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#12529 - 06/12/05 09:12 AM Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years
3z3k3l Offline
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Registered: 01/31/05
Posts: 111
Loc: Dallas, TX
Great article just written, So there is a secret on how to do this. Wish I could start over with my pond.

 Quote:
Hold that Tigress
All female bass stock gives anglers a better shot at a trophy

By John E. Phillips
Contributing Writer
June 01. 2005 3:15AM
- Last modified: June 06. 2005 5:11PM

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# Print this story.

Imagine a lake with only 6-pound or larger bass. New research now makes this possible.

Trying to figure out how to produce a trophy-bass pond quickly and inexpensively has haunted Don Keller and Barry Smith, owners of American Sport Fish Hatchery in Montgomery, for years. But, this year they’ve developed a solution that can make trophy-bass fishing not only possible, but available to small-pond owners at a very-reasonable price.

“We’ve learned that if we can stock all female bass, we can produce a trophy-bass lake in 3 years,” Smith explains.

When a female bass spawns, she produces 50-percent males and 50-percent females. Since males seldom exceed 4 pounds in weight, regardless of the genetic stock, half of those fish will never reach trophy potential. That’s the primary difficulty in producing a pond with all trophy bass.

In other words, in a lake’s initial stocking 50 percent of the bass don’t have the ability to grow to trophy size. As female bass reproduce in that pond, more and more male bass that can’t reach trophy potential are introduced into the pond. Each year, the number of male bass increases.

To keep a lake in balance, anglers or pond managers must remove bass each year to make room for the new bass just spawned. The larger the lake, the more difficult it is to keep the lake at or below its carrying capacity.

In a well-balanced fertile pond that’s built in good soils with an original stocking of quality bass, you usually need to remove 25 to 30 pounds of bass per year per acre. But every lake has different properties and harvest requirements, and each lake needs a prescription for bass harvest based on a number of factors. Generally, the older a lake, the more small bass it will have in it, and the fewer trophy bass.

Based on water and soil quality, the amount of forage and the type and the quality of bass initially stocked in a lake, fishery scientists can tell how many pounds of bass that lake potentially can grow each year. That number is not the same as the number of bass that the lake can hold per year.

For instance, if a lake has a carrying capacity of 100 pounds of bass per acre, this number means that the acre can carry one, 100-pound bass, or four, 25-pound bass, or, 10, 10-pound bass. A 3-year-old pond may have hundreds of small bass in it, including 4- to 6-inch-long bass, another year class 6- to 8-inches long, and a third year class 8- to 10-inches long. To arrive at the total of 100 pounds of bass per acre, it’s necessary to add up the weight of all these small bass.

To have a trophy bass fishery, it’s necessary to remove most of the small bass and leave only the larger bass. Removing the small bass every year means expending time and labor as well as incurring costs, especially if electrofishing is used to accomplish this task.

In a perfect world, anglers could buy female bass that weigh 6- to 12-pounds each and stock only those female bass in their ponds. It would be easier to maintain a trophy-bass lake. Fishermen would simply catch and release those big females that don’t reproduce because the pond has no males. They could continue to keep the water quality in good condition, the pond fertile and the pond full of forage fish for your bass. However, few people can afford the cost of creating a pond like this or find and buy 10 female bass that weigh 10-pounds each or 20, 5-pound female bass to put in a 1-acre pond.

However, just stocking female bass won’t solve the trophy-bass problem completely. To produce bass that weigh from 6- to 10-pounds each in three to four years, the females stocked in the lake must come from brood stock of extremely large bass.

“To stock a lake for trophy production, I’d stock all females that were produced from females that weighed 10 pounds or more each,” Smith explains. “I’d also want the females that I stocked into my trophy pond to come from a male bass that had been produced by a trophy-female bass. This way both the male and the female that produced the female offspring for stocking would have trophy bass on both sides of their parentage.”

A Florida stream female largemouth used to breed Tigress bass swims in American Sport Fish Hatchery's tank. The genetically engineeredproduce only female offspring.
Research has proven that scientists can genetically engineer fish to produce only females. Taking this scientific research and applying this technology to the bass in American Sport Fish’s hatchery breeding program, Keller and Smith are genetically engineering a strain of all-female bass. At their hatchery, Smith and Keller have kept detailed records of the breeding programs on the bass they’ve produced.

