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#559917 07/22/23 12:16 AM
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Hope this works...
22-5/16", 6.937lb 104.7%RW tonight- .05lbs over current KS ST record.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Snipe; 07/22/23 12:21 AM.
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Snipe #559918 07/22/23 12:36 AM
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What a Beauty ! Mine are still growing , but nothing like that. Congratulations !!!

Snipe #559919 07/22/23 07:32 AM
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What a good time to have picture posting work!


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
[Linked Image from i.pinimg.com]
Snipe #559923 07/22/23 10:44 AM
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What a HOG!!!!!! TUNA!!!!!


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

Snipe #559925 07/22/23 03:14 PM
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Great job, Snipe!

Did you check to see if that was a female or a male? (Or if you couldn't easily discern.)

I can't see the tail, but the ventral fins don't look beat up like it was a male that had recently been on a nest.

If a female, she is NOT full of eggs. She was almost certainly over 7# if she had decent egg production this spring! (What a beaut!)

Also, if this thread expands: Is the sexual dimorphism larger in LMB than SMB? (I never hear anyone talk about a record SMB "female only" pond.)

Snipe #559926 07/22/23 03:43 PM
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Male and Female SMB grow at more similar rates. I have been told that and have confirmed that in Pit tagged fish-but you can still have shooters either way. This is a Female and is one of my brooders, pit tag 1298, tagged 2 years ago this October at 18-3/8" and 4.06lbs.

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Snipe #559931 07/22/23 07:43 PM
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Such an awesome fish! Congratulations!!!

Is this eligible for the state record?


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




Snipe #559933 07/22/23 08:52 PM
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It would be eligible but beings I work with the state fisheries departments, I agreed I would never put my name on a record from my own pond. My wife did for the YP she caught Feb 22, but I don't think it's right for me to do so.
I'm proud of the fact I'm having some luck growing above average fish and that's good enough for me, so sharing it here is most appropriate-with the folks that have helped me get to this point.

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Snipe #559943 07/23/23 12:21 PM
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You have achieved what many of us are just hoping for some day. A real "wow" fish!

Snipe #559944 07/23/23 01:58 PM
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Wow! What was it eating... state record yellow perch?

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Snipe #559946 07/23/23 03:45 PM
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So this hog is growing about 2"+ each year or so?

How old is the fish?

I love smallmouth!


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

Snipe #559953 07/23/23 11:06 PM
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Stocked 8 in 2018 that were 1 yr olds, so 6 yrs old.
50 yr zero 2-3" fish went in at the same time. Yr 2 I culled 25 fish after a recommendation from Cody to stay in the 30 range, all removed were the smaller fish.

Last edited by Snipe; 07/23/23 11:12 PM.
Snipe #559958 07/24/23 11:21 AM
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Excellent smallmouth bass resulting from excellent wise fish management showing what is possible when done right!. Snipe is now a Pond Boss fish hero. Keeping them growing well will be a learning advantage for us as examples in great fish management. Very Well Done!

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/24/23 11:24 AM.

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Snipe #559960 07/24/23 12:07 PM
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What a great looking fish!

Snipe #559963 07/24/23 02:22 PM
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Snipe - if you provide unlimited fish for that smallie, I think next year in Fall of 2024 it should be vey close to 7.9 to maybe 8.0 pounds. There is your goal for you and that wonderful smallmouth bass.
I worked on some estimates of the annual growth for that smallie based on its July 2023 size.
Year 1 13" for 1.18lb
Year 2 17.2" for 2.9lbs
Year 3 18.8" for 3.9lbs
Year 4 20.2" for 4.9lbs
Year 5 21.5" for 5.9lbs
Year 6 22.3" for 6.9lbs July 2023
Year 7 Fall 2024 hopefully 23.5" for 7.9lbs - maybe 8lbs

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/24/23 08:59 PM.

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Snipe #559965 07/24/23 02:35 PM
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Awesome!!

Bill Cody #559993 07/25/23 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Snipe - if you provide unlimited fish for that smallie, I think next year in Fall of 2024 it should be vey close to 7.9 to maybe 8.0 pounds.

Year 7 Fall 2024 hopefully 23.5" for 7.9lbs - maybe 8lbs

Is there some genetic limit** on the size of a SMB, or is it a fairly straight-forward formula of food intake minus calories expended over time for fish that have demonstrated excellent growth rates as individuals?



