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50+ Acre lake, stocked about 7 years ago with Florida's, where they at? Getting harder every year to catch fish in general, much less a big fish.

Lake is probably underfished though we have been removing 13" and less LMB for about 2 years now. Lake get's checked via seine about twice a year.

3 years ago during the spring you could get worn out catching 1-3# bass, with an occasional 5 or 6 pounder in their. Typical day for me then was hauling in about 12 1-3 pounders and a mix of 4,5,6 pounders though less in quantity. Last year fishing dropped of, and now a typical day I'm lucky to catch 4 to 6 fish 14" and less. Big ones aren't biting. Where the heck are they? For the record I have caught and witnessed being caught a few 6 pounders, and have heard that we have produced some 7 and 8's via catches. All were released.

I have read and heard stories of the Florida LMB getting less aggressive/smarter as they mature, but this is ridiculous. I have thrown every lure in the box at them. At first they loved artificial worms, then they quite biting them as much. Next starting tossing crank baits at them and would wear them out, but now.......they don't want any of that.

Our bream are definelty under fished. You think that the bream are just to easy for them to get?

Anybody else run into this problem with Florida's?

Where can I buy some dynamite? \:\)

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Try using live bait.


I'll start treating my wife as good as my dog when she starts retrieving ducks.
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BrianC,

Just wait until your dad gets home! You're going to get an earful now!

Both Meadowlark and George have a lot to say about this subject. I'm sure they'll be along. ;\)


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Brian, this subject has been beat to death on small ponds, but not that I am aware, on a 50+ acre lake.

You might want to check out the thread Stocking a new pond >> Types of fish to choose >> half F1 and half florida bass?

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000313

An interesting LMB info link from ML post : http://www.strikeking.com/journal/journal022-1.shtml

I am in the camp of believers that its more influence of catch and release problems with LMB than Florida, F1s or northern species problems.

George Glazener

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I'm in the camp...if you own a private pond and can't catch bass the way you want to, you are doing something wrong. (or you have trespassers or water turkeys) \:\) Granted, fishing will not be "great" every day, but you liked getting exhausted catching the 1-3 lb bass right ? Managing a pond for bass in the 2-4 lb. range is completely different than managing for 6+ bass. I have always preferred the 2-4 lb. range with a sporatic lunker, that may explain the differences between my ponds, and ML & George. If you don't have Lusk's book, get it immediately.

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Brian C,

There is not much that can be said that is not already posted. A 50 acre lake is difficult to analyize and most likely you need a professional fish sampling project.

This is a guess and will go against the grain of how most managers think.... perhaps you have harvested too many small bass and now the big bass do not have any competition for the available food. If so, they will fill up at night or not have to range far for food.

Excess bream generally means too few preditors.

If you do not have the books already, I suggest you purchase the Pond Management books sold by Pond Boss, they will give you some great insight and will let you develop a plan.

Again, first and foremost, you need to know your fish population.

You can make your own C4 (a bit dangerous and really frowned upon now days) or look in the yellow pages for a local demolition specialist for some red stick. Just remember to throw the stuff into the wind, just last year a guy threw some dynamite downwind and the wind blew his boat over the blast site, it killed him. By the way, the fish biologist can tell when you use red stick on a fish, the air bladder breaks. A guy in Arizona tried to claim the state record with a blasted bass and was arrested.

Good luck


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Thanks for the replies guys. We actually have a biologist helping us with the lake.

We drained down 1/2 the lake last summer and dug it out for better depth. We restocked the lower half of lake with F1's at the recommendations of the biologist. We have a large culvert (8') connect the two sides which is presently screened off.

He has basically told us that while working with quite a few lake owners, that our problem is not uncommon with Florida's, thus the reason for mixing in the F1's. We will remove the screens this summer, and hopefully the F1 and Florida's will present us with a new strain that's easier to catch. That's the plan, anyway.

I am interested in shocking the lake to actually see what we have grown in the last 7 years, and I have been told, that the results will amaze.

Thanks again for the replies.....

