Pond Boss
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

We close in March but it's a done deal. I'm actually just waiting to close on my *house* first since this is going to be owner financed. I've posted some pictures and stuff before. In my profile is a link to all my current pictures I took today.

It DEFINITELY has a population of hungry bass. Lots of em jumpin around today. Almost caught one (had it right next to the bank) that was definitely north of 2Lbs maybe up to 3.

Questions (because of course I have questions).

Is there a "poor mans" way of checking the fish population aside from calling a pond specialist to come in with an electrofishing boat? Or are yall gonna just tell me to go drop some more lines?

I'm contemplating throwing in (40 lbs) of Shiners and Gambusia Minnows next month to feed these guys, and maybe they'll start a breeding population. (fatheads are not available commercially, only from bait shops). Thoughts on that?

In April I'll start building some fish cities and then get some more forage to populate em. Then I'll put some feeders around the cities. Tons of natural places for forage to hide for now.

What types of structure are best for Shiners and Gams? Do they need flat surfaces like FHM do?

Ok so forage I want to add more of:
Shiners and Gams, since that's the ONLY supply I can find right now.

Bluegill, Crawfish (what type of craw would you go for?)
Sterile grass carp.

Am I missing anything obvious to help this pond get some big bass? Can someone link me a test kit so I can measure DO and see if I need an aerator (I dont think so, but a fountain could be cute anyway)
I know from having a bass pond that forage fish can play a big part in having big (in my case small) bass. You might want to fish with worms and a small hook to see if there are any smaller species of fish. That's the cheapest way to do it. I'm sure others will have more scientific ways of analysing the pond. Good luck with the project.
After catching the 1st fish - a LMB, you can for now assume there is a population of LMB established with reproduction and recruitment. Now IMO you should start exploring what comprises the forage fish community. From your picture it appears there is lots of shallow shoreline cover and habitat. Now find out what is utilizing that habitat.

Two ways I would start.
1. Get a couple Gee Minnow traps new or used. Stay away from rubber coated black traps as videos on Youtube show those traps are not the best at catching minnows; my experience also is the same. If trap is new and shiny, spray paint them brown or black or a mixture of brown, black and dark green to blend in with shoreline cover. Bait traps with various items such as stale bread, bakery items, dried pet food or when you start feeding fish, you can use fish food as trap bait. Set traps in shallow water 8"-16" deep parallel to shore and near cover as these are areas where all small fish "hang-out". Depending on your time schedule,,, fish or run traps for various time periods. I often start with overnight or full day sets. Once the bait is consumed the fish start looking for pathways out of the trap. Short time sets such as 1-3 hours can be productive. Let your catch results be your guide which time sets work best.

2. Good numbers of what you catch in traps will be suggestive of the adult panfish - minnow community. Now do some extensive angling for panfish or maybe for large shiners or other larger (4"-8") minnow - shiner species. Use small hooks such as #10 or #12 aberdeen hook/s on light line 4lb-6lb test. Get a small slender bobber/float or similar tiny small slip bobber. Use a broken tooth pick to plug the hole in the tiny slip bobber. You want a small bobber to detect light bites. Set the bobber 2ft -3ft deep and fish along shoreline near cover. Try to keep a low profile, I like to sit down. Using a high standing profile makes you very visible to shy bite fish and causes larger fish to be cautious and move offshore. With a good panfish community using this method you should be able to catch 15 to 35 panfish per hour. Your goal is to catch at least 100-200 panfish any size 3"+. Some of these fish should be good sized adult breeder panfish if they are present in decent numbers. You should record on paper what specie and length (measure them) of what you catch. These data will tell managers very good info about your panfish community. Using this method, expect to catch some predatory fish such as your smaller bass (6"-15"). In a balanced fish community expect to catch one bass (small predator) any size for every 20-30 pan/forage fish. Remember record document your catch specie and length. With tilapia in the pond you might not catch a lot of tilapia since they are predominately vegetarians. This bait small worm angling will tell the "rest of the story".

3. Come back with the above results and we can provide a good beginners evaluation of your fishery and its balance. They we/you will know the best way or options to proceed.
Congratulations CityDad. If only March would come sooner? Glad to see this is happening for you.
Congratulations CityDad!! I second to what Bill C said above but the first thing I would do is go get some sort of notebook or at the very least a legal pad. If you want to get fancy, they make "write in the rain" paper and pens. Even if the paper gets wet you can still write on it.

Take your phone with you too for pictures to show us to help you identify any fish that you have questions about. You might want to source a clear plastic container that has straight sides (square or rectangular) that will be large enough to hold a fish or two so we can get a good look at it from the side. Get a pair of pliers and bend the barb down on the hook, it will make it a lot easier to get out. If you don't have a small/medium of gently curved hemostats, see about getting a cheap pair or 3. I use those to get the hook out if it's further inside the fish's mouth than I can grab with my fingers. The hemostats will lock closed, so you can "clip" them to your pants or shirt so they are close by.

I've found it's easiest to get one of those fish measuring boards like they use for crappie tournaments or bass tournaments. Something that you can bump the fish's nose against and quickly get a reading at the tip of their tail.

Once you start fishing for bigger fish, get a rubber landing net. Dragging the fish up on the bank disrupts their slime coat and stresses the fish more. Get all your stuff together, net the fish, take quick measurements and get it back into the water.

You can also get a inexpensive baby scale to weigh fish instead of trying to poke a bigger hole in them and hang them on a hook or possibly damage a gill by hanging it by the gills. Not needed for the smaller fish, but for larger bluegills (6.5"+, or bass/catfish 12"+, the weight will also tell you things about your pond).

As of right now, resist the urge to put bait fish in there, until you know the population and set your goals for the pond there is no need to spend the money.
I suggest not wasting money on forage fish unless they are too large for your predator fish to eat. They will likely become expensive fish food, especially FHM. If you have extensive cover, like submerged plant beds, you might be able to start some other forage species but you could just as easily cause adverse effects on the populations currently in the pond. Be patient and see what you catch and what condition those fish are in. The best plan may be to start removing fish rather than adding anything. It depends on what the current fish population structure is and what your goals are. Best of luck!
3 days after the next full moon walk the shoreline looking for lmb on their spawning nest. Take the time to walk it slowly and look carefully. It works better if the sun is out, Cloudy day makes it harder to see them. This can give you an idea on what are the largest lmb in the pond. The largest will be the first to move to the nest. Here in E. Texas the lmb will move up when water temps are in the 52 to 55 degree range. It comes sooner than most people think. And then check it again the next full moon for the next batch to move up.
More pictures here, including a skinny 8" guy I did manage to catch, also pictures of various algae and duckweed. Looks like healthy amounts at the moment.

If I build "fish cities" before adding the forage would that be better? There are definitely spots I can carry or wheelbarrow bags of fish into natural structure.I can't see much harm (except to my wallet)?

Since this is my first personal pond my only "goal" is to get some Big Ones growing out here, and make sure it has lots of fish that like to bite.

I had considered netting off the area from that small island to the shore in a 1/4 pizza shape that would be ~1/4 acre for growing out the forage. That would take up a lot of my easiest access fishing but would be worth it mid/long term maybe (I'm gonna clear more spaces to fish from anywhere)? Next trip i'm going to investigate other areas I could do that.

*Could I get recomendations on the type of netting for something like that? Link?*

Shiner Sam seemed to think the shiners might establish but the minnows would get eaten off quick (my intention was to "distract" the bass with minnows so the shiners could establish.

I thought if I went *big* with the forage purchase enough would survive for a few spawns. Water temps in the 60s so they should be happy enough to do that.
If you are catching skinny predators, don't throw them back in. In my 1 acre pond, I ask my neighbor to remove 50-60 BG per year and at least 10 8-12" LMB. Last year another friend removed a 6.4 lb and a 4.5 lb LMB. A common error in managing a pond for nice sized fish, is to release too many. The big LMB were caught at high water temps which made them prime candidates to die anyway. I do not have GSH in this pond. I have plenty of BG, so I count on them as forage for the LMB. Still, I think removing 50-60 BG per year is needed so that I have some big ones, plus enough small ones to keep kids having fun.
@rah Agreed! I'm going to hold off on that type of culling until I have some pigs or chickens to eat em though smile
[quote][/quote]You are putting the cart before the horse. You don't even know what kinds of and numbers of forage fish that are present. You might have adequate forage producing adults; just too many bass eating too many forage fish. From the pictures the pond has plenty of cover, probably just too many bass which is a common problem. Throwing more food to too many wolves does not solve anything.

That pond appears to be overgrown and too much shallow water. You have a lot of work ahead of you. Personally I would call that pond in its present condition a 'glorified' wetland.
The wildlife will clean up culled fish, or maybe you have a trustworthy neighbor that can catch and eat them? Probably will take some time to figure out who's who in the area though.
Bill, It's Dry season in Florida. I'm probably fishing from area that is full after the first real storm comes through. Otherwise yea definitely lots of swamp smile I'm going to try to Dam off a lot of the areas that are currently "Muck/Swamp" and let them dry out. Hopefully get more pasture area out of it plus a "private" 1/4 acre pond.

Those will all be long term projects. Getting back to those spots with machinery is problematic
Citydad, get to know the pond before you start trying to improve it.

Catch fish, analyze and measure the fish for size and body condition. Record everything. Give it some time while learning what it has and has not. Somewhere along the trip, figure out what needs to be done to achieve an ever elusive balance of predator and prey.

When you finally get it in balance, congratulate yourself. That generally ends pretty quickly.
I agree with what's said above, find out what's there first. Don't stock any forage fish, it'll be $$ down the drain and maybe feeding fish that you will cull out.

You will NEVER be able to stock or even grow enough bait fish to stop the bass from stunting. The pond's carrying capacity most likely won't be able to handle it. You will most likely have to remove 30# of bass/acre of all sizes for the first 2, maybe 3 years while you work on habitat before you start to see it turn around. Too much cover in there will hurt you the same as too little cover. Get to know the pond first. i.e. crawl before you walk and walk before you run. Different fish species and different sized fish need different habitat.

Harvest is an essential and integral part of pond management.
Mmm Yall are right. Thanks for talking me down. I'm just excited smile.
That doesn't mean I'm not gonna go grab $50 worth of shiners and toss em in to see if a feeding frenzy starts up (bet it does).

I was planning on inviting some local fishing clubs to come down for a fish fry and help me cull a bunch. Maybe do that first thing after we get our vaccines spring/summer. Still want to wait until I get my pigs, since itll save me on feed.

@Esshup there are a million threads about fish structure. I definitely know "where to start" and im starting to collect stuff to re use.

Are there good articles about specific structure for each fish? I.e. build these specifically for BG, Minnow, Shiner?
Originally Posted by CityDad
@rah Agreed! I'm going to hold off on that type of culling until I have some pigs or chickens to eat em though smile

Small LMB like that taste very good, in my opinion, at least from my water. I don't know if the "swamp" like water will make them taste different, but I would give it a try. I ate lots of 10" bass this summer. You'd think they are too small but you can get some decent fillets off of them.
If the fishing club members come and fish request or maybe demand for the free privilege of fishing, that they record on paper every fish caught and its length. See if you can't convince some of them them to fish mainly for panfish with the live worm/bait bobber method. IMO weight of every fish at this point in time is not as important as data for specie and length considering your current goals. Basically IMO you just need to know who or what is there and how long it is. Your personal angling data with length and maybe weight can be adequate at this point in time. If you want weights of the fish then have someone or you not fishing, weigh/measure all individual fish that are culled.
I am sure that you know, but be sure to keep the pigs and their waste from getting into the pond.
Dont worry, pigs will be away from the bass! Closest their pasture will get is about 300'. And err kinda hard to explain but during the wettest season the water will be 'connected' via swampland, but theres like several hundreds yards of maze/canal things before it gets to the "real pond" that will filter it out.

@billcody that's my plan! Do some kind of giveaway for most fish caught which means we gotta tally it up at the end and measure em all.
Fingers crossed we get our damn vaccines on time so I can do this sooner rather than later.
$50 in bass pro gift cards to save hundreds on electrofishing yes please!

As for the panfish. This weekend Ill set up 2 or 3 rods to do that while I've got the nicer rods looking for bass, and Ill do a minnow trap too.
I'll need to make a rack. Mmmm sounds like a good afternoon project for tomorrow.
This time of year, Florida weather is looking pretty good! BTW - Your place looks pretty good!!
Thanks! I'm picking up a hedge trimmer this week so I can clear out more spots to fish from.

Note- Can someone link me water test kits?
Hey guys!

Had huge Algae bloom today, but the spring that feeds the lake had some big clear spots, Water temps ~61* and I expect climbing soon. 2.5' visibility, maybe more.


The bass were hungry, but as an inferior angler I couldnt grab too many today. Had 2 that were about the same size as last week, but thicker (not fat, but not skinny). I picked up a scale on my way there but of course it was broken right out of the package so...
Had 2 that I think were bigger break off on me.

