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#461054 - 12/28/16 11:53 AM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
poppy65 Offline


Registered: 04/15/13
Posts: 255
Loc: illinois
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
First...Thanks again Bill. There is a pondmeister in Northern Illinois that will sleep a little better tonight now that he has a plan for the future. smile

To help avoid the hook shy issue with CC, I have used a bigger hook, #2. The little guys rarely can get that hook in their mouth but learn the food on that hook is good to eat. So when they get big enough for the #2 hook .... Yes, you get a lot of nuisance bites and spend time re-baiting the hook. Changing baits also helps. Not a fool proof method thou. Nothing you can do when you are fishing with a smaller hook with a worm for BG and a smaller CC jumps on. That's ok cause I love small CC with the "bone in" deep fried! grin


There ya go Bill. Those small CC with the bone in taste better than the large fillets to me. Down here we call them "fiddlers". Not sure if that is a regional thing or not. A local tavern/restaurant has served fried fiddlers as far back as I can remember and I always get them instead of the fillets.

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#461076 - 12/28/16 02:51 PM Re: BG as forage for SMB, WE and YP? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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BillD. says ""IIRC CC are arguably the smartest fish in the pond."" This is why I suggested to not stock any more of them. There are other fish that can take the place of CC, be easier to catch, cause fewer problems, and taste as good if not better.
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#461100 - 12/28/16 07:18 PM Re: BG as forage for SMB, WE and YP? [Re: Bill D.]
ewest Offline
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There are incidents of SMB reproducing in ponds where there are LMB but it is where the SMB greatly outnumber the LMB (only a very few LMB). This lasts for a few years but over time the LMB take over and the SMB disappear.
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#461101 - 12/28/16 07:30 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: poppy65]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1558
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
[/quote]
There ya go Bill. Those small CC with the bone in taste better than the large fillets to me. Down here we call them "fiddlers". Not sure if that is a regional thing or not. A local tavern/restaurant has served fried fiddlers as far back as I can remember and I always get them instead of the fillets. [/quote]

We call small CC (usually under one lb) fiddlers here in Arkansas too.
The small ones make a croaking noise when held to remove a hook.
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#461106 - 12/28/16 08:28 PM Re: BG as forage for SMB, WE and YP? [Re: ewest]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: ewest
There are incidents of SMB reproducing in ponds where there are LMB but it is where the SMB greatly outnumber the LMB (only a very few LMB). This lasts for a few years but over time the LMB take over and the SMB disappear.


Ewest,

Thanks for the input! I have yet to see SMB recruits in my pond as well. The go forward plan for me will be just to ladder stock SMB to replace those I harvest. IMO the fight from a 15 inch Smallie makes an equivalent size LMB seem like a lamb, I don't want to give that up!
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#461107 - 12/28/16 08:34 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: John Fitzgerald]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: John F
Originally Posted By: poppy65
There ya go Bill. Those small CC with the bone in taste better than the large fillets to me. Down here we call them "fiddlers". Not sure if that is a regional thing or not. A local tavern/restaurant has served fried fiddlers as far back as I can remember and I always get them instead of the fillets.


We call small CC (usually under one lb) fiddlers here in Arkansas too.
The small ones make a croaking noise when held to remove a hook.


You guys are making me hungry! I've never heard the little guys called Fiddlers before but I like it!

I wish there was a good place near me that served them. IMO Only thing better than a restaurant that serves good "Fiddlers" is one that serves them all you can eat! smile
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#461171 - 12/30/16 09:58 AM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1103
Loc: NE Missouri
Very interesting reading this morning. Lots of good info here. I need to take a bit more time, and more effort to see how my recruitment is going. I had schools of smaller fish along the banks all summer. When I tried to trap, I caught tadpoles. I know I had a lot of YP ribbons, and the RES had nests in shallow water. The GSH seem to be more numerous than they were last summer. I had nesting beds made for the SMB, but my water level dropped, and I think they ended up being a bit too shallow. So, I'm not sure if I ever had SMB recruitment. I've caught a lot of SMB, and they, for the most part, look very healthy with swollen bellies. All my fish were stocked between April and October 2015. Not sure when I'll have a SMB big enough to keep. Well, I guess I could keep, a few now, but I like the length goals listed in Bill's post of 16" or larger. Maybe I'll see one by this next fall. So far I've kept 100s of YP. But I over stocked a little, so I'm pretty sure I have extras.