“Once we have an initial stocking of all female bass, we’ll put 20 of these females in one of our research ponds to watch and record their growth rate,” Smith explains. “Currently we have three, 3-year-old research ponds stocked only with female bass. We’ve seen an exceptional growth on these fish of 4 pounds in the first year. This growth rate has occurred in both the Florida strain of black bass stocked in one pond and the northern strain of black bass stocked in another pond.

“Then the second year, the growth rate slows down. However, at the end of two years, individual bass in each of these ponds will weigh more than 6-pounds each. By the third year as the number of female bass approaches the carrying capacity of the pond, all the bass have shown good growth, with some individuals weighing more than 8-pounds each.”

Initially, American Sport Fish stocked these lakes at 25 bass per acre. At the end of three years, the bass in the pond weighed from 6- to 8-pounds each, a phenomenal growth rate but not the upper-end potential of how many pounds a bass could put on in a year.

“With an abundance of food, we know that a bass that weighs 4 pounds one year can gain an additional 4 pounds the second year,” Smith reports.

For many years, scientists believed that when bass reached a certain age, their growth rate slowed down. However, Texas Parks and Wildlife put a 12-pound bass in a study tank that they fed so much food that the bass gained an additional 4 pounds in one year, although probably not a realistic-growth rate for bass in a farm pond. Holding and feeding this 12-pound bass in a tank and providing as much forage as the fish would eat contributed to the weight gain.

Stocking 25 bass in a 1-acre pond, at the end of three years, some of the 25 bass will have died.

“We know from natural mortality studies that there will be less than 20 bass in the lake after three years,” Smith says. “However, to compensate for natural mortality and for fishing mortality, several more female bass can be introduced to the lake every year to keep the population numbers at about 25-female trophy bass per acre.”

If you manage a pond like this for three years, you’ll more than likely have a pond with a higher density of trophy bass than any other waters in America. Therefore, you’ll have an extremely-high likelihood of catching a bass that weighs from 6 to 8 pounds or more, especially if the trophy females stocked in the lake have come from a Tiger Bass breeding, which means biologists have bred those females for aggressiveness as well as to gain weight quickly.

“These females aren’t sterile,” Smith warns. “If you want to have a trophy-bass-only lake, you may have to remove some of the non-sterile females to keep the growth going beyond the 10- to 12-pound range per bass. Remember, if you exceed the carrying capacity of the lake, the growth rate of the bass will dramatically decrease.”

The future of recreational bass fishing may very well be in stocking ponds with only selectively-bred female bass because
n These bass grow at a faster rate than non-genetically engineered bass
n Bass grow to trophy sizes much quicker than they do standard stocking and management practices
n The likelihood of catching a trophy bass in ponds stocked and managed for females only is far greater than in a pond that contains both male and female bass.

Barry Smith, Co-owner of American Sport fish Hachery, holds up a 5-pound Tigress. It took the fish only two years to obtain this weight.
However, pond owners stocking only female bass in a lake or a pond, must make sure there’s no inflow of water that gives a male bass access to that pond. One male bass in a pond full of females, will breed some of the female bass. That will eventually create a pond full of mature.

Even if that happens, by the time natural reproduction starts, hopefully the pond will have built up a large number of trophy female bass. Because of the possibility of a male bass getting into an all-female pond, not every lake or pond is a good candidate for an all-female bass-stocking program.

A new lake that never has had bass offers the best results. Pond owners can supplement their initial stocking every year with a certain number of additional female fingerlings. This keeps a new crop of younger-age-class female bass coming along every year.

Keller and Smith say that American Sport Fish’s Tigress Bass stocking program allows pond owners to determine the size and number of bass anglers can catch from their ponds. For instance, angler who only want to catch 8- to 10-pound bass from their pond can use a relatively-low stocking rate. Those who prefer to catch 6- to 8-pound bass can increase the stocking rate and thereby increase the number of bass available to catch.

Depending on the number of Tigress Bass in the pond or lake initially and the number of fish you add each year, anglers can adjust the size and number of bass they catch.

American Sport Fish will offer only Tigress Bass females for stocking from the Tiger Bass hybrid that American Sport Fish has developed. The genetic makeup of these Tigresses not only will include the ability to grow at a rapid rate over a short time but also the tendency to eat pelleted food and have much-more aggressive behavior than other bass, especially the tight-lipped Florida bass.

