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#54262 - 05/24/05 02:25 PM Can you over fish a pond?
Gold&Black Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Georgia
I have about a 30 acre pond built about seven years ago. We had it stocked in the early days with Bass, Brim, and some grass carp. average depth is probably 2 or 3 feet deep. Deepest area is along the old creek bed which is about 20 feet deep.

Each year we catch bigger and bigger bass and more and more folks are looking for an invite.
I am hosting several folks (12) for a guys weekend and I was just curious as to your experiences with over fishing a pond. I figure we will have six boats (canoes and john boats, trolling motors only). We will fish for the better part of 2 1/2 days. Catch and Release.

I am concerned that by the third morning the lake will be fished out.

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#54263 - 05/24/05 02:42 PM Re: Can you over fish a pond?
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Gold&Black,

Thirty acres is a good size, but yes even that large, you will see a definite fall off in the fishing. Record the number of fish caught each day (or better yet the number of strikes), and by the third day you will see a remarkable drop in catches (and strikes). Also, it will be a couple of months absent of fishing, in my experience, before they recover to anywhere near the "biting" rate that exists before the "tournament"...if indeed they ever recover. That's my prediction...let us know what happens.

Many folks feel that bass do not learn; I've had some tell me I'm just a poor fisherman, but I have no doubt that bass in small waters do learn to avoid the pain of getting caught. Yours will be an interesting case.

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#54264 - 05/24/05 03:03 PM Re: Can you over fish a pond?
h20fwlkillr Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 320
Loc: Holden, Mo
IN MY OPINION A LOT WOULD DEPEND ON WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE NORTHERN STRAIN, F1'S OR PURE FLORIDA STRAIN. THE NORTHERN'S SEEM TO TAKE CATCH AND RELEASE ALOT BETTER THAN THE OTHERS. i HAVE SEEN SEVERAL PONDS/LAKES WHERE YOU CAN CATCH THE SAME NORTHERNS OVER AND OVER THE SAME DAY.
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#54265 - 05/24/05 06:10 PM Re: Can you over fish a pond?
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19531
Loc: Miss.
Gold & Black :

I think fishing pressure along with a number of other factors can effect catch rates on LMB .You did not say how much fishing pressure the lake gets.

Do they "learn" is a good question that is still being debated. I think they can be effected by repeated negative stimulus over a period of time. I am not sure if that is learning or if there is retention for long. There is also ongoing study and debate over learning and bass aggresivness {catchability} between different strains of LMB { floridas, northerns, F-1's and other crosses} and if the use of feeders for BG {brim} effects the question. Much of this is discussed on this fourm.

I think ML's suggested experiment is a great idea. When you collect the data include other info like weather , time of day and type of lures used, etc {all those normal things fishermen blame when not catching fish}. I hope you will post the results.

Many lakes in the south are bass crowded {to many small 10-12 in. bass}. I don't know if yours is. It can be hard for one our two people to take out enough small bass to help balance a 30 acre lake. If your pond is bass crowded ,12 people fishing over 2 days can greatly help balance the pond if you keep the small bass and don't release them. But first you need to know if it is bass crowded.

One option if you think the lake will be fished out is to have one day {or part of one day} as a BG/RE {brim} only period. Catching brim on lite gear is a lot of fun. This may however have an effect on ML's experiment.

No doubt that heavy fishing if you are keeping the fish can do serious damage to a pond's population. I did not address that issue as you said they were to be released.Good luck. ewest
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#54266 - 05/24/05 06:24 PM Re: Can you over fish a pond?
TEXAS715 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/06/02
Posts: 352
Loc: Texas
Can you over fish it yes. Will it hurt anything? In the short term probably but not as bad as if you over harvested. I have done something similar to you with my pond, close in size, and a lot has to do with the situation in your pond currently. If your population is high or several other factors you won't see much of a decline.

Go ahead and enjoy the time!

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#54267 - 05/24/05 07:42 PM Re: Can you over fish a pond?
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12465
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
ewest provides a very good idea of one day dedicated for brim fishing for your fishing weekend. Have everyone put a couple dollars in a pot for the "Brim Fishing Day". The largest brim of the day gets the pot of money.
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#54268 - 05/24/05 09:16 PM Re: Can you over fish a pond?
Ric Swaim Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
My opinion: Pay attention to ewest's comments here
 Quote:
Many lakes in the south are bass crowded {to many small 10-12 in. bass}. I don't know if yours is. It can be hard for one our two people to take out enough small bass to help balance a 30 acre lake. If your pond is bass crowded ,12 people fishing over 2 days can greatly help balance the pond if you keep the small bass and don't release them. But first you need to know if it is bass crowded.
Don't miss a great opportunity to remove slot limit bass in a 30 ac pond!
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#54269 - 05/25/05 05:54 PM Re: Can you over fish a pond?
Gold&Black Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Georgia
I appreciate the feedback and will certainly post the results. To clarify on a couple of questions that were posted. I would say that overall the pond is underfished. Unless our caretaker is running a side business. For the most part we remove 12in and smaller lmb.

We do have feeders for the brim. Now sure how this ties in and will research other posts to better understand.

As for the population overall, I will know alot more next week. The pond is being shocked next week by SE Pond Managment. I imagine they will tell me we are desperately low on bait fish in order to sell us more. But hopefully, they can help me answer the bass heavy question?

Again thanks for the insight!
I'll let you know the results of both the pond shocking and fishing tournament. In addition, I'll share some structure ideas I have been working on. (Cheap, Permanent, quick, and algae frindly).

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#54270 - 05/25/05 06:28 PM Re: Can you over fish a pond?
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Gold&Black,

Ref the comment on feeders...I've made several posts here in the past complaining about LMB low catchability in a catch and release small pond with feeders. My stated theory is that feeders can adversely affect LMB fishing. The theory is based on observations at my ponds in which I can see LMB taking artificial feed but more importantly picking off unsuspecting BG at the feeders. I can see it at any given feeding time.

The adverse affects are 1) LMB are stuffed on BG and artificial feed all the time and not inclined to hit flys or lures 2) its much less work to pick off a BG at the feeder than stalk and capture one around structure and 3) my LMB actually become conditioned to prefer BG and about the only way I can catch one is on a live baby BG.

Many herein disagree with my theory.

Observation is the basis to support my thinking. I can catch 15 to 20 bass just about any time on flys in a small pond without feeders but can't hardly buy a LMB in a larger pond with artificial feeders. The pond with the feeders also has Florida strain bass whereas the other pond has native bass, a possible contributing factor also.

For my own edification, I'm running an "experiment" this year in a new 2 acre pond..stocked with F1s, BG, fatheads, and Tilapia and no, zero, artificial feeding.

Now, I'm not foolish enough to believe that in any way what I'm doing is scientific in any respect. I'm simply searching for the right combination of things that work for me and improve the fishing for my family.

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