Edited by SetterGuy (12/30/16 10:02 AM)
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3 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#461191 - 12/30/16 03:45 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bob-O Offline
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Registered: 01/24/06
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Setter, when I built my pond I cut 55gal drums into sections about 8"s. I'd read that they prefer 2-4' depth so that is where I placed them with about 5"s of gravel in em. I also put one or two basketball sized boulders near them. Found out that I have a ground water level pond and the water level varies from 20-30'. I've had good recruitment from the first spring I put the SMB in. Last yr when I came back from Fl in early May I found one bedding in about 10"s of water on my sand beach. Got a feeling you will have enough of em.
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#461286 - 01/01/17 01:21 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bob-O]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1103
Loc: NE Missouri
Originally Posted By: Bob-O
Setter, when I built my pond I cut 55gal drums into sections about 8"s. I'd read that they prefer 2-4' depth so that is where I placed them with about 5"s of gravel in em. I also put one or two basketball sized boulders near them. Found out that I have a ground water level pond and the water level varies from 20-30'. I've had good recruitment from the first spring I put the SMB in. Last yr when I came back from Fl in early May I found one bedding in about 10"s of water on my sand beach. Got a feeling you will have enough of em.

I have the exact same problem with my SMB beds. I put them at various depths because I wasn't sure about what I was doing. Now I have a pond that fluctuates about three feet. Right now the SMB beds are near the surface, or already exposed.
Fortunately or unfortunately, my pond base has a lot of rock mixed in with the clay. I suspect there's lots of places for them to spawn, if they want to. Of course, all that rock has more than likely contributed to my small leak..
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3 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#461580 - 01/06/17 09:34 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Bob and SetterGuy,

Thanks for the posts. Sorry for the late reply.

Looks like we have similar ponds in many respects. My pond is also a watertable pond with large water fluctuations. When they dug my pond we hit river rock, gravel and sand mix from about 6 feet to the bottom. Above that was the same but some clay mixed in for about 3 feet with black topsoil in the top 3 feet. I think there is plenty of good spawning areas for my SMB. Maybe if I can get the ratio of SMB to LMB high enough in the favor of the SMB they will spawn?
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#461991 - 01/13/17 09:18 PM Re: BG as forage for SMB, WE and YP? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I posted these questions awhile back and I'm still working on answers....


Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Iím now wondering whether my PS spawning may actually be a necessity in providing enough forage as we move into 2017. I also have a few GSH (stable small population) and stocked in 2016 SFS, BNM and PSC in the pond. I also supplemental feed pellets (This spring it will be Optimal BG chow)

Questions:

1) Do PS stay more active as the water cools than the BG do; maybe making the PS perhaps more elusive with a better chance at recruitment?

2) I would think the SMB and WE will also target small SMB and YP. Can BG and PS together provide enough additional forage for the predators I have with good management of predator numbers?

3) Should I stock more adult BG?

4) Should I start harvesting some of the larger YP?

Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated! smile



I've been doing some research and I THINK I might have an answer to question 1.

While both BG and PS are considered "warm water" species, their temperature tolerance ranges overlap. BG have a greater tolerance to warmer waters but PS have a greater tolerance to cooler waters. This makes me consider that small PS might be more active in cooler waters than small BG; making PS less susceptible to predation by cool water predators in early spring and late fall than small BG.

Anybody have any thoughts, experience or comments they can share?



Edited by Bill D. (01/14/17 08:44 AM)
Edit Reason: Typo
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#462013 - 01/14/17 12:09 PM Re: BG as forage for SMB, WE and YP? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 11988
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
""that small PS might be more active in cooler waters than small BG; making PS less susceptible to predation by cool water predators in early spring and late fall than small BG."" As a general rule you are partly correct. However amount of habitat, prey density, and normal behavior of the smaller PS-BG(prey) will make a difference as to how frequently the predator species encounters the prey. Each species of forage & predator tends to behave differently which is partly why it is a different species. Most meat eating predators are mostly opportunistic feeders - eating what they encounter most often and vulnerability of the prey item. The ecosystem is very complex and not generally mathematical nor black & white, nor simple - not yet until someone figures it out.