“Although most anglers are familiar with the Florida bass and how rapidly it grows, research has proved that the Florida strain of largemouth bass, after it reaches a weight of 4 to 5 pounds, is much-more reluctant to bite artificial lures than the northern strain of largemouth bass,” Smith says. “The genetics we’ve bred into these Tigress Bass have come from sires that have been the most-aggressive northern bass in our breeding program and have demonstrated exceptional weight-gaining potential.

This creates a bass that will gain weight like a Florida bass but will demonstrate the aggressive characteristics of a northern largemouth.

“A 16-pound bass swimming around in someone’s pond that no one can catch has very little value to the pond owner,” Smith says. “One very-important factor to remember here is for the Tigress Bass to reach her genetic potential, there must be plenty of forage in the lake or pond, and the pond must be well-managed.

“If you have one of the best cows that money can buy and put it out in a poor pasture, that cow never will meet its genetic potential. For that cow to be all it can be, it has to have plenty of lush grass and hay, and that food must be available whenever the cow is ready to eat. The same principle is true when you’re growing trophy bass.”

A Tigress Bass needs a well-managed pond with plenty of forage to reach her full potention. In that environment the Tigress can gain up to 3 pounds a year for several years.

The Tigress Bass cost from $3 to $5 each, depending on the number of fish available and the size of the fish at the time of sale. While the price seems high, the fish have a much-lower stocking rate.

A limited number of Tigresses went on the prowl nationwide during the spring of ‘05. The high demand for these new bass means that pond owners may have to order Tigresses a year in advance. All these bass will come with certificates that certify their breeding and the fact that they are female bass.

John Phillips is a freelance writer living in Birmingham.
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050601/GOA01/50606003/ 1120
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#12530 - 06/12/05 03:46 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years
Greg Grimes Offline
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thanks for posting. Producing all female bass populations has been of interest for sometime. My originial thesis back in 1996 was on the production by adminstering 17 beta estradiol prior sex differnation in laremouth fry less than 2 inhces.

Am sportfish has been working on this for sometime. WHile waiting on them to become avail we stocked female bass by sexing in the spring. I shocked one of those lakes about a month ago and we are getting growth over 2.5 lbs/yr. Client very happy but also we already had one male showup?? So in this case only buying time before reporduciton begins and carrying capacity is reached without harvest.

Great option for some and I look forward to its use.
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#387045 - 09/10/14 11:59 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: Greg Grimes]
stang00 Offline


Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Oklahoma
I know this is an older thread but can anyone tell me by chance if the stocking of all female bass would mean that you would or would not need to stock a 30:1 CNBG ratio if "Trophy Bass" is the objective. I'm wondering if the higher BG stocking of 30:1 or higher, which is recommended if you want Trophy Bass should be the same or lower since the all female bass cant reproduce.

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#387131 - 09/11/14 06:56 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Heckuva good question. I reread the article and there was no mention of forage stocking sizes and numbers. A trophy predator needs trophy sized forage. And yet, the forage can over populate without something grazing on them when they are small. This might mean stocking a bunch of forage that only spawns annually like green sunfish and/or redears. Add tilapia for the summer and trout for the winter. Aeration and a bunch of fish feed is also key.

And, a lot of this is regional. My thoughts/advice is pretty useless unless you live in the area that I understand with long, hot summers and temperate winters.

I've actually done this type of thing on other peoples ponds in North Texas. And, it's not very much fun to have a pond that you have to hold off on fishing for several years. Even then, you seem to wind up with a bunch of big fish with lock jaw.
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#387138 - 09/11/14 08:50 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
RC51 Offline
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Hmmm that was an interesting artical for sure. Like DD1 says though. If your using CNBG for forage and they reproduce like crazy but if all your bass are 5 plus pounds mostly what is gonna eat the 2 to 3 inch BG??? Could it be that those BG would get to be at least 5 inches long if there was a LOT of them and they would be perfect size for 20 inch bass?

It doesn't add up. A 5 pound bass is about 21 inches long and if a bass can eat 1/3 it's length your talking about needing a bunch of 7 inch BG just for that 1, 5 pound bass. And lets say your got 20, 5 pound bass in your pond. How are you gonna keep up that forage base? Large Shad maybe??

Here is one problem I see in all of this. If you have SOOOOO much food in your pond for these bass to grow SOOOO large why do they need to take your bait at all??? I know some bass bite on instink but if there full to the gills from all the forage in the pond why even bother to come get your buzzbait or your frog or worm.....