**Prior to the "old age" limit.

Snipe #559994 07/25/23 04:24 PM
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Yes, I believe there is a genetic limit, but define genetics. I've been involved in DNA testing of thousands of SMB now and the DNA string does not always lay down on top of the last fish's DNA.
I believe there is a max "range" and I also believe there is exception to that range.
Next years brood fish will all be 100% Dale Hollow matches that have proven the best growth rates over 3-1/2 yrs. Out of the 112 fish, I (if all are still alive) began to see a pattern on the most aggressive individuals in that group and fish that don't bite will not be brooders next year.
True of any species, I have 3.5-4lb fish eating the same size forage as 5-6lb fish that were all the same size 3 yrs ago, so I don't believe what we perceive as "the largest forage that can be consumed for that size fish" is the only factor. A piece of the puzzle but not the smoking gun.
Cody said it best as "The right size in the right amount at the right time"..-another piece.
Every fish approaches it's prey in a different manner also, some are just more effective at capture.
We can go back to the "growing trophy LMB" thread and the same applies, as-in many years selecting the best stock to eventually use as brooders for good growing habits-I won't even call it genetics because I don't know that I'm smart enough to say it's all genetics because I "think" there's more to it than that. I will say that I hope I can pass on the best "traits" in the fish that are produced from that group. Genetics may play a part, but to what extent I don't know.

Last edited by Snipe; 07/25/23 04:29 PM.
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Snipe #560005 07/25/23 09:05 PM
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Since fish are cold blooded, as I know it, they will keep growing as long as they live. Turtles are similar. However they have to have all the food they can eat or want all the time and then the longer and larger they become as long as they live. Note there is less increase of body length each year which IMO is common for fish and I think genetic related. Example see Snipes estimated growth data above for his SMB. The older that SMB above became the body length decreased although up to this 6 yrs of growth body weight increase was fairly consistent as an older fish.

Genetics I think plays a big role as to the potential top end size of a fish species. However if that fish does not gain all the optimum length and body mass each year then that fish will not get as big as the one that grew the optimum each year. Keep in mind that cool weather and water slows food consumption and growth.

Also I am convinced that some fish are what I call genetic runts. A couple dog/s in a large litter can be runts - this is IMO is due to genetics. Start with a group of 1000 or 5000 fish eggs (bass or perch) hatch them into fry, give them all the food they want to eat and at one year old at optimum temperature some will be 2"-3" long and some will be 12"-14" long while most of them will be 4"-8" long at one year. Those one year old 2"-3"ers will never grow to be as big as their 14" one year old siblings. This is why at year 2,,,,, Snipe culled out 25 of the smaller SMB as he noted above. Those smaller SMB would not grow as big as the larger same age fish that were kept in the pond. Why? - I call it 'genetics' for lack of a better term.

Also there are some that think the amount of aggressiveness of fish have an impact of how much food it will be able to catch and eat. What determines what fish in a group gets to the food first? Hunger and the body's demand for food? Some think aggressiveness is genetic based. In some fish communities the most aggressive fish are caught first and then removed from the community. This is counter productive for angling potential and growing big fish. The answer? I have none at this point in time. I have noticed that as fish get older they get 'lazier' and cannot nor do not move as fast as it did at one half their old age. This may play a part in what and how much that big old fish eats and grows especially when that fish is nearing the end of their average life span. This is often evidenced, but not always, by numerous old fish losing weight that results in a low RW. They at the end of life lose the ability to attack and catch food as they once did as younger individuals. Old age does that to animals.

Addendum - ""Since fish are cold blooded, they will keep growing as long as they live.""
Life span is IMO determined by genetics and diet of the animal including life spans for fish. Unhealthy foods cause poor health conditions and contribute to premature death. We all should know that poor water quality is not good for fish and many can die before their genetic life span. Mishandling of fish can also be a factor for premature death.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/26/23 04:21 PM. Reason: Added addendm

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Snipe #560011 07/26/23 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
Out of the 112 fish, I (if all are still alive) began to see a pattern on the most aggressive individuals in that group and fish that don't bite will not be brooders next year.

Snipe & Bill - thanks for the long replies!


Snipe,

In your brooder selection, when you say "fish that don't bite", are you referring to fish that are less aggressive at biting their floating feed, or is there some angling in the grow-out ponds to evaluate the aggressiveness of the fish at biting hooks?

That would be awesome selection for "catchable" trophy fish!