I did grab a minnow trap filled it with hotdog and buns. It was swarmed almost immediately but Idont think any went inside. it is very shiny. Maybe that's why. I didnt grab paint for it. I left it overnight since ill be back tomorrow.

Figured out a plan for the area I want to dam but can't get machinery to. Going to build a cinderblock retaining wall. I think it could work, on the backkside of it I'll add in fill dirt mixed with bentonite. Then on top I'll put a nice fishing platform. That's definitely a next year project since I've too much to do already with a new house and getting this lake rolling nicely.

There are lots of scraggly bushes and dead trees and plant some cover grass along many sections to help erosion. What is your favorite native cover grass to use?

Walked even more of the bankline than I had before. I never saw a spot that *didnt* have small fish there. I didn't see anything intermediate sized, I'm wondering if the bass eat everything that gets past the size of Fry and that's part of the problem?

I also did not notice any freshwater mussels or crayfish, which was shocking. I wont go out of my way to add mussels (unless oneof you big brains suggests it), but I will definitely be trying to bucket stock some crayz and putting them back in one of the muckier areas that the big fish can't access until the rains come. I did finally find a local company to get my fish from (only 3 hour round trip!) but they dont have craws.
Try fishing using some of the small fish that you catch in the minnow trap. As I said , You are going to find that you will catch more minnows in a dark colored pained trap. Hot dogs will catch crayfish but not minnows. Any mollusks that you have will likely be in deeper water. However IMO your pond will not have very many if any mussels because of the thick muck bottom. Freshwater mussels need firm bottom sediment materials. They do poorly if live at all in soft sloppy bottom muck.
All that needs to happen is some of the shine to wear off of the minnow trap. I have the Gee galvanized minnow traps and they work 10:1 vs. a black painted/dipped minnow trap that looks exactly the same.

Yes, I believe the bass are eating the intermediate sized fish, LMB like to eat fish 1/4-1/3 their body length. That's why harvest is important.
Cool body of water you have. I understand your in the Tampa area, too?

Do you now the history of it whether it was dug for fun or if it was a borrow pit of some sort? There are lots of those around. f that's the case, it could be deep.

Best money you could spend right now would be on a little jon boat to get out and cover some water to see what you have. Bass are already beginning to bed here and bream will start shortly. That is as good a time as any to survey the banks for bedding activity by sight and smell. Need some polarized glasses with the dark waer.

Keep an eye out for the birds; heron, osprey, cormorant, eagle, etc.. They are better fisherman than you and I would ever be. smile

Being Florida, you're gonna have fish in there. There are lunker bass in the smallest of stormwater retention ponds around here.
Without electrofishing my current plan is to cull 50-100lbs of skinny LMB and adding at last 3 fish condos with feeders above them (probably cheap moultries bc $$$) before rainy season starts (aprilish) and I add BG, Shad, Minnows, and Craws (if I can find craws). Hopefully that will kick start the forage and help out the bass.

Near the fish condos I think I'm also going to plant vegetation in buckets (so it can't spread). What plants do yall like near your spawning area/condos?

So far I've got 2 volunteers to help me out, both better anglers than me so can probably hit that if not Ill invite more.

Over the summer take out anything at all that is skinny.

Re-evaluate in the fall. Maybe invest in some new genetics for the pond (note this is Florida fall, so its still warm)

Non fish related pond projects for this year:
*Purchase water test kits and monitor closely
*Invest in DO meter for same
*if money isn't an issue, invest in a digital bobber to map the lake bottom
*Clear out lots of scrub brush along the bank to fish from.
*Plant lots of grass where scrub brush used to be
*Plan future landscaping for banks (I somehow have very few cypress trees, I think that should be fixed for erosion control and habitat double header)
*Monitor water/banks and make plans to improve them next year via riprip, bentonite, and cinderblock retention walls.
*Relax and enjoy

Have I missed anything?
I wouldn't add any forage until you remove those 100lbs of bass or else you will just be encouraging more overcrowded bass.
I'm in Bill's camp about not adding any forage fish or anything that they could eat. You would be just throwing money away.
Yup you've convinced me, that's priority number 1, as well as building the fish condos. I think I found a good spot for a nursery in the back, if I can find a good net I might go ahead and net it off and put the forage back there to grow out and hopefully spawn a bit.
As we all know its a combination of time, money, and work. If I can make a grow out spot and then invest in time to spend less money, I'm gonna do it.

Recomendations on the net/netting for something like this?

Also- What plants do yall like? I want to scatter 10 or so 5 galloon buckets of vegetation in some spots as fish attractors that dont overtake the pond. I want that in before I add all the forage too

Forgot photos from yesterday! First time bringing the family out to enjoy it. My FIL also helped me clear a few spots to fish from and we are planning the next patches to clear.

Temperature spiked hard overnight, and I think that made the bass mad. Couldnt get any bites. I saw a tons of schools of fairly large perch or tilapia (couldnt catch em) hanging out eating grass. If I had to guess a few of em passed 1lb. Camera phone couldnt capture em. They looked beautiful though, and I want to stick a fork in one... Next time Ill bring a cast net.
I was re-reading some Forage Pond threads and someone mentioned putting them in large water tanks to grow out.

DUH why didn't I think of that? I've been collecting them for other purposes for the farm and can definitely set aside 2 for raiisng forage. I think the water in them will get REALLY hot though. Any thoughts on keeping them cool? Central florida is already 80* and water temps climbing from the low 60s. Set em up with a pipe into the actual pond should be simple enough. Screen on top to keep birds out. Gravel and sand on the bottom to hold a few plants/spawning beds.

Any other advice on that topic?
Raising fish in outdoor tanks can be very different methods between north and south regions. Species in the warm-hot south would have to be high temperature tolerant fish. Raising fish in tanks is definitely not as easy as it sounds. It becomes and requires methods specific aquaculture.
Hi Bill-

Some quick googling shows me that Gams prefer ~77* f and can tolerate up to about 100*
Bluegill seem to be almost as tolerant of warm temperatures (maxing at ~95*)

Gams Seems like a good place to start this project. Hopefully sooner than later because time is money. If It works out ill do BG later. Time to start hunting for pumps etc.
Hey guys.

i know the short answer is going to be "as much as you can afford" but I'm going to ask anyway....

I'm pricing out riprap etc as structure for crayfish. How much is the "minimum" size pile you'd make for them?
I ordered a triaxle load and built a jetty for crayfish. At full pool, it is submerged completely. I thought that this use of riprap might provide more habitat for the crayfish, but I have no concrete evidence that it does. However, after adding the papershells, my curly leaf pondweed is all but gone.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Over the past 6 yrs I have kept my eyes open for the stuff that I can use for cover in the pond and is free for the picking. Piles of used brick, or different sized rocks scattered around the property. All kinds of free stuff out there if you don't get in a hurry and take your time and your eyes open. Free gambusa minnows that live in the wet low spots and free crawfish in those same low spots in the spring. There are plenty of places to spend money on the pond, like a good fish feeder, fish food, stocker fish. forage fish, sein nets, cast nets, scales to weigh fish along with measuring boards. Building material for a pier. I can go on with all the money that one can spend on a pond. I am happy to see you got your pond.
RAH- That is one truckload? How many yards? If so that looks like a great start. Also uhh.... I might invest in changing the way that rock is laid out. Or is my mind just corrupt?

TGW- hitting construction sites for garbage that i can use is definitely high on my list, but I also want to do the turn money into time thing by getting some good stuff right away.
I've put rip-rap on most of the dam in my pond. Also have three submerged peninsula piles that run perpendicular to the shoreline.

~60 ton in so far with another ~15 ton to go.
The design RAH has is a good one, especially if you ever think you will be electroshocking the pond. To do that effectively, you need some areas that the fish can be "herded to" to trap them in the current from the e-shock boat.
Just one truckload. It is sold by the ton rather than the cubic yard, but I cannot remember the tonnage. Carrying each stone out separately by hand and placing it was the real work, especially with the water level being where it is shown in the photo. I later raised the full pool by 1 foot using a water control box from AgriDrain which covered the top of the rocks, but not very deeply. I did this for establishing bald cypress in my last pond as well, and I just added an elbow to the pipe in my 3rd pond to raise it as well, but don't have bald cypress in that one. During droughty times, the top of the jetty still sticks out of the water.
HAHA ok no one else sees anything funny in the shape, I guess my mind is just dirty.
I think the place down here sells em by the "yard" vs the "truck" I've left em messages but no response yet to confirm. Of course their website has "by the truck" rates for fill dirt but not rip rap...

I also need to get some bald cypress going. It's shocking that a pond in FLorida doesn't have a ton of it already but *shrug* any advice for me on planting it?

I'm going to load my riprap onto a john boat and then across my pond when I get it so.... Yea thats gonna be a pain in the ass but worth it. Or maybe not, but I'm doing it. I'll post a picture later of where I'm putting structure and feeders.

Going to look for some american pondweed and arrowhead this weekend. Then plant both in buckets to see how they do. I get 2 days at the pond this weekend, 1 solo 1 with the fam smile perfect mix.

Im gonna do a bunch more clearing of the banks to fish from, and hopefully at least a little fishing. Might try to throw oneof these things I think is tilapia on the fire smile
Originally Posted by CityDad
HAHA ok no one else sees anything funny in the shape, I guess my mind is just dirty.

This forum is serious business, no joking allowed! wink
Post a picture of what you think are Tilapia and we can ID it for you.
plaanning on catching one this weekend and doing a taste species test


Can you ID the lil baby fish?

Visibility ~3'

Also- I think I saw 3 spawning beds... clean bowls in the sand but with no fish guarding them. Am I crazy? Maybe birds got em? Would they scoot if they saw me walk up?

Hopefully will have more fish to ID tomorrow from the minnow cage. Also gonna focus on catching these tilapia that stare at me. They *might* be common carp.

Also saw what I think is a sailfin catfish.

For the catfish and carp/tilapia I'm gonna have to get a bow smile I dont want non natives in my lake!

Caught the biggest fish I've had in that pond so far! Skinny but I kept it in because the length was so nice.
I did also catch a 6" one that maybe I should have culled? I thought it was young enough that I should let it stay in? No picture of him, I caught it kinda funky and wanted him back in the water.

I'm pretty confident that there is an extreme shortage of bluegill in this pond. I haven't seen any vaguely bluegill shaped shapes in the water. The fishery only sells BG as large as 2-4" MMmmmm gonna have to figure out how to grow em out I think. I'll have some chain link fencing to recycle in a few weeks, maybe Ill set up that to keep birds and bass out of one of the areas I labeled 'potential nursery' in the photos.
The small fish in your pictures above is a mosquito fish probably a male.
Thanks Bill!

I think I'm going to try to catch a few hundred of em and stick em in a tank to spawn em and put em back. There's tons but they appear ot be the only forage fish.

Any advice for stocking BG and crayfish to established ponds?
The bass that you put back in should have been removed. Too skinny. The length and weight tells me that there aren't enough fish in the pond of the correct size for it to eat to grow any larger, or heavier.

The tall grassy things should be removed too - those are cattails and will get so thick you can't walk to the water.
ooh thanks for the warning about cattails

i was worried id be removing too much cover.

.... yer right, i just felt bad for em. My heart yearns for all bass to be free! Whats the max size i should keep? about 8"?
Originally Posted by CityDad
.... yer right, i just felt bad for em. My heart yearns for all bass to be free! Whats the max size i should keep? about 8"?

Whatever is under 100% Relative Weight. Honestly, I would remove every bass you catch that is under 120% Relative Weight until you reach removing 30# of bass of ALL sizes per surface acre. That will get your pond back into shape quicker.
Oh jinkies I thought keeping healthy ones and small ones was a good idea... guess you won't appreciate an update from yesterday...
Can you link me RW charts? I've got people meeting me there next weekend to help start... THE CULLING


BEST day of fishing I've had there so far.

My FIL was put in charge of catching tilapia and bluegill and couldnt get any. To me that is confirmation of 0 bluegil since I've never known one to resist a liveworm.
Once I get feeders set up hopefully the tilapia will be attracted to one spot and I can seine a bunch out to make room for the bluegill I want to add.

I thought I read some threads about Tilapia providing forage for bass similar to BG? I dont think that's holding too true here.

What's the best structure to build for small BG to live in? Corrogated pipe "condos?"
Let your fingers walk your eyes through the Pond Boss Common Pond Q&A (Archives). There's a lot of info there that is asked all the time. Here's a small sample: https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=160456#Post160456
Found em in the thread, thanks I stopped going through those lists of links a while back since almost all those links are broken.
Thanks for the updates. I'm enjoying this thread. Those "small" bass are good size for around here.
Hey yall.
Only 1 day out there this week, yesterday.

Caught a bunch of small ones and let them back. Lost 2 or 3 big ones (2+ lbs) and was happy to see em.

i know i know I need to cull the small ones, but they were so cute I couldnt.

Almost killed myself getting into my canoe, but managed to only pull a muscle, making me feel old...

Accidentally left the lights on in my car, killing my car battery and had to wait over 2 hours for a tow truck bc my land isnt near. Took the time to take some nice walks around the property which led me tothe following thoughts...

