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#511139 - 09/04/19 01:45 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: jpsdad]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks for your detailed and helpful response.

I have not seen any scuds in the water, but they may be there. I believe the trout eat bugs on the surface during the cooler months but definitely not in the summer. They may very well still have food, but I'm sure the bass have taken a big dent on their sources.

It is interesting about the leeches. They actually prey on my snapping turtles so much that everyone has at least 5 on each leg. I would be happy if the bass took most of them out. I'm not sure if that would effect the trout or not. If anything, I know that they eat leeches, so they may have more competition now.

They will certainly have an advantage during the cooler months, as that is when they thrive. That's definitely not the case for the bass. I like your point about looking at the benefits and not only the drawbacks of having the bass.

If I get YP I am just assuming that I won't be adding anymore trout. I don't like fishing for them since their so sensitive and haven't been eating any, so I really don't need them. I would like YP for fishing through the ice and to provide substantial forage to grow larger bass. If I have bass, I may as well grow them big as I do like bass fishing. At this point, I am actually looking for a way to have a balanced bass pond that has good fishing and is supportive of what already lives there (maybe minus the trout). I will need to figure out a solid stocking plan and culling plan to grow my pond to its full potential.

Thanks so much for your help.
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#511142 - 09/04/19 02:57 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Pat Williamson Offline


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2836
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
If the LMB get a head start on the YP will the YP have enough fry to feed the LMB and have enough reqruitment to allow you to catch some for the table

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#511148 - 09/04/19 05:00 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Pat Williamson]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
This is a great question, and I'm not sure if the answer. Maybe someone else knows?
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#511165 - 09/05/19 12:49 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 645
Loc: NW Kansas
This will be similar to any other species... If we stock large enough fish to not be snacks for LMB, there will be a hatch next spring. Like everything else, if nursery cover is available we get some survival, some will make it to help provide more available adults to reproduce the following years to come. Some will provide some predation on yoy lmb when that time comes.
I really think the angling pressure needs to be a large part of initial management for LMB or course.. I think that's going to be really important.
I'd like to hear Bill C's Ideas on stocking rates, I don't think I'm off far on sizes needed but I'd like to hear his take on this.
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#511206 - 09/05/19 09:45 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Bill Cody Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12956
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
For stocking YP I would use what Snipe suggested: "the largest you can afford being 1/4 of what you stock. say (per acre) 35-50 6-8" or slightly larger if available to insure you have females and 75-100 mixed size of say 4-6" to insure you have males so you insure a spawn or best chance of next spring. You many need to periodically add 6"-8" or larger YP to to maintain good catchable harvest of YP as time passes.

To get the YP to recruit as good as possible, keep focused on removing all all sizes of LMB as many as practical each year. Whenever you see a need for more predation you can always reduce the annual harvest of bass.


Edited by Bill Cody (09/05/19 09:46 PM)
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#511215 - 09/06/19 09:46 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Snipe]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks for your reply. I agree with you, and that is why I will go with larger YP. I do have a decent amount of cover, so I hope the fry will do OK when the adults spawn. I can start to fish out the bass as soon as is needed, so that shouldn't be an issue for me.
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#511216 - 09/06/19 10:06 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Bill Cody]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks again for your reply.

I will follow that stocking plan and contact the fish farm. Do you recommend stocking now? Ice will begin to form in December and will leave late March.

Also, do you recommend begining to harvest LMB right now, even at their current small size? I can take as many as is recommended (they are very easy to catch right now).

Thanks again.
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#511220 - 09/06/19 11:23 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19973
Loc: Miss.
I would start harvesting LMB now and keep records (pics) of what you harvest. You can stock YP now. Be sure to ask when they were born (mth/year). I would much rather have the YP ahead of the LMB in size for a continuing population. Feeding the YP will help.
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#511242 - 09/06/19 07:28 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: ewest]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
It will definitely be good for the YP to get a head start on the bass, as in sure the bass will catch up!
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#511243 - 09/06/19 07:37 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi everyone,

I have decided on a plan that I will be following after much consideration of everyone's advice on this forum and the advice of local pond managers. The local experts said that bass in this region are really not a big problem, even in ponds without bait fish. They said they don't ever see overcrowded bass ponds. I assume this is because our climate is quite a bit different than it is in areas where bass ponds are more common (we basically only have trout ponds here).

