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#198558 01/09/10 10:56 AM
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Im looking to produce better forage fish for my LMB in our 6ac. pond. The pond was stocked about 4 years ago and the bass numbers and size are no where near what they should be in my opinion. We just purchased 3 moultree feeders, but I am still a bit confused over what type of feed I need to be using. It seems the aquamax 400 would be the wisest choice by looking at the purina site because of the higer protein and a smaller diameter, but from what I am reading, most people are using the aquamax 600 instead which has a lower protein count but a larger diameter.

http://aquamax.purinamills.com/aquamaxfishdiets.htm

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We need more info on the lake. What's in it currently for forage? If it's a typical LMB/BG/RES lake, the problem is more likely overconsumption of forage by scads of LMB in the 6-14" range, rather than lack of forage for the BG. By adding feeders, you'll speed the growth of the BG that survive; you'll get some really big gills. You will marginally improve the forage base, as the gills that survive will be very well nourished, and will spawn with somewhat increased vigor. However, if you really want to increase numbers of 3-7" BG, you're probably going to have to hammer your LMB population.

Lots of assumptions in the above recs-tell us more about your pond.

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That is what has been so odd about this pond. The first couple of years you could go out and catch 5-10 nice size bass from the 1-3lb range with the occasional 4lber. But, in the last 2 years, it has gotten to where it is hard to catch any bass at all. I thought it may be a lack of structure for the fish so I have placed about 50 brushpiles all over the pond over the years and nothing seems to be helping. So I've decided to start a feeding program which I hope will help things considerably.

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How often do you fish the pond and how many others fish it regularly? If you fish it a good bit, you may have a fine bass population, they may just be VERY hook smart!

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How many bass did you keep those first couple years? If you kept several, you could have fished down the bass population to the point that the bluegill overpopulated, at which point the bass would no longer be able to spawn successfully, which after a few years leads to just a handful of big bass (that would not be as easy to catch as the smaller ones) and no young bass.

Or, if you released them all, it's likely they just have become hook-shy as CJ said. What's the average size of the bluegill in the pond? That will tell a lot about the overall state of the pond.

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I used to fish it about 2x a week. Now the pond is hardly ever fished due to the lack of action. I have a 1ac catfish pond also, so I fish it with the kids mostly. To my knowledge, very few bass have been kept out of the big pond. I know some need to be taken out, but when it is even hard to catch 1, you question wether you should take out anything. The bluegill are big in my opinion, and have never been kept either. There are also a few black crappie in the pond also. These were transplanted by the guy who built the pond about 6-7 years ago. There again, I used to could go out and catch several nice size crappie up to the 2lb range, and now, its hard to catch anything. We renamed our pond "the dead sea"


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Very interesting. Any possibility you've got poachers?

If not, any sign of otters? Do you ever get influxes of migratory cormorants?

Has your area of the country been subject to a serious drought in the last 2-3 years? Could you have had a fish kill?

If none of these seem remotely plausible, it might be worth having the lake shocked, so you can see what's really going on. A fairly young pond can go through a lot of changes in a period of just a few years...

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Have you tried fishing in the pond with live bait for the LMB?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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We are in a residential area and the pond is right behind my house so the likelyhood of poachers would be slim. We do have an occasional heron or two but nothing major. No otters. I started to mention this earlier, but we did have a drought here in northeast Arkansas about 3 years ago and the pond dropped about 8ft. I've always wondered if this may have had a lasting effect on the pond. I never saw a big fish kill, but it seems things haven't been the same since. Funny thing, my neighbor fished with live bait last yea and did have better luck now that you mention it.

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Use a free swimming 4 to 5 inch bluegill for bait on 6 or 8 pound test line to sample for bass. I think you will be surprised.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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I used live bait at different times last year and it does improve the catching of fish. The live bait seems to bring the fish out of their shell so to speak and brings joy to thoise fishing.


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