1- How deep to bluegill need ot be in to survive? There is an exceptionally grassy bit that the ducks seem to avoid. I'm willing to bet as soon as the first hurricane blows through itll overflow into the lake. It looks to be from 2-8" deep. I've got a shipment of 2-4" bluegill coming March 6, only about 300. If I put them in here, you think they'd be ok until they get washed into the main lake? Just want to give them more chance to grow... And maybe spawn? How old/big do they need to be to spawn?
2- Based on the price of bluegill and my budget I'm definitely considering Raising some in a 250 gallon tank (repurpsoes LBC tote) at my house. Any articles or good reading on the subject? Even if all I do is grow em out there and bring them over itll be a good use of time/effort IMO.

3- Found a good way to connect my pasture areas and make shuffling animals easy!

4- Yall I'm gonna need to start mowing this. a 30 minute drizzel and Ive got 2' high weeds and grass. Or maybe I just need a cow.

Edi-t Every time I'm there I smile the whole time. Yall need to get vaccinated and come for a camp/fishout

Here's the note from Bob:

Welcome to the Pond Boss Forum. This is the place for sharing information about the enjoyment of private ponds in a fun, family like atmosphere.

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If you wouldn't say it to your Mother, don't say it to us.
Did I use unwelcome expletives? My bad. In my defense I learned em from mom!
Ok maybe I learned em in college.

I'm closing a big deal on Friday. Gonna splurge a lil bit. I think that splurge is gonna be 3 of these


Might even just get the piece to plug into a larger bucket.

And 2ish of these

Plus enough of this to make a little grow out area


^^^ That a good net for what I want?

I know this forum is kinda Anti moultrie feeders, but I need more than 1 to make an impact so I'm gonna take the risk on these.
Also if my wife randomly googled the price on one of the big texas feeders I'd be a dead man.
Pictures from Yesterday

The culling isn't going well because they keep looking at me with those innocent fishy eyes.... Next week some cold hearted anglers are coming to join me so will likely start getting caught up on culling.

I have an order of 350 2-4" bluegill coming on the 6th so I NEED to close off my mercy and got to town

I may add some crawfish to that as well. Budgets...

Hopefully before the come I will have the parts I need/want to convert an old 250g water tote into a grow out aquarium, otherwise Ill seed them in a grassy area and cross my fingers a few of them survive long enough for a spawn.
Option 3 is grabbing a bunch of milk crates cheap and sinking them and hopeing the BG are smart enough to hang out inside of them for a while under a feeder, should have 2 by next week. ALso need to order the water test kits from amazon

On a similar note in April-ish I'm going to spend some weekends trying to bill buckets with the limit of 50 bluegill to bring over to my pond. FIL has offered to help, so hopefully we can get a hundred or so larger bluegill to bring down.

Other things-
Tilapia have definitely started spawning, and Ithink I missed a bunch of it. I didnt bring bait for the minnow traps but there are large bowls in the sand and tiny fishes that dont look like the GAMs swimming around. How bad is having the big tilapia around? Should I leave them or try to cast net them out? Do they compete with bluegill for food?

I dont think I've seen any bass beds, but a bunch of the bass I've caught definitely seem to be preggers.

EVERY time I'm there I can see fish splashing around. I LOVE it. It's hilarious when I cast out and a school of tilapia gets scared shirtless and it makes a frenzy.

Definitely saw some plecos in the pond. Invasie buggers, not sure how to get them out.
Get cold hearted quick. If Mother Nature gets her fingers in the pie, you won't be happy. She is MUCH more cold hearted than you ever think you could be.
Thanks for the report. I have been told by others on the forum that releasing too many bass might lead to them becoming hook shy, making it hard to cull them later. That might be something to keep in mind.

Good point, I'm actually curious about this myself. This BOY is combined ~15 acres during low season, and just under 20 at full. (~5 is on "my" property).
It has Grassy areas, about 1 acre of just lillypads (this area is the "barrier" between the neighbors section of pond and mine), and tons of wood structure.

The other owners barely touch it/ I've never seen them fish.

Can 1 person fishing lets say 4 hours a week "overfish" this?

Another question for the brain trust. What should I do about this structure? Fish love it, but I'm starting to hate it... except for it's usefulness as a fish attractor. (follow imgur link)

Also I was looking into the American Flagfish... how does this thing even exist? It only laws 20 eggs at a time??!!!?! And its perfect bass food size
If you cut it off below the water level you won't know that it's there and still get hung up on it.

As for the fish, it looks like a nice aquarium fish.
The others here would know better than me, but I'm also the only one who fishes my pond, although much smaller, and I don't see any issues with pressure. I know for a fact that bass in my pond have been caught multiple times, so whether or not they become hook shy, I am really not sure. With that said, I am concerned about hook shy fish and do not release many trout or bass. This summer I am planning on keeping all bass in order to prevent hook shy fish and reduce the population.

If you do not want to keep bass, know that they are good eating, at least in my pond, so there is not much downside if that's what people are recommending.
First weekend I havent really been able to fish. Saturday I was prepping fence posts for animals coming in about a month, and Sunday I had a stomach bug that kept me home bound.

I did get a 2 hour recitation of the history of the property from the neighbor who rode her riding mower out to monologue to me about everything from Gator mating season to politics. Nice lady but I dont think I said more than 10 words in 2 hours.

She said there ARE bluegill but they only eat crickets. Maybe on her half of the lake? Ill do some investigating.

Also claims she catches tilapia on crickets and that she pulled one out that weighed almost 10 lbs. Which seems a bit of an exageration, but there are deffinately big tilapia in there.

Also a 14' gator she calls "Grandma" that shes going to try to ahve FWC remove
Gator is fine eating. Do the big ones get gristly and tough, or do they stay good no matter how big they get?

If they stay good I'd be inclined to "remove" it myself, and relocate it to my freezer.
No gators allowed at my pond. The buzzards need something to eat too.
Haha! She cautioned me that the FWC does flyovers, so if I must eliminate a gator for self defense I need to be careful with where it ends up...

I wouldnt know how to process a gator! I bet my FIL does though. Havent been out there in 2 weeks due to the move, hopefully Ill get out there on Friday. Taking PTO do build fences for pigs and do some fishing. I want to see if there is any spawning for the bass yet as I've only seen Tilapia beds and I"m hoping some big bass finally come out to play.

I've decided to be a fairly intelligent individual and not invest in extra plantlife or too much forage until I see how this spring goes at least. With the alleged presence of bluegill I"m not as concerned. I will be getting at least 2 of the moultrie's I posted to try to feed the forage fish, probably this month.
CityDad, good luck on all of your upcoming projects!

We expect a full report of your family picnic next year that consists of bacon-wrapped tilapia as the main course, and beer-battered gator chunks as the appetizer.
Once everyone gets vaccinated BBQ at my place absolutely! Hogs should be ready for July 4!
CRAPOLA I had a big post written and it seems like it didnt post w/e I'll do it again.

Got back out today to get work done on the hog pen. Its about 70% done and itll be 95% before they arrive on Sunday AM. For the first ~2 months theyll be kinda close to the pond, but then they are going away from it for their permanent pasture so itll be ok 9i swear).

I did get some fishing in, lots of observations/facts.

1- FREAKING HUGE TILAPIA EVERYWHERE. Seriously I was expecting to see the bass bedding but alas i see tilapia as far as the eye can see. A literal city traffic jam of em. At least from the area I like to fish from the most. I think they schooled up, drove most of the bass out of this area, and bedded.
I did take the canoe out and their were more scattered around, but heck the "prime" bedding area was overrun with TILAPIA.

Is this a bad thing or a normal thing in Tilapia/bass ponds? I'm worried these jerks are hurting bass recruitment. I honestly think their could be tilapia here that beat the Florida record.

2-I MISSED the bass spawn? I saw several schools of fish that I am 73% certain were bass YOY. ill try to set a minnow trap for em tomorrow. but like.... WHY DIDNT I EVER SEE EM? It blows my mind, did they all check my calendar see I was busy and do their thing? Kinda bummed that I'm past the bass spawn in my pond.

I'm so confused.....

3- Caught a bunch of dinks. I will recatch them and feed to my pigs when they get here sunday. 1 guy I swear I caught 3 times in 10 minutes. I love the aggression but I'm concerned hell die from the stress. Caught one that was almost 2 pounds, made me feel better but I'm still struggling to figure out where any big bass are. Theres gotta be some in the 4-5 pound range if there are bowfin that big right? but I also caught...

MY FIRST BLUEGILL! WHOOPEEEEE Dude ate a lure that never woulda gone in his mouth, maybe it was on a bed? I think ill put my minnnow trap near HERE tomorrow to see if any lil BG are around.

I also got my 2 Moultrie feeder attachments. Tomorrow Ill be grabbing hog feed and fish feed smile.

So questions concerns and comments-

Are these tilapia "Taking Over" by stealing bed space and eating bass YOY maybe? There seem to be trillions of big ones. I hope they gravitate to the feeders so I can cast net a bunch out. And by a bunch I mean like 150+ lbs.... which may not make a dent!.
Bass and Tilapia reproduce at different H2) temperature. If you are seeing Tilapia making beds/spawning, you are at least a month behind the LMB spawn.

Get a really small mesh net, and scoop it through the "Cloud" of what you think are bass fry, or run a 4" crank bait through the cloud. Daddy LMB might take offense and bite on the crankbait.

I've ripped a treble hook through the cloud and impaled a few small fish on it, and they've had a horizontal stripe with black tipped tails - LMB fry.
I actually did the crankbait thing (by accident) friday and caught a bass. If your hypothesis is correct maybe he was chomping tilapia.

Pretty sure the fry had a stripe, thats how I ID them from the canoe.

Hopefilly I can grab some tomorrow for pictures, as long as the pigs dont take all my attention. Definitely lots of wee things in the water.

And I need to yoink all the 1lbers I can so the wee things can feed the 2lbers, and maybe the 3-5+s will start to show up soon.

It was STILL Tilapia city everywhere today. i think I got some photos of em Ill try to upload to imgur shortly... Nope... one photo that should have 4 had 1 kidna sorta shown, and the other photo had 0.

esshup- I thought bass were 65 and tilapia 68? At least that's what google told me when I asked.

How many Tilapia beds would you expect to see in like a 100' stretch? More or less than 10?
You are correct on the LMB temp (could be a 3-4 degrees either way based on photoperiod) but you are off by 10-15 degrees on the Tilapia. What is your water temp now?

How many Tilapia beds? That depends on the Tilapia population.
So I got out to do more than feed the pigs... but couldnt do much more.

Tilapia are all done bedding. Temperature reads ~68* best I can tell from the termometer I used. While the winter lack of rain is definitely lowering the pond there is still a steady supply from the creek that maintains it. Still not seeing bass on beds.

The lower water is pushing baitfish from the grassy areas into the water, which sent a school of 1lb bass crazy, but I could only grab 2 before my wife made me back it in to bring her and the little one home. I was watching them jump and eat the whole time I was takin care of the bacon seeds.

Aside from needing to continue cullinb 1lbers, I wont stock any more baitfish until the water goes up, since their habitat is kinda going away and will probably stay that way until tropical storms move through.

Tons of lil baby tilapia. Didnt see any more BG this time around.

Set up a wildlife cam, Turkey have been hanging out with the pigs, and a deer. Some cool birds around too (lots of woodpeckers, and hawks I havent been able to identify yet).

Definitely ducks, herons and such eating up my baitfish too. Any ideas on cheap habitat to protect the fry from them? Just knock over more trees when I have time outside the grassy areas maybe?
Also- I felt personally attacked by 2 articles in this quarter's magazine. The ones about management and culling.


smile Good reading there.
Enlarged LMB fry pic

[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

Attached File
P5150040.jpg  (225 downloads)
Yea next time I go out I'm going to drop the basket in again, I just can't figure out how I friggin missed the spawn? Like hello????? Was I blind?

Edit- Finally got the first fish feeder set up! 3 times a day 10 seconds each. If i dont see a bunch of activity near it next time I'm out Ill likely move it. I want to get it to the back where there's grass and I found that bluegill, or get another one back there.
Just wanted to report that I culled 2 fish today. A 1/2lb bass and a ~2lb mudfish
The first one broke my heart

The second one was a jerk after i canoe flipped him and i didnt mind leaving him out for the birds (do turkeys eat em? hope so, i've got wild ones on my property)
Your heart will feel that way until you witness a fish kill because you didn't take out enough. Then your heart will realize that what you are doing is for the best interest of the pond and it's fish.
What types of things would cause a fish kill in a pond this size?
Originally Posted by CityDad
What types of things would cause a fish kill in a pond this size?

