consulted said they would likely not survive, but I proceeded to do further research from Pond Boss archives.

I could find no one in our area with HSB experience and I know dozens of pond owners.
They primarily manage for LMB or catfish, or both.

I consulted with Keo Fish Farms, which I found to be the experts, and most helpful in guiding me to suppliers that might be able to help.

Bill Cody was very helpful in providing aeration advise and products.
Greg Grimes provided automatic feeder information and high protein fish food information.

About this time last year we began our HSB program, having attained a well balanced population of our original stockers.

We stocked 100, 4-6 inch fingerlings, after installing a bottom membrane diffuser aeration system, an automatic Stren fish feeder with a supply of AquaMax high protein fish food.

I was alarmed immediately when the LMB began exploding upon a few of the newly released fingerlings and concluded that perhaps it was a bad idea after all, so proceeded to plan for a good fishing pond for family and friends.

As time went on we observed some feeding activity on the outskirts of feeder pattern and thought maybe some fingerlings survived, and when spring arrived we observed “silver streaks” when feeding.

Everything in my tackle box was tried and failed to catch and nothing worked, and again perceived failure.

When cooler weather arrived we observed violent feeding activity and the grandkids were getting their lines broken more often.

My wife was also getting her leader broken when fishing a small popper.

The rest of the story:

I spent a couple of very enjoyable mornings and evenings on the pond last week and I got broke off using a 5# leader on a 5wt fly rod, while fishing a fairly large popping bug.

I changed from landing as if a bluegill to playing the fish out in open water, and landed my first HSB!
11 inches – ¾ pound on spring scale.

We have no idea how many fingerlings survived, but will soon stock an additional 50 fingerlings. I have read 15-20 HSB per acre with a good feeding program is recommended. If we have too many will take some for table fare.

I’m looking forward to some real fighters in the future and excited about the “perceived” success of our program.

By sharing this experience, I hope it may help shorten the path to a successful HSB fishery for others.

Excuse the length of the post.
George Glazener

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#11136 - 09/25/04 09:44 AM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Norm Kopecky Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 764
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
George, thanks for the detailed description of your experience. The generally accepted species for stocking are currently LMB, catfish, bluegill, and redears. I think that HSB will very quickly be added to this list. A lot of LMB fishermen are discovering that HSB are as much or more fun to catch than LMB.
_________________________
Norm Kopecky

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#11137 - 09/27/04 09:42 AM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Meadowlark Offline
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Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
george,

Great report. Sounds like the survivors doubled in size in a year. In another year, you will really be feeling good. We started about 100 in our 3 acre East Texas lake this spring and see several around the feeder, but have only caught one. I'm thinking of an annual stocking program to establish a put and take fishery. They are a great fish.

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#11138 - 09/27/04 10:06 AM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
george Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
I'm following your plan for HSB annual supplemental stocking program for a put and take fishery, with 8-10 inch stockers if I can find them.
I agree - great sport fish.

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#11139 - 09/27/04 01:56 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
big_pond Offline
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Registered: 11/12/02
Posts: 1027
Loc: North East Georgia
I will have them in my 9 acre lake when it ever fills up..

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#11140 - 09/27/04 02:41 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
George,

HSB tolerance for warm water starts to wane as they reach larger sizes. What does your pond have for maximum depth and does it develop a thermocline in the summer? If you are catching enough of them you can cull out the slow-growers by angling in order to keep overall biomass in check. If you go to your local craft store they may have something called "pom-poms" which little girls use to decorate their shoe laces. If you're really lucky they'll have the brown ones, which, when threaded on a hook look a lot like Aquamax Grower 600. It's great for fly fishing and you can catch the fish at will. Subsequent stockings can be marked by cutting off a corner of the tail during stocking. This will heal but leave a tell-tale mark for future identification. Later on this will help you to differentiate between a slow growing age-3 and a fast growing age-2 fish. Just remember, it's not how many HSB you have in the pond...it's how many pounds of fish per acre that will determine growth potential. Be VERY careful not to let the overall biomass get out of control!
_________________________
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#11141 - 09/27/04 03:13 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Meadowlark Offline
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Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Bruce,

What do you consider larger size? Or when to harvest? We have some 25 foot depth in my 3 acre lake. I like the suggestions for marking. Thanks. By the way, we also stocked Tilapia in the spring as additional forage fish. George and I both are interested in Tilapia and would be interested in your comments on them.

