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#499677 12/14/18 03:25 PM
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Question- Is it possible to have a healthy sustaining fishery that produces medium and trophy size bass, but has zero vegetation. I manage a 60 acre lake that was destroyed by grass carp 10 years ago. Through aggressive and heavy stocking of bluegills as forage and placement of xmas trees the fishery is better, but not anywhere where I want it to be. I'm starting to think that without good vegetation everything else becomes nothing more than a crutch to help the fishery limp along. Thanks.

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Im no expert but I would think the more and larger areas for the yoy to hide in the better your situation will become. Its all about feeding them

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I'm not sure about that, my lake has tons of shad there is plenty of food. I think it comes down to basic weight loss just like humans. Sit at a desk all day and eat and you will get fat, run through the woods having to kill your prey and most likely you will be thin. Bass in these vegetation free lakes tend to be roamers burning valuable calories in search of food.

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Gizzard shad? They get fairly big. Think shad also for their size probably better food for larger bass

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My dad's old pond had lots of vegetation, lots of medium to small bass, and very few large bass. It was rare to catch or see LMB over 16-17", most LMB were 15" and under, recruitment of YOY LMB was an issue with too much cover to hide in. As Bill Cody frequently says, " it depends"...



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What I've heard is that 20 to 40 percent vegetation coverage is considered ideal for LMB. But obviously so much depends upon local conditions!


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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Too many Grass Carp can be a problem if you want some vegetation. Too many crawfish might do the same thing. Lake Conroe located near Houston Tx was stocked with too many GC and it made the lake much tougher to fish but it still produced some larger lmb. It is getting better everyday because the GC are dying off of old age. I read where Bob Lusk had a situation where he needed to reduce the roaming in a lake, so he added cover to the lake. And that seemed to help the fish and the fishing. It might take a lot of work on a lake or your size but I would start in an area and add as much cover as I could. Like fish attractors and such to hold the fish in an area. After you get 20 to 30% of cover in that area then move to another area and do the same. Do a point and then another point. I can tell you from personal experience, you can make cover from a lot of different materials. Pvc scraps, tires, pallets and tree limbs etc.


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Originally Posted By: Spicelanebass
Question- Is it possible to have a healthy sustaining fishery that produces medium and trophy size bass, but has zero vegetation. I manage a 60 acre lake that was destroyed by grass carp 10 years ago. Through aggressive and heavy stocking of bluegills as forage and placement of xmas trees the fishery is better, but not anywhere where I want it to be. I'm starting to think that without good vegetation everything else becomes nothing more than a crutch to help the fishery limp along. Thanks.


Most BOW get vegetation within a few years. My pond had two years with virtually nothing, but now has Am Pondweed, cattails, chara, and some planted pickerelweed in it. That said, there must be a reason why your lake hasn't regrown weeds since the grass carp episode.

Too murky/muddy? Water chemistry off? I don't know, but there surely must be a reason. Find the issue and you are halfway to fixing it & regaining vegetation. Good luck!

Last edited by anthropic; 12/15/18 06:32 PM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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While grass is probably the supreme source of cover, I don't think its absolutely necessary to produce quality sized fish. I've fished several ponds in my life, some of which had grass, some with only hard cover (laydowns, brush piles, etc.). I've also fished large impoundments that transitioned from heavy grass cover to virtually none due to being chemically removed.

The presence of grasses on large BOWs has always seemed to produce much bigger fish on a more consistent basis, but my personal biggest fish came from areas without grass. I used to fish a certain pond that had lots of hard cover ONLY, and consistently produced 4+ pound LMB and an occasional 6-8 pounder.

The point I'm making is, without ample cover for forage, regardless of its type, your predators will decimate them and may never reach trophy status. I don't think it matters what type of cover it is, as long as you have enough of it.


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Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
While grass is a good probably the supreme source of cover, I don't think its absolutely necessary to produce quality sized fish..... The point I'm making is, without ample cover for forage, regardless of its type, your predators will decimate them and may never reach trophy status. I don't think it matters what type of cover it is, as long as you have enough of it.


Yes (blue is my note) and the cover is best if varies in type. Some for all purposes like fry survival , fishing , protection/travel/movement , invertebrate growth and others.
See the cover/structure thread in the archive. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92463#Post92463

Last edited by ewest; 12/20/18 12:15 PM.
















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