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Does anyone know of a source for Mr. Condello's famous bluegill within a few hours' drive of west-central MO?

My little ~ 1/4 acre pond's inching closer to completion & while my plans for HBG/RES/YP/SMB haven't changed, I have been doing some thinking. What I really want & mean by HBG are BRES or Specklebelly. There's a source for Specklebelly not far away, but I'm hearing they may be in short supply or even unavailable.

Is there any kind of outside shot of sourcing male-only Condello BG? Was thinking that if I couldn't find BRES from a hatchery, it would be nice to stock some high quality male BG & maybe get lucky & end up with some nice BRES the old fashioned way. I had only planned to stock 50 HBG (along with 50 RES), so I'm not looking for a large number of them. In fact, I'd be tickled pink to get my hands on a dozen of 'em, just to get my little fishery off to a healthy start.

I would be hugely appreciative if someone could point me in the right direction.

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Can't help you with your request, but I hopefully will have some BRES hybrids this year. I have one pond that is a SMB/RES pond with RES being the only lepomis (with a very few accidental GSF/RES hybrids I have been removing). Last year I put a single 8 or 9" beautiful CNBG male in that pond in the hopes of spawning some CNBG/RES hybrids.

The CNBG male could have possibly got a nest made and spawn last fall, but more likely this spring.

Bigbluegill.com might be a place with some more information. I don't hang out there much but that is Mr Condello's domain.


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If Bruce would ever show back up here you could ask him yourself! He was last on here going on 17 months ago.

I don't know of any place close to you that has them. I agree, go to Bigbluegill.com and see if he posts there.


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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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I've seen him post on Optimal's feed page on FB recently also..

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Bres are sold by Nemo from MO - they come from AR. I have naturally occurring hybrids but also play with the AR fish, too.

My fisheries are the only remaining with pure CSBG genetics since Bruce sold his farm years ago. Might be one more pond Bruce had mentioned somewhere in NE IIRC, otherwise that’s it.


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I am curious is you've already found a business to supply the YP? I live in Central Missouri and we were inquiring with a couple of fisheries that we could travel to and pick up fish and the one that advertised YP doesn't have them currently. The owner makes a trip to Minnesota in the fall and picks them up there and one needs to put in an order in advance for him to pick them up. My wife and I would love to put some YP in our pond, not as a mainstay, but just to add variety. They are a beautiful fish and I'm not aware of anyone who has them in their own private waters in my area.

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Couple observations re: Misery fish sellers...

TJ - I know that you're buddies with the NEMO dudes, but my experience with them and RES is they do not sort out the BG,
and they don't put pure O2 into the travel bags when you pick up fish at their store. I would advise anyone who is considering
NEMO as a source for RES fingerlings, and who doesn't want to add BG to their pond, either be an expert at identifying BG vs. RES,
or have an escape-proof cage or even better a separate tank to house those fingerlings until they're big enough to positively ID.
Other forum members have reported good experiences with NEMO. YMMV

As far as YP are concerned, there are plenty of fish sellers who will tell you that they can source YP, and next to none who can
actually deliver when it's time to do so, at least within the time frame that you are wanting to do your YP stocking. I got so frustrated
trying to purchase YP in Misery that I finally built my own transport tank and drove 543 miles (one way) to Snipe's place to get them.

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No relationship with Nemo on my end - just bought some bres from them once and those fish ended up working. I don’t doubt your experience as they used to run fish truck routes in several states and those outfits seem notorious for fish species mixing.

I recommend anyone in MO or KS reach out to Snipe.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Bruce has popped in briefly on the last few Facebook Live shows Bob hosts on Wednesday. Facebook might be the best way to reach him.

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I'd been thinking about using these guys, as they claim to have everything I want (only ones with BRES/Specklebelly & SMB)- https://raccoonvalleyfisheries.com/home-page

Curryville Fisheries is doable & B&G Levasy, Osage Catfisheries, Harrison Fishery aren't real far away & the MO Dept. of Agriculture has a list of smaller operations.

I'm more than willing to make a trip to get quality fish, but unsure of my ability to get 'em home alive. Looking at the setup Augie used, I'm guessing a sturdy tote or large cooler & a battery powered aquarium aerator ain't gonna cut it?