Here's the plan:

Allow the bass to grow until the ice goes out in March, and then begin to harvest, depending on how the population looks and their size. I am still not sure how many to take, but am pretty sure I want to take some. I like the idea of around 40 per year when they reach 10" + but am not sure when that will be. I believe Bill said the population would top out at around 75-80 ish in the 12" ish size range. Should I harvest before the population levels out at that size and number? Or should I start harvesting now. If so, how many?

I will not be adding any YP or other bait fish. They are not easy to get here at all, and I have been told they really aren't needed by local managers. Does everyone agree with this?

Finally, I will let the trout be and check up on them to see how they are doing, but I don't plan on restocking trout or harvesting them at the moment.

I know this is a very loose plan, but it basically comes down to harvest a yet to be decided number of bass and leaving everything else be. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for the ongoing help.
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#511246 - 09/06/19 09:50 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Bill Cody Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12956
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
What ever type of fishery you prefer is good for your needs. I have a fair amount of experience with similar situations to yours. Your comment of "The local experts said that bass in this region are really not a big problem, even in ponds without bait fish." "They said they don't ever see overcrowded bass ponds". "I assume this is because our climate is quite a bit different than it is in areas where bass ponds are more common (we basically only have trout ponds here)." I don't think your 'local experts' are telling you the 'whole story' or there is some confusion of the goals of the discussions among you and local experts.

You are in a northern climate - Maine, thus your growing season is shorter and cooler than more southern climates. Small bass could be a very common situation in Maine; although the Maine state record LMB is 11 lb 10oz. In your area we expect the LMB to grow slower than those further south. This means to me that they may top out at closer to 10" than 12". As I mentioned earlier they could reach 13+" if you manage to keep their numbers in the lower range of 14-20 in 1ac. Please return and further educate us if you are able to achieve other results.

IMO we need to define "big problem" and "overcrowded". One persons 'overcrowded' could easily mean something quite different than another person's definition of overcrowded. Overcrowded is a matter of opinion and local acceptability. Big problem is also a relative term and the definition is important. Big problem compared to what?

Overcrowded in this thread to me is the bass stay small 9" to 12" and there are too many LMB for the food source to grow to 16", 18"+ (3-4lbs) that can common happen even in northern areas in a balanced predator prey community. Many with balanced LMB - sportfish ponds will call bass toping out at 9"to 12" as overcrowded. For many that have a bass grow to only 12", that is considered overcrowded and stunted. However 10"-12" LMB can be considered by some as very acceptable, providing fast catching angler action and not as overcrowded. Most people with bass sport fish ponds want the bass to grow to 18" to better 20"+. Bass in your pond will never do this - guaranteed; unless you have a reproducing thriving forage fish present and keep the bass numbers in a "standard low numbers balance".

You say ""I will not be adding any YP or other bait fish. They are not easy to get here at all, and I have been told they really aren't needed by local managers. Does everyone agree with this?"" as noted below panfish are not needed when 10"-12" bass are acceptable. Again local managers have their opinion. I would quiz them as to what bass in Maine ponds generally eat to grow to 16"+ and what are the LMB density per acre???. Do your local experts really know? Your pond will need these same types of foods to get bass larger than 13". If you are satisfied with 10" to maybe 12" bass and no other form of panfish to harvest and eat,,, then YP or other fish forages are definitely not needed. Other forage fish and appropriate LMB numbers per acre are only needed to grow bass to sizes larger than 15"-16"+.


Edited by Bill Cody (09/06/19 10:21 PM)
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#511247 - 09/06/19 10:19 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Bill Cody Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12956
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Quote:
Should I harvest before the population levels out at that size and number? Or should I start harvesting now. If so, how many?


