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I was looking through the state records for North Carolina, and noticed that 10 of them come from private ponds/lakes, including: Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Flier, Redear Sunfish, Warmouth, Common Carp, Grass Carp, and White Crappie. It got me thinking about trying to grow one myself.

Has anyone ever tried it?

After thinking about it, the species I'd try isn't on this list, and that's the White Catfish. The NC state record is 13 pounds. The world record is 22 pounds (California). I think it would be a good candidate because it's one of the most misidentified catfish species, and I've seen a couple Youtubers catch a state record White Cat, and unknowingly release it because they thought it was a Channel or Blue Catfish. I'd have to start them out via bucket stocking, which has its own set of obstacles, but I know of a lake that is loaded with them, and I've caught them in the 6-8 pound range before. I think if I could put them on pellets from a fingerling size, I could grow one bigger than 13 pounds. Interestingly enough, White Cats see similar growth to Channel Cats for the first 4 years, before CC take over. White Cats are also in the bullhead family, and don't need special structure to spawn in a pond. I might give it a shot, but its something fun to think about!


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I don't necessarily think all of these records were intentional. They just happened. And nothing in the rules states a fish has to be from public waters to be eligible to be a record.


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Are we discussing the morality of raising fish on a pelleted diet for the sole purposes of producing trophy size fish? Maybe a record someday? Don't we all already do that? I mean, we take fish and shove them into a tiny hole (relatively speaking, of course), shove high-protein manmade fish food down their throats, and catch them on a manmade fly that looks like one of the pellets that we're feeding them (at times) and share our experiences with one another. Fish rarely reach their potential in the wild, due to many factors. If producing record-breaking fish was easy, even in a pond setting, everyone would do it, and all of the records would be from ponds. They're not.

Not exactly what I had in mind when I created this thread, but I guess it's just one of those days.


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Steve, we've caught 6 YP now over the state record and I didn't think they would grow even close to that.
If a guy stocks a pond with the knowledge we have of what grows best in certain conditions, that's not cheating at all!!! It's proper management. Feeding the food chain a few pellets is far from cheating also, you're just speeding the process up a bit so they can reach their potential. POND is NOT a large LAKE, the variables are beyond feasibility to try and control them.
You want to raise trophy fish, go for it-100%

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I'm with Snipe. If you want to grow record size fish ... go for it. If your state combines them with public water for records, you are not cheating. You will find that it isn't easy and it takes a lot of commitment to do it. Cheating is when you take unfair advantage but you'll have to work a lot harder and invest a lot more money than a typical record holder who happened to fortunate enough to be at the right place and right time. Not taking any thing away from record holders who achieved a record in public water but few ever do it by "trying to". You have be lucky ... yes mostly lucky ... to do it. How hard is it really ... to land a fish I mean? I could land thousands of records if only I were fortunate to get strikes from them.

Joey, If I had a devil on my left shoulder and an angel on my right ... you'd be one on the left. Seriously smile . But its a bit over the top to lump intensive management as cheating and IMHO it could be harder to grow record fish by feeding them (even if it may be easier to grow trophies in the short run). My way of looking at feed is that its a tool that is very effective at growing fish while adding nutrients to nutrient deficient water. It doesn't take very long for feeding to take water to far down the nutrient loading path ... but I think it has a role to play. I am not afraid to eat fish that have been fed feeds formulated here in the US. In many respects they can be safer to eat than fish that have grown up in the wild particularly in terms of mercury and other toxins. It's greyer than black and white.

Last edited by jpsdad; 07/14/21 12:17 AM.

Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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Originally Posted by Snipe
Steve, we've caught 6 YP now over the state record and I didn't think they would grow even close to that.
If a guy stocks a pond with the knowledge we have of what grows best in certain conditions, that's not cheating at all!!! It's proper management. Feeding the food chain a few pellets is far from cheating also, you're just speeding the process up a bit so they can reach their potential. POND is NOT a large LAKE, the variables are beyond feasibility to try and control them.
You want to raise trophy fish, go for it-100%

Wow, so did you register them as state records?


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Originally Posted by Joey Quarry
No, we don't "all" do that. I am sure there are others like me who do not artificially feed or aerate.

The two worst things you can do when you own a body of water are; one, feed the fish, two, eat the fish you fed.

I don't mean to disparage your goals, it just seems like a hollow victory to set a record in that manner.

Ok, not everyone feeds their fish. True. But as a pond owner, don’t you want to grow large fish? I’m confused why you think feeding your fish is a bad thing and why eating those fish is also bad. Like jpsdad said, farm raised fish are way more safe to eat than wild caught fish.


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well, I'm not aware of data showing that mercury & copper are at toxic levels in managed pond fish. Blue-green algae seems more of a threat in such environments. But I'm open to learning from factual info on the topic.