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You are preaching to the choir (somewhat). Several of us herein have voiced the same concerns. I'm not convinced that F1's are the answer, but there certainly is evidence to support that. I'm trying them also, and will never stock or recommend that anyone stock pure Floridas in small catch and release ponds...the really surprising thing is you are talking about 50 acres....not exactly small in my book.

You will be told...1) you just aren't a good fisherman, 2) use live BG 3) let me show you how to catch those bass. Looks like C4 has even been suggested.

Its a real problem and the most disillusioning thing I have experienced about Pond Management, including poachers/trespassers. No one ever told me that if I did everything right, I still wouldn't be able to catch bass, but that is exactly what happens. Many pros deny this happens.

What's the answer? One option is too reduce fishing pressure, limit it to only 3 or 4 times a year is what I was told (this stinks, in my opinion). Another option is to look at alternative predator fish. HSB is a great alternative to LMB in certain situations. Some of us on this forum are moving to "put and take" operations with HSB in our ponds. The early results are very encouraging.

I hope you will stay active on the Forum and share your experiences with us...we don't have many 50 acre projects to read about.

p.s. sorry Cecil I just can't help myself...at least I didn't complain about water turkeys!

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geeZ Brian I see you are member 29, so I didn't need to say anything about asking you to continue to post....but please do anyhow.

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I've been around a while! Actually Bob came and visited our lake a few years ago when it was only a couple of years old.

Our lake is an interesting story and setup. It is actually divided into two lakes by a road with an 8' culvert you can pass thru with a boat. Each side has it's own interesting characteristics. One side deeper, more structure, and original to design, and the other is shallow, and recently dug out due to poor construction which left us with average 3' deep waters, with no deep water. We have taken care of that problem with 4 dirt pans cutting a 6' channel the long way through the lake. Deep holes from dirt excavations (some of which sits under my new house), and new structure added. This side was screened of from other side and restocked about a year ago with F1's and bluegill.

We have been just fishing the original (deeper) side of the lake for the past 3 years after the drain down, which may or may not add to our problem.

The more I read on the Florida's, the better I understand what is happening. We were strictly catch and release for the first 3 years, but the lake has never been fished heavily. Typically during the week, maybe two boats during a couple of days. Weekends, about the same. Fish would bite a noticeable pattern of baits, then quit.
First artificial worms were the ticket (still work the best), then spinners which they soon quit taking, next crankbaits which was a blast, but they have become very wary of them now. I have tried topwater (not much success), jig and pig, wacky worms, carolina rigging, just about anything you can name. It's funny how you can catch a 14" twice (holes in jaw), but rarely will you catch a big un twice in these lakes. I must also note that I have never tried fishing in the early morning hours. ALL of my fishing is later afternoon/evening fishing, so it's hard to analize the situation fairly.

I have caught many a bass out of this lake in the last 5 years, and have returned many (all over 14") the last 2 years. We still seem to have a bass crowded condition, even though the few of us that fish it are doing our best to cull the 14" and down bass.

No doubt the LMB in this lake are educated! Catch and release has made it harder and harder to catch "quality size" bass. We are not managing for a "trophy" lake, yet we are trying to make it fun with the opportunies to catch quite a few 3,4,5 pounders, with an occasional "big boy". It's not working. We are now mostly catching (by far) 14" and under sized bass. We keep records (past two years), and they tell an interesting story, which I don't like.

We are doing a lake seine tomorrow, and have scheduled a lake shock for September. Hopefully we have enough growth outa the new stocked bass to remove the screen, and let the F1's meet the Floridas. It will be interesting to see the results in the next few years. I was told however that the F1's and existing FLM may not do much mixing because of the seperation of the two bodies of water, and we are now actually managing and treating them as two different lakes, though connected.

Sorry for the book, just catching up.......I get lost during hunting season!!

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It has been my experiance that catching florida bass is much more difficult than catching northern strain bass. All of the pure florida bass that I have caught over eight pounds have been on live bait. The northen black bass may not grow as large but in my opinion it is more fun to catch 20 4# fish than one 10# fish. I recently totally drained a small one acre pond. The pond was originally stocked with floridas and catfish along with forage fish. The first three years were excellent for bass fishing. We would catch 50 to 60 a day. Then the bass disappeared. When the pond was drained many of the bass that were transported to a new pond were over 5# but could not be caught.