DO crash due to bio overload most likely.
Put my fish in last march had aerator running since last march have lost several fish in last 2 weeks.The pond never froze all the way about a 15' hole in middle.The fish look good so i dont understand what it could be? Lack of food in a new pond? Any ideas would be appreciated.
I think we get too much fast flowing creek/river water for DO to really be a problem. There's never not a light current going through the pond.
natural predation also helps with numbers Herons hawks, alligators and probably other things I forgot
Originally Posted by Gramps61
Put my fish in last march had aerator running since last march have lost several fish in last 2 weeks.The pond never froze all the way about a 15' hole in middle.The fish look good so i dont understand what it could be? Lack of food in a new pond? Any ideas would be appreciated.

IF you had the aerator running all winter long in the deepest part of the pond, they could have been stressed from the cold water. What type of fish died? Redears are the most susceptible.
Wasn't in deepest probably 4 or 5 ft most dead fish were hybrid bluegills.You could right ponds not very big i will move it shallower come fall?
Originally Posted by Gramps61
Wasn't in deepest probably 4 or 5 ft most dead fish were hybrid bluegills.You could right ponds not very big i will move it shallower come fall?

How many were dead, and what did they look like (body condition wise)? Typically up here (I am about 30 miles South of the Indiana/Michigan state line in the center of the state) the diffusers for winter are in 1/4 total pond depth but in an area where the open water extends to shore so in case anything goes into the water it can get out without having to climb up on the ice.
I have probably lost 15 or 20 they looked good no sores and not skinny i will be for sure moving it this fall
Do you think i should shut aerator off till water warms up?
Originally Posted by Gramps61
Do you think i should shut aerator off till water warms up?

Yes. Move it to deepwater get ready to turn it on shortly. Take pond water temps, using a swimming pool thermometer. If you wait long enough for a thermocline to form, then you have to use the start up procedure for the aeration system.

In my pond I will turn it on for the summer (the deepest one) when the water temp is in the low 60's and leave it run 24/7.
So as soon as temps reach around 60 or so just plug it back in and let it go like i was before? i dont think i mentioned my pond is ground water pond if that makes any difference in water temps.
So Umm.... a few things happened the last few days. 1 of which i will save for another post.... so lets talk about Fish and how I'm obviously the worst angler/pondmeister of all time.

Trillions of lil bass fry everywhere. My phone is busto and wont upload photos to anywhere right now but i'm 97.3% certain they are bass fry. WOOHOO

But... when did they come about?

Um... Ya know all that whining I did about Tilapia? I think they were just bass..... Or at least a lot of them were. Since I couldnt catch any and still dont have a cast net I went with the "if it wont eat a lure its not a bass" method of fish indentifying.

But I think I'm just dumb. Also an inferior angler (this was known)

Those had to have been bass that were just too smart for me/I'm a terrible angler. In my defense I never got em out of the water, and my FIL confirmed they looked like tilapia.
I can't fish bass off beds in a pond with 0 other fishing action? Jinkies....

The bass were definitely out and about yesterday. I was testing new lures that they didn't like much but tons of jumping and feeding. Managed to cull two ~1lbers that were eating fry. Saw several small schools of 3-5 diving in and out of the grasses pestering the fry/minnows/etc. Lots of bigger ones doing similar solo mostly.
Going to try putting a big ned weight with some weedless worms and chuck into grass shortly.

Definitely a bunch of beds out that are bass beds with decent looking bass sitting on em (2-3ish? maybe a few bigger?)

Florida's current dry spell really needs to end though. Beds that were submerged a few weeks ago are 3 inches out of the water now. I'm going to use this time to cull some stick fish,
Water Temps are in 70s, and still plenty of creek water coming in so it might get lower but aside from predators eating out all the baitfish forced out o fgrass i think everything will work out ok after we get some gosh darn rain.

............................Its so hot and dry out someone might accidentally burn down 5 acres of the nieghbor's cow pasture.................................................................
My lake has a FB page if you are interested.

Also I have a new theory that will have to be tested over the years:

The winter dry season lowers the level of the pond too much for many forage fish to survive, resulting in a food fest for predators in the early spring, and I will need to re-stock after the first big rains if I want to grow the bass bigger.

I will definitely want to set up a forage pond/tank or something tohelp with these costs. Hopefully I'll get a tractor soon so I can knock out the beginings before the rains come.
Just keep harvesting the bass. That will allow the remaining bass to grow bigger. The problem with adding more fish to the pond to feed the smaller bass is that you will soon run out of carrying capacity for the pond, and when that happens Mother Nature makes room for more fish by killing 90% or more of the fish in the pond.

So, keep harvesting the small under performing bass.
I culled another yesterday. Theyw re jumping like crazy but my inferior angling skills (or lure choices) meant they wouldnt bite. The bastards.

Between natural predators and what I'm sure will be fish loss due to overflow in the rainy season I doubt I can afford to exceed carrying capacity.
Going to hold off on adding until the rain comes, but I do think it needs to be on the agenda once or twice a year to restock BG, and maybe some shiners as a 'distraction' so they BG can hide while the predators go after shiners.

I think HSB are legal in the area, might do some of them next year after I see more of what's going on.

Anyone here know what kind of fish food tilapia respond to the best? I want to figur eout how to get them to clump up so I can cast the biggest ones out.

A few pictures of my little fish feeder. 3 or 4 more of those by summer.

Any guesses what the bugs are the are flitting around on top of the water near it? Definitely tons of yoy eating at the food.

I've been going back and forth, but I think this area is going to get a bunch of felled trees fairly soon. That should help the yoy and then when the rain comes this is where Ill put a few hundred bucks worth of BG. Habitat+BG + 4 feeders should get me a few spawns before the bass get em all. Maybe? Who knows.

Didnt fish it today, going to try out a new lake near my house with my wife and son for easter. Also need to build a chicken coop for 7 new layer chicks.
What kind of feeder is it?
Dave- I got the moultrie adapter and stuck it on a 5G barrel. The trick is making the hole big enough to drop that feed, otherwise works fine so far.

Only had a few minutes to fish, this guy was sitting on top of my favorite honey hole... Caught nothing despite lots of stuff jumping. I have proven, yet again, I am the inferiorist angler.

Bass Forecast says this weekend will be nuts, but I'm worried my bass are freaked out since the lake looks about 4' too low (which is keeping the BIG gators away, which is helpful i guess). Hopefully wife lets me get lots of time in smile.

I did see a few bass getting some late spawning done, but they wouldnt bite.

The big tilapia still hanging around shore. Mocking me.

The GAR are now spawning, or at least a few were hanging on shore and nibbled on lures I chucked at them then spit it back out. Should I be culling gar if I catch them or leaving them in?

Also supposed to finally get rain this weekend, hopefully that cools down water temps, and gets my grass growing back from the fire. Pigs need rotating but I can't get a post into the damn ground.
The damn gators are lined up right where we like to hang out. I think I might need to get my gator license.

Also it looks like the pond went up 5ish inches from the weekend storm, which is AWESOME and the ground is a lot easier to work on now.

Looks like we should get some more less intense rain over the next week, that is good too for the pond and the forage I had to replant from the fire.

Not had much time to fish, in the 30-45 minutes I tried I got skunked
You could always fish for gators! ROFL
Unfortunately need a license for that, or to not get caught.... I've got a buddy says he is gonna get his license and come grab these. We'll see if he does...

I did manage to cull 2 small bass yesterday. Still annoyed that I can't find bigger ones in here somewhere. Am I crazy for thinking if I can find 2-5 lb bowfin relatively often I should find bass in the same weight class?
I guess unless the gators eat too many of them...

Onto good news:
Found a local bow fishing club with a bunch of peoplemore than happy to come shoot tilapia and plecos I think it's late enough in the florida spawning season to go ahead and do this and still have plenty of tilapia left to grow and get more spawns off. I'm just trying to make more room for other forage and bass since nothing is big enough to eat these big bastards. I've got the scale ready to weigh em, I bet we can pull at least a dozen 5lb+ tilapia out of there if they can aim. Plus a bunch of others.

I wont let them shoot bass off beds. There are a few around (not numerous but I've seen a small number) Can anyone think of another 'restriction' I should put on them?

I think this is the best feed I have easy access to. This or various "catfish" feeds. Seemslike a decent option since I can't find tha tpurina bluegill mix in any store nearby.
I've got 2 moultrie kits working that just went through a bag of the 'catfish' feeds. Time to restock em.
Order Optimal Fish food on line - it gets delivered to your door. Can't be much easier than that.......
Dang they have free shipping? I didnt know.

Guys, i got some GREAT advice on pond management from facebook right now.

If you want big large mouth bass. Make sure you take out ALL of the bluegill you can. You dont want too many. Because the...bluegill pray on the big bass.... Or something.
Maybe Lusky should write an article on that for the next issue?
Of course I'll still respect you in the morning.

I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you.

Addicted? Hey, I can stop any time I want!

To grow big bass, get rid of your bluegill.

Thanks for the tip about OPTIMAL. Set myself up for a monthly delivery

no time for fishing today frown Too much fun with pigs, getting chased by a gator, and my son really wanted to walk all around the property whichw as adorable.

Ive identified a lot of non native plants I need to replace with milkweed and other pollinators. Its gonne be a task. I think my entire pond slined with yellow flag iris. Its gonna be hard as HECK to clear it all out. But i've got milkweed germinating at the house to bring over there.

Tons of itty bitty baby fish hugging the coastline. Haven't added a lot of new structure for them but I should ge ton that while the water is so low eh? Yea....

I did notice a few spots that need more grass to hold up the hill, and have identified some natural 'drainage' valleys that I am going to eyeball and maybe try to reinforce somehow. Ill post pictures and get advice on how to help them funnel water without getting bigger...
I got a small tree in a spot the YOY bass are schooling in and they are definitely hanging out there and starting to grow.

Culled 1 9" bass today, couldnt get other bites (its hot as heck, with no clouds, think thats why).

As for structure.... I was thinking that milk crates weighed down would be good. Also easy and cheap.get clumps of 3-4 along some sections of shoreline that I dont need to cast into. Maybe zip tie some sticks into it so I can see where they are/provide more structure.

Soon as we go up about a foot of water I'm adding more BG. Shiners will be added, with more BG and Craws, in the fall (remember its florida so fall/winter are.... not the same here)

^^ Here is a visual on my pond. That lure should be 2' below water not almost 3' above it.


To top if off my forage pasture isn't growing as nicely as I want either. Ugh. Might get some rain this weekend, cross your fingers for me.

In other news I got my wifi hotspot that is built into my truck working. Worked from the pond this morning. Tried to catch fish, got 1 pretty large bite. It chased my lure right up next to the canoe, bit, and spit it out. Really wanted to land it as it would have been the biggest I've pulled from the pond so far but alas.... Think it was pretty close to 3 pounds, at least from the length of it.

Any tips for fishing in water that is 80*?
"Any tips for fishing in water that is 80*?"

Dusk and dawn, baby!

You might also try getting out to the pond a few hours before a weather front goes through your area of Florida. The fish know the weather change is coming and sometimes there is a nice feeding period prior to the weather hitting. (Or maybe the forage species get active and the predator species just respond? Maybe one of our fish experts can explain it.)

Either way, if you keep good records, you might be able to determine when there is a good weather change opportunity to fish your pond and optimize your likelihood of getting some good action.

Also, the response in May will probably be different than in August. Your records should allow you to determine your "definitely go fishing" times, as well as your "don't waste your time fishing" times.

Good luck CD!
oOoOOOO Ive got a good lead on a pond with crazy BG action. 25 daily limit.

I'm going to head there twice a month and try to fill up to bring back to my lake. If I can get 1-200 adult BG by July I think it would help a ton.

How long can bluegill last in a large cooler with an air bubbler you think? 4 hours? 2? 12?
How long they last largely depends on the water temp. As temp goes up, tank time goes down.
Should be ok for a couple hours if the water is less than 80°. Only way to know for sure is to try it.
If they croak you can have them for lunch.
25 larger (5-7") BG sounds like a lot to me in a standard "large" cooler. I would use as many coolers as you can haul and keep them out of that Florida sunshine. I am not convinced that a bubbler will do more than spreading the fish out among more water/coolers.
We throw more than that into the bait well on the boat when we're heading out to set catfish lines on the MO.
That's maybe 15 gallons of water when full, and half of it will slosh out the overflow pipe while traveling.
They stay plenty frisky with the two-stone Power Bubbles running.

If I was transporting that many for relocation I'd want more water. 150qt cooler would do.
For sure keep it out of the Florida sun.
@augie What are the chances they'd live overnight if I put them in a big cooler with a good air bubbler?
Depends. What size cooler do you consider to be "big"? What's the water temp? What's the air temp? What size are the fish?

If the water or air temp is >80° F I'd rather wait until things cool down in the fall. If I absolutely had to haul them in hot weather I'd use
my 275 gallon transport tank and aerate with industrial oxygen.

Getting bait to the river alive is one thing. Getting fish to your pond without overly stressing them is something else entirely.
You might get them there alive only to have them croak after you turn them loose in your pond.
Its funny that you think my water or air goes under 80* in the fall
A good rule of thumb to follow when transporting fish (and using pure O2 for aeration) is 1/2# of fish per gallon of water. There's a whole lot of things to do when transporting fish and acclimating them to the new pond. Salt dip to minimize moving disease or invasive species, etc., etc. Fish transport best at 55-65 degree water temp, but then getting them acclimated to the new water temp takes a LOT of time.