As for the morality of feeding fish & setting records, Texas splits records into public and private waters. Apples to apples, not apples to oranges. Selfishly I wish they didn't, but it's probably for the best. I do have some hope of setting a private state record in a couple of categories, if that's something I wish to pursue in future. Right now I'm more focused on just making the pond better every year so my kids, grandkids, friends & other relatives can have a special experience.

As someone who has fed fish for years, I don't view this as immoral, even if it helps set a record. Feeders are expensive & break down. Fish food costs, and involves hauling heavy sacks across treacherous terrain. I love watching them feed & grow, so it's worth it to me, but it sure is a lot of bother with likely no state record payoff for most.

Last edited by anthropic; 07/14/21 02:03 AM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 225



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I am disappointed in Joey Quarry.


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I do not feed my fish except a handful every couple days to see some BG feed in only one of my 3 ponds. However, I see no reason others should not feed if that makes them happy. Lots of public waters are stocked with hatchery raised fish. Are those "wild" fish. I stocked my 2nd pond with lots of forage and then added a small number of SMB from a hatchery. If one of those SMB grows to a state record, is that "cheating"? I too have questions about a purposefully bred giant whitetail buck being released and after 3 months and then being considered a "wild" deer eligible for setting a record, but I have developed habitat specifically to encourage deer on my place and try to manage the doe to buck ratio in the hopes of encouraging trophy bucks. Am I cheating too? I certainly draw my own lines such as shooting a bred deer on a small high-fence operation, but as long as folks are honest about where and how their trophy was taken, I guess that it is up to the individual to determine how much they contributed to their own success. Like the common misconception concerning organically vs., conventionally grown food, the misconception concerning the safety of pond-raised vs. wild fish is common. Think about why you find no safety or nutritional superiority claims on organic or wild-caught fish food labels. Perhaps because it is a crime to make false claims on food labels.

Last edited by RAH; 07/14/21 06:43 AM.
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Agree Theo, it is rare that we get rudeness here. If it continues, it won’t continue very long.

Cool it JQ.


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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Originally Posted by Joey Quarry
Jpsdad, you may want to move me to your right shoulder. The vast majority of aquatic environments in the U.S. contaminated with "Mercury and other toxins" , are contaminated via atmospheric deposition. Have a watershed that feeds your pond?

Your pond, if you use copper based algaecide, is more contaminated with forever chemicals than natural bodies of water in your area. It will be an EPA superfund site one day.

If you eat fish fed from commercially available manufacturers, you may as well season them with aspartame and arsenic then fry them in formaldehyde.

What is in your fish food? Manufacturers know the secret of making fish food. Fish who die, don't have relatives that lawyer up. The protein percentage of your fish food is a mathematical calculation of the nitrogen and to a lesser extent, phosphorous content. How do manufactures "sometimes" increase nitrogen, thus protein percentage? Usually melamine and cyanuric acid. What else is in your fish food? No one knows but your pond water.

Adding nitrogen and phosphorous to your Mercury and copper pit assures future generations will never enjoy that body of water.

You're outdated with your melamine and cyanuric acid comment, but when it was still happening it was more common in ag and pet foods. Season your pork chops the same way I guess.

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Originally Posted by lmoore
Originally Posted by Joey Quarry
Jpsdad, you may want to move me to your right shoulder. The vast majority of aquatic environments in the U.S. contaminated with "Mercury and other toxins" , are contaminated via atmospheric deposition. Have a watershed that feeds your pond?

Your pond, if you use copper based algaecide, is more contaminated with forever chemicals than natural bodies of water in your area. It will be an EPA superfund site one day.

If you eat fish fed from commercially available manufacturers, you may as well season them with aspartame and arsenic then fry them in formaldehyde.

What is in your fish food? Manufacturers know the secret of making fish food. Fish who die, don't have relatives that lawyer up. The protein percentage of your fish food is a mathematical calculation of the nitrogen and to a lesser extent, phosphorous content. How do manufactures "sometimes" increase nitrogen, thus protein percentage? Usually melamine and cyanuric acid. What else is in your fish food? No one knows but your pond water.

Adding nitrogen and phosphorous to your Mercury and copper pit assures future generations will never enjoy that body of water.

You're outdated with your melamine and cyanuric acid comment, but when it was still happening it was more common in ag and pet foods. Season your pork chops the same way I guess.

I think all of this stems from a scare in 2007 when a bunch of cats and dogs were dying due to contaminated pet food and in 2008 when it was found in infant formula and 50,000 babies in China were hospitalized. I was just reading about it. Since then, the WHO has established thresholds for monitoring melamine and cyanuric acid. They’ve done tests where they intentionally fed high melamine and cyanuric acid food to fish to see if affects their meat. In most cases, they only found the residual crystals in the fish’s kidneys and not their flesh. When it was found in the flesh, it was way below the threshold for unsafe consumption.