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When Florida bass and native LMB are stocked together, has any study been done regarding the agressiveness of the resulting crosses?

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Dudley Landry :

Some have been done by different hatcheries although I have not seen a written paper. They have gone beyond that to select the most aggressive northerns and largest florida's to cross and call them tiger bass in one case and in another bulldog bass. There have been several posts on this fourm about the topic. I heard Ken Cook the bass pro and fisheries biologist about 8 years ago talk about several ponds he was stocking with only the most aggressive fish he caught to experiment with the idea. So the idea is not new . I would also like to know if there are any written studies on this topic. There are a number of studies on intergrades { another name for florida/northern crosses of which F-1's are a type} , florida's and northerns in ponds but they don't focus on the aggresive trait but on others. We have that situation in several of our ponds and are keeping an eye on the results. ewest
















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Thanks for your response, ewest. I hope you post your results.

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I think Eric has posted about this subsequent to this thread regarding the heritability of hook and line vulnerability. Researchers found that selection for vulnerability (breeding fish that were caught more than 3 or 4 times) increased vulnerability in subsequent generations. The opposite was true when fish, subjected to fishing pressure, were not caught and then selected for breeding. In the latter case, fish became increasingly difficult to catch and the effect was even greater. So I think everyone is aware that vulnerability to hook and line is a selectable trait and that harvest/culling introduces selection that makes fish in a BOW more difficult to catch over time.

These same researchers have/are investigating consequential effects along different paths of inquiry. One of the more interesting paths was on growth rate. It turns out that LMB that are less vulnerable to fishing grow the fastest and the researchers think that the same LMB actually consume less food. By their estimation, the specific energy requirements of maintenance metabolism for the low vulnerability line are 30% less than the high vulnerability line. This is remarkable. Selection for higher growth rate would also select for low vulnerability.

I am reminded of another post of Eric's which highlighted findings by texas researchers that found that in a typical BOW there are two populations of LMB where one population grows along one growth path and the other population grows along another. IIRC the slow growers tend to live longer and ultimately grow as large. While it may seem counterintuitive, it may be advantageous for quality of fishing for hatcheries to select for vulnerability only.

There has also been research on the ability of fish to learn hook avoidance. LMB, it turns out, are relatively slow to learn when compared with BG for example. Radabaugh found that individual bass also have different capacity to learn. Aside from hook avoidance, Radabaugh tested also for learning to take artificial feed. It would also be interesting to learn how the selective pressure of artificial feed learning may contribute to the selection for one or the other of the vulnerability lines. My intuition is that poor learners also tend to be the most vulnerable to hook and line.

Last edited by jpsdad; 01/08/21 11:32 AM.

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jpsdad - this is a 15 year old thread - a lot has occurred/posted in that time. You have summarized some of the advances from other threads and your research. A number of PB Cutting Edge articles have addresses some of these ideas and there is a whole lot that we don't know. I am sure I have missed a lot of info as the world of knowledge is advancing exponentially.

I believe that many fish traits are inherited/adaptive and most we don't have any info about . Many we cant see or observe such as internal physiology (guts , brains , chemistry ). Maybe we should try to gather a bunch of threads and info and do an archive on the topic.

Originally Posted by jpsdad
My intuition is that poor learners also tend to be the most vulnerable to hook and line.

Good question - there is an 1980 vintage study on fast growing LMB. I wonder if aggressiveness and learning ability are related but not the same. Some of the early fast growing offspring of big LMB were very aggressive and often were quickly eaten by larger predators because they took more risk in feeding. But a few of the aggressive fast growing LMB offspring of big LMB ended up being huge.

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Originally Posted by Dudley Landry
When Florida bass and native LMB are stocked together, has any study been done regarding the aggressiveness of the resulting crosses?

There has been such research in the 15 years since the question. I will find the info and check back. IIRC the adding of only a small % of Northern genes offsets the negative aggressiveness of Fla LMB. The same for size - small % of Northern genes still allows for Fla LMB size to be retained.
