Based on your situation, locality, pond size, natural pond type of habitat, the reproductive rate of LMB, and within average angler effort, I doubt that you will ever be able to take out too many bass. Start removing bass at anytime you are there with a few extra moments. You don't have to do it all at once. It is said to be actually better to minimize hook shy fish to fish as short periodic sessions rather than long periods.
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#511251 - 09/07/19 08:07 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Bill Cody]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks again for the very valuable advice. I completely agree with you; the local standards here are different than the ones in other areas. Just to note, not sure if there was a misunderstanding earlier on in the thread, but my pond is in central Ontario, Canada, not Maine. Regardless, the local standards are very different, and I so believe that the experts here think that 10-12" bass are perfectly acceptable. So, to them, that is not considered overcrowded or a big problem. The advice here would help me grow larger fish which I would like to do one day, so I will be accessing my pond over the next few months and years to determine if that's something I want. At the end of the day, it does come down to goals as you said. If I want big bass than my current plan will not be effective. If I don't care about size, than I shouldn't need to touch the pond at all in terms of the fish. The pond experts are basing their advice on a goal of just having a pond as if it didn't even have bass, if that makes sense. As in, how can we not work on the bass and still use the pond like it was used before. I'm sure if I said that I wanted big bass they would have different advice.

I would like to have YP, but at the moment, they are not logistically possible, as they are hard to get and apparently sold out at the local farm. I will reassess that decision in the spring.
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#511254 - 09/07/19 11:42 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19973
Loc: Miss.
I agree with Bill. We have some excellent northern experts here including Bill and a lot of northern experience. I don't believe the local ones are correct. Overcrowded is anytime the food source will not support the consuming population exhibited by declining condition (RC - relative condition). IMO in your location you would be better off with WE and YP and as few LMB as possible. A good forage base including minnows (small fish of some type) would be a good start. It is your choice and we all strongly support that and we all hope it works well for you. Please keep us updated as we all will learn from your journey.
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#511275 - 09/08/19 09:44 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: ewest]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Bill and others on the forum are certainly very knowledgeable, and have knowledge about northern ponds. I've chosen this plan, but am always going to look at if it needs to be changed based on my assesments of the pond.

I will continue to update everyone on this thread.

Thanks so much for all the help - let's see how this goes!
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#512428 - 10/06/19 12:09 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
http://imgur.com/gallery/ONqBvmy

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give everyone an update on the situation in my pond.

In case anyone doesn't remember or know, I will give a very brief update on what happened. Basically, my pond is about 1 acre, located in Ontario, 16ft deep, stocked with brown trout, has a lot of natural, small forage. Towards the beginning of the summer, I realized that there were many small bass swimming around. They came from three very sizable bass that must have gotten in there somehow, which I saw later on swimming around. The young bass are literally everywhere and very eager to eat anything. It seems that they have completely eliminated my minnows and my concern is they will run out of food. I am already sticking to a pretty clear plan of removing fish, especially next year when they are presumably bigger. I want to remove about every one I catch, in order to allow the others to get bigger and not overcrowded.

Here's the update:


Firstly, the bass seem to be doing very well. There are certainly a lot of them and they bite about any lure I throw aggressively. They are everywhere in the pond, and school in large numbers. I have caught a few and attached pictures. The picture of the smallest bass is one that was caught at the beginning of the summer. The rest were caught today. How do they look health and size wise? Are they well fed? Most fish are approximately 5", with the smallest being 3" and the biggest maybe 6" or up to 7". They certainly seem very small. Are they way too small for this springs spawn? Not sure if this is important, but they seem to have different colourations. Many looks like the one on ice in the photo, but others look like the ones I have in the other photos. Just an interesting thing I noticed.

Trout wise, I haven't seen any this summer, but I have caught a nice sized one that appeared healthy. It is in a photo attached and was 18"-20" long. It didn't take much more that 3 minutes casting by the fountain, so I think a few probably suspend there, making me thing a lot are still alive. Haven't seen any dead ones since the ice went out.

Anyway, what does everyone think about the fish? Are they healthy? Is my plan still a good one? Any input is appreciated. Thanks.


Edited by Fyfer123 (10/06/19 12:11 PM)
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#512438 - 10/06/19 08:31 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5919
Loc: Boone County Illinois
In my very limited experience, I would say the LMB may be just surviving vs thriving. I would worry they have over eaten the forage for the trout and will out compete them for what's left. The future may bring trout trying to survive on LMB fingerlings. What species are your minnows?