Here ia perfect example of what I am talking about. I fed my CNBG all summer twice a day. AM600

Well we caught a few here and there and some small ones, but the bite was hard and if you had a bobber on you almost never got a bite except tiny stuff. Keep in mind this is in a 1 acre pond. I am sure this could very depending on pond size!

Fast forward to last month. I went to my pond and my feeder was out of food it had been out for a few weeks.

Had the best DANG day fishing for CNBG I ever had bobber and all!! I was catching 8 to 10 inch BG like crazy!! Why??? Because they were HUNGRY!! They hadn't been fed in 3 weeks.

I would think that would be the same thing with bass. (Maybe I am wrong) Yes you can get them to bite from time to time while feeding them, but take away there easy food once and see what happens! FISH ON!!! It's a 2 edged sword IMO.

If you give them tons of food to eat they grow big but it's much harder to catch them.

If you hold back on what they eat then they don't grow of even start to go backwards in weight, but you can catch them much easier.

RC
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#387141 - 09/11/14 08:55 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Such rapt interest in growing green carp! grin

Sorry couldn't help myself!

Interesting read and topic. Carry on! wink


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (09/11/14 08:55 AM)
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#387161 - 09/11/14 12:58 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
stang00 Offline


Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Oklahoma
I personally would be ok with lower catch rates but with potential big LMB to be caught. What damage could be done to a pond like this one if the BG population were to get out of control and stunt not allowing the LMB to eat the proper size to grow to trophies? Would it be ok for the LMB since there is so much abundance that they could compensate by eating more 4in BG meals instead of 7-8in BG or would it take away from their gaining potential? Are there any positives to a stunted, large population of BG in a pond such as this?


Edited by stang00 (09/11/14 01:00 PM)

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#387170 - 09/11/14 04:49 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
ewest Offline
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It is essential in my opinion to keep some semblance of balance.

One thing that can happen (which can be good or bad depending on the goal) is that LMB will stop reproducing if extreme overcrowding of BG occurs. LMB can sense that reproduction efforts will be fruitless and abandon the event until the situation corrects.

Also extreme overcrowding of any species leads to poor population conditions subject to disease and starvation. This leads to wild swings of all effected populations.
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#387179 - 09/11/14 07:53 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: ewest]
esshup Offline
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Eric, if the LMB population is all female, won't reproduction be a non-issue?
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#387215 - 09/12/14 08:59 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
stang00 Offline


Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Oklahoma
There should be no reproduction because they are all female. But that is interesting that if LMB feel reproduction is fruitless they will abandon the efforts, that could help (for a while, anyway)if there was a rogue male LMB that somehow got transplanted into the pond and it was overpopulated with stunted BG. Do you have an article or link to where that information is found?

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#387217 - 09/12/14 09:15 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
RC51 Offline
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Well lets see that's a good question about the 4 inch BG instead of the 7 or 8 inch.

Why couldn't they just catch 2, 4inch BG and be just as happy right?

Well large LMB don't like to expel any more engery than they have to so the question becomes how big would they get if they are having to double there effort to catch 2, 4 inch BG instead of 1, 7 inch BG. I really can't answer that to a tee but here is what I think.

I think you could still have some nice size bass yes but I don't think they would ever reach there full potential in this type of case.

Another wards you could have a lot of nice 5 to 6 pound bass maybe even 7 pound but you may never get to the 8 plus because of all the energy said bass has to use to catch his meal twice. Plus you have to figure sometimes he isnt always going to get a 4 inch BG it might be 3 inch or 2.5 inch.... And that just won't cut it for a bass that is already 5 or 6 pounds. You will end up with some having the big head and small body issue. Someone please feel free to correct if I am wrong.

RC
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#387218 - 09/12/14 09:30 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
stang00 Offline


Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Oklahoma
I can understand that logic. But is there really that much expended energy for the bass if the BG are stacked in there so thick that they stunt. I mean it would seem to me that the reason that they are stunted is bc they are everywhere.... wouldn't the LMB just need to turn around to eat. So, for example if you stocked 2-3000 BG in a 2 acre pond (plus other various forage species) then you allowed one spawning season for the BG and then added 60 Female LMB (33:1-50:1 recommended stocking for a regular "trophy" bass pond) You of course could/should add other predators, but we're just talking about LMB growth here. So, after a few more BG spawns, when the LMB get large enough to start eating the BG they start with the smaller ones and move up in sizes of BG. Well, its been a few years now and now you have several 5lb bass and the BG have spawned a dozen or more times and are now stunted wouldn't the bass just have to turn around to eat? Even though some of her meals are smaller than what she needs, how much energy would she really expend chasing something that is so abundant.


