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#17797 01/31/03 03:10 PM
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I have recently become interested in yellow perch as forage for big bass and am curious how they compare to fish like Bluegill and Gizzard Shad. I have read that yellow perch are easier for a preditor fish to eat than a Bluegill because of thier slender shape (and are really tasty on the dinner table as well). So I figure if a bass has a big enugh throat to eat a 1 Lb yellow perch but not a 1 Lb Bluegill they can grow bigger faster on yellow perch (I dont care at all if the bass dont leave me any big perch, all I'm interested in is trophy Bass growth). Now what I really wish I knew is if the difference in the diets of bluegill vs that of perch allows for more total weight in bass food with one or the other and wither or not yellow perch accept pellet feed. I also have condiered gizzard shad but am afraid of them over populating because my lake is only 7 or 8 acres (unless of coures gizzard shad die in the cold like thredfin). Another thing I dont know is how fast y. perch are and how easily bass can catch them compared to BGill and Gizzard shad. I would very much appriciate answers to my questions and any other bits of usefull information on the subject of Yellow Perch vs Bluegill vs Shad. Thanks.


Take great care of it, or let someone else have it.
#17798 01/31/03 07:49 PM
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Yellow perch eat fish pellets but not as readily as bgill esp the lower protein types (32%). Perch probably will not provide you with as many young fish as bgill. But they will diversify your forage base. Perch will prey on the small bass fry (up to 1.5") which will thin the bass population creating less competition for young bass. I think bgill are overall a better forage item for LMB. If all you want is trophy LMB what is the problem with an overpopulation of gizzard shad?? Huge LMB thrive on gizzard shad.
Disadvantage to rainbow trout is they are only around during the cool-water season not year round esp at temps above 70 degF when LMB eat and grow best. But trout make good fall&spring snacks plus fun temporary cool season fishing as Greg says.


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#17799 01/31/03 08:46 PM
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If you have deep pockets and want to maximize the diet of the largemouth bass, you can not go wrong with rainbow trout. Their body shape is perfect for bass predation. They grow quickly with pelleted fish food and will not takeover. Oh and btw they are great fun to catch until the bass eat them all.


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#17800 01/31/03 11:05 PM
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Bill & greg,
Thanks alot for the reply. I was also wondering if there are any negative side-effects of adding y. perch or rainbow trout to an existing Bass/Bgill pond. thanks again.


Take great care of it, or let someone else have it.
#17801 02/03/03 08:58 AM
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Yellow perch are predators. They compete with your smaller bass and will eat your baby bass. Shiners, trout, bluegill, minnows, shad are all food for your bass without being competition. Why install competition?


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#17802 02/03/03 08:54 PM
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Nick - Now I think he wants variety & maybe trophy bass. But yet produce trophy or huge bass???. One can get variety but at the expense of some other fish and trophy bass probably will not exist or be very common with the extra competition. Variety makes management of the fishery much harder and more complex.


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#17803 02/04/03 04:33 PM
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I consider Rainbow's both a predator and prey. They will eat other small fish when given the chance (look at the hinged jaw). Thus they could compete in your trophy bass plan. However they wil compete very little where a supplemental feeding program is in place. This is why I think they would make good bass and (if do stock them) striper food.


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#17804 04/07/03 11:27 AM
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Man I love this topic! Greg, I posted a question on stocking rainbow trout for trophy bass forage a lon time ago and you're about the only person I can remember mentioning it as a viable forage addition to a pond with larger bass. I guess the biggest drawback would be the fact that they would need to be restocked every year where I am in Tennessee. I think the record of trophies in California has proven that they are a high protein forage that trophy bass eat like candy. I will eventually try some out but for now I am looking to add shad after a few years. Probably gizzard but would prefer Threadfin as they are said to be quite a bit slower than gizzards.

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Some points to consider when using trout as bass food in ponds that cannot sustain trout year round.
1. You should have deep pockets and be able to harvest the majority for yourself.
2. Since trout are cold water fish, you are adding trout in cool & decreasing water temperatures (Late fall, winter, spring)when bass are eating less and growing less. Bass eat most and grow most in summer in water above 70 deg F. Trout die in water above 70 deg.
3. When water gets 70 deg and all remaining trout start dying and if there are lots of them dying all at once, will the bass be able to eat all of them quick enough and not get some of them eaten?
4. Trophy bass eating trout in the western deep reservoirs are feeding on trout year round and maximizing consumed food.
5. Feeding trout to your bass works but I question how good it works if money is a concern.


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#17806 04/07/03 10:28 PM
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Bill, I agree if you read my post above I mentioned the deep pockets needed. I have seen the bass feeding like crazy on the lethagirc trout in May. I mainly stock them for a fun to catch fast growing winter time fish. I just made some calls this week to tell clients to really start pulling some out soon. It does work however to put some weight on large bass.