Not a pro...just my 1 cent
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#512470 - 10/07/19 05:04 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi,

Thanks for your response. It is much appreciated.

I agree with you and wonder if others do too. The LMB seem to have depleted the forage base. I wonder if their growth rate is standard to fish in northern ponds such as this one. If it's any use, the average daily temperature here is about 10-13 Celsius, with nights dropping to 3-7. We have had one below zero night so far.

I am hoping the trout are still eating enough. To increase everyone's survival rate under the ice this winter, I am thinking of removing as many LMB as possible starting now. My question is, will I remove too many to ensure some LMB survive for fishing purposes next spring? Is it possible to remove too many? I still want to have LMB to fish, as mentioned in the previous post.

Thanks
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#512486 - 10/07/19 10:57 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
4CornersPuddle Offline


Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 301
Loc: southwest Colorado
Adam, I get your concern about possibly overfishing your bass. In my experience, it took me 3 years to knock my bass population down in a 1/4 acre pond. I live on the pond and fished it a few times a week with ultralight tackle specifically to reduce the LMB population.

In the few remaining weeks you have before freeze up, I think you could try to hammer the bass with a variety of baits and lures. I think it unlikely that you would destroy your opportunity for catchable bass next summer this way. They learn from watching others get caught and pulled from the water. This makes them hesitant to bite for a few days. Soon enough you'll have ice to contend with.

If you end up with 20, 50, 75 LMB overwintering, you'll likely have better quality fishing next year than if you overwinter 200, 500, or 750.

I am certainly not an expert, but if what you say is true, that is, your forage is already depleted, then each bass you remove this fall will potentially help any remaining fish be able to grow to a more interesting size.

In any event, keep us posted. This sounds like a fascinating way to control an unwanted or unplanned population of predators.

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#512498 - 10/08/19 07:09 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: 4CornersPuddle]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

Your situation seems very applicable to mine. I am sure your right in that I cannot remove all of the bass before the ice comes, so I may as well try as much as I can, within reason.

Starting now, I will be fishing often to remove as many little bass as possible.

I wonder if I should try and put the biggest ones back. Is that a good idea? Some of them are 2-3" bigger than the others, and some are very small, so does it make sense to do a little selective harvest? Any input would be great.

Thanks again.
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#512690 - 10/12/19 01:02 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi everyone,

I tried catching the bass today to start harvesting them, and somehow only got two in 1.5 hours. I have no idea what has happened, as last week I could get one every cast. Is it because the water has cooled down a lot this week? I actually caught more trout by mistake than bass, even though there are only a few in the whole pond.

If anyone knows what the cause of the bass not being catchable anymore is, please let me know.

I have also tried fishing deeper with no results, so I don't know where they are. I don't see them from the shore like I usually do either.

Thanks again!
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#512691 - 10/12/19 01:49 PM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5919
Loc: Boone County Illinois
My bass slow way down as the water cools. What lures worked in warm water do not in cooler water. I've found you need to use a slower bait and that the bass strike zone is much smaller, i.e. they are not willing to go far to strike. You might try minnows under a bobber with a very slow retrieve. Good luck!
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#512709 - 10/13/19 09:17 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Fyfer123]
4CornersPuddle Offline


Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 301
Loc: southwest Colorado
+ what Bill D. said.
My water temp has dropped into the 50's. No LMB nor BG are catchable anymore. The only BG coming up to simply look at pellets or mealworms are the 3" and 4" fish that hang around the dock. None of the 8" to 10" BG show up any longer.
An occasional YP grabs a bite every few minutes. Trout are still feeding heavily.

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#512711 - 10/13/19 09:51 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi,

Thanks for the response. I will try to use a bit of a slower presentation, so instead of a trout spinner I will maybe a slow moving gulp minnow or similar. I'll try today and see how it goes. Maybe a spoon as well, jigged slowly.
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#512712 - 10/13/19 09:53 AM Re: Found Tons of Baby Bass in my Trout Pond [Re: 4CornersPuddle]
Fyfer123 Offline


Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the response. Interesting you say that about the trout, as mine are also taking my spinners and I'm not even targeting them. I'm going to try a slow presentation for the bass today and see how it goes.


Edited by Fyfer123 (10/14/19 10:55 AM)
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