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Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds #330705 04/16/13 03:01 PM
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Yesterday, while thumbing though a January/March issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife publication “Outdoor Magazine of Texas”, I discovered an interesting pond management article.

What caught my eye on the double photo page were three large fish pictures – no not a Largemouth Bass, but a photo of a couple of cute kids holding a big stringer of Blue gills, couple of guys, one holding a big Grass Carp, and a beautiful young lady holding a huge………..HYBRID STRIPED BASS!
The caption reads – “an increasingly popular stocking option”!

I almost fell out of my chair, remembering the day I sat down with some TP&W fisheries biologists to discuss stocking Hybrid Stripers in our new N.E. Texas pond.
I was advised they would not survive in Texas farm ponds.
That must have been somewhere about 2001/2002 IIRC .

Not taking no for an answer, I asked Bob Waldrop of Tyler Fish Farms if he knew of a supplier of HSB and he said he would check for me.
I found Todd Overton’s name on the Internet as a fish vendor - he was a recent TAMU fisheries graduate biologist, still located in College Station. He told me he would help me as soon as he got settled in his newly acquired fish farm in Buffalo Texas.

Waldrop found a wholesale fish supplier who delivered 100 ~4 inch fingerlings.
All of you old time Pb’ers know the rest of the story!
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.ph...ite_id=1#import

After the mistake of stocking expensive fish food for our LMB, in February 2004 we decided to build a “forage/grow out” pond. After a healthy population of CNBG and FHM forage base was established, we contacted Overton and he provided 100 4-6 inch HSB fingerlings, which we grew to 8 inches by early winter.

Overton took it from there, accepting our grow-out success and began his successful Hybrid Striped Bass program.
To date, he has reported several of his customers have caught 10+ lb Hybrid Stripers.

I took a lot of slings and arrows at times but it was worth the effort!
I can now catch a couple or so HSB each trip to our pond – they will outfight a LMB many times over – greatest freshwater fish that swims IMO!

It’s a “feel good” moment to have the satisfaction of achieving a long-term goal – thanks to Todd Overton and to many of my PondBoss friends who have helped along the way!

George Glazener



N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #330716 04/16/13 03:53 PM
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George - I'm not sure anyone would have seriously considered HSB before you started promoting them.

Here is a photo from a few years back at Sunil's pond in the wilds of the Appalachian mountains of southern Pennsylvania. This is Sunil and Todd3138, as Todd is bringing in an HSB.


And, here is Todd3138 before releasing Sunil's fish back to fight another day.


I've had mixed success with HSB. One of these days I'll have great success. They are difficult to find in this area. I'd also say that they are as difficult to transport, and maybe more so, than trout. Thus, they are expensive to transport.

Other than that, they are incredible additions to ponds.


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Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #330725 04/16/13 05:20 PM
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Great story George,I am always amazed at the wealth of information and pioneering spirit this forum has.

Catmandoo,have you tried Skip at Delmarva aquatics for HSB?I cant imagine he'd be more then 4 hours from you in WV.As far as transporting them goes,Ive scene quite a few good options on home made setups here,I made one a while back(before finding PB) out of a old chest freezer.I have only tested it at the pond,but it holds temps pretty good and didn't kill the fish I tossed in there for the day.

Last edited by Robert-NJ; 04/16/13 05:23 PM.
Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: Robert-NJ] #330729 04/16/13 05:31 PM
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George, if TP&W is on board, maybe my friend down there will be now too.

TP&W told him that Tilapia compete with BG, so he's reluctant to stock them. I'll be seeing him in 2 weeks, and we'll sit down and chat.... wink


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Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331008 04/17/13 10:47 PM
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George,

Can you tell me how your experience has been with HSB and LMB in the same pond? Does one fish out compete the other for food? What have you found in addition to threadfin has been a good food source for HSB? What feed are you using if any to feed them? Have you ever had or heard of successfull spawning of HSB in ponds.

Sorry for all the questions. I have not stocked them, but I am intrigued.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331026 04/18/13 08:16 AM
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catmandoo, yesterday (after hearing of Victor's success), I made the pilgrimage to Zett's Fish Hatchery in Drifting PA.