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Been there done that when talking of changes made to a pond where the Floridia's were hard to catch on artificial's. Not a study but an experience.

First spring, Todd Overtons Camolot Bell fingerlings added.
2'nd spring adult CB lmb added.
3'rd spring adult Pure Florida lmb added
4th spring added adult feed trained Northern lmb.
6year fall, local adult native lmb added.

Today, I see that CB marking on some of the yoy lmb some I do not see that CB marking.

Last edited by TGW1; 01/09/21 09:43 AM.

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Tracy, I wasn't aware that the Camelot Bell line were Todd's. Are these the F1s?

Quote
Good question - there is an 1980 vintage study on fast growing LMB. I wonder if aggressiveness and learning ability are related but not the same. Some of the early fast growing offspring of big LMB were very aggressive and often were quickly eaten by larger predators because they took more risk in feeding. But a few of the aggressive fast growing LMB offspring of big LMB ended up being huge.

The traits seem to be interlaced to some degree. The authors who developed high (HVF) a low (LVF) vulnerability lines also noted differentiated growth within the lines. In one work they noted that the larger males of the HVF line were most fit for reproduction. The received more eggs and sired more swim up too. So there seems to opportunity to, especially noting your comment above, to select for fast growth within the HVF line.

I have given a fair amount of thought about the most appropriate traits for artificial selection. As time goes by, I lean further from growth as primary trait. Not that it is not important but rather it seems to be secondary to other important traits. For example, for BG it may be much better to have a line that consistently lives for 8 to 10 years over one that grows to 1 lbs in two years. Interesting stuff indeed.


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Tracy, I too have added Camelot Bell (aka Lone Star Legacy), northern strain, and very recently F1 LMB. Seem reasonably catchable, though that might be because they aren't pressured a whole lot. I harvest about 200 a year, maybe 120 hook & line, 80 by electrofishing (which I prefer since it does not take out the most aggressive fish).

I've seen very few of the blue-green markings, which makes me think that Florida genes aren't widespread. On the other hand, I've been told that not all the Lone Star fish have that mark, and some pure northern strain do(!), though not as common.


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




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From a prior thread

Here is the study

There is a lot unknown about the subject of your question. There are some threads here on many aspects of that goal. Read up on catchability and growth rates. Look into the research on TPWD share a lunker genetics and studies on integration of Fla and Northern LMB in TX waters. Here is a bit to ponder.

Subspecies Composition of Angled and Electrofished Largemouth Bass in Texas Reservoirs , Dijar J. Lutz-Carrillo, and Spencer Dumont in Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife. Agencies 66:75�81, 2012 Proc . The study�s results provide biologists with a provocative concept that, in southern waters (natural integrated zone of FLMB and NLMB), FLMB likely are more difficult to angle than NLMB, but the phenotype (genetic trait) of reduced angler susceptibility (catchability) is mitigated (reduced) by introgression (genetic mixing), even at low levels of NLMB genes. While many factors may function concurrently to determine angling susceptibility, including fishing pressure, naivety of individual fish, learned lure avoidance, and stress from catch and release , we now know that catchability is a genetic and heritable trait as was previously discussed in earlier Cutting Edge articles ( see Garrett (2002) and Philipp et al. (2009) ). Note that when pure FLMB were removed from the dataset numbers (leaving only crosses with high levels of FLMB genetic influence) the trait of reduced catchability disappeared. Stated differently the addition of only a small amount of NLMB genetics caused poor catchability to disappear.
Trophy fish (≥13 lbs.) from introgressed populations are represented disproportionately as non-introgressed FLMB relative to the frequency of FLMB in the general population ( TPWD, unpublished data). Thus, in an appropriate environment, genetic composition appears to be a critical component of maximum size in largemouth bass. While most of the differences in growth and maximum size between these subspecies are likely due to intrinsic physiological differences, behavioral differences, such as reduced angling susceptibility, may also play a role. FLMB that are potentially less susceptible to angling would be removed from populations at reduced rates relative to non-introgressed NLMB or crosses, allowing a greater proportion of FLMB to reach an older age and greater size. However I recall TPWD data also showing many of the share-a-lunker fish were high FLMB percentage crosses. From Pond Boss � The Cutting Edge.
