Search SRAC for transportation tips.
Hey guys, updates been far apart since there hasn't been a ton of good news, and my pigs + WILD PIGS have been keeping me busy.

It has *FINALLY* started to get a little rain around here, it hasn't helped out much yet as we are somewhere between 6 and 8' lower than full right now.
Did a quick canoe around the pond and couldnt find YOY anywhere.
Did a few minutes of fishing and had one bite from a bass I'm guessing was 12-14" but he wouldnt commit.

LOTS of *something* jumping in the middle of my pond where it's still 6' deep or so. I'm assuming it's like PLECOs eating surface bugs? Video here on my FB

Types of Fish I have confirmed were in my pond at least until May:
LMB, BG, Gambusia, Gar, Bowfin, Blue Tilapia, Pleco

Can't even find the Tilapia right now. Temps in mid 80s. Put a pause on my feeding since I'm not seeing activity.

I've identified 3 trees I went to tip over into the water based on the structure I'm seeing right now, and I think that the "finger" of land that you can see in this photo
Which is currently another 2' or so exposed, I'm going to put a line of structure, probably 5g buckets with stucks stuck out and concrete on the bottom, all along that finger of land.

When Pond is filled again I'll get 2 orders (160lbs) of 2-4" BG , drop them in the new structure, and put up my 2 feeders in that spot. If I also add Craws should I add them to the same location or a different area?
Also going to be bucket stocking larger BG from a local fish management area that has 25/day limit. Probably make my first trip for that next week.
Originally Posted by CityDad
When Pond is filled again I'll get 2 orders (160lbs) of 2-4" BG , drop them in the new structure, and put up my 2 feeders in that spot. If I also add Craws should I add them to the same location or a different area?
Also going to be bucket stocking larger BG from a local fish management area that has 25/day limit. Probably make my first trip for that next week.

That 160# of 2"-4" BG could be anywhere from 16,000 to 4,000 fish. You buying them by the pound or by the fish? Northern Bluegills or Coppernose Bluegills?
If you are adding small hatchery fish into a pond with existing predators you should habituate.

*tire scratch*

Whoops. I meant 160 FISH but the hatchery just changed their pricing so it looks like Ill be doing 200 Bluegill 2-4" for ~$190
Then 100 Crawfish at $175.

Hmmmmm if my bluegill relocation efforts go well I might say F IT and just get 200 crawfish.

I know this may also sound weird, but I have not seen (or heard) many frogs at my pond, and may go so far as to stock tadpoles. Maybe that is excessive... I just want bass food!
Wow, with so many undesirables (Bowfin, Gar, Gators), your goals of producing large bass may be difficult. Glad to see your updates though.
Ewest just saw your post.

Habituating is getting the accustomed to water temps for a few hours, or is there more that I'm missing?
See this. Habituation is protecting the new fish from predation for a short period of time.

Habituation of newly stocked fish - Pond Boss Forum


Stocking fish into preexisting fish communities is not always successful. Although
there may be many reasons why stockings fail, predation is perhaps the most likely reason. Reducing predation by allowing fish to become accustomed to their new environment before release (i.e.,habituation) may improve stocking efficiency. We evaluated the effect of habituation on predation of stocked, hatchery-reared fingerling Florida largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides floridanus (30�64 mm total length) in simple (i.e., open-water) and structurally complex (i.e., with vegetation
and cobble) habitats in indoor tanks.We found that fingerling largemouth bass survival significantly increased (P , 0.004) from 26% to 46% when fish were habituated in a predator-free enclosure for at least 15 min. Surviving fish spent most (95%) of their time in the structurally complex habitat.

This concept applies to most small fish including BG , WE , YP , CC etc..
Thanks I started reading.

This is somethign I want to do if I can find an affordable net.

Got any links?
The only way you will be able to figure out what you want/need/can afford is to get on the phone and start calling some of the net people.

Memphis Net and Twine
NIchols Net and Twine
Delta Net and Twine
Miller Net Company

That's all I got from memory. You are looking for something like a seine with a mud line and floats. Mesh small enough that it WON'T act as a gill net. You want the net to be about 25% taller than the deepest water that it will cross.
Its starting to get some rain here! SUmmer afternoon showers are a thing again (like once a week) It's a start!
Hey Guys,

I was thinking of throwing together some quick piers out of pallets and scrap 4x4s.

Any tips of treatments I can do so they dont rot quickly and will last longer than a few months? Would be nice if I could get them to last until next dry season when I'll likely build real fishing piers.
I put in a floating dock with a slide system for holding it in place so when water goes up or down it goes with it. Put it in when the pond was around 4-5’ below full
Thats a good idea but sounds like way more effort than I have time for right now.
Welp, definitely getting lots of rain now. Hopefully that means a full pond and happier fish soon. In the last week its up about 3-4". Only 4'8" to go until full!
City I can remember when I still had 4’-8” to go ..... closer to full the longer it takes due to surface area I guess..... it’s anxious times for sure but you will get there
Yea, its just been a really long dry season. The spot I caught my first bass in this pond was bone dry last week, now its at least muddy
Caught a healthy looking 2.25 lber today, first one from th epond I have put on a scale. Because I'm a slacker.

Also caught a teeny one that I should have culled but didnt have knife on me.

In a few weeks when the new gilts move out to the farm the little ones get tossed into the pen for them to much on.
Elsa put 4.5" of rain into the area around my lake. How much do you think Itll increase? I'm hoping about 6" Watershed is huge but exact size of it is unknown


The bass were definitely out and about in the new shallows but I didnt have time today to get any on a hook.

Mildly bummed because I was about 2 weeks away from having time to build a few small fishing piers and putting in while the water was low. I can probably still get them in, itll just be wet work.
Originally Posted by CityDad
Elsa put 4.5" of rain into the area around my lake. How much do you think Itll increase? I'm hoping about 6" Watershed is huge but exact size of it is unknown

That would depend on how fast it came down.... the faster the more runoff, least that’s how it works here in sandy country
Bought a lotto ticket today. Hopefully I win at least a little so I can do all the projects I want around my lake and farm.

Good news- Found a Bluegill Honey Hole on my way to the farm, now all I need is time to stop there.
Can't get the bass to bite since the water went up. I had just figured out the bite before Elsa moved in.

The green alegae has mellowed out to a normal ish brown so woohoo.

Hopefully I'll learn 2 fish and get em on something monday when I'm back there. Tomorrow I'm doing some local lakes.

Water is high enough to connect to the neighbors pond like we want which means I have a current again, thats probably why the bite has changed. But I can definitely see em swimming around and swirling. Seeing almost no minnows or yoy around the banks though.

End of the month I have 4 days to myself, gonna try to get a bunch of people down to thin out some small bass, and do some bluegill bucket stocking
Eh yall. Last few times I been out I couldnt get a bite, then the other day they bit the paddle tail off a few paddle tail worms.

Today I went back, tried a buzzbait nothin, tried a shaky head rig and got it caught.

Switched back to paddle tail and caught a healthy looking 1+lber.

I'm going to start going there early mornings before it gets so damn hot, hopefully that produces more fish on my line, and can cull them into my mama piggies stomachs.

ive got a bunch of people meeting me there this saturday while my fam is out of town, that should get a good cull smile
I always thought it was supposed to be easier to catch them when over populated?
[quote=Bobbss]I always thought it was supposed to be easier to catch them when over populated?

Good point maybe thin due to underfed
Originally Posted by Bobbss
I always thought it was supposed to be easier to catch them when over populated?

It is, but if the fish are caught and released because of not wanting to cull your "babies" then the fish could get hook shy and conditioned not to eat anything that is attached to a string.
Bobbsss you are not factoring in how extremely awful I am at angling. Honestly Ive fished the same lures inthe same small pond with a buddy of mine and he landed 4 when I got 0 bites.

Essshup- Its a big pond with lots of fish, I honestly dont think they could be hook shy with just me fishing it for an hour or 2 a week.
But ive been wrong before like a lot.

Next weekend Im having a few pounds of wild caught shiners brought. I think I have a spot way in the back that just got filled in by a storm I can put them that will give them a chance to lay a few spawns before more rains come to connect it back to the main pond and they get eaten in 4 seconds.
The buddies helping me cull this weekend are also going to help me bucket stock bluegill. My one bud just did 100 BG in a day and were gonna hit that spot as soon as I can figure out to transport them

Im also gonna toss some in on a hook because... of course.
CityDad, what I was getting at was are you sure it is over populated and not just no forage. I don't remember you ever talking about catching many. How many fish would you say has been caught out of it since you got it? Do you think it was fished hard before you got it?
It was *not* fished hard before I got it. Area was used by a cattle farmer. The other two owners who border are an old couple who occasionally toss nightcrawlers into their section of the lake with the grandkids, and a dude who doesn't fish.

The creek entering gets fished for bluegill and the waterway leading into that also gets fished hard. If my bass start swimming upstream that could be a problem.

Earlier in the year, before the drought got really bad, I could reliably catch a bass every 30 minutes with a few missed hooksets scattered throughout.

Through the spring spawn I didnt catch as many as I probably should have but was also really busy with the pigs. I dont get more than 2 hours a week to fish across 3ish days, and sometimes its when the sun is high and its hot as balls out. I also spend an inordinate amount of time launching lures into trees, or hooksetting logs, cutting down on my effective fishing time more.

The other day I saw a school of bass and they wouldnt touch my lure. Probably 6ish between 1 and 3 lbs swam around the big island forming my 'canal' a few times just to spite me I think.

I'm confidant there are too many predators, and need to thin out lots of them so my forage stocking has any chance at taking off.
Tomorrow I'm going to see if I can get my chainsaw and polesaw running so I can clear more bank spots, and maybe topple a small maple and palm tree over into the water.

I've got a crawfish trap in a neighborhood pond right now, hope it produces by the morning.
I have caught some bass lately polkpasturedpork on instagram
My LMB culling party had to be canceled due to a covid exposure in my family, luckily everything has come back negative.

I should still be getting shiners in this week but I haven't heard from the hatcery to confirm.
The rain has been nutso crazy this week so I haven't been able to go cull on my own, but luckily rising temperatures means more structure/grasses for them to hide in. Hopefully a few will get off a spawn and it wont be a complete waste of money smile.

Ill be there heck or high water tomorrow to check on the pigs anyway, will take photos of new water levels and hopefully a nice catch.

Managed to sink my minnow trap into the pond, i need ot invest in some waders so I can go get it....
Hope everything goes well.... go for a little swim to get minnow trap.... heck as long as no soap you should be good
What kind of pigs ya raising, wild or domestic?
Pat I try not to swim in my pond bc gators are a thing lol. With waders I feel less exposed.

Unfortunately some of both haha.
Have some friends hunting the wild ones off my property so they stop harassing my domestic ones.
Im finishing a set of GOS/Hampshire feeder crosses and switching to Berk/Meishan crosses and breeding

Today I either caught 2 turtles or the same turtle twice. Second time I had to let it run off with my biospawn swimbait because he was gonna snap my fingers off if I tried to take it out. Hope hes ok. First turtle was on a worm.

I had 2 cull sized bass (~1lb) but failed to get them onto the bank, broke off within a foot of it. Cause I suck.
I saw a few larger ones but they wouldnt bite, then I saw a HUGE fin splash from what I THINK was a5+lb bass, but I couldnt get a good look and it wouldnt bite when I cast to that area.

Huge storms this week got the pond up a LOT higher. I'm excited to get the shiners this weekend but I haven't heard from hatchery. I think there's *plenty* of grass for them to hide in, although I expect a bit of a feeding frenzy I think theyll be able to spawn a bit.
That is a good reason City
Tie a rope on the trap.
I have retrieved mine out of the pond (twice) with a rope and a strong magnet. Darn thing is roundish and once the clip with rope attached are removed to open it...if I'm not careful, there it goes!
The rope is with it at the pond bottom.

Recomendation for a strong magnet?
Earth magnet seems to be the strongest.... some pocket levels have them
Get a long set of slightly curved hemostats. Perfect for getting hooks out of places your fingers won't (or don't want) to fit.
Grainger - $20 - Lifting and Retrieving Magnet, 2 in Overall Length, 2 in Overall Width, 100 lb Max. Pull - Item #9UDF7, Mfr. Model #07541...

This should pull most anything that goes plop in the pond. I have one similar and have retrieved dock hardware, glasses, my trap, and it's great for collecting nails/screws after a day of barn demo...very handy. Harbor Freight has some cheaper ones, but I'd visit a store to make sure it's power is good enough.
Thanks for the advice. Maybe I can drag one around and recover a few of my lures... Including the one in this video that a turtle stole.


^ pics of current water levels and video of catching a turtle

^from 2 months ago for comparison
Can't you just tie on a big treble hook and a light weight and snag your minnow trap?

I would use whichever rig has the heaviest line. 10# test should work if you come in easy and don't lift the trap into the air, unless it is a really big minnow trap.

