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#40019 - 10/12/03 04:01 PM FISH WON'T BITE
CHARLES Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/03
Posts: 4
Loc: NORTH TEXAS
BACKGROUND INFO:

3/4 ACRE POND, 11 FEET DEEP. SPRING FED AND RETENTION FILLED. RED SAND/CLAY, WATER ALWAYS MUDDY.

DUG IN NOV. 1999
STOCKED WITH 500-600 EACH - COPPER NOSE BREAM, HYBRID BLUE GILL AND CHANNEL CAT IN JAN 2000.

SUFACE FED FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS. STARTED FISHING IN FALL 2000. ALL BREEDS HEALTHY, ACTIVE AND GROWING.

EVERYTHING CONTINUED WELLTHROUGH FALL 2002 WHEN I REALIZED FISH WERE NO LONGER GROWING, BUT WERE STILL BITING WELL.

FEB 2003 STOCKED 100 FLORIDA SMALL MOUTH BASS.

MINNOWS AND TADPOLES ARE VERY ABUNDANT BUT NOW I MAY CATCH ONE CHANNEL CAT EVERY OTHER WEEK. ONE BASS CAUGHT, ABOUT 2 POUNDS 14 INCHES LONG.

THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A FUN FAMILY POND FOR THE GRAND KIDS, BUT THE FISH HAVE JUST STOPPED BITING.

ANY AND ALL SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE SINCERELY APPRECIATED.
_________________________
GRANDPA

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#40020 - 10/12/03 09:45 PM Re: FISH WON'T BITE
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Sounds like you have drastically overstocked predators for a 3/4 acre pond. You might get away with 100 channel cats and 25 or so bass. On the other hand, the presence of minnows indicates that you might have a predator shortage or a predator survival problem. I think I would first go back to feeding and observe what was coming to feed. Keep some records and weigh your catches. A 2 lb. bass that was stocked last Feb. must have been pretty big when stocked.

The bottom line is that you probably overstocked and Mother Nature finally caught up with you.

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#40021 - 10/13/03 08:42 AM Re: FISH WON'T BITE
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Just realized. You don't mention stocking minnows. Are you sure they aren't baby bluegills? If so, thats a different scenario.

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#40022 - 10/13/03 06:50 PM Re: FISH WON'T BITE
CHARLES Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/03
Posts: 4
Loc: NORTH TEXAS
I DID NOT STOCK MINNOWS. THESE ARE LARGE SILVER MINNOWS ABOUT 3" LONG. I'M SORRY I COULN'T TELL YOU WHAT THEY ARE, BUT IF YOU KNOW OF A WEB SITE THAT I COULD GO TO TO IDENTIFY THEM I WOULD BE HAPPY TO DO SO.

THANKS
_________________________
GRANDPA

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#40023 - 10/13/03 11:13 PM Re: FISH WON'T BITE
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Charles, Fish ID websites have been referenced several times but I don't know where they were. Either look at a lot of subjects here or maybe someone can give the URL. It sounds like silver shiner minnows. The question is where they came from. Maybe someone was using them for fishing and released some.

However, having a lot of minnows indicates a probable predator problem or shortage. How are your bluegill? Do you see predator activity?

There are a lot of questions here. You should be able to catch some fish but in a small pond, the fish get educated fairly quickly. In a muddy pond, bass usually bite out of instinct and at sound.

Start feeding and see what you have. Also, try using live bait.

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#40024 - 10/14/03 08:42 PM Re: FISH WON'T BITE
Ric Swaim Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
_________________________
Pond Boss Subscriber & Books Owner


If you can read this ... thank a teacher. Since it's in english ... thank our military!
Ric

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#40025 - 10/14/03 09:50 PM Re: FISH WON'T BITE
CHARLES Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/03
Posts: 4
Loc: NORTH TEXAS
DAVE:

THANK YOU FOR STICKING WITH ME ON THIS.

THIS WEEKEND WE H
AD SOME OF OUR KIDS OUT AND TRIED ALM0ST EVERYTHING. I MEAN WE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A NIBBLE.

AFTER I GOT YOUR EMAIL, I WENT OUT TO OUR "CATALPA" TREE AND PLUCKECKED A FEW OF THE BIG ONES.
_________________________
GRANDPA

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#40026 - 10/14/03 09:55 PM Re: FISH WON'T BITE
CHARLES Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/03
Posts: 4
Loc: NORTH TEXAS
DAVE: THE WEB SITE IS NOT COOPERATING WITH ME.

IN LESS THAN A MINUTE I CAUGHT A BEATIFUL BLUEGILL.

WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE FOR THIS POND TO BE A FUN FISHING HOLE?

CHARLES
_________________________
GRANDPA

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#40027 - 10/15/03 09:22 AM Re: FISH WON'T BITE
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Charles; I think I would start with the basics. Water quality is the most important part of the question. Next an analysis of the fish population is in order.

Why is the water muddy? Can it be cleared? Look at the muddy Water area of this website. Lots of ideas and prescriptions. Next, have you analyzed the water? Alkilinity, PH, etc. I like to think of a body of water from a holistic standpoint. If the tiny little suckers have a tough time, so do the bigun's. Is your water fertile or maybe even too fertile? You say you are in North Texas but that covers a lot of real estate. If it is East Texas, I would bet on low alkilinity. That is serious and necessitates changes. Muddy water sounds more like West Texas maybe with livestock. Catalpa worms? Probably back to East Texas.

Fish population? The most desirable way to sample it is fishing but that brings us back to your original plea. You could call in a pro to analyze it. That is the best bet. You may not want to do that for financial reasons. Start feeding and look at the results. I like to feed close to shore with a couple of guys already standing out in the water with a long seine. That will tell part of the story but larger fish escape when I try it. It at least tells part of the story and over time, with good record keeping, will tell a pretty story.

My initial suspicion is that you overstocked and the population couldn't handle it. Probably had a die off. I have screwed up several ponds that way. Also, you can correctly stock, get a drought and then have an out of balance biomass resulting in a stressed population.

No matter what happens, I expect your checkbook will get a workout. Combine a pond with grandkids and things get expensive. I have had to tell my three daughters to stop having kids. I can't afford any more of them.

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