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#25993 - 11/07/06 10:33 PM HSB fall stocking ?
ShawnB Offline

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 44
Loc: Iota, Louisiana
I had 4 in HSB delivered to me last month. What is the survival rate of winter stocking? I live in south Louisiana and usualy have mild winters. Will these small fish feed over the winter?


#25994 - 11/08/06 06:26 AM Re: HSB fall stocking ?
george Offline

Registered: 06/22/02
Posts: 1074
Loc: Plano, texas
Shawn, How old is your pond?
If new and with no adult LMB, 4 inch HSB are adequate size.

If you have adult LMB, predation is a common problem.
4 inch HSB become expensive fish food.

HSB over-winter very well in our ponds and continue to feed all winter, although at a slower pace.

A minimum of 8 10 inch HSB stockers is recommended for stocking ponds with adult LMB.

Take my comments as personal opinion only - Ive made every HSB stocking mistake in the book

Todd Overton and Bruce Condello are the HSB experts and sure they will chime in.
Good luck with your HSB they are a great sport fish and excellent table food as well.

#25995 - 11/08/06 08:26 AM Re: HSB fall stocking ?
overtonfisheries Offline

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 884
Loc: East/Central Texas

There are two main killers of HSBs in my opinion. One is predator fish when stocking small HSBs, and the other is fungal infections from handling in cool weather. Just do some walking around your pond and look closely for fish that have cotton-like growth on their tails. If you don't see any of that within a week of stocking then I'd say you are in the clear as long as you don't have large predators.

Your HSBs should feed through most of the winter in your area.

Nobody can say what your survival rate is, and only you can make a guess.
It's ALL about the fish!

#25996 - 11/08/06 11:04 AM Re: HSB fall stocking ?
ShawnB Offline

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 44
Loc: Iota, Louisiana
Thank for the info!
I have no LMB in the pond. Only 6-9 in HBG. The pond is only about 9 months old. I have looked around the pond but I have never seen any HSB swimming around the edges. This weekend after feeding the HBG's, I thew a cast net and cought 1 HSB. It looked healthy, no fungus, but it looked like it needed a good meal. The HSB have been in the pond for about 3 weeks now.

Thanks again

#25997 - 11/08/06 02:15 PM Re: HSB fall stocking ?
Meadowlark Offline

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

I'm curious as to what size pond you've stocked the HSB into? One thing about HSB is that they are voracious feeders and require a lot of forage and/or artificial feed to sustain and gain weight. HBG generally do not produce lots of forage because they are generally high % male ranging from 70% to 90% male.

We've had no problems with HSB in winter months at all, but summer is another story. Good luck with yours!

#25998 - 11/13/06 11:24 PM Re: HSB fall stocking ?
ShawnB Offline

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 44
Loc: Iota, Louisiana
My pond is 1 1/4 acres. I have HBG,CBG, and RE.
I also have THOUSANDS of fat heads and mosquito minnows. I hope summer is not a problem either. I do aerate 24-7 and Always maintain a full pond with deep well water. Most of the pond is 7 ft deep with one large area that is about 14 ft and about .3 acres is only 3 ft deep. I hope its enough to kep the HSB going strong.

#25999 - 11/25/06 05:01 PM Re: HSB fall stocking ?
ShawnB Offline

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 44
Loc: Iota, Louisiana
I just tossed my cast net just to see what was going on. To my supprise, on my 2nd cast I cought 4 HSB. They have over doubled in size in a little over a month. I have been feeding every afternoon but I have been geting very few hits on the comercial feed for the last few weeks. Right at dawn I can see the minnows jumping out of the water trying to get away from something. I figure the HSB are eating the minnows and not the feed.

All in all, it looks like the HSB are doing great.

#26000 - 12/04/06 10:50 PM Re: HSB fall stocking ?
bobguillory Offline

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 36
Loc: Eunice, LA
Hey Shawn, Iota Bulldog? Sounds like you're going to have HSB as your top preditor. I would be concerned in such a small pond by HSB standards that they will devour all but your largest blue gill in the months to come. What a great oppertunity to experiment with the dreaded but delicious white perch. These creatures are very prolific and will take over and stunt, however with HSB to controll their numbers you just may get some nice White perch out of the deal and feed your HSBs. Just a thought. Has anyone out there done such an experiment? I don't often see local people on this site. Where did you get your HSB?

#26001 - 12/13/06 10:22 PM Re: HSB fall stocking ?
ShawnB Offline

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 44
Loc: Iota, Louisiana
Bob, I'm probably closer to you than I am IOTA. Good to hear from you! I wanted LM bass but decided on HSB's for 2 reasons and I may be wrong in both cases. I hope someone will chime in on this. For one they dont reproduce so I'm not worried about overpopulation. Second, for such a large fish, it looks like they have relatively smaller mouths than LMB. I figured they wouldn't do as much damage on the larger HBG's. email me if you want to chat.

#26002 - 12/28/06 07:00 PM Re: HSB fall stocking ?
Eastland Offline

Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 1039
Loc: Dallas TX
Lusk has written confirming the effectiveness of HSB controlling controversial species, here's my opinion based on my own experiences.

HSB are a top of the line predator, if you want them in a private pond, be prepared to throw feed. Toss in a few channel cats as they enjoy the same food, but occupy a different nitch, those are for eating, let the HSB grow \:\)

Suppliment the forage base with everything but the kitchen sink...heck, go ahead and throw that in for structure \:\) I have BG, Gambusia, Tilapia (in season), and Threadfin shad. I also don't shy away from white perch (aka crappie, sac-a-lait)

HSB are eating machines and quickly devour an underdeveloped forage base. If you choose to go full throttle with the forage, you can always cut back on the feed to pressure the natural consumption of fish in the 1-3.5" range if they become overpopulated.

Shawn, you'll only get 1 real chance at stocking HSB for the first time...I would stock 100 and get a feeder ready by Spring if I were in your shoes. They are incredible fish.

You appear to have a very good handle on what you're doing...the CNBG/fatheads will provide good nutrition the 1st year, and new ponds often produce phenominal growth rates too. Your forage base should have been in place 1 year prior to stocking predators...but if you suppliment feed, you should be ok.


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