Your other questions are interesting and I am interested in what you find as answers. Keep us informed as your research progresses.

My initial answer to No2. is it depends on how many predators and PS-BG you have per area of water. IMO it is all about density, numbers balance, and habitat which applies to both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/14/17 12:14 PM)
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#462028 - 01/14/17 04:49 PM Re: BG as forage for SMB, WE and YP? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Thanks for the advice Bill. Makes a lot of sense. Like your answer to question 2, I think it may not be possible to answer the other 3 questions either at this time. Seems to me the answers will depend on the same factors you listed for question 2 as well as other factors such as capacity, available spawning habitat, etc. I see now I lack sufficient species population/size data on my particular pond to answer the questions. I need to do a lot more sampling. Sampling methods available to me are minnow traps and the patented Cody angling survey via small hook and chair. Sounds like a good/interesting activity for when the hard water is gone.

I will also be following the predator harvest plan discussed a few posts back.


Edited by Bill D. (01/14/17 04:50 PM)
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#462029 - 01/14/17 05:35 PM Re: BG as forage for SMB, WE and YP? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 11988
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I can advise about #4. Depending on your goals for the YP, you could be harvesting some of the YP(10"-12") as soon as your sampling indicates there are good numbers of 6"-8" perch available to fill in for those larger YP that are harvested. Other option would be to harvest the larger YP and just ladder stock more 5"-7" YP. Smaller ladder stocked YP than 5" could be food for your predators that are increasing in size! Check out the width & height of the body on a 5" YP - not much of a mouthful for a 13"+ bass.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/14/17 05:40 PM)
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#462032 - 01/14/17 08:02 PM Re: BG as forage for SMB, WE and YP? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Thanks for taking the time to help me think thru this Bill. I know I have at least 3 LMB 16+ and one bigger than that. (Just a reminder to those that think 3 or 4 LMB is no big deal, Mutt Pond is on average only about 1/2 acre).

Based on fishing the summer of 2016 and visually observing the fish I saw while walking around the pond in the fall (once the bloom had died back and I could see), I have no significant recruitment from any species. The fish are definitely reproducing, as I do see many small fish in the 1 to 3 inch size, IMO you are correct and there is just too much predation. The vast majority of fish we've caught or seen were probably the original stockers. I do see a few LMB recruits in the 8 to 10 inch size class. I'm sure there must be at least a few recruits from the BG and YP but not enough to notice.

What do you think if I set my top 2 priorities in 2017 as removal of all CC caught and removal of all LMB 10 inches and over? My thinking (right or wrong) is the SMB, YP and WE do not have as much impact on the forage as the apex CC and LMB. Should I also harvest 14 inch or over WE and SMB?


What do you (or other members) think?


Edited by Bill D. (01/14/17 08:55 PM)
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#462036 - 01/14/17 09:33 PM Re: BG as forage for SMB, WE and YP? [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
BillD asks -"What do you think if I set my top 2 priorities in 2017 as removal of all CC caught and removal of all LMB 10 inches and over?"

That would be my goal if I had your fish community to manage. For your mixed fish community and since you and your wife like to eat fish, once WE are at 14+" and considering how difficult they are to dependably catch, I would remove everyone 14"+ that I caught. Restock smaller ones who eat small fish due to WE mouth size. As long as you see small SMB (6"-8"), I would harvest those larger ones of 14"-15". Remember the main Pond Boss Lusk preaches is harvest, harvest to maintain a healthy, viable well growing, balanced fishery. Keep in mind your goals and manage toward those goals.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/15/17 12:28 PM)
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#462842 - 01/28/17 09:14 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Thanks Bill, as always, for the sage advice,

We just ladder stocked a half dozen 6 to 8 inch SMB last summer. We have a very good source for as many of those as we want so I have decided to stop worrying about our SMB providing recruits. I will ladder stock some WE this fall as well if the harvest is good. I am quite sure my bride is going to be thrilled this spring when I tell her we can harvest so many LMB, SMB and WE for table fare. If I remember (50% chance!), I will post some pics of some of the Thai dishes she prepares from the bounty.