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jpsdad, The Camolot Bell lmb were certified pure Florida strain. Proven growth potential. Todd Overton at that time was the way to get those fry. Today he has the Lonestar legacy wich I believe are the same pure florida lmb. Maybe Todd will jump in. Been awhile since he has been on the forum.

Frank, because of my pond only being 3 acres I thought it was a good place to produce my own F1's.

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Yes a good idea. Some interesting info on what happens when you add Fla LMB into a pond with Northerns and F-1 and X. In most cases over time Fla genes take over (become predominate} depending on the # of Fla..
















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Our Overton Lonestar Legacy Florida Bass have Camelot Bell Genetics in the mix but they don't make up the entirety of our Gene pool, we have tweaked the genetics with certified Florida Bass from other sources to ensure we have maximum growth potential. As Anthropic said the Green spot shows up on a large percentage of Florida's but I also see it in F1s as well as random bass that come in ponds from who knows where.
Our F1's are a cross between our Legacy Florida Bass and our source for Northern Bass. These fish have tremendous growth potential as we have produced double digit fish both in the pure Florida Legacy Bass and the Northern Feedtrained Bass (Albeit not very often, but I've seen plenty of 7-9lb) F1's seem to be slightly more aggressive than the pure Florida's but the main selling point is their willingness to feed train and stay on pellets in a natural environment, this takes alot of the guess work and active management out growing big bass in your pond as having high protein fish feed available daily can fill in forage gaps that would otherwise create a bigger issue. The downside to F1's is that as they interbreed in the long run you end up with F2,F3,F4,FX..etc These latter generations lack the hybrid vigor of the first cross and ultimately without the supplementation of genetics in the long run you will end up with fish that has no extraordinary genetic characteristics and is similar to what you would find naturally.
We have successfully feedtrained a good number of pure Florida fingerlings the last several seasons but we still don't have alot of info available as to if they consistently stay on the fish feed after being introduced to a natural environment. Hopefully they consistently do as I believe this will help with their catchability. My recommendations currently for catching our Legacy bass are stick more with natural patterns, especially in clear water, bright flashy lures with a lot of vibration don't seem to entice them as much as more aggressive strains of bass.

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There is a lot on the Forum about Fla , Northern , F-1 and F-X LMB. I tried some of Todd's and they did well. I do take issue with 2 points.

"... F1's seem to be slightly more aggressive than the pure Florida's but the main selling point is their willingness to feed train and stay on pellets in a natural environment,... "

The main selling point for F-1 and the reason they were first developed by the founding hatchery was the increased aggressiveness (vs Flas) as many of their customers were complaining about not being able to catch the stocked pure Flas.

" The downside to F1's is that as they interbreed in the long run you end up with F2,F3,F4,FX..etc These latter generations lack the hybrid vigor of the first cross and ultimately without the supplementation of genetics in the long run you will end up with fish that has no extraordinary genetic characteristics and is similar to what you would find naturally.

I don't believe this to be accurate - IMO. This has been covered before on the Forum. Lack of hybrid vigor comes from outbreeding depression and occurs in the FX offspring of crosses of 2 different species (not within a species) ie hybrid Bluegill ( a GSF X BG cross). Some studies show that the 2 LMB types are too close genetically to result in this happening. Some disagree with this analysis and believe it does occur. I have not personally seen outbreeding depression in F-1 in my 20 years of following their use. You can plan around this by stocking some pure northerns and some pure Flas (which I have also done). There is a lot (very lot) we don't know about mixing Fla , F-1 and Northerns together and what happens over time. Some data suggest Fla genes tend to dominate (in southern use) other data is inconclusive when the % of Fla fish is low vs F-1 and Northerns. It is just a big " it depends" situation. I know of ponds stocked with just F-1s for over 15 years with no such issues.

Last edited by ewest; 01/12/21 06:58 PM.















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Nice BGxRES
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Snake Identification
Snake Identification
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