Edited by stang00 (09/12/14 09:34 AM)

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#387220 - 09/12/14 09:46 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
Bill Cody Offline
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A good thought provoking discussion topic that I think can be applied to various species.

ewest you mention: ".... is that LMB will stop reproducing if extreme overcrowding of BG occurs. LMB can sense that reproduction efforts will be fruitless and abandon the event until the situation corrects." Do you have any literature reference that verifies this? If you do it would be a good topic for one of your articles in PBoss mag. It is my understanding that the lack of successful reproduction that produces recruitment of LMB in crowded BG conditions is due to hungry BG robbing the bass nest of eggs and fry and not that the bass sense that reproduction will be fruitless and abandon the event.


Edited by Bill Cody (09/12/14 09:47 AM)
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#387222 - 09/12/14 10:12 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
stang00 Offline


Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Oklahoma
This is a great topic, thanks for all you smart people joining in.

I'm not really sure if a pond such as this would overpopulate with stunted BG if other predators are added like HSB and BC or some combination like that.

I was just curious if anyone thought that it would. If it did you could always add more HSB or more female LMB and then cull the Bass based on RW once they were a certain size. Take out the ones with the best growth potential and wait a season or two and add
4-5 more 8-9in female LMB for the next generation, then repeat, or something like that, I guess. I just wonder who thinks the BG population would overpopulate and who thinks that if that happens the LMB with so many fish couldn't still reach their full potential trophy size?


Edited by stang00 (09/12/14 10:22 AM)

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#387223 - 09/12/14 10:24 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: stang00]
esshup Offline
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I'd leave the ones in that are showing the best growth potential (highest WR) and take out the underperforming LMB.
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#387225 - 09/12/14 10:29 AM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
stang00 Offline


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lol esshup that's what i meant....sorry! That might defeat the whole purpose! lol

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#387243 - 09/12/14 01:27 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
RC51 Offline
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Well I guess it's possible but the bigger the bass get the less BG your gonna have the harder it's gonnna be for them to catch them. New BG will be to small for your bass. Your talking trophy size right...

Have you ever actually held a 26 inch 10 pound bass. That one bass alone can eat a fricken truck load of fish. Or it will maybe eat twice a week if fed the right size fish... And if you have sooooo many BG in there that all they have to do is turn around to eat them your gonna end up with other issues.... parasites, viruses from stess, to much biomass, ick problems, fish fungus issues maybe...you better be running some kind of air or they will all die the first year...

I mean anything is possible I just don't think it's probable that's all.... Do I think you could have some nice bass? Yes just not a bunch of Trophies though.

RC
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#387252 - 09/12/14 02:06 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
stang00 Offline


Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Oklahoma
That makes sense! I'm interested if anyone has actually stocked 30:1 BG/LMB ratios and had all females what their pond has produced in LMB and what the BG population has done. Anyone know of a pond like that out there.

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#387253 - 09/12/14 02:10 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: stang00]
Rainman Offline
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Originally Posted By: stang00
I personally would be ok with lower catch rates but with potential big LMB to be caught. What damage could be done to a pond like this one if the BG population were to get out of control and stunt not allowing the LMB to eat the proper size to grow to trophies? Would it be ok for the LMB since there is so much abundance that they could compensate by eating more 4in BG meals instead of 7-8in BG or would it take away from their gaining potential? Are there any positives to a stunted, large population of BG in a pond such as this?


Here is the biggest reason fish want optimum forage sizes...in particular here, the weights of various size class BG, a 4" Gill weighs about on sixth of what a 7" gill weighs, so that bass would have to eat 6, 4" BG just to gain the same caloric potential of one 7" BG, but, it will also always expend 6 times more calories eating/catching them.

Kinda like a marathon runner eating 6 Big Macs while running a race and a couch potato eating six while punching a remote...guess which gains the weight fastest???


Edited by Rainman (09/12/14 02:28 PM)
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#387254 - 09/12/14 02:17 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
stang00 Offline


Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Oklahoma
Rainman, so do you think a pond like that would most likely stunt or do you think it most likely wouldn't stunt?

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#387255 - 09/12/14 02:34 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
Rainman Offline
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It's hard to predict just what will happen.