Good luck!
That could do it, good idea
Originally Posted by CityDad
That could do it, good idea

Or I could just send my father down to Florida.

If there is one stick-up, dock anchor cable, low-hanging tree, etc. - then he is guaranteed to snag it!
Sorry, one father in law is my limit
Originally Posted by CityDad
Sorry, one father in law is my limit

That's my limit too!

However, it seems to be based on some silly edict from my wife. laugh

Water levels still going very much in the correct direction.

~30 minutes casting texas rigged wormsinto the water this am turned about to be just for practice. The gar watched me and made fun of me, saw lots of stuff splashing and something BIG splashed, maybe a turtle or gator? I just saw theh 2'+ plume and the sound.

Hatchery forgot about me, but that's ok, the longer they wait the more grass the shiners will have to hide in right?
Have you tried Big Bite Baits cane thumper? With Owner Brand 3/0 flashy swimmer . It has been murder on LMB and large crappie. Have caught 3 10# LMB and numerous others to 8# on that thing in numerous ponds around here. The 3-1/2” one on 1/0 hook has been paying off as well as the 5”. Pearl seems to work great in my stained water. Pm me and I can text you pix since can’t post off of phone

Big Bite Cane Thumper
Thanks for the link!
I spent my monthly limit on fishing supplies this month, but Ill grab that next month smile 2 new rods and the Googan TUmbler box.... cause I needed a new tumbler...

We've got another hurricane heading our way which will likely boost pond by 4-6" making more grass accessible for stocked fish. So I'm going to call the hatchery again and see if they will actually come out at the end of the month with a few pounds of shiners. Also going to get a cast net and hit the bluegill spot I found and see if I cant grab a few bucketfuls.

I dont think it makes much sense to hang the feeder during hurricane season since... ill just be pulling it down constantly. I'll feed in the winter.

Anyone have thoughts on whether I should stock shiners v craws? I think the biggest benefit of craws would be I can 100% put them somewhere theyd be alone for at least a month before another storm connects that "forage pond" with the main pond and the bass can get at them. I dont think I could put shiners in that spot though.
Had a good night fishing, took pics of the catch but my phone isnt uploading to my computer or imgur for whatever reason. Maybe if I was a better millenial I'd be able to make it work.

Got 2 ~1lb culls, and a 3rd cull escaped when i failed the boat flip.

Landed a 2.7lb good lookin one and a 1.8lb fighter.

I definitely want to get these pictures up because one of the culls had a WEIRD bump on the base of the tail, like a hernia? that I Wanted yalls input on. Hernia guy also had some of the best colors with the diamond pattern all the way down.

Rain is definitely helping water temps, which I think is what is getting the bass to bite again. Also you can file me in the 'color does matter' school of thought because I was skunked for an hour before switching to a green/chartreuese and that got em all
Color definitely matters..... my water is clear tannin dark, when I switched to pearl it made all the difference in the world on bass and crappie.
Ok so this is gonna hurt my soul but.... I think I need to up the size of fish I'm willing to cull.

Even the bigger ones are skinny aren't they?


I think I'll go up to 1.75lbs to throw on the bank. Still trying to get some shiners to put in a hactery pond that will fill up and overflow after 1-2 more tropical storms into the main pond. My land is swampy and I think I can do that every year to good effect without digging a new hole. That way I get a few mnths of safe ish spawning before the bass go to town.

Some day in the future when money isn't an object I will dig a permanent forage pond.
Originally Posted by CityDad
Ok so this is gonna hurt my soul but.... I think I need to up the size of fish I'm willing to cull.

Even the bigger ones are skinny aren't they?


I think I'll go up to 1.75lbs to throw on the bank. Still trying to get some shiners to put in a hactery pond that will fill up and overflow after 1-2 more tropical storms into the main pond. My land is swampy and I think I can do that every year to good effect without digging a new hole. That way I get a few mnths of safe ish spawning before the bass go to town.

Some day in the future when money isn't an object I will dig a permanent forage pond.

Since I'm not on Instagram I can't see the pictures. I'll say this once. Either you remove EVERY bass you catch until you hit removing 30# per surface acre this year, or you invest some $$ in a scale and a ruler, and print off a copy of a Relative Weight Chart to keep in your back pocket so you can cull according to Relative Weight. If you haven't yet invested in a scale to weigh the fish, my next question is what are you waiting for?
Took the canoe out for over 2 hours last night and had a few nibbles but no bites. Water temps are really high, think the fish are waiting for another decent rain before getting active again. I did see a bunch splashing, the Tilapia all seem to be hiding, which is weird since they are warm water fish.
No Pond updates, busy with pigs and chickens, but I didnt want to say my fingers are crossed for everyonein the path of the Hurricane. If you need a place to park an RV your welcome to my property in FL, as long as you help me cull some bass smile
Originally Posted by CityDad
No Pond updates, busy with pigs and chickens, but I didnt want to say my fingers are crossed for everyonein the path of the Hurricane. If you need a place to park an RV your welcome to my property in FL, as long as you help me cull some bass smile

Im not necessarily in the path of the hurricane but if it wasn't so far and I had time I would pretend I was and park my RV there and help you with the culling of bass.
Haha! Well if you want to escape the cold this winter offer is open then too!
Maybe a mini PondBoss get together with day trips into the kissimee chain. If youre camping at my property its like 45min-1hr to Camp Mack
Hey Guys, Hav ehad very limited fishing time this week but culled 3 since last weekend, each about a pound.

Hooked into something big, got a flash of fins, they are very dark so it may have been a bowfin, but my bass also run dark so *shrug*

Also culled a small one that had a hernia. Weird.

Putting up more fence for more pigs. I love having property!
Had a nice time trying to fish yesterday, but it was afternoon and temps were a bilion degrees so only some non committal bites.

Found some tilapia that like to chase lures but not bite.

I did see some decent sized bluegill that I think were guarding beds. I also saw a few bass on beds too but I dont try to fish em off beds so I left them alone.

I'm going to try to get out there early in the AM one day this weekend so I can test the morning bite before the sun heats up the world.
Brother in law and I had our kids out there yesterday. Tried teaching them to fish.

My niece used her rod like a machete

My son kep catching trees and shouting "THATS NOT A FISH"

Good times:)

Also got a new boar for my gilts.

Great day at the lake
I hate fishing yall....

I had 20 minutes to fish after taking care of the pigs before losing the sunlight.
First cast I thought I was hung on the brush I was casting at until my line starts running away.

Fight for a good 2 minutes with a big large mouth, easily the biggest I've seen in the pond. Not a world record, but north of 3lbs maybe pretty far north and I was on my light set up.
He jumped out of the water 4 times giving me a good look at him.

He broke my line literally at the bank/water line.

Hope he survives the lure stuck in his mouth so I can catch him again.

Local weatherman says the rainy season is over. I will believe it whenI see it, but its definitely been dry the last week or two. I'm hoping for one more big storm this year personally. Hopefully soon to fill my pond and get water into my forage fields for the pigs.
Originally Posted by CityDad
I hate fishing yall....

Yet later in the post you hope to catch her again!

If you are going to have an addiction, it is much better to have a "productive" one, rather than a "destructive" one.

Did you inspect your line at the break? A little squiggle in the line usually means you broke at the knot. You may need to start tying a different style of knot.

The other problem may be that you had that lure tied on for a significant period of time. I don't know the research, but I usually re-tie my lures periodically. I always seem to get more break-offs when the fishing has been good, and I am too "greedy" to take a time-out and re-tie. Then you get a big fish that breaks you off.

I also cut off 6-8' of line during the re-tie, to get rid of any nicks that might have developed in the line.

Good luck catching her again! (That way you can take that other lure out of her mouth.)
I see a goodly number of fish lost at the bank because many people don't have a net to net the fish. It's hard to get them tired out enough to get them close enough to shore to grab them - any time they touch the bottom, a weed, a stick, etc. they try to escape and on a short line there is less room for error. If the drag isn't set just right, the short amount of line leaves less room for it to stretch a bit to absorb the shock of the fish darting off - Mono will stretch, the new braids won't and hooks pull out easier than with mono. With mono, any extra stress is magnified at any nick or scratch on the line, and without the extra give (even the angle of the rod matters) it might pop at the weak point.

I agree with re-tying the lure after a number of fish caught and I always feel the mono for nicks or abrasions for about the length of the rod away from the hook/lure.

2# test mono or fluorocarbon, fishing a 1/100th oz jig for BG, retie every 7-10 fish or you will be tying on a new jig shortly.
"after a number of fish caught" -> yall vastly over estimating my fishing abilities haha.

Had my 4 y/o with me after pig chores yesterday, had one on the line then he "accidentally" fell on me while giggling and I lost it.

At this rate i WILL be getting shy fish *eyeroll*

He is cute as heck tho so its ok. After that I just chased him around the woods for a bit smile He's trying to teach my piglets to play tag!
Just realized next weekend my wife and oldest are out of town.
If I can get my parents to watch my youngest that means I'm all on my own and can spend time clearing bank space around the lake for more fishing spots, and then... you know fishing them.

Lets goooooooooooo
"after a number of fish caught" -> yall vastly over estimating my fishing abilities haha.

With my father, rocks and submerged trees "caught" count triple. He has to re-tie a lot! (The good side is that he has boated his share of big ones due to avoiding breaking his line.)
Woodeyes and rockfish are a good start to a pot of hobo stew.

I got stumped trying to upload the photos direct to here (anyone want to do it for me:) )

THIS GUY gives me tons of hope for the pond. A lot of the fish that grab my lines are this dark, and I assumed a bunch were bowfin or maybe plecos pecking at it.

POSITIVE I've got more of these guys to catch. Lets go!

Had some friends there today too, they had bites but failed too hookset, which amde me feel better about myself

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Since I don't have access to your Imgur account I can't do it like I do with mine. If you open your "gallery" in Imgur and click on the pencil in the upper right corner of a picture, it will pop open a picture and there will be a box on the upper right with ... in it. Click on that. Click on "get share links", click on the "copy link" for BBC forums. Then just paste that link in your post.

Here is one that I did that way:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Thanks Esshup!

Ive only had like 1 hour broken into 4 chunks to fish lately. I think I missed the "fall fishing season" but not overly concerned.

Every time I have gone fishing I get hung up lately. Is there anything I can add to the pond that will do something about all these damn twigs, or do I just need to catch all the tree pounders and yoink em out?
I think I'd try to 1) stop throwing your lures into the brush, or 2) size up your gear.
1- Theres so much! I was tossing into a 'safe' spot the other day and got a snag from something new frown
2- You gonna buy it for me? All my money ngoing to pig food.
Learn how to texas rig a rubber worm.
You vastly underestimate my power to get hung on texas rigged worms. Thats what I was throwing on sunday haha
440 yard spool of 30lb test Berkley Big Game monofilament cost $7 on Amazon.

Garage sales can be a good source of inexpensive used fishing tackle.

I've got a dozen or so rod-n-reel combos waiting on the grandkids to get big enough to use.
Didn't pay over $10 for any of them.
Ill be happy when oneof my kids breaks down and goes fishing with me.... I really hope that happens...

Maybe Ill spray myself with gaotr repellant and go snorkeling to pull out a bunch of the debris.


Unexpected but welcome, only 1 runt out of 9 and mama doing fine with her first batch. Massive rainstorm today has me worried, since this was a surprise I dont have the shelter up that I'd like them to have

"Maybe Ill spray myself with gaotr repellant and go snorkeling to pull out a bunch of the debris."

I can't recall if you have a boat? If so, you can clear a lot of debris while you remain on the surface using a grass rake (or similar item) lashed to an extra pole.

As I recall, you also have heavy vegetation on your banks. My advice would be to clear some spots on the banks for your casting stations. Then clear some channels in the pond for a few casting directions from each station. If your casting accuracy is a 5' target width at the end of the cast, then clear 6' wide channels.

As you get better with your Texas rig, you can throw one up the middle of the channel. If you don't get a bite, then start tickling through the sticks at the edges of your channels on your subsequent casts.

Even better will be the times the LMB are hitting your topwater lures. You can cast into the channels for little kids, and then let them do the retrieve. Hopefully, the result will be huge grins!
Yea, most of the time I stay out of the stationary stuff, its the surprise branches that fall in that always get me.

Clearing more banks is something I've had more time for than actually fishing. Did a little today actually.

No real boat, just a sketchy canoe and decent yak
Looks like I'm going to get saturday for some me time. Im gonna catch all the fish!
Ill have some extra money by the end of the year for pond stocking.

Should I wait until March or is stocking in winter ok in my area? (9b, central florida water temps will typically be in the 60s in the winter)
60° water temp is ideal for stocking fish.
Water temps shouldnt really go under that in my area. One of the reasons I find it hard to get info online is everything says "wait until you go over 60*" well... I'm in Florida. If it goes under 60 I think we all died in a nuclear winter.
Aside from not wasting money stocking when water is ~80* info is lacking on best stocking temps/seasons in FL. Unless I'm not looking in the right place.