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#17807 09/03/03 10:11 AM
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i know this is an old topic but i wanted to ask a quick question on rainbow trout as forage...

i fish a state park pond/lake that has bluegill, bass, and rainbows in it. it is only stocked regularly with trout. the average size bass is about 10-12 inches...with the exception of a 3 pounder i pulled out this year...the biggest anyone had seen come out of there in 20 years. i was wondering if maybe some of the larger bass would be at the deep end of the lake 15-20 feet where the trout are. (the rest of the lake is an average of 3-4 ft deep. and if i could possibly get better production off of a trout colored lure fishing this deep hole....

i know this isnt a management question, but nonetheless i figured we might have a few people who might be able to help.

#17808 09/03/03 12:20 PM
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How big are the bgill in this lake, and how big is the lake? If the b.gill are stunted really bad there may not be proper forage for the bass. One other question just popped into my mind, how big are the stocked trout? If they stock snack sized trout into a pond full of bass I can see why no one catches bass. Ever heard of an "AC plug" by lure jensen? the smallest size is 5.5" and it comes in rainbow trout.

#17809 09/03/03 12:55 PM
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gills range from this years hatchlings to about 8 inches....average being about 6 in...the lake is relatively small...guessing maybe 50 acres...but i have no clue how close that is to being right... as far as trout stocking goes...they stock all sizes. they've put some in at 6 pounds and then we one this year around 8 inches...so size definitely vary....im pretty sure the bass have plenty to eat...every fish we catch is healthy but not obese...i think the main problem may be that an 11" bass doesnt make a very large fillet so most people throw these back and keep the rarer 14" fish.

#17810 09/03/03 04:01 PM
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I've thought about your question and have a few questions. 1) Are there any size restrictions on the bass and what is the daily limit? 2) Does the lake receive heavy fishing pressure? 3) Do you have any idea about the productivity of the lake? Is it clear? Lots of aquatic vegetation? Does it get algal blooms (i.e. a green tinge to the water caused by microscopic phytoplankton...algae)?

If there are large numbers of 8" bluegill then the bass are probably stockpiled, but there could be a few other things going on. Answering the above questions will help me narrow down some things.



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#17811 09/03/03 04:58 PM
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as far as i know there are no "posted" size restrictions on bass...as far as a limit goes i know it is a 4 to 4 to 6 ratio among bass, trout and catfish but not sure what goes where...i think trout is 6 though....it is fished pretty heavily but mostly just for trout along the dam where deep water is...however the deep water extends far out from casting range from the dam....as far as productivity im not exactly sure of what your talking about...and about vegetation...yes there are the occasional lily pads which pop up every now and then and there is a tremendous amount of grass shallows plotted by big stumps in about 1-4 ft of water.

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Consistently catching big bass out of this State Park lake probably won't happen. I doubt there are a lot of bigger bass in the lake. It sounds to me like the bass are stockpiled (too crowded). The bluegill have a lot of cover which makes predation difficult for the bass. Too many weeds allow for alot of baby bass, but you generally have poor growth due to the overall numbers. If the average size of the bass is 10-12", the best thing for better growth would be to begin removing the bass. Your major problem is that the regulations and other management decisions are out your hand. I suggest contacting the district fisheries biologist and discussing their management goals for this particular lake. They may not be trying for a big bass lake, and if this is the case, I'd get a list of lakes that better fit your fishing preference.

We managed (Missouri Department of Conservation) one lake in particular just for quality panfish (crappie, bluegill, and redear). The bass were numerous and stockpiled and this helped us achieve our goals. We had a 15" length limit that kept the bass piled up. As a result, we had awesome sizes of the panfish. Anglers then opted for better bass so we impletemented a 12-15" protected slot for the bass. People were particularly encouraged to keep the bass in the 10-14" size range and they have. The bass density is decreasing, but the average size is increasing. Unfortunately, I'm slowly watching the average size of the panfish decrease. The bass aren't numerous enough to keep the panfish in check and angler exploitation isn't terribly high. This lake is deep, clear and contains a lot of submerged vegetation so it sounds similar to the lake you fish.

You do have trout and we don't. They just can't survive the summers where I'm out. In fact, our thermocline sets up at about 12' and there aren't many fish below this level (no oxygen). I worked in Tennessee for a couple of years and I can remember fishing Dale Hollow Reservoir. That lake had what we called a "two-story" fishery that had the trout cruising the deeper depths. That situation just won't work where I'm at. They could live during our winters, and I guarantee the bass growth would increase. Trout are easy for the bass to eat....just a long, slimy snack that's easy to choke down. But if you have too many bass, you can expect poor growth.



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