It won't kill me if I can't get my hands on some BRES or CSBG males. I'm sure plain old HBG will be as fun to catch & taste just as good. Growing trophy sized bream would be pretty neato, but I'm more concerned with having a steady supply of fun to catch, eating size bream, with some YP for a bit of variety.

Esshup tells me the fish market is crazy right now, so I'm just trying to figure out a way to get exactly the fish I want, vs settling for what I can find.

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Originally Posted by CrazyCarl
I'd been thinking about using these guys, as they claim to have everything I want (only ones with BRES/Specklebelly & SMB)- https://raccoonvalleyfisheries.com/home-page

Curryville Fisheries is doable & B&G Levasy, Osage Catfisheries, Harrison Fishery aren't real far away & the MO Dept. of Agriculture has a list of smaller operations.

I'm more than willing to make a trip to get quality fish, but unsure of my ability to get 'em home alive. Looking at the setup Augie used, I'm guessing a sturdy tote or large cooler & a battery powered aquarium aerator ain't gonna cut it?

It won't kill me if I can't get my hands on some BRES or CSBG males. I'm sure plain old HBG will be as fun to catch & taste just as good. Growing trophy sized bream would be pretty neato, but I'm more concerned with having a steady supply of fun to catch, eating size bream, with some YP for a bit of variety.

Esshup tells me the fish market is crazy right now, so I'm just trying to figure out a way to get exactly the fish I want, vs settling for what I can find.

I went to both Curryville and Osage over the weekend. Curryville advertises a selection of fish but didn't have Walleye, Yellow Perch or Small Mouth Bass as advertised. That was the place that travels to Minnesota in the Fall for some of their fish types. They did have RES which Osage didn't have at the time.

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I just got off the phone with Raccoon Valley & they say they have RES & expect their Specklebelly in a couple of weeks. They did confirm that the Specklebelly are BRES, so that's good to know for sure.

Guy also said all their fish are feed trained, though I'm sure that's a misunderstanding between however they feed their fish in captivity vs. actually pellet training.

I'm going to try Augie's method of pellet training the RES & I'm thinking I'd like to keep them all caged to let 'em grow out a bit & hopefully be "extra" sure that I'm only putting RES & BRES in the pond. Will an 11-12 cu ft cage safely accommodate 100 2.5-3.5" fish for long enough to grow them out to say, 4-6"?

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I can't speak to the cage volume, but if you're diligent at feeding them six weeks in the cage should have most of them taking pellets.

2-3 weeks your top producers will be obvious and can be released into the pond.
Couple more weeks the mid-tier agressive/slow learners will be good to go.
The last 10-15% will likely never learn to take pellets.

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Originally Posted by SherWood
I am curious is you've already found a business to supply the YP? I live in Central Missouri and we were inquiring with a couple of fisheries that we could travel to and pick up fish and the one that advertised YP doesn't have them currently. The owner makes a trip to Minnesota in the fall and picks them up there and one needs to put in an order in advance for him to pick them up. My wife and I would love to put some YP in our pond, not as a mainstay, but just to add variety. They are a beautiful fish and I'm not aware of anyone who has them in their own private waters in my area.


Sherwood and CC, I bought YP and WE from Harrison fisheries here in central MO last March, have not caught any of the YP but the WE are doing great and grew from 3 to 4" fingerlings last march to 15" long this March.
Have had super great luck with Harrisons, would highly recommend them, jury still out on Curryville fisheries, thru another guys money we put LMB and BC in my pond a yr ago last fall, got tons of Bass but have yet to catch or see a BC, and have had several pretty good fisherman including myself try many times to catch some, I was not able to be there to see them put in but am pretty much convinced there's not any in there.


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I'm supposed to be picking up Specklebellies on Thurs that are 4"+ fish, and not all are spoken for, but a majority are. (getting around 65# of them). I'll be making sure that the rest are feed trained and larger for this Fall.

Let me check into what permits are needed for delivering fish to Mo. Maybe Rainman can help? I'll be meeting him in a few weeks to do a fish swap, maybe he can bring YP back to MO? He's near St. Louis.


