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#57630 - 08/18/05 09:40 AM A Great Kid's Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Iíve been thinking for about a year now about what would make a great kidís pond. Itís something that would really be fun to do and now that I am confident I no longer will need a HSB grow-out pond, the opportunity is here. Based on my experiences and several posts on the Forum, including Russís recent thread, Iíve developed the following plan:

1) Drain and clean out the current grow out pond
2) Stock Rio Grandeís and CNBG and a few fatheads this fall.
3) Add about 2 dozen female LMB next spring along with 2 pounds of Tilapia

The Rioís are a colorful fish that would evict the oooohhhís and aaawwwsís from kids when they catch them. The CNBG will grow to large sizes with the LMB present. The Tilapia will keep the pond clean and provide an occasional surprise catch. The key is limiting the LMB to female only.

Plan swings into action this weekend beginning with step 1. Iíll post some pictures of progress. As always comments/suggestions welcome.

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#57631 - 08/18/05 10:03 AM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
james holt Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 1714
Loc: gainesville texas
With a small pond such as your grow out pond is it more difficult to keep out the predators such as blue herons and comerants?

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#57632 - 08/18/05 10:03 AM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
will Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 59
Loc: Fredericksburg, Texas
I know my kids love to catch a big channel catfish as well. One thing is a must is a good spot to fish from. A dock(NOT high off the water level) with Shade,Seats & Rail will keep them fishin' longer,

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#57633 - 08/18/05 10:14 AM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
ML :

I realllllly like your plan . Think about a worm plot near the pond for kids to dig there own worms. A couple of catalpa trees with worms would be nice and what about a cricket cage near by. When renovating put a place for BG beds in fishing { ahhh I mean fly casting } distance from the prime place to fish or view from. ewest
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#57634 - 08/18/05 10:30 AM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Good ideas...all

Birds won't be a problem in this small pond because it is close to the house.

Catalpa's...if I had any friends on the Forum that would send me some seeds .. \:\)

Worm bed, I really like that idea. Kids would probably rather dig the worms than fish.

The gravel is already there in a pile just waiting for me to move into pond on Saturday.

Cats, sorry no cats. I don't like the fins around kids and really don't like cats anyway, fish or real cats.

Track-hoe scheduled to arrive tomorrow afternoon. I expect to be finished by Saturday afternoon.

Todd, if you read this, I need those Rio's this fall and some guranteed female LMB either fall or spring. Thanks.

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#57635 - 08/18/05 01:27 PM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
bmccreight Offline
Member

Registered: 05/07/02
Posts: 67
Loc: houston, texas
ML, I think you will end up with both male and female LMB. Always wanted to grow my own worms. Kids love them, me I like the plastic ones. Found this http://quicksitebuilder.cnet.com/hallswormery/index.html
Good luck
Bob

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#57636 - 08/18/05 01:54 PM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
bmccreight,

I'm going to make Todd sign a contract committing him to only female bass... \:\) Just kidding of course.

You are probably right, but I figure I would rather have stunted bass any day of the week rather that catfish in my kids pond. A stunted bass is still a bass...a catfish...well, to each his own.

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#57637 - 08/18/05 03:00 PM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
JayMan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 151
Loc: Western New York
This is a neat topic. I like your plan. The wild card is the Rio Grand Perch. It will be interesting to see what affect they have on the LMB/BG food chain.

Child friendly fishing is one of my top priorities as well but I have chosen a different approach. I am going with a bass heavy pond stocked with large BG. Here are the benefits and negatives of this system (as I see it):

Overall, BG populations will be kept "low" by the LMB. The number of larger BG will be controlled on a put and take basis to provide good BG fishing. Bass will be slightly to significantly overpopulated. LMB growth will be slow but the occasional lunker (5lbs around here) is possible. The intent is to have numerous aggressive fish with some size to them. I have watched my 5 year old daughter fish and standard BG fishing frustrates her. She simply does not have the motor skills to hook smaller gills so she spends more time baiting the hook than fishing. Big BG and LMB tend to hook themselves and are a lot of fun to catch. The downside, as I am sure you are aware, is the potential for hook shy fish. The LMB will be 100% northern strain and there will be no supplemental feeding. I am hoping that since they will be hustling for food they will remain aggressive. Also, being in the north, the bass will be left alone for the 5 winter months each year. If all else fails, we are not above using live bait.

