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#507619 - 06/17/19 03:00 PM Mudcat Problem
Sam G Offline


Registered: 06/17/19
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas

Thanks to the drought and my cousin Terry the bass in my 1+ acre pond have been wiped out. All I seem to catch are mudcat. These are those smelly cats with the stiff pointed fins.

I was told the bass was the best way to get rid of them and of course thatís what Iím trying to repopulate. 2 months ago I stocked over $700 worth of small fingerling bass, minnows, and bluegill. The fish came from 2 places: one of those Arkansas companies that deliver all over Texas and that place down the road from me in Hallettsville. Yes, I told them I already had mudcats and wanted to get rid of them.

Did I just give these hardheads a feast on bass or is there any way they can survive the mudcats? Do I need to stock with mature fish?

I am afraid I wasted my time, energy and $$.

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#507622 - 06/17/19 03:10 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
Quarter Acre Online   content


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1301
Loc: West Central Missouri
If your talking about Flathead cats...you've got to get them all out or you are going to never get bass established. They are considered the "great white shark of freshwater ponds". They are the end of the food chain.

If you are talking about bullheads, then you have a chance of turning it around without nuking the pond.

What size catfish are you catching?

Can you positively identify them as Flathead cats (or otherwise)?

Welcome to PondBoss...I'm rooting for ya! And, if they are Flatheads...I wish I was your neighbor, I'd help you catch them out.

_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#507633 - 06/17/19 06:27 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
Redonthehead Online   content
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 232
Loc: Missouri
I'll go with the assumption you have a bullhead issue. Since you already put $700 worth of fish in it you are basically in the same boat I am in.

My plan is to thin them out until the bass can take over. To do that I run four 1/2" mesh homemade cloverleaf traps with an assortment of baits. I also have four 1/4" mesh traps for the bullhead fingerlings, and a dip net on standyby in case I spot one of the "balls" of fry.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/rgdQGnE.jpg?1[/img]


Edited by Redonthehead (06/18/19 02:04 PM)
_________________________

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#507668 - 06/18/19 10:20 AM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Quarter Acre]
Sam G Offline


Registered: 06/17/19
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
I catch 4-10 inch fish. Not too big. I think I need to do more bass fishing and dump my livewell into the pond. Maybe bigger bass can start to take the pond back.

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#507669 - 06/18/19 10:22 AM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Redonthehead]
Sam G Offline


Registered: 06/17/19
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
I wish I was at the place more often then I would definitely go to war with them.

Real disappointed in the ($700 bait) fish suppliers.

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#507671 - 06/18/19 10:36 AM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Quarter Acre]
Sam G Offline


Registered: 06/17/19
Posts: 4
Loc: Texas
Definitely Bullhead. Just saw this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=QuC3sGYBNII

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#507672 - 06/18/19 10:52 AM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
dlowrance Offline


Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 902
Loc: Central IL
Bullhead make good LMB forage based on everything I've read. I've wanted to add some to my big pond for a few years and haven't been able to find any in quantity.

Wish we were closer, we could solve each other's problems.
_________________________
Dale



"When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water." - anonymous

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#507678 - 06/18/19 01:19 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 65
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
It appears bullhead will be providing some substinance for me until the CC and other fish are matured. Not happy about it though!
_________________________
How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#507680 - 06/18/19 01:54 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 399
Loc: Iowa
build a cloverleaf trap and let it catch them. Those bh will eat the living @#$@ out of anything fingerling sized. They're extremely aggressive and will out compete small LMB and BG.

How big are the Bullhead you're catching? A 12-16" bass will put a pounding on BH equal to their own length.

If you have friends who fish for CC or flathead - they'll be interested in BH for bait
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#507681 - 06/18/19 02:05 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: ShortCut]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1199
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: ShortCut
It appears bullhead will be providing some substinance for me until the CC and other fish are matured. Not happy about it though!


I've had BH in my pond almost since day one and have eaten a few. If you can put them in a cage and hold them a few days until you're ready to clean a few, it gets a lot of that muddy taste out of their flesh. A large cooler filled with well water and a small aerator works good too. Just change out part of the water daily.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#507687 - 06/18/19 03:19 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 65
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Matzilla - I plan on building a couple cloverleaf traps this week! How big should the opening be? Caught 3 yesterday in the feed area that were 8-9in and FAT. Heads were around 2in wide.

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#507692 - 06/18/19 04:02 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1199
Loc: Louisiana
If you're building a trap specifically to catch Bullhead, I'd cut the entrances about 3" in diameter. That big head needs room to squeeze in but the hole cant be too big or they'll find their way out. Leaving a bit of tag wire poking into the hole and bent inward will also deter them from escaping.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#507698 - 06/18/19 05:52 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Mike Whatley]
Pat Williamson Online   content


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2734
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Iíve caught 5 of them on jigs while fishing for crappie. They were 12Ē and cookie cutter- all the same. Guess the LMB canít keep up with them. Edible or nasty?