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#11142 - 09/27/04 06:52 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
HSB of 500mm or greater start to stress in warm water more than their smaller brethren. Water temps exceeding 30 C. (86 F.) mean you should decrease or even discontinue feeding. Watch for the quality of the splash made by a feeding HSB. When they're stressed they sip the food, when they aren't stressed they'll blow up on it! HSB can be harvested at any size. Fish of the same year class can be examined and/or carefully weighed to determine which are in the best body condition. I like to start early with my culling program.

By the way, first stockings need no tail trimming, second stocking do the top of tail and third stocking clip the bottom. It's pretty easy.
_________________________
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#11143 - 09/27/04 10:35 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12887
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
My experiences with hybrid stripers agrees with Bruce's comments. Last week I caught two stripers 20" and 22"; water temperature 76F. I did not "play" them excessively; just long enough to get them to the dock and lip them. After release both fish died during the next two days. An earlier stocking of hyb stripers also showed a very low tolerance to catch and release of large fish (24"-28") during warm weather conditions.
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

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#11144 - 09/27/04 11:48 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
An interesting side note. Sometimes HSB caught in warm water will "lock up" after playing and landing them. The fish will have a slight bend near the tail but not show a lot of movement of any kind. This is presumably due to a lactic acid buildup that accumulates much more rapidly during physical exertion with the higher body temperature. You may be able to revive the fish by placing it under water, forcing it's mouth open and thrashing it rapidly side to side. This will force oxygen exchange on the gill surface and MAY give the fish a chance at survival. When the fish is in this kind of cramp it cannot open it's gill flaps on it's own. Bill is right...summer's tough on 'em.

Sorry, I don't know much about tilapia. That's a fish, right? Just kidding.
_________________________
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#11145 - 09/28/04 07:30 AM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
george Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
When I picked up my HSB 4-5 inch stockers last fall, my supplier said he wanted to show me something. He picked up a fish from the tank and it “curled” in his hand, and when released, it laid on its side for a second and then sped away –said they would do the same when I released mine into the pond, and not to be alarmed.

At the pond, after several minutes,still in the transport bag to adjust to pond water temperature and PH, I released the stockers. Sure enough most “curled" up for a few seconds and then sped away.

Is it lactic acid buildup or just a peculuarity of the species?

Of course mortality is high in the warm water months, but good catch and release practices help.
Don’t play the fish out on light tackle. Bring them to hand as soon as possible and revive them by working water through their gills.

I use a boga grip and never handle the fish except for a photo, and then I am not surprised when the fish dies.

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#11146 - 09/28/04 09:00 AM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
When HSB are handled, especially at smaller sizes, they curl, flare their gills and spike their spiny dorsal rays. This is a defense mechanism to make them less palatable. Small white perch and white bass do the same thing.
_________________________
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#11147 - 09/28/04 11:15 AM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
george Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
Hey Bruce,
I just returned from the craft store with some "Kelly pom poms” – no browns. Are HSB color blind.?

I do know about striped bass on lake Texoma. The primary forage fish are threadfin and gizzard shad. If I tie a perfect shad fly pattern, the striper can never find it in a ball of shad. If I tie the fly bigger, brighter and crippled I’ll catch more fish, so maybe your "pom poms” in Kelly green will be the ticket.

By the way, “trophy” fish are not my objective.
I have been there – done that on warm and cold water species from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska.

My plan, partially achieved, is to create a healthy put and take fishery - similar to Meadowlark’s stated management plan.

My dream is being realized by prowling our pond banks with a fly rod at daylight for a couple of hours, being called in for breakfast and then taking a nap.