So far the results have been promising. We have not fished often and when we do we usually stop after catching 2 or 3 bass. The bass are currently 10-12" and are average weight. They are extremely easy to catch. My daughter uses a 2" Rapala and catches a bass on every 5th cast. Yesterday she had a bass on her first cast. The bass nailed the lure out of the air before it landed. It appears I will have some YOY bass survive this year. We have just started adding the bluegills so we have not fished for them yet. The BG have displayed spawning behavior but we have not seen any offspring. Given the predator dense conditions, I don't find this surprising.

Annnyyyway, good luck with your project.

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#57638 - 08/18/05 03:29 PM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by JayMan:
...there will be no supplemental feeding. I am hoping that since they will be hustling for food they will remain aggressive.
JayMan,

Great analysis, in my opinion. Right on target...where were you when I was bombarded herein for saying hungry bass are more aggressive than well (artificially) fed bass? \:\)

I really don't have a big fear of LMB overpopulation in this kind of pond. The more hungry they are, the more the kids will catch and that's what its all about.

This same pond, several years ago, before I became a "smart" pond manager and screwed it all up, would produce 15 to 20 small LMB without any problem in any given session. They were all small and thin but hungry and would take anything put in front of them...perfect for Kid's fishing; heck, I even enjoyed it until I was told that I wasn't supposed to enjoy catching thin aggressive native bass, but rather artificially fed large Florida bass that can not be caught. \:\) Bigger is always better, you know.

Thanks for the post...can't wait to see the expression of the first Kid's face that catches one of those Rio's. That will be fun.

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#57639 - 08/19/05 05:12 PM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
JayMan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 151
Loc: Western New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by Meadowlark:
[QUOTE]Great analysis, in my opinion. Right on target...where were you when I was bombarded herein for saying hungry bass are more aggressive than well (artificially) fed bass? \:\)
It seems reasonable to me but I have no evidence. I know several on this board rely on pellet fed fish for income so I didn't want to start any trouble. ;\)

I am happy to hear you had a similar bass heavy pond that offered good fishing. Did you fish the pond on a regular basis?

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#57640 - 08/19/05 07:31 PM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Yes, Jayman, we did...and things were fine as long as the bass were hungry. Started feeding, had a drought, lost every fish. To be fair, I would have lost them whether feeding or not, because the pond dried up...this was several years ago...but that little pond and later much bigger ponds have shown me hungry bass are bass that can be caught in a small pond.

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#57641 - 09/29/05 05:18 PM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Deb,

Would you care to comment on the plan as originally posted and also the suitability of GG in my planned "Kid's" pond?

I would be interested in your thoughts. Thanks.

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#57642 - 09/30/05 10:18 AM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Tentmaker Farm Offline
Lunker

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 98
Loc: Weatherford, Tx
Meadowlark,

Would use HSB instead of LMB. Need shade chairs and skipping rocks for kids. Also a WM aerator is benefical and adds to the appeal of the pond. Nothing better than teaching kids to fish. Great idea good luck.

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#57643 - 09/30/05 10:26 AM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Tentmaker,

I've been thinking the same thing about the HSB....just uncertain if they would be okay in such a small pond? Do you have any experience along those lines? I recall a past post from BrianH who had some success with HSB in a small pond. Thanks for your thoughts.

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#57644 - 09/30/05 12:18 PM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Just what is the difference in a good kids pond and a bad one? As long as the bluegill are plentiful, you will always have a winner.

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#57645 - 09/30/05 10:45 PM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Rad Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/06/05
Posts: 957
Loc: Chumpon Thailand
Probably no bad kids pond, just varying degrees of good.

The kids at my pond enjoy swimming as well as fishing, maybe more on really hot days. I think they snag the structure on purpose sometimes as an excuse to get wet. They seldom get hung up at the start of fishing. They also enjoy dip netting the small fish, 1" to 2" and racing their electric boats.
_________________________
1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam

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#57646 - 10/01/05 07:53 AM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Russ Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 1011
Loc: Ulster Park, NY
ML, with the supporting cast here and your own experience, I'm sure your project will be a success.

One item I've found that should be added to the pond fishermans tool box (kids toolbox), is a net. Not a net for landing fish but one that will be used for frogging, insect collecting, etc. Although the kids initial purpose for visiting the pond is fishing, it never fails that after awhile their interests wane and they move onto other adventures, catching frogs, looking for bugs...kids stuff. And for use northerners, a day of ice skating and ice fishing is another plus.

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#57647 - 10/03/05 07:41 AM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Don't forget to have a bunch of handy rocks for tossing into the water.

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#57648 - 10/03/05 08:35 AM Re: A Great Kid's Pond
Theo Gallus Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12394
Loc: Central Ohio
Yeah, with a quarter-acre, they should have a good chance of skipping them clear across to the other side! That's neat.
_________________________
"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling

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