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#20644 03/14/04 05:14 PM
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I have recently inherited some land that has two small ponds on them. My grandfather had told me in the past that it was stocked years ago but because of it's location it has rarely been fished. I took my small family out to it last year and within just a few hours we had caught and released 12 bass measuring from 9"-16 1/2". I have been back several times with the same results. They seem rather easy to catch, but they are all that size. The pond only has about one acre of surface size. I am wondering if this is the largest that the bass will get because of the size of the pond.


Bryan Ainsworth
#20645 03/14/04 08:45 PM
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You might be able to put several more inches on the larger bass if you remove a fair number of the smaller bass. But this would mean that your family would catch significiantly fewer bass on each outing. I prefer to catch more smaller fish than have to fish longer periods and catch the occassional large fish. Preferences are important in fish management!

Sounds like you already have quality high catch rate per hour fishery. Why mess it up? Maybe experiment on the pond with lower catch rates.


aka Pond Doctor & Dr. Perca Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#20646 03/14/04 08:55 PM
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Azaroc Offline OP
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Thanks Bill.
I will probably try to do that with the smaller pond. It does have a much lower catch rate, but there are bass in there. It is roughly 3/4 of an acre..do you think it is worth the time?


Bryan Ainsworth
#20647 03/14/04 10:17 PM
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Bryan, I think Bill is saying that you need to define your goals. Monster bass are everyones dream but if fishing is a family deal, fishing success for everyone may also be important. Where is your land? It makes a difference due to rainfall and water quality. In West Texas, management takes on a different meaning due to sparse rainfall.

#20648 03/14/04 11:47 PM
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Dave,
My land is out near Graham, in Young County...about 70 miles West of Fort Worth. I agree with you and understand what you guys are saying. I enjoy the amount of fish caught, my 4 yo daughter has the biggest to date..16 1/2" and almost 2 lbs...
I wish they were just a little bigger, maybe up to 3lbs...but I don't think it is worth the trade off. But what about the smaller pond? Is it feasible to try and tinker with that one? I just don't know how much it could actually hold at 3/4ths of an acre. Thanks guys,


Bryan Ainsworth
#20649 03/15/04 07:13 AM
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Bryan, Why not some channel cats in the 3/4 acre one? Kids don't really care what they catch and 10 to 12 inch cats can get to 4 to 5 pounds in a couple of years. Feed high protien food and watch the fun. We call them Hoovers because they vacuum the surface.

Be careful about overstocking and fertilizing. Most people on this site recommend fertilizing. Good idea if you have dependable rainfall or a big runoff area. However, in areas of sparse rainfall, your stock tank can greatly diminish in size. Then, you have an overstocked nightmare with polluted water and oxygen starved fish. Pushing the envelope ain't always pretty.

No matter what you stock, look to your bluegill forage base for the success or failure of your fishing hole. Lack of adequate bluegill could be why your bass are topping out at a couple of pounds and are easy to catch. Look at their length/weight ratio to determine their health. Use the search function on this site to find a link to one.

#20650 03/15/04 08:24 PM
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Azaroc - If you are interested in only slightly increasing the size of your larger bass first do as Dave recommended; check the length/weight status of the larger bass. Weigh and measure several individuals from several sizes. If they are on the skinny side then remove a few (10"-13") this year (maybe 10-20) and insure there are smaller bgill (3"-4.5") for remaining bass to eat. If your bgill numbers are sparse then the bass are probably too crowded and they may be feeding on the numerous smaller 4"-6" bass. You may also need to add some 20-50 adult sized bgill.
Based on what happens with fish growth and numbers at the end of this year or next spring you may need to remove a few more similar sized bass next year.

You ought to buy Bob's book on Raising Trophy bass. It also has lots of good basic bass raising details and information in it. The book has a chart of how much well fed or plump bass should weigh at each length.


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#20651 03/17/04 11:37 AM
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Thank both of you guys, I appreciate the help. I have never thought of channel cats in the smaller pond, but that ought to be even more fun for the kids. Is Bob's book available here on the website? Once again, thanks.


Bryan Ainsworth
#20652 03/17/04 08:29 PM
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Yes the books are available here. Go back to the home page (first page with the magazine picture when the site opens up for you) and click on the books button in the upper left portion of the page. Several books are available to choose from. Or you can call the office (1-800-687-6075) and give them a credit card number. The trophy bass book is a little pricey but it has a whole bunch of bass raising information and how to's in it. Bob did a real good job on it.


aka Pond Doctor & Dr. Perca Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management
#20653 05/15/04 05:06 AM
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Hey guys,
Just wanted to express my gratitude for your help. I have pretty much left the population alone. Last week on Sat. we fished for about 3 hrs and caught 20 fish. We went back on Monday night for about 3 and caught an additional 28 fish. The largest were about 17 1/2" but they seemed pretty skinny.
We caught a couple of blue gill for the first time, so that answers the question about what the LMB are feeding on. Out the the 48 fish caught only 6 were caught twice. Not bad eh?


Bryan Ainsworth
#20654 05/16/04 09:56 AM
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Bryan,
I did not see your post in the past. What I like to tell my clients when they have two ponds is to manage each with slightly diff. goals. In the slightly larger pond you can sustain more "slightly larger' bass than the smaller. I recommend some harvest of these bass. If you can catch 20 on an outing would you rather catch 10 with an increased chance of 3-5 lb bass? If so harvest some bass. IN the other smaller pond remove few bass. This is where you can go to catch numbers. ALso as mentioned by Dave you can add some other fish like catfish for extra enjoyment. If bass heavy you should have some monster bluegill. Also one last thing if not already doing it, a feeding program is a big bonus on family oriented pond.


Greg Grimes
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#20655 05/18/04 08:04 PM
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Greg,
I haven't thought about switching the roles the two ponds could play, but it actually makes more sense. I do have some rather large bluegill, the several that we caught were mostly in the 10-11" range.
Unfortunately the ponds are about 80 miles from my house so we only get out there once a week or every other week, so I haven't instituted any feeding program.
I wondered about the other fish, if I put cats in there would it mess anything up? If not can I use channels?


Bryan Ainsworth

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