Life is good - It doesn’t get any better than this……!
Thanks for the tips,
george

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#11148 - 09/28/04 11:28 AM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
I've always thought it would be fun to take some pellets and let them sit in a little water overnight, then soak the pom poms in it to absorb some scent. Sounds a little like catfishing! \:\)

Speaking of doing something different, the hybrids really like the pom pom to be sitting below the actual pellets, especially on a sunny day. I think it looks to them like it's sinking and will soon "get away". You'll have to let me know how that color works.

I'm glad you're enjoying yourself. That attitude is something to aspire to.
_________________________
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#11149 - 09/28/04 12:16 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Little Dog Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Georgetown, IN
Great story George - thanks! Good information on this thread. Maybe I'll have a thread like this in a few years (if it ever rains \:D ).

Could someone tell me, what they consider to be the ideal temps to practice catch and release of HSB or any other for that matter? Bottom and top temps -- whats best for the fish????

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#11150 - 09/28/04 12:39 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
Hybrid Striped Bass optimal temps.

32-50 degrees--no feeding
51-62 degrees--females staging at spawning areas (good fishing for biggest fish)
63-68 degrees--males join in on false spawn (best fishing, low stress)
69-75 degrees--fish very active, low to moderate stress
76-80 degrees--moderate to high stress
81 degrees and above--very high stress and high angling mortality
_________________________
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#11151 - 09/28/04 02:14 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Meadowlark Offline
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Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
George,

Same dream here only its usually the last hour of daylight for me.

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#11152 - 09/28/04 02:50 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Little Dog Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Georgetown, IN
Thanks Bruce. So they won't eat below 50 -- that is interesting.

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#11153 - 09/28/04 03:38 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
Our smaller ponds that we use for raising HSB get no supplemental feeding and have no natural forage between October 20 and April 10. After a nearly 6 month layoff from food their body condition is still excellent and they're none the worse for wear. I'm sure that sometimes a hybrid will take an easy meal in cold water but it's probably the exception and not the rule.
_________________________
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#11154 - 09/28/04 05:18 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Little Dog Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Georgetown, IN
Thanks a lot Bruce, that is some great info.

Do LMB follow similar stress levels or are all fish different?

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#11155 - 09/28/04 08:45 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12887
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I have caught HSB several times while ice fishing at water temps of 39F. A low amount of feeding must still occur during winter but as Bruce said feeding in cold water is probably rare or only occasional.
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

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#11156 - 09/28/04 08:55 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
harvey dupriest Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/03/02
Posts: 187
Loc: Ben Wheeler Tx.
Hi george , Great post , glad to hear of your -HBS- success . Harvey

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#11157 - 10/08/04 06:41 AM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
george Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
Hey Bruce,
Kelly green PomPoms work..!
not only on HSB but BG and LMB as well.
The kicker - pond has too many channel cats that are bait shy - caught 6, 3-6 pounders, and broke off 8 in structure - what a hoot....!

Smash some AQMX 600 pellets and store with PomPoms in a zip-lock bag.

If brown works better they should be illlegal......!!!

Thanks for the tip.
George Glazener

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#11158 - 10/08/04 09:01 AM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
Bruce Condello Offline
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Registered: 08/01/04
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Loc: United States
You're welcome! Fishing will never be the same again. \:\) Fascinating about the catfish. I think I'm going to see if our craft store has a few greenies on the shelf.

Bruce
_________________________
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#11159 - 10/11/04 07:47 PM Re: HYBRID STRIPED BASS
realtreegriz Offline
Member

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Central Indiana
Bruce Condello,
I have a 3/4 acre pond in central Indiana that is bowl shaped, 12' deep, spring feed. It was stocked last April with 500 bluegills and redear, 100 channel cats, 1000 fathead minnows. I've been feeding them and plan on buying a Stren 75 next spring. I realize I probably have too many cats and will start fishing them out next spring.
When would you suggest stocking HSB and how any? Also since they are a cold water fish should I not aerate and are there any other suggestion besides what's already been posted in this topic that would help me?
Thanks

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