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had a pond and they became "your" fish?

Mine did... Not totally sure that is a good thing. I caught the biggest bass I'd ever personally seen (9 or 10 #). Didn't want to spend the time it took for a photo. Wanted to get it back in the water asap. When I see a picture of someone holding a big bass up by its lip, I cringe. I stopped using plastic worms much after reading about them being lodged in fish's stomachs. I seldom use lures with treble hooks any more...

Goal for the future is to start using some of those lures again and putting a lot more of my fish in the skillet instead of letting them die of old age in the pond.


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Not really. Only thing is if fishing for catch and release even in public waters I pinch down the barbs on the hook(s).


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Anyone have an estimate of the increase of fish slipping the hook with barbs pinched (or removed) relative to barbs intact?

I assume the differential widens as the fish get larger and are less able to be manipulated by the angler?

I would love to always pinch the barbs, but would hate to have a kid lose a large bass (or BG) due to that practice.

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I use barbless hooks for all my fresh water fishing by choice and here we have to use barbless hooks for salmon, sturgeon and steelhead. As long as you keep your line tight you won't lose many fish at all. I can't remember the last time I lost a fish in my pond after the hookup

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I've been surprised to find that I enjoy feeding the fish more than catching them. Also become very protective of larger fish, even panfish. A ten inch plus CNBG or BG is a trophy and should be treated that way!


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I simply don't fish anymore. I would rather watch others catch my fish. I enjoy the challenge of developing my ponds for both fish and other wildlife. I still think that I would like fishing in other waters, especially creeks and rivers, but I find that my place keeps me pretty busy, so I don't get out to do that. Still enjoy deer hunting though.

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Originally Posted by cb100
I use barbless hooks for all my fresh water fishing by choice and here we have to use barbless hooks for salmon, sturgeon and steelhead. As long as you keep your line tight you won't lose many fish at all. I can't remember the last time I lost a fish in my pond after the hookup

Yep, keep the bend in the rod and don't have any slack line and you won't lose a fish that you wouldn't have lost if the hook was barbed.

Kids will learn faster on the proper catching technique too.


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I debarb all hooks when fishing.

In my neighborhood retention pond, I seldom fish anymore, but get the enjoyment out of feeding and seeing the fish feed.

In my main 4.5 acre pond, we really don't feed much there anymore as we don't get there as much. I fish more there as a way to see/sample what's going on in the pond.


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"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Thanks for all of the great advice, everyone!

I especially like the advice that barbless hooks will quickly teach kids the proper techniques to bring in a fish. If they lose a few little one by allowing slack in the line, that should better prepare them for when they do actually get a big fish on the line!

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Yes, after I've been feeding them a few years and they come swimming to me looking for the food, I've been putting off catching any because I know I'll feel a little bad doing it.


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Harvest is an integral part of the pond management. Either you selectively harvest what you want, or Mother Nature will NOT be selective when she harvests the majority of the fish all at once.....


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Originally Posted by esshup
Harvest is an integral part of the pond management. Either you selectively harvest what you want, or Mother Nature will NOT be selective when she harvests the majority of the fish all at once.....
I know and I'm going to start next year. That isn't the only reason I didn't start fishing, but it sure helped. I was also worried that my LMB were not stable yet. I only see 4 of my original stockers. There might be more but I only see what looks like the same 4 swimming together all the time. Which is another point since having my own pond, I worry about how fragile it is all the time. lol


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Originally Posted by Bobbss
Originally Posted by esshup
Harvest is an integral part of the pond management. Either you selectively harvest what you want, or Mother Nature will NOT be selective when she harvests the majority of the fish all at once.....
I know and I'm going to start next year. That isn't the only reason I didn't start fishing, but it sure helped. I was also worried that my LMB were not stable yet. I only see 4 of my original stockers. There might be more but I only see what looks like the same 4 swimming together all the time. Which is another point since having my own pond, I worry about how fragile it is all the time. lol

A customer has a small pond where he was growing HBG. They were up to 1.5#, and he wasn't harvesting them, AND he didn't have the aeration system running. Mother Nature decided to harvest them for him. That's a shame, they were some great fish.


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I assume this customer has NOW asked you about setting up an aeration system for their pond?

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
I assume this customer has NOW asked you about setting up an aeration system for their pond?

No, they already have one, they just hadn't set it up in the pond yet.


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Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by FishinRod
I assume this customer has NOW asked you about setting up an aeration system for their pond?

No, they already have one, they just hadn't set it up in the pond yet.

Life Lesson #713. How to learn about prioritization - the hard way.

I have learned that one myself a few times. Always painful.

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Lessons learned the hard way are the ones that stay with us. Like peeing on an electric fence.


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.

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Except for one Walleye week in Canada, I hadn't done any serious fishing for over thirty years when we built our first pond. So rather than changing my thoughts on fishing, getting a pond kind of established them in the first place.


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Let's suppose that you were raising any animal crop be it chickens, mice, rats, cats, rabbits sheep, pigs or foxes and yes even fish in a pen or pond.

Feeding the animal crop even more increases productivity as more biovolume /biomass. What will happen if you allow them to continually breed in the pen or POND, then regularly increase the food amount to them due to more animals and then did not regularly remove some??? Just because you cannot see all of them does not mean they are not present. Eventual overpopulation, crowding, lower body weight, poor health, sickness and deaths. Use your common sense and manage the numbers of fish that each year keep reproducing in your pond. Harvest, harvest, harvest even if it is small fish. In the water it is difficult to actually see how many fish are present and how much they are being crowded.

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I hadn't fished in over 35 years until earlier this year, but have always fished with the goal of catching dinner. If any fish in our pond succeed in dying of old age, it'll be because they're either luckier or smarter than we are. I love to fish, but I love eating fresh caught fish even more.

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CCarl, I wish you lived closer to my place. Hate to throw smaller LMB up on the bank, but not much choice when nobody wants to eat them.


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Originally Posted by anthropic
CCarl, I wish you lived closer to my place. Hate to throw smaller LMB up on the bank, but not much choice when nobody wants to eat them.

Dang!

That is a painful problem to have.

Know any of the local boy scout leaders?

I bet one afternoon at your place with a troop would introduce many boys to fishing that have never fished before! They could probably also complete most of the requirements for their Fishing merit badge.

If you did it at the right time of year, then small LMB would probably be the most common fish caught.

Bonus points if one of the leaders is a bass fisherman and he would fillet a mess of 10-12" LMB!

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Every year we have about 10 scouts come to a neighbors place and they camp there and fish my pond for their merit badges. Fun to watch kids try to fish and catch some for the first time. It’s a yearly thing now

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