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#500056 - 12/28/18 05:25 PM Mudbugs or Minnows?
kingfish Offline

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 71
Loc: Birmingham
Central Alabama lake, 80 acres, 6.5 miles of shoreline, depths of 40 feet in several places, 16 years old with CNBG and LM that show very good relative weights.

Am working on a budget for our lake in 2019 and aside from lime, fish food, fertilizer etc. we have in the past purchased crawfish and shad to add to our fish diet. Last winter was very cold for the shad and we feel we may need a restocking. The problem is we can't do both due to cost. Last year we stocked 2600 lb of crawfish, when we stock shad we usually put in three loads.

Should we concentrate on bringing our shad population up or stick with the mudbugs?

Many thanks and Happy New Year!

#500058 - 12/28/18 06:36 PM Re: Mudbugs or Minnows? [Re: kingfish]
anthropic Online   content

Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1788
Loc: East Texas, USA
40 foot depths should help shelter shad from cold at least to some degree (pun intended). If you have a good bloom most of the time, and lots of weeds for spawning, that would also favor shad.

If water is mostly clear and weeds are few, that would tilt toward crawfish.

Just my two cents, I'm sure a real expert will come along soon.
8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19

#500059 - 12/28/18 06:55 PM Re: Mudbugs or Minnows? [Re: kingfish]
Bill D. Offline

Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5867
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I'm assuming since the shad died due to cold temps that they were threadfin shad. Maybe another idea....large BOW with mature LMB population...have you considered gizzard shad instead? Bigger meals for your big bass and more resistant to cold temps.

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

#500069 - 12/29/18 02:05 AM Re: Mudbugs or Minnows? [Re: kingfish]
teehjaeh57 Online   content
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8107
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Crayfish have likely established a self sustained population, stocking more isn't a good investment IMO - you have what you're going to have. I'd focus on improving your primary forage base - CNBG - per Lusk it's the backbone of your forage base. Since you're working on a tight budget think about improving habitat that allows for BG survival - dense cover in 3-6' depths. Cedar trees work great around here, they're free, and easy to install. That's where I'd apply my focus first, and if your WR LMB begin to stall, you can cull some underperforming LMB or consider supplemental TFS stockings down the road. I would not recommend GSH stocking - they can easily begin to dominate the carrying capacity of a fishery at the expense of all your game fish species.
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

#500234 - 01/02/19 12:36 PM Re: Mudbugs or Minnows? [Re: kingfish]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3137
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Threadfins died all over Alabama last year due to a week long cold snap. Restock the threadfins, because they can replenish and populate. Crawfish won't do that in your lake, or they would have already. Threadfins are definitely a better long-term investment.
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

#500329 - 01/04/19 10:37 AM Re: Mudbugs or Minnows? [Re: kingfish]
kingfish Offline

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 71
Loc: Birmingham
Thank you for all of your input, Bob, you mentioned that the existing crawfish in our lake would not repopulate, why is that the case and could we set traps to check?

#500332 - 01/04/19 11:06 AM Re: Mudbugs or Minnows? [Re: kingfish]
Quarter Acre Offline

Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1180
Loc: West Central Missouri
I think Bob was stating that if the crawdads could reproduce in your pond that they would have already, especially with the amounts you put in. They could be there, but in small hidden numbers. And, crawdads can surely reproduce in most any pond, but can they maintain a population without over predation and become non-existent in your BOW?

I can catch craws with crawdad/minnow traps using some dry dog food bread tied inside a sock tied to the inside of the trap. I have also been very successful catching them with a small throw net from the shore in areas with clean bottoms.

Edited by Quarter Acre (01/04/19 11:26 AM)
Fish on!,

#500338 - 01/04/19 12:43 PM Re: Mudbugs or Minnows? [Re: kingfish]
kingfish Offline

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 71
Loc: Birmingham
Thanks for setting me straight.

Did I read that crawdads are nocturnal?

#500371 - 01/05/19 09:05 AM Re: Mudbugs or Minnows? [Re: kingfish]
snrub Offline

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5440
Loc: SE Kansas
You can find them out at any time, but yes they are more active at night.

Many, many years ago our scuba diving club would have an annual get together crawfish contest followed by a crawfish boil. It was always held at night in a lake because you would rarely see them in the day time. After dark in a shallow finger of the lake a dozen or more people would gather hundreds of them. The scuba divers got the larger ones in slightly deeper water and the kids snorkeled in shallow water. Spot them with a dive light, pick them up and put in a mesh bad, then later after determining "largest" and "most" for trophies dump them in a boiling pot of water with crab boil spice. Eat the tail meat and suck the head and eyes if you were of an inclination to do so.

We would have went hungry if doing it during the day.

Edited by snrub (01/05/19 09:08 AM)

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