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Originally Posted by esshup
I'm supposed to be picking up Specklebellies on Thurs that are 4"+ fish, and not all are spoken for, but a majority are. (getting around 65# of them). I'll be making sure that the rest are feed trained and larger for this Fall.

Let me check into what permits are needed for delivering fish to Mo. Maybe Rainman can help? I'll be meeting him in a few weeks to do a fish swap, maybe he can bring YP back to MO? He's near St. Louis.

That would be awesome, but I'd hate to commit to something like that without a definite finish date. I'd guesstimate within a month, but can't be 100%. 'N with this being my first foray into any of this, I'd really hate to go to a bunch of time & trouble just to inadvertently kill them off by mishandling them. Let's see how many RES & HBG I can keep alive before I go messing with the harder to source fish.

Might just hafta get out on the lake with my aunt or uncle & try to catch & bucket stock a handful of nice male BG to supplement the RES & hybrids that I can get here.

The guy at Raccoon Valley said I should give the bream a year, before stocking the YP & SMB, which he recommended putting in at the same time. My thinking was to get the bream in & feeding this summer (along with PK shrimp & FHM), then the YP in the fall, with SMB going in fall '23. Any reason to hold off on the YP till then?

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My YP came from Nemo, as well as everything else in my pond.


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Originally Posted by gehajake
Originally Posted by SherWood
I am curious is you've already found a business to supply the YP? I live in Central Missouri and we were inquiring with a couple of fisheries that we could travel to and pick up fish and the one that advertised YP doesn't have them currently. The owner makes a trip to Minnesota in the fall and picks them up there and one needs to put in an order in advance for him to pick them up. My wife and I would love to put some YP in our pond, not as a mainstay, but just to add variety. They are a beautiful fish and I'm not aware of anyone who has them in their own private waters in my area.


Sherwood and CC, I bought YP and WE from Harrison fisheries here in central MO last March, have not caught any of the YP but the WE are doing great and grew from 3 to 4" fingerlings last march to 15" long this March.
Have had super great luck with Harrisons, would highly recommend them, jury still out on Curryville fisheries, thru another guys money we put LMB and BC in my pond a yr ago last fall, got tons of Bass but have yet to catch or see a BC, and have had several pretty good fisherman including myself try many times to catch some, I was not able to be there to see them put in but am pretty much convinced there's not any in there.


That's great to hear. I had no idea that YP and WE could live in farm ponds in my area until I read about them here. I would like to try some out. Not too many as they won't be a main fish but more of a novelty. I'd possibly go with a handful of WE. When I mentioned it to my wife, she wasn't too thrilled, knowing that they have pointy teeth and because we will swim in the pond. I told her the only thing that is going to bite us are mosquitos and bluegill. We are intrigued at the idea of having some YP. I've never caught one or even fished for them. I've never even seen one outside of pictures. They are beautiful though.

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Plus one on the YP, I haven,t caught any or ever fished for or seen any, I thought they make a good ice fishing prospect, whenever the few times are that we get to do it here. almost the same for the WE.
Yes I don't think she has to worry about the WE bothering you when swimming but when you catch them you wanna watch that thumb, don't lip them.

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Originally Posted by SherWood
That's great to hear. I had no idea that YP and WE could live in farm ponds in my area until I read about them here. I would like to try some out.

I have only caught them in Canada with my relatives. They are very tasty eating!

I cannot recall a single time that we did a fish fry with YP and WE that resulted in a scrap of "leftovers".

I am going to try some YP in a small pond in southern Kansas. I suspect my waters will be warmer than yours. I will probably need some management help from the forum for them to thrive!

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Right at a 1/3 of the pond is 12'+ deep & with a strong spring, I'm thinking/hoping YP will do well, along with the SMB. I toyed briefly with the idea of a couple WE as a bonus fish, but not sure I want to tie up that much biomass in a little pond for as long as it would take to grow them to table size. Besides, SMB are way fun to catch & durn tasty in their own right.