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#507711 - 06/18/19 10:33 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Pat Williamson]
Pat Williamson Online   content


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2734
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Caught two more today same size and even got finned by one felt like I was in Galveston catching a hardhead. Boy o boy who da thunk there would be that many BH in a 6 acre pond

Never caught more than one or two in five years


Edited by Pat Williamson (06/18/19 10:35 PM)

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#507716 - 06/18/19 11:37 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 65
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Built 1st fish trap ever today after watching a few YouTube videos. It went well.
Cloverleaf with 2.5in diameter entrances. Got it in the water at 9:15 tonight in the feeding area but did not feed. Baited with cheap hard dog food in a sock with holes. Will provide an update tomorrow night.
A neighbor's 10yr old boy said I did a really good job. Feeling accomplished.
Material is cut/ready to go for a second and plenty more for other pond projects such as a live fish box.
_________________________
How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#507817 - 06/20/19 10:24 AM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 65
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Only 1 BH and 1 HBG in the cloverleaf. The BH had some injuries from the trap. I caught another on a line with similar cuts and am guessing it escaped the trap. Caught 5 on BH cut bait.
Threw the trap further out to where I was catching them. I'll try that depth for a few days before making any adjustments to the trap.
_________________________
How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#507823 - 06/20/19 11:40 AM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
Redonthehead Online   content
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 232
Loc: Missouri
Were any of the BH you caught 6-8" long? If so you may need to make a second cloverleaf with openings much smaller than 2.5". I haven't measured mine but I believe they are about an inch, with all the ends left sticking into the trap, and filed smooth on leading edge. The fish can squeeze in but get stabbed if they try to go back out.
_________________________

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#507833 - 06/20/19 01:12 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 399
Loc: Iowa
my traps have tall narrow openings....8" tall by 2" wide at the widest point....bullhead will turn sideways to enter the trap. plus once they get inside its darn near impossible for them to get out.
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#507835 - 06/20/19 01:25 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 65
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Thanks guys! They have been about 8in. I will close the entrance a little tonight if there are not many trapped. I was planning to build a second trap and will use a traditional entrance vs round.
Still no confirmed sightings of the 100CC stocked last Oct. Maybe they all swam away.
_________________________
How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#507980 - 06/23/19 02:48 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 65
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Caught 2 small bass in the trap and 5 YOY BH. Since I am building my forage base should the bass be removed or left to eventually start eating YOY BH?
_________________________
How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#508083 - 06/25/19 12:24 AM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 65
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
The new cloverleaf with smaller openings is catching many more YOY BH. So far I've removed 17 adults and 35 YOY. 12 tonight in the forage pond/wetkand/sediment trap in just a few hours.
Also catching GSF that are 3-6in, golden shiners and a few more bass.

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#508763 - 07/10/19 10:49 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 65
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Currently at 556 YOY BH and 41 6-9in BH. 52 YOY today. Likely stocking 8in LMB this fall after water cools some.
_________________________
How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#508765 - 07/10/19 11:12 PM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2038
Loc: West Michigan
Shortcut can you share pictures of your design and what is working better for you? I"m thinking of making a cloverleaf or a Z shaped trap. I need to know what shape works good and why. I also need some ideas on how to design the access hatch for easy emptying and re-introducing bait. Do you have the bait locked in a container and is it suspended at the top or is it thrown loosely in the cage?

Finally, why would smaller openings allow more fish in (or maybe it keeps them in once they are in?)

Thanks!

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#508768 - 07/11/19 01:17 AM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 65
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
I haven't figured out how save pics to my phone small enough to upload here.
I am having the most success with a standard 2'x2'x1' cloverleaf using .5" mesh. Some BH are small enough to slip through the mesh so right now I have no idea how many remain.
An old sock in the bottom of the feed box is working to prevent food falling through. Crawfish have pulled it through a little. Right now I'm using gallon bags with holes punched to allow smell and pieces to come out. Not ideal. The bags just don't hold up. I need to invest in a plastic mesh sack of some kind. Chum bag?
A bungee stretched across the bait box door will work. Fold the outer corners or the bungee will slip off. It's not great but adequate.
Make a cardboard template for the top/bottom of whatever design you go with. Makes it way easier.
Leave the side 2' then cut in half after top and bottom is tied on. 2'is easier to work with than 1'. You'll have two traps when done.
I think a pull rope on the bottom corner opposite from the exit door is best. If you have multiple traps keep your doors, rope tie spot, etc consistent. That way you dont have to remember where the door is on each. Consistency is easier for building and operating. Add a stiff wire handle on the top of the same corner as the rope.
The smaller the openings seem better. Remove 1 post from the opening while leaving sharp ends pointing inside the trap. Catching more YOY with the smallest openings. How many are too big to fit though?
Cheap hard dog food in the bags works well but so has out dated tuna with holes punched. Same as canned dog food. The hatchery I talked to recommended liver cat food, chicken pieces and livers. Haven't tried that yet buy maybe it will be less attractive to BG and GSF?
FHM seem to really enjoy day old BH thats been in the TX sun.
I hope this helps!

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#508772 - 07/11/19 08:07 AM Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Sam G]
Mike Whatley Offline


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1199
Loc: Louisiana
Just curious....how deep are you setting your traps? Are you moving them around or soaking in the same general area?
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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