I brought back (20) HSB that were supposed to be in the 6-7" range. I think they were actually 7-9" though!!

I also got YP, LMB, and some CC, and they were all on the larger side of the size range or above the quoted size range.

All fish were boxed in styrofoam containers and the bags were filled with pure oxygen.

All fish went into a neighborhood retention pond, and about 12 kids and a few adults had their first stocking experience ever.

No morts after a few hours.

I can't wait to get home and see how things are going.

BUT, back on topic, YES, george, you and a few select others made a quantum change in private pond dynamics with the Hybrid Striped Bass!!


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: salex] #331027 04/18/13 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted By: salex
George,

Can you tell me how your experience has been with HSB and LMB in the same pond? Does one fish out compete the other for food? What have you found in addition to threadfin has been a good food source for HSB? What feed are you using if any to feed them? Have you ever had or heard of successfull spawning of HSB in ponds.

Sorry for all the questions. I have not stocked them, but I am intrigued.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Steve, this is going to be tough questions to keep in perspective because I know you well enough to know that you are very knowledgeable and have a passion for Largemouth bass.

On the other hand, I have fished for LMB all of my life and quite honestly got bored with them, having fished seriously through all of the Lake Fork years and fishing all of the hot water lakes in this part of the country.

I discovered Striped Bass on Lake Texoma early 1980s and pursued them with a passion for some 20 years – then I discovered Hybrid Striped Bass - they are easier to catch and will outfight a LMB several times over.

When my son built “our” ponds in 2000/2001, Jeff being a hardcore LMB fisherman wanted bass and I wanted to experiment with HSB even though I was discouraged by TP&W.

I ended up managing the ponds primarily for HSB, becoming primarily pellet fed, taking the pressure off of forage species available for LMB.
Quite frankly, I never targeted LMB until advent of Camelot Bell LMB genetics to improve our pure Florida LMB strain.

By using grow-out ponds, Hybrid Striped Bass fingerlings can be either feed trained or forage trained. Our first forage/grow out pond was stocked with CNBG and FHM and had so many the pond looked black. We then stocked inexpensive HSB fingerlings and they were not catchable with pellet flies – I thought they had all died.
Jeff told me he was catching them on spinner baits – my wife and I then caught 17, 8 inch HSB in one afternoon to transfer to main pond.

Next batch were started on pellets and became instantly pellet trained.
LMB and HSB may or may not compete for the same food; it all depends on how you want to manage them. There may or may not be competition for forage – Florida LMB, to the best of knowledge, cannot me feed trained.

We have not been successful in experimental stocking threadfin shad, but since we have such good bloom this year Todd Overton wants to try again.

Our primary feed program for HSB has been Purina AquaMax pellets, but feeding could be a supplement to forage in your big lakes IMO.

There have been rare incidents reported of HSB minor spawns in ponds and lakes – Stacy of Stubby Steve fame has reported HSB spawn.

Hope this has not been too long winded but I have a passion for HSB.
You are aware of Texas Parks and Wildlife stocking increased numbers of HSB in public waters – some of my bass fishing friends are fast being converted to Hybrid Striped Bass fishermen. TP&W are now calling them “Palmetto Bass”.


Thanks for your questions - I have detail info to share that may be helpful.
Good luck spring fishing your very productive lakes.
George



N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331060 04/18/13 03:38 PM
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Great info. Thanks for sharing.

Delivered threadfin all morning in the pouring down rain. Cold and miserable, But it was great to see the wet stuff. Bring on more of it!

Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331622 04/21/13 11:24 PM
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I jumped on the bandwagon mentally in 2006 and stocked my first HSB in 2007....I have since introduced them to literally hundreds of lakes and ponds in Illinois and have been following them very closely in each and every place we have stocked them....

In most of our waters without a shad forage base they can make a go in bass infested waters without feed, but it helps tremendously to get them up to about 14" and then they can take off from there...