Doing a little googling I think the best thing to stock right now is crawfish, as they expect to spawn in january, and then do forage fish in late february.

On another note- Anyone heard of "rosie" fathead minnows? I thought if I got a few thousand when I stock shiners and bluegill they might distract the bass long enough to let the other fish spawn/grow a bit.
See here for what I'm referring to:

On another note. I'm thinking of getting an aerator that is rated for 1/2 acre to put near the areas I want fish to spawn in. That should help that section of the pond, yes?
I’ve heard of red Rosie’s but never seen them
The Rosy Reds are just an orange color variant of Fathead Minnows.
It may not seem like much but I'm getting to where I want to be financially to invest into stocking the pond and doing research on places. Unfortunately I cant find a single place to order craws from locally.

Anyone have a vendor they like that ships? Otherwise I'm gonna try that Toledo Goldfish company.

My schedule is going to be-
End of December 3-400 Craws (should spawn in January)

March- Could be earlier spawning, ill watch water temps and move this up if I can.
BG 500
Shiners 500

Ive got spots in my pond that will be less than a foot deep and dense with grass so ill release them all there, and if I can get it built also do a Habituation of some of them (esp bluegill) with a feeder.
I got some pond water test kits I'm going to use this weekend. The cheap ones off amazon.

Ive found my Craw supplier- Toledo Goldfish. Ill be getting 300 and oredering for delivery later this month.

Minnows and shiners i'm ordering from Andersons minnows.
Chose them because thjey also sell shiner FRY so I'm looking to get
10 lbs FHM
8lbs Rosie Minnows
10 lbs brooder sized Shiners
250k shiner fry
All for around 1k, delivered in march as the water warms up for spawning.
If I have the time I'm going to set up a grow out tank for ~ half those shiners.

Before the fish are delivered I want a minimum of another 30lbs of bass out of the pond, and to build out the "fish hacthery" area better with xmas trees and such after the holidays.

Other project is a pier or two... If buying the wood doesnt bankrupt me
Have a good supply of "green water" for those fry in the tank.
Originally Posted by CityDad
Before the fish are delivered I want a minimum of another 30lbs of bass out of the pond

Sounds like the CityDad bass fishing adventure is about to get fired up again.

Good luck!
Esshup- Do you mean fertilized water?

Yea ive been carving out more time lately but the darned fish moved *again* so Sunday I have a buddy coming and we're gonna figure out where they are together.

Now that my pig set up is relatively stable I can focus more on the relaxing fun stuff vs hard work fun stuff.

I found a YUGE Tilapia (3ish lbs) that something dragged out of the pond and left on the trail. Damn turtles need to be told to stop wasting fish!
Originally Posted by CityDad
Esshup- Do you mean fertilized water?

Yes, but the color of the water is green and the clarity isn't much more than a foot.
Yea in February Ill have my work cut out for myself setting it up, but Ithink its a worthwhile investment.
You think I'm crazy?

Got some fishing time in. Saw a bunch of bass chasing bait but wouldnt nibble my hook.
Except one. Culled a 1lber. If I can do 2 of those a week from here till march Ill get where I want to be before teh swimmers go in I guess. haha..... (im really bad at this)

Most impressive thing today was seeing ~2lber jump a clean foot out of the water.

Dipped my minnow net in and caught a bunch of gams including some baby gams. Glad to see they are still doing well. I think I saw (but didnt catch) some 2" bluegill.

A few Large Tilapia gave me a friendly wave, maybe they were looking for their friend I saw on the bank before.

Have yall shipped live fish this time of year? I'm worried about holiday postal delays killing them
Originally Posted by CityDad
Yea in February Ill have my work cut out for myself setting it up, but Ithink its a worthwhile investment.
You think I'm crazy?

Got some fishing time in. Saw a bunch of bass chasing bait but wouldnt nibble my hook.
Except one. Culled a 1lber. If I can do 2 of those a week from here till march Ill get where I want to be before teh swimmers go in I guess. haha..... (im really bad at this)

Most impressive thing today was seeing ~2lber jump a clean foot out of the water.

Dipped my minnow net in and caught a bunch of gams including some baby gams. Glad to see they are still doing well. I think I saw (but didnt catch) some 2" bluegill.

A few Large Tilapia gave me a friendly wave, maybe they were looking for their friend I saw on the bank before.

Have yall shipped live fish this time of year? I'm worried about holiday postal delays killing them

City of course your crazy….. just like the rest of us! Lol
It warmed up a bunch today and yesterday. I had to wear shorts!

The warmer weather had the bass out and prowling, I only had a few minutes and got some nibbles, but saw a school of ~8 14-16" bass patrolling, and a few large tilapia chilling.

Also the plecos... oh the plecos... Darn you aquarium owners...

Had someone notpick up 5 lbs of dog food i had from my last pig butchered so I threw a frozen ball of pork into an area where there are lots of minnows. I assume they will eat it... I'm sure something will.

Had a few nibbles in the 20 minutes I had between chores and working from the hotspot but no strong bites/hooksets.

I'm worried that the water leevls are so darn low! Someone send us a few good day long storms eh?
I had a few hours to fish the other day. Lots of bass activity but again I'm awful at this frown

Had 2 on the line and got them to the canoe before they got off. Both looked 16-19 inches and kinda skinny definitely needed culling. They were feeding liek crazy up against some grasses.

Got my hands on some scrap PVC, I'm gonna work on it this week and drop it in a spot I always think bass *should* be but havent found them. A drop off right next to an island that has baitfish around it near the outlet that my 'hatchery' area is going to be when I grab xmas trees

I saw on IG a pond biologist recomended adding gizzard shad when bass start getting bigger.

Anyone have success with this? MIght be something to consider in my spring stocking plan. Thoughts?
Originally Posted by CityDad
I had a few hours to fish the other day. Lots of bass activity but again I'm awful at this frown

Had 2 on the line and got them to the canoe before they got off. Both looked 16-19 inches and kinda skinny definitely needed culling. They were feeding liek crazy up against some grasses.

Got my hands on some scrap PVC, I'm gonna work on it this week and drop it in a spot I always think bass *should* be but havent found them. A drop off right next to an island that has baitfish around it near the outlet that my 'hatchery' area is going to be when I grab xmas trees

I saw on IG a pond biologist recomended adding gizzard shad when bass start getting bigger.

Anyone have success with this? MIght be something to consider in my spring stocking plan. Thoughts?

Unless your bass are all big (as in 5# or so) don't do it. There are many threads on here about them. Go back to that biologist and read what his definition of "bigger" is and what other forage fish are in that particular BOW he was talking about.
Roger that.

Im gonna stick to current plan- Craws, minnows, Shiners, bluegill
Bite was on the other day. Got a few hours in the canoe. Lost 2, caught one that was nice and chonky but my battery was dead in the scale so I couldnt weigh him.
Well over 3 pounds, maybe over 4.
I have a few pictures ill post later.
Also caught one that was cullable.

Managed to get crazy sick afterwards. Maybe poseidon is mad at me for culling fish? Its not covid at least...
Question for braintrust- if i wanted to fertilize to help baitish out, What test do i do to see if thats a good idea
Originally Posted by CityDad
Question for braintrust- if i wanted to fertilize to help baitish out, What test do i do to see if thats a good idea

You need a Secchi disk and a swimming pool test kit to test Alkalinity. Don't fertilize if the secchi disk reading is less than 36" and do not fertilize if your alkalinity reading is less than 40, although I'd prefer it to be higher than that. (mine is 180).

Are there any seasonal considerations when using a Secchi disk reading as a proxy for the algae and plankton density?

If so, what are the modifications to these considerations for ponds in Florida, versus Indiana, versus northern Minnesota?

Finally, is there any value in fertilizing when your pond has a Secchi disk reading of less than 36", but there are bottom feeding fish that are stirring up the sediments as a major contributor of the water murkiness? (Or is the lack of available sunlight in the water column probably already the limiting factor for the growth of photosynthesizing organisms?)
Is that 36" rule hard and fast? I've got one of them florida brown water ponds, it's clearing up right now but I'm not sure if itll get to 36"

The seasonal considerations are the same as when you fertilize the lawns. If the water temp is too cool to grow planktonic algae, then there is no need to fertilize. In other words, don't fertilize if the plants aren't growing because the phytoplankton won't be growing that fast either. If you DO fertilize then, and the water warms up, you could have too dense of a bloom and create a fish kill. That is all dependent on the alkalinity of the water too.

No, I don't believe there is any benefit to fertilizing the pond if the clarity is less than 36" due to suspended sediment from bottom feeders. The bloom won't receive enough sunlight to really grow - diminished returns for the $$ spent.

CityDad, there are no hard and fast rules for ponds, i.e. "if the clarity is 35" don't fertilize", but without checking the alkalinity first and making sure it is high enough that it allows the fertilizer to be used, it's a waste of $$. Sort of like fertilizing your crops without getting a soil test done. You can pour a ton of it on them, but if the pH isn't right the crops cannot utilize the nutrients.
Makes sense esshup
I got a bunch of the cheap pond testers Im planning on using. this week. Planning on rowing around and dropping in a few.
Getting that stomach bug over xmas set me back a hair frown Didn't finish my new barn which shoulda been done last week.
but I did get a garmin so I can map my pond and a real bump board so I can measure better. So... theres that?

The co I was going to use for craws website says they are out. Hopefully they tell me next week they have em ins tock. Grr

Managed to collect 2 xmas trees, unfortunately all the yards sold out so couldnt get more than that.

Think I'll also invest ina pile of rocks, but dont tell my wife or she will eyeroll so hard they might fall out of their sockets.
Random question....

Yall have a good reference page for trying to ID fish when they are in the water?

Right now the best I can do is assume pale fish are tilapia and dark fish are bass.
Originally Posted by CityDad
Random question....

Yall have a good reference page for trying to ID fish when they are in the water?

Right now the best I can do is assume pale fish are tilapia and dark fish are bass.

There is so much to ID'ing fish in the water that it would be difficult to put to print. Then there is the difference in colors of fish due to their habitat which also throws a level of difficulty in ID'ing the fish in the water. It can be done, but not with 100% certainty, and it just takes time and eperience to do it.
I agree with esshup that experience will definitely help with your ID ability.

I will add that human brains have an amazing capacity for "pattern recognition". If you watch the fish off your dock or shoreline for 10-15 minutes, then I expect your ID ability will improve even during that short time window.

I was recently at a friend's pond watching the tilapia hanging out among his other fish. I said that they looked like SMB in the water to me. However, after 10 minutes of observing them at many different angles, and motions through the water, and the way they held themselves when they were just hanging in the water, my brain began readily identifying the tilapia. It became so clear what they were, that I kind of couldn't believe that I couldn't see it before!

I think our brains can easily take hundreds or thousands of "snapshots" of the fish in the water and then integrate that data into a whole, easily identified fish that gets plugged into our memory.

In the future, you will probably be able to glance down at your shallow water and your eyes will send your brain a "snapshot" view of three fish in the water, and your brain will instantly go - LMB, LMB, tilapia.
Had a little time to fish yesterday and found a 1lb to cull. Also had either baby bass or bluegill play with some worms for a while which was fun to watch (they'd pull the tail around and then let go).
What do they think they are going to accomplish? Bite off a piece and run before whatever it is turns around? Silly fishies...

Then I just canoed around for a bit and enjoyed scenery. Cause.... its beautiful here smile

Toledo Goldfish doesn't know when theyll have more craws frown anyone else have a supplier that ships? I wanted to get them in for jan/feb spawning season... Oh well I guess

Waiting for my Xmas trees to shed their greenery before adding them is the best move, right?
Originally Posted by CityDad
Waiting for my Xmas trees to shed their greenery before adding them is the best move, right?

One of our Boy Scout fund raisers was to offer curb-side pick up of Christmas trees. We would take them to the City drop-off sites. (The City mulched the trees.)

If there is a similar situation in your area, you could pick up a trailer load of trees in a single location.

P.S. I threw our 2020 Christmas tree into a burn pile at our farm, that I didn't burn due to dry conditions last year. I noticed the tree when I drove by last week - because it still had greenish needles on it and everything else at the farm was brown or gray!

Hopefully, you don't have to slap your trees on the ground a few times before you can put them in your pond!
Most of my fishing lately has been with my 4y/o in the canoe.

And it's magical. He talks and laughs the whole time. My canoe is sketch as heck though, gonna need to upgrade it.

We havent caught a real fish together, but I dropped the net in the water to scoop up minnows for him to look at and found something I expected/didnt expect

A solitary TFS fry chillin with the Gams

I assumed I had a small number of those in here somewhere based on Bass activity but hadn't actually seen them yet.

I think I've also seen 2" bluegill schooling but they may have been tilapia (pale with stripes could be either in my pond, out of reach of my net).

Wish craws would get restocked.....
Really wanted to have craws in for mating season, but it looks like that isn't panning out frown I can't find anyone who has them in stock.

Best I can do is have a local seafood wholesaler get me some craws from louisianna next month.

