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#473609 - 06/07/17 09:40 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
20 bullheads removed in one day - I'm pulling the trap at 6-7pm nightly and my cousin is pulling it at 6am to stock his bait tank for flathead fishing. I figure for each bullhead removed it makes room for more desirable fish going forward.



My largest colony of spawning bluegills

I was lucky enough to spot 3 of my tagged stock female bluegills dropping eggs in a few beds not to far from that large cluster. It was great to see they have survived and are thriving. I haven't spotted any of the large males yet, however.

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#473647 - 06/07/17 04:40 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Tayten brunner Offline


Registered: 04/25/17
Posts: 26
Loc: Wisconsin,Green Bay
Good job looks great also right now before they spawn is when you should catchy the 4 to 6 inch bluegills or when the males r on beds. If you can find some cray fish to put in your pond not a lot but 4 dz they really help to nock down weeds and bass love to eat them black crappies eyes are always that big they have great night vision so it still could be stunted

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#473666 - 06/07/17 10:41 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Bill D. Online   content


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5364
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Looking at that mess of BH I immediately thought of my childhood. A good pair of skinning pliers and a sharp knife and you have an awesome meal.
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#473777 - 06/09/17 11:45 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
Tayten, I have started doing exactly that. Last night I removed 25 3-5" bluegills and will continue to pull as many as possible non breeders going forward. The cedar tree I dropped over the winter has collected an unbelievable amount of fish and provides for quick and easy removal of bluegills. I've also been catching quite a few fat 6-9" crappie off of the cedar. I'm still in desperate need of 8-14" LMB.

Bill, my cousin has been collecting my bullheads for flathead bait this week - so they're no longer going to waste being fed to the raccoons.

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#473938 - 06/12/17 10:12 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
My crappie are feeding on top water bugs extremely well. I've caught several healthy BCP in the 5-8" range in the last few days.

I also caught one of my tagged female stocked BG



It was nice to see the tag is still firmly in place but she still has a bit of a sore. I salted the area and released her back to the pond after cleaning the FA from the tag.

I pulled out 22 more small bluegills, and 6 more bullheads over the weekend. I release the small bluegills that show male traits.

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#473940 - 06/12/17 10:37 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
RER Offline


Registered: 01/23/12
Posts: 1870
Loc: N FL
it might help if you clip the "fat tip" off it , it seems to be getting snagged in the FA as the fish swims near or in it. maybe even shorten it by cutting it mid way down. It would be less intrusive on the fish
_________________________
Goofing off is a slang term for engaging in recreation or an idle pastime while obligations of work or society are neglected........... Wikipedia

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#474099 - 06/13/17 06:55 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Maresy Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 1
Loc: Ontario
Hi there! We have a lovely pond here on our farm property (2 hours east of Toronto Ontario) which has served us well these last 10 years for swimming and just staring at. A few years ago we had a run on leeches. Most annoying, especially when they attached themselves to visiting kids. So we consulted a fish hatchery guy and he suggested large mouth bass and bluegill and we were delighted to report that the leeches were quickly gone. That was about 4 years ago. Well then we had an abundance of bluegill, a scarcity of bass and very unhappy visiting swimmers who were now being bitten, not just nipped, by the blinking blue gill. The problem continues. We try and net them out and feed them to local barn cats but they reproduce like mad. So now what do we do? Get some huge largemouth bass and keep our fingers crossed that they'll do the killing? We don't want to use rotenone and kill all the other pondlife of frogs and tadpoles. We just want the bluegill gone. Please help. Oh, and we are not fishers. Only own one kid-size fishing rod and wouldn't know how to remove a hook!

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#474127 - 06/14/17 08:40 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
djstauder Offline
Hall of Fame

Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1004
Loc: Mississippi
Maresy,
I've never use one but some others use fish traps to remove fish. You should be able to find some threads if you google "pondboss fish traps"

Not sure if they will catch all sizes of bluegill or just smaller???
_________________________
1 ac pond LMB, BG, RES, CC

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#474129 - 06/14/17 09:13 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
willywonka Offline


Registered: 06/19/14
Posts: 61
Loc: ontario, canada
Maresy, If it were me I would just add more Large Mouth Bass. And you are in luck being 2 hours east of Toronto you are near a great Large Mouth Bass fisher, the Bay of Quinte. It is chocked full of 2 to 3 lb Bass.

If you know someone who fishes maybe they can help you out.

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#474134 - 06/14/17 11:03 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
Marsey, the cloverleaf trap on the 2nd page of this thread is very cheap and easy to build. It will catch bluegills with ease if baited and positioned in a decent location in your pond. You can buy similar prebuilt traps here: https://www.reeltexasoutdoors.com/produc...ap-pinfish-trap

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#474515 - 06/20/17 09:47 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
The bluegill spawn has wrapped up for this round and I found several more visable beds while cruising around the pond yesterday. A recent heavy rain/hail with high winds knocked down nearly all of my FA mats and did a number on the already poor water quality. I should get another decent algae bloom in the next week judging by the green tint to the water and the amount of added nutrients from die off of my remaining curly leaf.

I've yet to see any of the bluegill hatch swimming around the pond. My trap has only yeilded 6 bullheads in the last week and I've only seen a 3 surfacing to feed in the evenings when spreading Sportsmans Choice. My bug hatch peaked over weekend and tapered off extremely quickly.