Edited by Bill D. (01/29/17 08:38 AM)
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#463256 - 02/04/17 08:18 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Originally Posted By: John F
Originally Posted By: poppy65
There ya go Bill. Those small CC with the bone in taste better than the large fillets to me. Down here we call them "fiddlers". Not sure if that is a regional thing or not. A local tavern/restaurant has served fried fiddlers as far back as I can remember and I always get them instead of the fillets.


We call small CC (usually under one lb) fiddlers here in Arkansas too.
The small ones make a croaking noise when held to remove a hook.


You guys are making me hungry! I've never heard the little guys called Fiddlers before but I like it!

I wish there was a good place near me that served them. IMO Only thing better than a restaurant that serves good "Fiddlers" is one that serves them all you can eat! smile


Wednesday I had a business breakfast meeting at a restaurant 10 minutes from my house. An old friend of mine sat next to me and we started talking about fishing (Business meeting right! smile ). He told me that the restaurant we were in served great all you can eat catfish on the bone on Fridays! Fiddlers here I come!


Edited by Bill D. (02/04/17 08:19 PM)
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#466536 - 03/12/17 08:45 PM Criteria for culling fish during harvest [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
BillD asks -"What do you think if I set my top 2 priorities in 2017 as removal of all CC caught and removal of all LMB 10 inches and over?"

That would be my goal if I had your fish community to manage. For your mixed fish community and since you and your wife like to eat fish, once WE are at 14+" and considering how difficult they are to dependably catch, I would remove everyone 14"+ that I caught. Restock smaller ones who eat small fish due to WE mouth size. As long as you see small SMB (6"-8"), I would harvest those larger ones of 14"-15". Remember the main Pond Boss Lusk preaches is harvest, harvest to maintain a healthy, viable well growing, balanced fishery. Keep in mind your goals and manage toward those goals.


Interesting discussion the last few days on the forum about using other criteria along with Relative Weight and size in determining whether a fish should be harvested or returned to the pond. Specifically, what is the 100% Rw of MY pond and desirable physical attributes to watch for, both good and bad. Although I know I will need to remove the largest predators, I will be adding this management tool as I move into the 2017 harvest when considering harvest of predators under 14 inches.

For those interested, here is a link to that discussion.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=466527#Post466527

Also a good discussion on establishing slot limits for culling/harvest

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=466461#Post466461


Edited by Bill D. (03/16/17 07:27 PM)
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#467200 - 03/20/17 06:39 PM Fishing Mutt Pond 2017 [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Got into the 50's here today so I told my bride I was gonna hit the pond and see if I could catch a fish. Water is in the low 40's so I wasn't that hopeful that they'd be very active yet. First cast of the new year got this little 16 inch 2lb 6oz lady. She looks in good condition to me for being just coming off winter. What do you guys think?

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#467204 - 03/20/17 07:33 PM Re: Fishing Mutt Pond 2017 [Re: Bill D.]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13089
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Good looking fish at this time of year. healthy looking.
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#467208 - 03/20/17 07:59 PM Re: Fishing Mutt Pond 2017 [Re: Bill D.]
stickem' Offline


Registered: 08/10/14
Posts: 948
Loc: S.E. Texas, Polk Co.
Very nice, Bill.....she appears to be a healthy one. I think the last 16"er I caught was around 2 lbs. You throw her back?
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#467214 - 03/20/17 08:27 PM Re: Fishing Mutt Pond 2017 [Re: Bill D.]
Bob-O Offline
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Registered: 01/24/06
Posts: 2252
Loc: Butler In. Very NE corner
Fish looks good!! Now the dude.......well, I'm feelin nice tonight so never mind.


Edited by Bob-O (03/20/17 08:27 PM)
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#467219 - 03/20/17 08:48 PM Re: Fishing Mutt Pond 2017 [Re: Dave Davidson1]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5310
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Good looking fish at this time of year. healthy looking.


Thanks Dave. I think we might actually be making some progress. smile
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#467220 - 03/20/17 08:49 PM Re: Fishing Mutt Pond 2017 [Re: Bill D.]
farmallsc Offline


Registered: 02/09/17
Posts: 397
Loc: Central Texas
Way to go, Bill!
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