Sunday my buddy and I are going to put in a full day of fishing though smile That will be nice
Have you tried going to some local creeks or rivers and catch some?
Unfortunately nothing to report:( I've been trying to cull more bass but they keep thunking my lures and spitting them back out.

If Only I was good at this :-p

In february Im going to ask a bunch of people in local fishing groups to come out. Or do you think I should wait until after the first spawns?
You are better off getting them out pre-spawn. Less bass to deal with next year.
Managed to cull 1 today, 14.75" 1.45 lbs No other bites and off to Vegas for the weekend

Did I attach these images correctly?
What fry are these? Several schools of them swimming around unmolested today (except by me)

Have I told yall how much fun I've been having lately canoeing with my 4yo? He's finally old enough to sit "still" on the canoe and its the best friggin experience ever.

LOVELOVE! This is why I do it smile

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Images from above. Im not help besides that. Yes kids having a good time outside makes the "work" worth it by long shot. Don't comment a lot but enjoy reading your thread.
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A wild guess when enlarged (fuzzy) they look like Lepomis (BG).
Heeeeeyyyy I finally got the forum to send me a PW reset. HI YALL!

Pond is getting crazy low but beds are being made and Tilapia at least are sitting on some eggs. I think I've seen at least one bass bad. Honestly i think the Tilapia are so big they chase bass and BG off the good bedding areas. Weird problem IMO. Gotta work on that this year with feeder and nets.

In Late jan/early feb the pre spawn bite was good and I yoinked out ~10lbs of 75% WR bass. All under 1.5lbs.

I've added some structure by way of large branches and xmas trees in my 'canal' area. When the pond fills back up I will stock, I am definitely putting my march/april stocking plan on hold until it fills though. There is no realistic way I can get enough cover into the deeper parts right now. A few bags of river gravel too but not a ton because money is a thing.

I got some quotes for electroshocking which weren't terrible, but I'm going to wait until next winter/spring I think. Why shock now when I know the result will be "lots of underweight fish and not enough forage"? Only reason would be to cull everything and I dont feel like paying for that. Although maybe I should. Meh idk.

If you follow the IG you see updates more often, especially when I log myself out of here and can't get back on. @polkpasturedpork

Hopefully I can cull some bedding bass in the next month or 3. Wont be able to put in some effort until the end of the month though. How are yall doing?
Caught and culled a pregnant 1lber, havent had much time because life has been.... Yea.

Anyway what do yall know about Tilapia bedding? Do they bed and then back off 20' or so to watch it? Cause I think that's what mine do. I've got tons of empty beds and tilapia staring at them from 10-20' back. Really weird. Pretty sure bass would be sitting on the beds.

Absolutely MONSTER tilapia out here, need to cull a bunch I think. *another thing on the to do list*
Got some time with my son in the canoe! I caught 3 dinks while he mostly giggled. Hes getting better at casting but still gets bored and would rather play in the water with the minnow net. Its adorable I love it.

Seeing a bunch of what I think are 2-4" bass but wasn't able to net any
Bunch of other fry/minnows but Westley had a monopoly on the minnow net...

Still think the Tilapia hoard the good bedding spots away from the bass. When i get the feeders re-set hopefully they will be drawn to them and I can cast ne tthe big ones out
Originally Posted by CityDad
Got some time with my son in the canoe! I caught 3 dinks while he mostly giggled. Hes getting better at casting but still gets bored and would rather play in the water with the minnow net. Its adorable I love it.

In my experience, kids don't enjoy fishing, the enjoy catching!

Hopefully, he will be out with you one of these times when the LMB, or BG, or tilapia are hitting almost every cast! THEN he will become a fisherman.

My best "quality time" with my father while growing up included a huge chunk of time fishing together.
Tilapia don't sit on the beds. The female carries the eggs around in her mouth. https://www.aquanet.com/tilapia-breeding
Hmmm interesting.... Why are my tiapia congregating in bedding areas then? Just hanging in the warmer shallow water?
Culled another 5lbs of bass since last post. One of them I almost took pity on today because it was actually close to 100% WR, being 1.13 lbs and 13"

But I stuck to my guns, I need to get rid of predators so anything under 2 lbs is a goner no matter what.

Only 2 caught this AM despite being up early and fishing. Bass were exploding everywhere and I swear I saw a big tilapia fully clear itself out of the water (chased by a turtle maybe?). It made a funny "SHHHFWOOP" sound.

Not being able to catchwhen predators are splashing and chasing all around me is something I need to fix....

Pound is still emptying at about 2"/week. Today I stood and fished from a sandbar that is usually ~18"-2' under water.

Looks like some of the grasses and lillypads are able to grow fast enough in the 'new' low areas to keep some habitat for gams and minnows, and theres definitely something breeding. Im seeing tons of gams, and something bigger than a gam, like 2-3" but not many and I cant net them.

I wonder if my minnow trap will be exposed soon so I can grab it...
Originally Posted by CityDad
Not being able to catchwhen predators are splashing and chasing all around me is something I need to fix....

Do you know how to fish topwater lures? That is definitely the most fun way for me to catch LMB! (When it works.)

If they are hitting on topwater lures, then you need to be careful not to set the hook too soon. When I was a kid, I would see the fish coming and sometimes yank the lure away from the fish.

It sounds like you are doing a good job culling those bass. I hope THAT job is more enjoyable than some of the other chores on your list for this spring!
I had a spinner bait hooked up and tried buzzing that along the water. It got knocked once and that's it. Maybe I should have gone for a popper? Choosing the right lure is not wha tI'm best at.

Ill tell ya its more fun than castrating piglets!
An hour in the canoe with my son bagged me one half pounder, and lots of laughs.

BEST investment ever made.

Also lots of pigs turning vegetation into bacon.
Spent 2 hours fishing yesterday with my brother in law. I had one bite that spit it out, he had a few bites, and then broke one of my rods hooksetting a 1/2pounder that we fed to the pigs.

When I say "all the rain in florida intentionally goes around my pond" take a look at today's radar for central florida. That MASSIVE band of rain? Stops about 10minutes north of my pond.

At least itll fill up the river that branches into a creek that goes into my pond I guess...
Citydad, I have the same issue regarding rain clouds. When I first met Lusk, many years ago, I told him where my land was. He said that he had been watching radar for my area, about 75 miles from him, for years trying to figure out why rain clouds always seem to split and go around me.
My house, about 30min north of the property, got ~3" rain yesterday, the property? 1/2 inch
Originally Posted by CityDad
My house, about 30min north of the property, got ~3" rain yesterday, the property? 1/2 inch

Easy solution. Just start construction on a small lake house. Get the project mostly framed in, but make sure you run into budget problems before installing the roof.

I guarantee copious amounts of rain will fall on your property shortly thereafter. grin***

*** Please make sure you finish the roof before the fall, otherwise you are likely to draw a hurricane into the area!

Cant, pigs taking up all the good space smile

This weekends forecast was for massive amounts of rain just north of the property.
Then sunday's forecast changed, it was all going to DIRECT HIT MY PROPERTY!!! YEAAASSSSSSSSSSSSHA#$#

Then it went farther south. Like th estorm said "f* it lets go to miami instead"
Pulled another 2 1lbers out yesterday. One had a seriously bad infection on the side. I dont think it's from C+R since I havent released anything in a while. Ill need to keep an eye on all the fish to see if there is more. COuld have had more, the bite was good, but I'm bad at fishing

Despite a smidgen of rain my pond is cut off from all the surounding water now due to the drought. A neighbor today told me that what I consider full is actually 3' lower than what they do (they used to mow this pasture for the previous owner). SO i'm 6+ feet low right now frown

Still have lots of space that is 5+' deep, but if we dont get rain before it gets hotter a fish kill might be around the corner IMO....
Originally Posted by CityDad
Still have lots of space that is 5+' deep, but if we dont get rain before it gets hotter a fish kill might be around the corner IMO....

Can't remember - do you have any aeration at your place?

If not, then you might start reading some aeration threads to determine what you might need to install at your place BEFORE you reach the emergency stage.
Can't afford a good solar aerator and there's no power to do an AC unit. It's been on my list but its after silly things like clothes for teenagers and such.

I'm considering nuking it.... but then where do I fish when i'm pretending to be busy with farm chores? Also can't afford a full restock so...
Originally Posted by CityDad
Can't afford a good solar aerator and there's no power to do an AC unit. It's been on my list but its after silly things like clothes for teenagers and such.

Sounds like time for a Mad Max solution!

Pig manure makes methane to drive your natural gas generator to produce AC power for your aerator.
You could nickname your pond Thunderdome. "Two fish enter, one fish leaves."
I agree and disagree. The males make a nest very similar to bluegill but once the female drops her eggs and the male fertilizes them, she sucks them back up and hauls a**. You are probably seeing males on the nest. Just my opinion. Im no expert.
Found a whole bunch more bluegill than I thought I wuld in the pond today! Bunch of 2-6 inchers hugging the weeds and a few on beds of their own.

One ripped the legs of my big creature lure off when I took 30 minutes to fish looking for bass beds.

Couldnt find any bass on beds, but did cull a drinkydoo bass that I caught.

My mama pig decided that just because she had babies 3 days ago doesnt mean she can't put herself back on the market and err... invited both my boars over if you catch my drift.

That was... a site to see....
Got back in town from a trip and I think the evaporation has accelerated.

Even though we've had a few drops of rain lately it looks like it's dropped 5+inches in the last 10 days.


If we dont get series rain soon I could be in trouble
Hey I just wanted to add. The male tilapia will create beds and guard them loosely. They will go back and forth and try to entice ripe females to lay in their beds where the eggs are deposited, fertilized, and then gathered by the female for mouth brooding. A male will work the bed as long as females are around and interested in laying. I doubt they are competing much with your other fish as they tend to place their beds right along shore even large tilapia are almost on the shoreline in my experience. They also most times will space them out a good amount. Bluegill and bass will bed in deeper water without an issue.

I feel your pain with the rain. My well is flowing and the water still drops. It is just too dry for the ponds on the east coast here.

Now is a good time to bucket stock bluegill I caught 35 last week to mix up my genetics. Also I think your tilapia are a great forage source for your bass.
Bucket stocking bluegill was on my agenda for this spring, but with the water dropping I am going to hold off until it starts going the right direction. I can't see any scenario right now where my water doesn't dry up frown I guess then it gives me the opportunity to restock and have a solid fishery growing until it reconnects with the creek
Yall its RAINING.

Im gonna hold off celebrations until it keeps raining, but the last 4 days we had 5-6 inches.

On Friday you could WALK to my island... now there's a layer of water in the canal again

Send it my way please. Water is so low now I have islands literally…..
The rain didnt last frown Next weekend we will get a little more but the downward trend continues with ridiculously high temps and almost no rain. OI

Well if it lasts through getting my tax return I can get some dock piers in while the water is low, right?

The deer are literally walking to my islands.... awkward
If the weather holds my wife and I are going to camp with our 4YO this weekend at the property. Hopefully we will have some time for fishing smile Been focused on the animals, work, and such for a while now and havent put in any time with my rod.

I did take 5 minutes and yonked one 1lber the other day. Maybe I can put another 10lbs on the bank this weekend? That would be a decent boost to this year's culling
Have fun!

Camping out with the wife and 4 y.o. sounds like an effective way to get rain at your pond this weekend. (But I hope the rains hold off until you get back home.)
Had a great time camping. Mostly goofing off. Did spend some time fishing, had a few get away from me, culled a 1lber and caught a healthy looking 2.5lber.

I did actually walk (hopping over the bad mud) to my island and fished a bit from the other side. Had some bites but I still suck at hooksetting.

Rain still going around the farm and not hitting it direct frown Maybe enough rain will hit the river so the creek can go back to filling me up that way? Wishful thinking...
Good job on the 2.5# LMB!

Originally Posted by CityDad
Rain still going around the farm and not hitting it direct frown Maybe enough rain will hit the river so the creek can go back to filling me up that way? Wishful thinking...

If your ponds are fed from the creek, then any significant rains in the watershed of the creek/river should send some water to your ponds.

There are some sites where it is easy to pull up the topographic map for your farm. You can look at the slopes and see where the watershed is for the creek upstream of your property.

Then you can watch for rains to go directly over your property AND for rains to go over the watershed of your creek.

I like this site for monitoring the rainfall at our property:

Rainfall Map

(Hopefully, that will lower your blood pressure since you now have twice the chance for success!)
Great map thanks! Im keeping it.

My house, about 30 minutes north has gotten 3 inches of rain in 72 hours.

My pond? 0. :-p Stupid clouds

The Algae is starting...
Massive storm over the weekend pointed the pond in the right direction water wise. By my reckoning I just need 25 more of those in the next 30 days....

THOR? Ya there buddy?
Cross your fingers for me.
Might get a hurricane/depression this weekend, could help a whole heck of a lot.

Or it could miss us completely.
We need the rain bad. Looking forward to that storm. My well is drying up at this point. I am deepening my well here soon.

Osprey is enjoying the shallow water….. and easy pickings. Me not so much.
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