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Thanks ewest!

I had read those links before, but they are definitely good ones to add to this thread.

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Thanks for the references, Eric! I'm gonna read through them, for the first time in some cases.


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 -116




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Late to the party, but my take. Anthro, how are your CNBG doing? That is the base of the LMB food chain. What are your HSB eating? Are they competing with the LMB food chain? They can and do also eat LMB.

In east Texas you will pretty much always have northern strain LMB as they are native. We live on one of the first lakes in Texas to stock Florida LMB as it was the home lake and lab for Charlie Inman, one of the TP&W pioneers on Floridas. We stock 3000 or so pure Florida LMB fingerings every year to keep the genetics coming. We figure if we get 10% survival we're doing good. We have also stocked a 100 or so Camelot Bell LMB in the 2# range a few years ago. We take 14" survey culls from managed pure Florida lakes in the area. We stock TFS every few years and get some recruitment. Our bluegill base is top notch. Tons of minnows. Try to keep the crappie fished down and in the freezer. Fight with the flatheads, otters, cormorants, and herons. Have a few remaining grass carp that need to go (20 years old). 50 acres, decent cover, deepest 19 feet, average 8-10. We catch one or two LMB over 10# in any given year (lake record 15#+), but the majority will be 6-9# for big fish. We never seem to be overstocked on LMB, either from fishing results or from shocking survey. Personally, I think you're expecting too much from a small BOW to think you will get multiple 10#+ LMB. A 10# LMB is a monster. We all know 20# fish exist, but how many vs the millions of fishermen and fishing hours invested.


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Wow, lots of good additional data, Ross!

I think anthropic is near the upper reaches of his watershed. I believe he has complete control of the "large" fish species in his pond. (Hopefully he will wander in and correct me if I am wrong!)

I like following his pond "experiment" because he has control of some of the important variables!

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Ross, you may well be right that I expect too much from a 7 acre BOW. I have lots of 7 - 11 pound fish, if you count the HSB. My CNBG are thriving and rapidly approaching 2 pounds, something that I would have considered impossible ten years ago. Maybe expecting an occasional 10 lb plus LMB on top of all that just isn't realistic, despite all the effort & money spent to supercharge things. But as Robert Browning remarked, a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?

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Originally Posted by anthropic
Ross, you may well be right that I expect too much from a 7 acre BOW. I have lots of 7 - 11 pound fish, if you count the HSB. My CNBG are thriving and rapidly approaching 2 pounds, something that I would have considered impossible ten years ago. Maybe expecting an occasional 10 lb plus LMB on top of all that just isn't realistic, despite all the effort & money spent to supercharge things. But as Robert Browning remarked, a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?
James I think you might already have a 10#er and just don’t know it…2# BG? Wow that’s a hoss. I’ve got big LMB but bg are less than a # but tons of them

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Sounds like you're doing a great job, Pat. I know you're frustrated with giant LMB eating your crappie, but to most pondmeisters that's a problem they'd love to have!

It's possible there are a couple of ten plus beauties at my place and we just have never caught or shocked them up. For sure our lines have been snapped on many occasions, usually by a rampaging lunker HSB, but sometimes it might have been a trophy LMB. I'll keep working on it!

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I think an occassional 10#+ is very doable. I was reading multiple 10# consistently. I caught an 8#+ and an 11# within an hour of each other this week in the same hole, 16' deep under a log. First big fish in a while. My neighbor had an evening run and the following morning run with two 9#, two 7#, and a 6#. I think that's excellent for any BOW. We both had an extensive big fish dry spell before this. The fish are always there unless something very unfortunate happens. They generally don't need to eat our baits in a well managed lake, so we're lucky when they do.


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Outstanding results, Ross! I assume this is a private lake, few public lakes can offer such fishing. What management practices are followed? And are these Florida LMB, F1, or what?

Catching two lunkers under a log in 16' makes me wonder: Why are they at such a depth given the lack of oxygen in summer? That's well below the thermocline in the vast majority of Texas waters! At my place, by late May/early June anything deeper than 10' is anoxic.

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We're spring fed and only recently closed the bottom drain. Yes, private 50 acre lake, 70 years old. We have man made brush piles, several natural blowdowns, and docks of course. Other than that not a lot of cover. I'm trying to re-establish beneficial native vegetation with mixed results. I have to fence everthing or the turtles and a few old grass carp will decimate it. I have a fair stand of various water lilies now, some Illinois pond weed, and one small cage of eelgrass.

We stock 3000 or so Florida fingerlings every year. We buy a few hundred 12-14" Florida's from managed lakes when available. A few years ago we bought a few Camelot Bell mature bass as well. We stock threadfin shad as needed. We get fair reproduction and with mild winters they survive well. Tons and tons of evey variety of blue gill. We also have crappie and a few catfish. We have a few feeders that are kept up. This lake gets overflow from a lake above so we also have native bass in the mix. This lake was one of the first in Texas to have Florida bass as it was the home lake of Charlie Inman, the Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist that brought the first Floridas into the hatchery. We fight cormorants and otters.


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Thanks, Ross. I hadn't realized how close our places really are, the only Winona I've ever heard of is Winona Ryder! My pond is just a few miles east of Hallsville. Gives me some hope I can replicate your results.

I started with pure Floridas, but they stunted due to lack of food (long story, dumb tax involved). Probably a few jumpers survived, but eventually had to stock northern strain to clear out all the small LMB. Stocked 250 F1 in 2020, but that's a lot less per acre than you've done. I was leery of stocking too many since I already struggle with excess LMB & must cull aggressively.

There's an interesting article in the May/June PB Magazine on the topic of LMB stocking to enhance genetics, in particular whether smaller numbers of 6 to 8" pure Floridas are best or larger numbers of F1 fingerlings. From your results at very similar locale, I think maybe would be smart for me to add a few larger pure Floridas. Preferably fin clipped females so they don't get harvested!

You'd be welcome to visit my place sometime, especially when the weather cools a bit in fall. I'd love to learn more about your techniques for deep water angling, something I rarely do. And culling small LMB is always on the menu! Also would be interested in any suggestions you might have. I'll PM you with contact info if you are interested.

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