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#16592 - 03/31/07 03:25 PM Re: crappie
Norm Kopecky Offline
Lunker

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 764
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
ewest is making a good point. With crappie, we have to control two variables. The first is crappie spawning before LMB. We can do this with larger LMB or HSB. The second problem is the erratic spawning of crappie. That means we have to have forage for those years the crappie aren't spawning. To a large extent, it doesn't matter how we do these two things, rather it is important that we DO them.

George, after having met you, I enjoy your posts even more if that was possible.
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#16593 - 03/31/07 03:41 PM Re: crappie
george Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Norm Kopecky:

George, after having met you, I enjoy your posts even more if that was possible.
Norm, sitting around the breakfast table with you, Jerry Seibert, Todd and his dad Walter Overton, My son Stan and myself, was one on the many high lites of the conference.
Many valuable and lasting friendships made at the conference my friend.
George

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#16594 - 03/31/07 04:50 PM Re: crappie
overtonfisheries Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 875
Loc: East/Central Texas
My thoughts:

Crappie could have been introduced with the original stockers, and can be mature at 1 year of age and 3" in length.

Crappie could have been stocked by a "friend" or neighbor.

Crappie could have arrived from upstream or downstream.

If you are now catching intermediate size crappie you need to manage to keep crappie recruitment low, and start catching and removing the existing population. In theory, you should stock heavy with the largest shiners you can find. They may help control crappie fry. Do this quick because crappie probably already spawned and fry will be actively growing. Then the shiners will spawn soon and feed your predators. By stocking heavy, I mean 10-20 lbs per acre. Then if you think this works, after observation over time, you should stock heavy with shiners every February/March.

Also you can stock some HSBs at a rate around 25/acre to help keep crappie numbers down.
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#16595 - 03/31/07 10:27 PM Re: crappie
davatsa Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 1256
Loc: San Antonio, TX
For the HSB/Crappie pond, we're thinking fatheads (or rosies) along with t-shad. I figure that t-shad school up in the open water, and the HSB should be right there waiting for them. Gambusias are always good to have around in the summer in Texas, but I won't hold my breath for them to last too long.

BG- there is a species that I love and, like Dave Davidson, that I think are the backbone of a good forage base. I just don't see them being helpful or necessary in an HSB/Crappie pond, however. At least not with the other mentioned forage. Any other suggestions for forage? We're thinking GSH as well.

Steve- We have crappie in the pond at Waelder, and I have no idea how they got there either. I'm guessing they may have been introduced with original stockers or, more likely, arrived from upstream or downstream, as Todd mentioned. Since I don't know how they got there, all I can do is get them out as best I can. If you are managing for LMB/BG, I would suggest the same.
_________________________
"Only after sorrow's hand has bowed your head will life become truly real to you; then you will acquire the noble spirituality which intensifies the reality of life. I go to an all-powerful God. Beyond that I have no knowledge--no fear--only faith."

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#16596 - 04/01/07 08:15 AM Re: crappie
ewest Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18957
Loc: Miss.
Dave in the situation you are describing the crappie will take the place of the BG but will be harder to manage. TShad , gams and FH will be the right size for both the crappie and HSB. GShiners should be a good addition as they may well help with crappie suppression. Are you going to feed the HSB ? Stocking rates and timing will be something to think about.
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#16597 - 04/01/07 08:53 AM Re: crappie
Theo Gallus Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12332
Loc: Central Ohio
I wonder if varying the feed the HSB receive could be useful in controlling those variable crappie numbers.

Years with a good crappie spawn - withhold HSB feed; HSB eat more crappie.

Years with a poor or no crappie spawn - feed the HSB.

This would give an additional control state (how rarely - thankfully - I get to use Control Theory here! \:D ) to go with varying HSB numbers and direct reduction of crappie numbers via angling or traps(?) in the crappie equation.
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#16598 - 04/01/07 09:34 AM Re: crappie
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Theo,

How would you know in time whether it was a good year or poor year for crappie spawn? By the time you are over-run with crappie, its probably too late to do any sigificant compensation via feeding variation on HSB.

There is some interesting data summarized on the Arkansas Pond Stockers web site regarding the variability of the spawn...showing one year almost no spawn and the very next year 40,000 for black crappie. Of course, they are touting their hybrid crappie as a solution....the data is at:

http://www.arkansaspondstockers.com/index_files/page0026.htm


The other side of the equation, as relates to HSB, is that if its a poor year, i.e. no crappie spawn, the HSB still need to eat and they are voracious feeders. If you don't care about other fish in the pond, e.g. LMB or forage for LMB, then it probably doesn't matter, but if you are after a diverse pond, be careful about unanticipated impacts to other fish. I'm still toying with the thought of giving it (a crappie pond) a try, but everytime I go through the logic, it comes out the same...just isn't practical for me.