However, as Bill points out - if the most aggressive bass in the pond was destined to grow to be the biggest bass in the pond, then he was going to get caught at 6", then again at 8", then again at 12".

If the pond owner culled THAT fish at any point, then they removed what would have been their largest trophy bass! Alternatively, if that bass was NOT culled, then the #1 trophy bass in the pond is the most likely to have become hook shy. (I now see the importance of following the forum advice, to cull based on relative weight in the targeted size class.)

This thread discussion shows yet one more reason why creating a trophy bass pond is hard! The necessary process of culling bass as the population matures, itself makes it less likely that the #1 bass for growth rate and aggressiveness survives to be the catchable queen of the pond.

It literally takes every bit of wisdom that can be wrung out of Pond Boss to even get close to creating the perfect trophy bass pond!

Snipe #560020 07/26/23 02:56 PM
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These are not pellet fed fish.. 5-8" GSH are a big part of the large smb diet in my pond, as are bigger craws and frogs. I have caught several SMB now that have either YP tails or bullfrog tadpoles sticking out.
About a month ago as I was watching a garter snake cross over some sago pondweed, it disappeared in an explosion just as it cleared the pond weed.
I very rarely see a smb bigger than maybe 1.5lbs consuming pellets.
I quit feeding the Optimal bass because of feeder problems a few months ago. I have thrown some the last week and even the big BG are spitting them back out.. That was a mistake I should have corrected very quickly.

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Snipe #560023 07/27/23 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
These are not pellet fed fish.. 5-8" GSH are a big part of the large smb diet in my pond, as are bigger craws and frogs. I have caught several SMB now that have either YP tails or bullfrog tadpoles sticking out.

Even more impressive to grow a state record SMB without pellets!

Do you think the forage consisting of fusiform YP and GSH has been the main key to growing large SMB? It is certainly easier for a smaller gape bass to swallow those, rather than the equivalent weight in BG.

I am mainly asking as regards the GSH. I see they are frequently recommended for LMB ponds. However, as the discussion turns to LMB ponds farther to the north, there are invariably a few posters that relate stories of massive GSH populations that are NOT controlled by the LMB.

I wasn't sure about GSH in my (future) LMB pond in Kansas, but your experience indicates that if they can reliably feed SMB in Kansas, then surely LMB can utilize them as an important forage in that particular adult GSH size range.

7# northern LMB would be just fine for me!

Snipe #560024 07/27/23 11:58 AM
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I think the key is having multiple options available to them. GSH is only a part of it.
As for the BG, the smaller SMB may eat some BG but I don't think the larger SMB mess with them. Maybe if it's all they had to eat it would be different but I don't think the growth rate would be near as good. LMB may/will utilize BG much more often.
I had a 4.5lb SMB in a tank indoors for awhile last winter with a few 12-14" smallies and 22 wiper of 4-6".
When I pumped water down I had 3 wiper left...

Cody note - A 4.5 lb SMB is close to 19.7" long. 1/3 the length of 19.7" = 6.5". A HSB has a more narrow body depth compared to a 6" BG and would be easier to swallow. FYI - Body depth of a 6" HSB is 32mm and body depth of a 6" BG = 60mm. Which would you rather swallow whole?


However those 4"-6" HSB are likely better faster swimmers than BG, but in this case all the fish were in an indoor tank which makes them easier to catch compared to if all were in a wide open pond.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/28/23 08:36 PM.
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Snipe #560038 07/28/23 09:23 AM
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Wise words.
Quote
I think the key is having multiple options available to them. GSH is only a part of it.

I think another key part of Snipe's impressive success in growing this dandy smallmouth bass is the early SMB culling. After culling,,,, the pond did not have those underperforming SMB present and did NOT have too many or as many SMB per acre for the amount of GOOD forage foods that were available and being internally produced. Culling about one half of the smaller original bass provided more available food for remaining best growing "chosen" bass. Less predation allowed the existing prey to better maintain abundant numbers. This is one of the Pond Boss's basic fish mgmt rules of always having the right sizes and several food varieties available for the bass as they grow larger. Bass can't eat what is not there.

Another key factor is SMB, in most situations , do not have the reproductive potential of LMB. Thus fewer new bass enter the predator population each year to reduce the amount or numbers of prey species. Existing fish get more to eat; more to grow and in the end easier management with better results.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/28/23 08:16 PM.

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