In my personal lake, HSB is my main meat fish. Right now we have about 4000 of them in the lake and we take out and put in about 1000 each year give or take a few....

They get smarter alot faster than largemouth to artificial baits (mainly when they know your around, they are very keen to that) but there are certain baits they cannot refuse which make them very susceptible to me n the kids anytime we want to have a fish fry...usually when we have fish fry's its 30-100 people and we always catch em fresh same day we eat em....

Oh yeah, for anyone contemplating giving them a try in your pond, here are some pics to help you with your decision. Keep in mind this isn't Texas, but rather Central Illinois, but we now know whats possible from there to here......










Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331624 04/21/13 11:27 PM
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Oh yeah, Steve: I laugh out loud at your whining and complaining about cold and miserable down in Texas while stocking threadfin shad...

I have found the two things that bring on rain better than anything on the planet are stocking fish and digging a basement...


Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331639 04/22/13 07:08 AM
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Nice HSB photos as usual Nate!
Thanks for posting - we were not supposed to be able to stock them in Texas farm ponds but now TP&W mag article pictures them....
George



N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331645 04/22/13 07:54 AM
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George,
You were the reason I absolutely had to try them in the first place! I paid an arm and a leg for my first batch cause I couldnt find any suppliers and I put together a 20x20 mesh cage to raise them in and was the happiest guy on the planet when they actually lived......the rest is history...


Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: n8ly] #331656 04/22/13 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted By: n8ly
They get smarter alot faster than largemouth to artificial baits (mainly when they know your around, they are very keen to that) but there are certain baits they cannot refuse which make them very susceptible to me n the kids anytime we want to have a fish fry...usually when we have fish fry's its 30-100 people and we always catch em fresh same day we eat em....


Great looking fish Nate, and it looks like the kids are having a blast too!

What baits do you use?


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331674 04/22/13 11:14 AM
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The reason I wanted to stock Hybrid Striped Bass in the first place was for sport fishing - on the fly. They will outfight a LMB several times over.
You guys with big cool water can catch bigger HSB than ours from hot small ponds, but we usually catch 3-5 pounders each trip - larger sometimes if we get lucky.. grin

Favorite killer HSB fly is my Spinster - renamed by Ewest to Mrs. G's $ Gill...
Now ....if you just want to "survey" population and condition - feed them Stubby Steve pellet flies... cool

Thanks go to many that helped me along the way, but it was a struggle for a couple of years before I discovered PB as "George" in June of 2002.
G/



N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331720 04/22/13 02:21 PM
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I was at a ranch in Ranger (2 hours west of Dallas) this weekend catching 4 to 6 lb fish and it was a total blast.

When you catch them in warm water (July/August/September)I have heard that they can expire after catching; making catch and release nearly impossible. George, has this been your experience? What type of annual growth rates are typical in a moderately managed ponds?

Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: salex] #331726 04/22/13 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: salex
I was at a ranch in Ranger (2 hours west of Dallas) this weekend catching 4 to 6 lb fish and it was a total blast.

When you catch them in warm water (July/August/September)I have heard that they can expire after catching; making catch and release nearly impossible. George, has this been your experience? What type of annual growth rates are typical in a moderately managed ponds?

Steve, that is my experience exactly, especially for large HSB, but no worse than Texoma striped bass in hot summertime if caught on light tackle and not landed quickly.
I like to land fish quickly, resuscitate and release.
They will fight until they die when caught on light tackle.

For our pond HSB, I have an O2 system rigged in a Igloo cooler with a micro-pore diffuser. I call it my HSB ICU device smile - they revive quickly - can remember losing maybe one fish ever!

Growth rates vary depending upon water conditions, but I have seen them double their weight every year for three or four years.

Best pond sport fish ever IMO…
George




N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: george1] #331807 04/23/13 08:49 AM
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Esshup, when all else fails, come hell or high water you can always catch a hybrid striped bass using chicken liver for bait....


Re: Hybrid Striped Bass in Texas Farm Ponds [Re: n8ly] #331808 04/23/13 08:53 AM
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Thanks Nate! A buddy has some in his pond that are pretty finickey eaters.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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