I think at first, and for a couple years, you will have great LMB growth, but with no BG control, the BG will stunt eventually from a lack of food to feed them,..and then your big bass will be eating all they can (and expending far too much energy) just to survive, instead of thriving and growing.

Trophy bass are difficult in any situation, but to have the best outcome, I believe like ewest said, you need a near balanced situation of reproduction and forage variety for ALL species.
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#387269 - 09/12/14 04:55 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
FireIsHot Online   content
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3968
Loc: Emory TX
The article quoted was interesting, but I'm not sure BG alone, even at 30-1, can give anyone the repeatable LMB trophy results they want.

On American Sport Fish's website they note that a 30-1 BG stocking rate was used with threadfin shad and golden shiners also stocked as forage.

Why aren't there Triploid LMB? That alone would be a home run.
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#387273 - 09/12/14 05:00 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
I think your right Fire, You would need some sort of Shad to go with them at least!!

Not speaking for them, but I remember reading stuff on here about n8ly's skills and Greg Grimes and in the Big boy ponds they all had some sort of Shad!! A bunch of them!!


RC
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#387278 - 09/12/14 05:33 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: 3z3k3l]
FireIsHot Online   content
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3968
Loc: Emory TX
I'll hopefully know late next March if a minimum of a 30-1 stocking of CNBG with female only LMB can get results like those posted. If Overton's can get their electroshocking boat in my back 1/2 acre pond, I'll know more.

But, the accepted method for trophy LMB is to manage LMB populations via culling, and I truly think that relying a single type of forage to repeatedly get those trophy's can create as many problems as it corrects. CNBG, Tilapia, and crayfish are on the menu in my big puddle.


4 near identical female LMB were transferred to my back 1/2 acre pond in March of 2013. There were no other LMB in that pond. It'll be interesting to see what they've done in 2 years.
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#387279 - 09/12/14 05:35 PM Re: Creating Trophy Bass in 3 years [Re: RC51]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24032
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
This isn't exactly what you are looking for, but it may lend some insight to how much the LMB eat.

My pond. It was roughy 1/4 to 1/3 acre. It winterkilled in 2003 right when I bought it. I stocked a bunch of BG, 90% Males because I caught them off of beds in a local lake, and a few LMB. Fast forward 5 years. Pond was drained and renovated. As many fish as possible were squeezed in one area of the pond, and that was dammed up during the renovation. Now the pond will vary in size from 5/8 ac to roughly 1 1/4 ac due to being a groundwater pond. I culled out a lot of the Male BG, added some females and stocked 4 feed trained LMB that were about 1# each. The LMB spawned, and I tried to stay ahead of the offspring. I stocked roughly 45 feed trained LMB that were around 12"-13" long in 2010, and tagged each and every fish with a numbered floy tag. Next fall I stocked between 2,000 and 3,000 BG. I started catching out every LMB that was a male, every LMB that didn't have a tag and every one that wasn't exhibiting fast growth rates. Within a year I noticed that the BG population was getting sparse.

I stocked about 500 adult BG, approx 60/40 females to males. The rule on the pond is to remove every LMB that doesn't have a tag, and I catch and remove every male LMB that I see guarding a nest. I still had at least one successful LMB spawn this year, as I saw 1" LMB in the pond. I'm still removing every LMB that isn't tagged, from 1" fish to 18" fish. No tag? Out you come.

The BG population is still thin, but the LMB are pretty plump, probably because they are feed trained and are eating Aquamax fish food. I think there are approx 20-30 adult LMB in the pond now (probably closer to 20), with a dozen feed trained SMB and one lone HSB in there. The BG population is still thin. I think next year it'll get another stocking of 2,000-3,000 BG.

I have caught a LMB this year that was 18 3/4" long and 5.5# after spending 3 days in a cage with no food. Here's a picture of it (I'm 99% sure it's a her).


So, I don't think you have to worry about the BG stunting in the pond.....

One thing - with my water fluctuating, there is very little cover for the BG to hide in when the water level drops. You can also add Tilapia to the pond to help take pressure off of the BG population and provide a different forage base for the LMB, at least for 9 months out of the year. Depending on the size of the pond you could look at Golden Shiners or Threadfin Shad for forage too. If you get a lot of cover in there (riprap) you probably should stock crayfish too. I put a couple hundred in the pond before I renovated it and the LMB (and possibly the CC) ate them all because of not enoug cover for them to hide in.
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