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#16599 - 04/01/07 10:55 AM Re: crappie
Theo Gallus Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12332
Loc: Central Ohio
I don't know how you'd know early enough either, ML. You would need some sort of crappie early warning system. VERY good observational capabilities very early in the year.
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#16600 - 04/01/07 12:09 PM Re: crappie
burgermeister Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
Very good discussions. Another thought. Withold or reduce feeding HSB at a time when the new crappie should be reaching snack size. At some predetermined time later, monitor HSB angling aggression using a crappie shaped and sized lure. Keep tabs on Wr of HSB. It may take a few yrs. to get it just right, but we're discussing theory here, anyway. Whadayathink?
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#16601 - 04/01/07 12:36 PM Re: crappie
overtonfisheries Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 875
Loc: East/Central Texas
Crappie can be sampled very easily with a small mesh long-handle dip net, a very low cost tool. This time of the year it is easy to reach out and scoop along a pond bank to catch fry, as they will be feeding in very shallow water. Then one must be able to identify small crappie. I should have some crappie fry about now. Maybe I'll try to get some pics.

Also, remember, small crappie are good forage for large crappie AND HSBs. So a good crappie spawn isn't the end of the world, as long at the population of adult crappie and HSBs are large enough to take advantage of crappie offspring. To make this work to your advantage, stock the initial crappie after their spawning season, say late April/May. That way you don't get a quick spawn from the small initial stocker crappie, which might lead to quick problems. Still, these are theoretical predictions.
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#16602 - 04/01/07 01:38 PM Re: crappie
bobad Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Eunice, Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by Meadowlark:
everytime I go through the logic, it comes out the same
I have gone through the same exercise in my head, over and over. I don't exactly hit a wall, but there seems to be very few options. I believe things get dicey when crappie are plentiful enough to be a "feature" species, rather than just a "bonus" species that you catch occasionally. I believe the key is keeping ALL sizes of crappie in very low numbers, and in a normal size/quantity distribution. I plan on trying to keep sufficient predators to control all sizes of the crappie population. I know for sure that fishing will control the ones too large for the bass to eat. ;\)
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#16603 - 04/01/07 07:29 PM Re: crappie
davatsa Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 1256
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Thanks to everyone for all of the great input. This is a fantastic thread!

Theo and ewest-
We will definitely feed when we embark upon this project. I think that is essential for HSB, given the unpredictable nature of crappie spawning. This would also take a little heat off our forage base. On the other hand, Theo and burgermeister have great ideas. I think withholding feed depending on crappie recruitment in a given spring or when the yoy are great snacking size could really help maintain a balance. I'm sure we'll have to do some supplemental stocking of HSB until we find the right balance. Having no recruitment with HSB is tough on one hand, since we'll have to maintain their numbers for them. But the flipside of no HSB recruitment is that crappie will be the only predator capable of reproduction. I think that increases our odds of actually making it work.

Bobad- I am with you on your "feature species" analysis. Let's just say that ever since I've read PB, crappie have regretted it. However, I think we'll take a chance on them this time. Even in a pond smaller than you'd normally see crappie, I think they can be a feature fish, given that no LMB/BG would be present.

I guess we're just looking for something "different." As much as I love LMB/BG/CCs, I think it would be a blast to have a unique pond with unique species. A HSB/crappie pond could provide an alternative angling challenge for family and friends. Besides, having crappie will "force" us to use angling pressure to keep the numbers down. It's a nasty chore and crappie taste awful, but someone's gotta do it. \:D
If nothing else, we'll learn a lot.
_________________________
"Only after sorrow's hand has bowed your head will life become truly real to you; then you will acquire the noble spirituality which intensifies the reality of life. I go to an all-powerful God. Beyond that I have no knowledge--no fear--only faith."

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#16604 - 04/02/07 09:52 AM Re: crappie
burgermeister Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
Shad should definitely be in the mix. IMHO. Their numbers, later in the summer, will be inversely related to the crappie spawning success.

good luck, keep us 'posted'.
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#16605 - 04/06/07 10:27 PM Re: crappie
jbrockey Offline
Member

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 293
Loc: South Central VA
I posted this some tme ago, but will repeat it here. I discovered a simple way to catch more crappie than you would think possible; this is assuming you have an areation system. Any small simple plastic jig of any color just kills the crappie from sundown until it is pitch black by throwing the bait along the egdes and even directly through the column of bubbles and slowily retreiving it with a small jerking motion. I use 4 lb mono on an ultra-light rod. Last night I caught 25 in 1/2 hour. Last year my wife and I caught and counted just over 1000...no fish story here! We logged them after each trip down to thhe lake. I catch most off the deepest diffusers, and usually fish two diffusers per evening. I then wait a week or so before I hit the same diffusers again. Our best night was two years ago when three of us took in 115 in one evening! Hope this helps, JB
BTW, large bass sometimes surprise you and snap your 4 lb test!
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#16606 - 04/07/07 11:16 AM Re: crappie
bobad Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Eunice, Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by jbrockey:
throwing the bait along the egdes and even directly through the column of bubbles and slowily retreiving it with a small jerking motion.
That's not surprising to me.

I have found that crappie love to hang around overflow pipes and spillways... anything that makes current or noise. If I get overrun with small crappie, I guess I'll have to set up aeration. \:\)

I also believe that noise, current, and an inflow of water stimulates them to spawn.
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Shrimp

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