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I think that I remember that some suppliers in China were adding melamine to fake higher protein content: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_adulteration_in_China

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Which is why I refuse to eat fish or shrimp unless I know exactly their provenance. Imported from Malaysia too often really means Chinese, where standards are low or nonexistent. US or Canada preferred!

Last edited by anthropic; 07/14/21 01:11 PM.

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Our good friends the Chinese Communists - bringing better living to the world since 1949. smirk


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Not really fair to blame a whole country for a couple bad actors. The real question is how were these companies punished. Apparently, they were punished harshly - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/24/china-executes-milk-scandal-pair

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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Our good friends the Chinese Communists - bringing better living to the world since 1949. smirk

My wife is from Hong Kong, and we have close friends there. What's happening is tragic. Wish the US govt would allow some of the well educated, hard working, freedom loving folks there to come here. They love our country, unlike so many of our own universities.

Anyway, that's it from me on a political topic. I will say that I've consumed fed fish from my waters, and have yet to feel any ill effects. Even fish with pellets in their bellies taste fine.

Last edited by anthropic; 07/14/21 01:18 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 225



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The most toxic substances known to man are all natural. Everything is toxic at some dose, including water. It is irresponsible to spread fear without any reputable evidence to back it up. If you are ignorant, then please stop writing about things you know little about. If you are not ignorant, then provide some reputable evidence to back up your claims. If you plan to use internet sites as evidence, then be sure they end with ".edu" or ".gov", or simply conduct your search with Google Scholar to access reputable information. If chemical names scare you, watch out for dihydrogen monoxide!

https://www.lockhaven.edu/~dsimanek/dhmo.htm

BTW - Half of the pesticidal compounds found naturally in food are carcinogenic. The dose makes the poison.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC54831/

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Yes, it's always about the concentration of such toxins. We eat, drink and breathe in toxins everyday. Take alcohol for example. In moderate doses, especially in red wine, it can be healthy for you. If you drink all day, everyday, expect your liver to give out at some point.

When it comes to fish, same thing. Here in NC, many lakes have advisories about eating the fish in them, specifically catfish. The government recommends not eating more than 1 meal per week of wild catfish, and that pregnant women and children shouldn't eat any of it. Like alcohol, I'm sure if you ate catfish 3 times a day, 7 days a week, you might get sick from it.

We shouldn't stop breathing just because there's CO2 in the air.


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So I went to the conclusions of the very first of your citations which essentially says the compound is safe at approved doses. As I wrote "the dose makes the poison". We eat thousands of natural compounds safely every day which at high concentrations cause adverse effects. Insinuating that this citation backs up any assertion that this compound is unsafe as used in feed is fear mongering. If any of the other papers suggest that current approved uses are unsafe, please feel free to repost those. And as your last citation shows, even a required nutrient like iron is toxic if ingested at very high concentrations. Risk = Hazard x Exposure.

Last edited by RAH; 07/14/21 05:40 PM.
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Food and feed risk assessment is not a hobby for me, and I have published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, plus a few book chapters. Saying "the end" does not get you off the hook in a scientific debate. Listing some concentration in your post with no context is a bit silly. As I stated (with a citation), half of the tested naturally produced pesticides tested from crops were found carcinogenic in rodents at high doses. That does not mean that eating a diet rich in plants is not healthy. I have seen all the tricks, so you are not dealing with a novice on how some try to turn good science into something that it is not. Trying to scare folks with propaganda is not ethical. First you disparage folks who try and manage their ponds to grow record size fish, and then you try to tell folks that feeding their fish or managing their pond makes their fish unsafe. This is not a forum where members beat each other up. Pond Boss is for those who are in charge of their own ponds. If different folks choose to manage their ponds different from others, that is OK here. Perhaps, you should try a more sketchy site if you cannot respect others freedom to manage their ponds as they please.

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Drinking too much water (numerous gallons) in one day can kill you. As RAH says dosage is critical.


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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Drinking too much water (numerous gallons) in one day can kill you. As RAH says dosage is critical.

Oh great, now we got fear-mongering to get people to stop drinking water laugh


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Steve, to answer your question about filling out the paperwork for the state record YP, No, I haven't. The reason is I want it to be a friends kid or somebody that doesn't really fish a lot-or doesn't GET to fish much.
I've been blessed with the ability to fish some great waters, where known large specimens swim, and I've held 2 state records myself. I've caught 5 of the 6 YP that bested the record, some by a few ounces, the last by a pound, but our KS state record is only 1.06lbs and 14.25". I think it would be a priceless gift to have a kid get that document and title, I am sure the kids wouldn't care that the YP got bigger because there was some supplemental feeding happening. It's purely the moment in itself that they (and I) will remember the rest of our lives.
Feed on peeps, Feed on..

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