I intend to hand feed once per day & aerate (method TBD) & would like to be able to harvest ~100 lbs of fish per year. I'm positive I'll have a ton of questions on the way. Wife specifically wants "bluegills" for table fare, but I suspect the first time she tries YP, she'll be wanting them to become a larger proportion of the pond's population. Certainly hoping they'll thrive & guess we'll see in a year or two if my little experiment works out. Augie's successes so far have me hopeful.

I've spent hours upon hours here, digging through old threads & trying to educate myself the best I can & very much appreciate the input & advice from the pros & smart folks on here.

I do intend to keep a journal or log of the pond's progress & keep y'all posted. If nothing else, it'll provide some good data points for an atypical stocking plan for the area. I do think it's kinda fun that a bunch of us MO guys are going the HBG/RES/YP/SMB route.

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I've been thinking & had a couple hare brained ideas. With friends & family nearby who are boaters & anglers, we have access to some nice rivers, as well as Truman Reservoir.

First, snrub's posts about his RESxGSF hybrids piqued my interest. I just like to be different & think it'd be fun to have a few different flavors of hybrids to play with. Say I caught & stocked a nice female GSF or two, I'd have the possiblity of RESxGSF, BRES & standard HBG. Is that a bad idea? Most of any offspring should be male, so a population explosion hopefully won't be an issue, but.... will I end up with a mix of the 3 hybrids, or will a particular combo be more likely? I'm assuming by F2 or F3, I'll end up with mutts of all three species? Would that be a bad thing within the context of growing big hybrids for fun & food?

Second, walleye? I've read up on their limitations in small ponds, as far as not spawning, slower growth, etc. My initial plan was 50 HBG or BRES, 50 RES, 25 YP, 10 SMB & 5 HSB. Given that wipers have a smaller gape & that 1/4 acre doesn't provide a lot of open water, I'm thinking the smallies don't really need their help & was going to just replace the HSB with a like number of SMB. What if instead of the 5 HSB, I stocked one or two WAE? Their role would be strictly to assist the SMB with keeping the bream under control & as a potential bonus fish sometime down the road. Or is that too much slow growing biomass that could be better utilized elsewhere?

Just thinking out loud here & would certainly welcome y'all's thoughts on the matter?

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I was actually amazed at how fast my WE grew, they went from fingerlings to 14 inches in 8 months, they didn't appear to grow too much this past winter but I did filet out a couple 14" fish, mostly just to see how they are and they are as tasty as everyone told me they were.
Haven't caught any of the yellow perch yet, don't know how, had somebody tell me to fish with a worm and bobber which doesn't work at all in my pond unless you want to catch a hundred little BG as fast as you can bait the hook. I don't really know anything about YP, do I fish in open water or around brush, deep or shallow? I been catching the WE on crappie jigs.


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Originally Posted by gehajake
I was actually amazed at how fast my WE grew, they went from fingerlings to 14 inches in 8 months, they didn't appear to grow too much this past winter but I did filet out a couple 14" fish, mostly just to see how they are and they are as tasty as everyone told me they were.
Haven't caught any of the yellow perch yet, don't know how, had somebody tell me to fish with a worm and bobber which doesn't work at all in my pond unless you want to catch a hundred little BG as fast as you can bait the hook. I don't really know anything about YP, do I fish in open water or around brush, deep or shallow? I been catching the WE on crappie jigs.

Holy smokes! I had no idea they could do that.

Gotta be honest, I don't really "know" anything about the fish I want to stock other than having eaten them before & what I've read here. Haven't even gotten a hook wet in over 35 years frown

From what I've been able to glean on here, I think I'll be okay with my "vision" for their role. Can they get big enough in a pond to become a problem for SMB & YP? I'm wondering if I'd see any YP recruitment between the SMB & WE?

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Starting on about page 3 of my forage pond thread are a bunch of pictures of RES and hybrids RES/GSF. No guarantee all of them are identified correctly, but I think at least many are.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=370619&page=3

I had bought RES and FHM to stock this pond (fish route truck), and I got a bunch of GSF genes mixed in. It was only supposed to have only FHM and RES in that pond, nothing else as I was raising them to breed and then supplemental stock my other ponds.

I fought GSF genes in that particular pond for a few years.

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