Here are a few pictures of the mostly vacated BG beds









I have about 80 beds total all around the pond with roughly 18" diameter being the largest. This should mean the largest spawning males on beds I can see is approximately 6" long. A majority of beds are 10-12" in diameter from 3-4" male BG. I'm guessing my larger males (6-9") have spawned in deeper water or didn't spawn at all?

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#474597 - 06/21/17 09:37 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
my cousin stopped by last night to fish for flathead bait bullheads and stopped counting at 50 - It is great to have a little help thinning those guys out!!!

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#479121 - 08/28/17 12:00 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
So far over 550 bullheads have been removed. I'm going to start running the trap again this week.
I got approval from the HOA to stock the pond this fall and Bjornsen Pond Management will be delivering the following:
Largemouth Bass 6 to 8" 175
Walleye - 6 to 8" 50
Hybrid Striped Bass 6 to 8" 100
Yellow Perch 3 to 5" 150
Red Ear Sunfish 3 to 5" 150

I'm also going to change over to Aquamax MVP feed

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#479127 - 08/28/17 09:30 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
djstauder Offline
Hall of Fame

Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1004
Loc: Mississippi
Matzilla, That is a pretty diverse set of fish you're stocking. That should make for fun times fishing on the lake
_________________________
1 ac pond LMB, BG, RES, CC

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#479131 - 08/28/17 09:57 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
I hope so! It should put the pond on the path to being more well balanced and allow the predators to grow fast and say healthy

I also rounded up some volunteers to help cut trees and brush around the pond and continue to make watershed improvements to better water quality

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#481962 - 10/31/17 04:12 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
My fish are coming Friday!!!

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#482063 - 11/02/17 12:15 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Dam'dWaters Offline


Registered: 10/05/17
Posts: 24
Loc: Iowa
Matzilla -I've been following your project and am impressed with your commitment. The initial consensus seemed to be that you might be wasting your time, but glad to see you weren't deterred. I also had Kevin stock my pond earlier this yr. Good guy. Where are you located? I'm in Lisbon and would love to visit you if I'm ever around your way.
_________________________
Jason Waters
Dam'd Waters Farm
2/3 ac dam'd stream pond
BG, HBG, RES, LMB, YP

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#482146 - 11/03/17 08:02 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
I'm just outside Muscatine, IA along the Mississippi river, you're welcome to come down anytime!

We got all of the fish stocked tonight and I'm pretty darn excited to get them feeding in the spring. The pond is looking pretty decent and the water is very cold due to no direct sunlight in the fall. My weirs are holding up well but we need to do some more watershed improvement to keep knocking down the sediment load.

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#482970 - 11/21/17 04:59 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
I stopped down at the pond Sunday to check on things. Caught about a dozen healthy looking black crappie from shore - no bigger than 9" but their bellies were plenty full.

I pulled the cloverleaf trap that I hadn't baited since early October and found 3 live bullheads inside! Fed them to the raccoons.

Water clarity is improving but still not that great.

I have a bunch of property management type work to do in the next few months - cut down all of the brush and saplings I can. We need to haul more rock down to the inlet creeks to cut down on the sediment loading

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#482981 - 11/21/17 07:06 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
KapHn8d Online   happy


Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 119
Loc: TX
Are the "vacated BG [spawning] beds" in dirt or mud? or are they in some sort of sandy/gravel type substance? I can't tell from the photo, but I'm curious if they require a specific bottom material or if they aren't very picky.

Thanks!
/clayton

edit - Nevermind, I think I may have answered my own question by going back to the previous pages of the post. I looks like they beds are in a muddy bottom in another photo.


Edited by KapHn8d (11/21/17 07:09 PM)
_________________________
96.85840735 percent clayton... the rest is just pi.

We become what we think about.

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#483004 - 11/22/17 12:22 AM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: KapHn8d]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4293
Loc: SE Kansas
Fish know what they like. In my new RES pond I put down various size crushed rock and gravel to provide for nesting. I only had a small number of RES large enough to spawn this year so I only found 4 nests. They were all in the clay mud. The first year in my main pond the BG did not use the nesting area I built. But the second and subsequent years they did.

They make nests where it suits them.


Edited by snrub (11/22/17 12:23 AM)
_________________________
John

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#483690 - 12/04/17 12:17 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: snrub]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 135
Loc: Iowa
Totally agree! 99% of those bluegills only spawn in the firm clay/mud and wont touch the small areas of sand around the pond. I kicked around the idea of placing some sand and pea gravel beds around the shoreline while the pond is frozen over this winter but I doubt I get around too it.

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#483720 - 12/04/17 06:30 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6943
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
My experience has been that they will find a way. If a perfect substrate is not available, they will try and use the next best thing.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#483732 - 12/04/17 09:57 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: sprkplug]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4293
Loc: SE Kansas
My guess is the substrate is only part of their criteria.

I do not know, but I imagine maybe prevailing wind, currents (there are currents in ponds), where the sun comes up/sets, nearby vegetation or cover, temperature variations, association to nearby nests.......... plus maybe more than those potential things, could effect where a male decides to make a nest. I know I had nests this year at year 4 of my pond that I had not seen in that area before. At least not shallow enough to see till this year. Some of the GSF and/or hybrids were right up against a bank in 6" of water.


Edited by snrub (12/04/17 09:58 PM)
_________________________
John

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#483897 - 12/08/17 01:38 PM Re: Restoring a bluegill pond [Re: Matzilla]
Tayten b Offline


Registered: 12/08/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Green Bay,WI
Hi i was hoping for an up date on the pond haven't heard anything in a while.

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