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#488828 - 04/19/18 03:35 PM Best forage fish for Catfish
JB2 Offline

Registered: 04/17/18
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
I have recently started taking care of my grandmothers catfish pond. It is overpopulated with catfish and Im afraid there arent any forage for the fish to eat.
What is the best forage fish to stock in the pond for the catfish to eat?

#488834 - 04/19/18 04:34 PM Re: Best forage fish for Catfish [Re: JB2]
Quarter Acre Offline

Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1634
Loc: West Central Missouri
You can consider feeding them store bought fish food. This is by far the least worrisome. Get your population down accordingly and feed them till they are fat, catch/eat them, then restock. Watch out for overfeeding that can lead to high nutrient levels however.

Otherwise, getting some BG and LMB would be a bit more typical. You, now, need to be concerned with their population control. Catfish will eat most anything.

There maybe minnow types for your area that could help, but I am not going to guess at what might work. Usually, if you add minnows to an established pond, they are just expensive snacks.

Anything you put in will have to have the habitat considered. Certain types of minnows need grass-like vegetation to reproduce or underwater shelves to lay eggs on, for example. Bluegill like to have some shallows with fairly consistent water levels for nesting, as do bass.

The above is just my 2 cents from hanging out here at PB. I am sure others will have some real experienced advice.
Fish on!,

#508662 - 07/09/19 01:40 PM Re: Best forage fish for Catfish [Re: JB2]
Scott E Offline

Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 30
Loc: Upstate NY
Hi there, I'm a longtime member of the forum with a new account.

I know that LMB are super popular, but I happen to love catfish ponds. Catfish are predators so they'll eat anything that LMB will eat. Follow the same rules as you would for an overpopulated LMB pond and you won't go wrong. Overpopulated LMB is probably the most common pond management issue so there is plenty of info already out there, but I'll attempt a synopsis anyway:

1. Take care of overpopulated predators and any water quality/fertility issues BEFORE stocking forage fish.
2. Common Bluegill are the all-around best forage fish because they thrive and spawn prolifically in wide variety of conditions (plus they are fun to catch and great to eat).
3. Minnows may be added to a new pond with no predators yet, but won't last long when stocked into an established sport fish population.

Some additional considerations for catfish:

1. Unlike LMB, you can fatten them up with feed pellets readily available at your local feed store.
2. Feeding them is fun. Just don't throw in more food than they will eat as that's bad for the water quality.
3. They won't spawn well. Which is good because they wont overpopulate on their own like LMB often do. On a small pond it's pretty cheap to just restock them every few years.


Edited by Scott E (07/09/19 01:41 PM)

#508665 - 07/09/19 02:36 PM Re: Best forage fish for Catfish [Re: JB2]
Bill D. Offline

Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 6058
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: JB2
I have recently started taking care of my grandmothers catfish pond. It is overpopulated with catfish and Im afraid there arent any forage for the fish to eat.
What is the best forage fish to stock in the pond for the catfish to eat?

Do you know what kind of catfish they are? Are you sure they are not bullheads?

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

#510465 - 08/18/19 08:53 AM Re: Best forage fish for Catfish [Re: Scott E]
Funky Offline

Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 110
Loc: Midland, Michigan
Just to add my 2 cents. If you have CCs and they do spawn they will give you plenty to catch. I have a half acre pond and did not plan on them spawning, but they found a way and now after 5 years I have a class of fish for each year. The largest caught is 30 inches and is 12 pounds. The point of this is, at this point a CC can eat anything you have in your pond! It's mouth is huge! It could eat a Softball is it wanted, so being a predator it can cleanup lots of smaller fish. You may have to think this one through and plan accordingly. I am still balancing my plan as I do have bass, but do not see them often!
half-acre pond, LMB, HBG, BG, GSH and CC ....goal is to
have fun fishing. And I subscribe!

#510482 - 08/18/19 10:02 PM Re: Best forage fish for Catfish [Re: JB2]
NEDOC Offline

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 968
Loc: SC Nebraska
Just my 2 cents.... if given lemons make lemonade. If you have too many small catfish, catch the small ones, dice them up into pieces small enough for the bigger ones to eat. Essentially you’re getting fixing two problems at once.
Just a Pond Boss 'sponge'

#510490 - 08/19/19 06:13 AM Re: Best forage fish for Catfish [Re: JB2]
Dave Davidson1 Offline

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14168
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Catfish can/will rule the pond. Any pond and that's not a bad thing. I have to believe that the spawns that you are getting are unusual.

Edited by Dave Davidson1 (08/19/19 06:14 AM)
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP


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