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SMB success in southern ponds such as Texas is noted in a latter post below - post dated 28/10/14 edited on 18/02/15.

Often a northern pond owner wants an alternative predator instead of the standard largemouth bass. Many people and anglers think the smallmouth bass (SMB) has to have exclusively coolwater and larger gravel bottom lakes to survive, reproduce and thrive. This is not completely true. Many regional strains of domesticated SMB in the mid-states areas of the United States (NE to NY) will tolerate warm water to occassional temperatures of the low 90's for at least short periods. Wild SMB from public waters (streams, lakes) MAY not be quite so tolerant of the higher temperatures. I have had SMB reproduce, thrive, and grow to 22" long in a 1/3 acre mud bottom pond that was only 7.5 ft deep and experienced summer water temperatures of 90+F.

Unlike the LM bass, the SMB will not do its best when combined with just bluegill(BG) as a forage fish. This combination can work under certain conditions, but often the SMB struggles to thrive and keep the BG under control. Alternative forage fishes and various invertebrates species (esp crayfish) work best to grow the bigger sized, healthiest, and best SMB. SMB can be trained to eat high protein pelleted fish food (40%/+).

It is important to note that many studies have shown that the SMB does not do very well when combined with LM bass. Usually what happens is the SMB will not reproduce very well, if at all, when co-existing in small ponds with LMB. There may also be a strong behavioral competition factor of LMB toward SMB when they co-exist. Habitat diversity is limited in ponds compared to large lakes that have diverse habitats, thus SMB have few alternative places or niches to thrive without heavy influences from LMB especially during spawning. SMB will co-exist with LMB but rarely reproduces where young are added to the community. Thus when the original SMB become older and few, due to various causes of mortalities, no young SMB are present to take the place of adults and the population gradually dies out or dissappears. If small or intermediate SMB are desired they almost always have to be occassionally supplimentally stocked. In these cases, often the existing largest LMB will eat many of the new stocked SMB unless they are over 8"-12". Bottomline it is difficult in ponds to have thriving SMB with LMB present. THRIVING means not just surviving, but actively growing well AND reproducing to regularily introduce or recruit young individuals into the community.

Here is a link to some handy nice Excel calculators for relative weights for LMB, SMB, HSB, WE(walleye), BG, BCP (blk crappie), YP (yellow perch). Plus standard weights for LMB, SMB, HSB, BG, Crappie, and CC.
http://texasprolakemanagement.com/blog/relative-weight-calculators

The following links will provide some helpful ideas about growing SMB and some information about compatable forage foods. Special thanks to "ewest" for providing most of the links to previous topics.

Additions, as they become available, will be periodically made to this post - Dec 16 2007

NE OH, 2/3 ac, SMB with YP?, RES-BG? HSB co-predator, Substrates
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=15302&fpart=1

SE MI, 1.5 ac, swimming, SMB-YP-RES, walleye bonus, MI fishfarms
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=98850&fpart=1


SE Ontario, 21 ac, 30-40' deep, SMB, wanting more LMB
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=26321&fpart=1

Central IL, 4 ac, renovated for SMB. Forage crayfish, shiners, slot harvest.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.ph...=true#Post96183

IL, 5 ac, SMB-YP-RES Homemade structure
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=16190&fpart=1
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=197409

N central NY, 16' SMB, sunfsh contamination
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=25832&fpart=1

Upstate NY, 1/4 ac 14ft deep, SMB YP
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=18330&fpart=1

D.Willis SMB Article PBoss Mag

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/stocking_smallmouth_bass.html

SMB Spawn Substrate Advice
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=66693&fpart=1

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/21/19 10:13 AM.
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Additional SMB links (some may duplicate Bill's above). Using this as a General SMB PB Forum index.
GREAT JOB ERIC. THANKS FROM ALL OF US FOR THE ASSISTANCE - Bill C.

Smallmouth Pond ( Cody , Willis ,Cornwell , Baird , Eric , Gallus ,West and others) SMB forage for stocking

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=96264&fpart=1


small mouth bass (Willis , Cody and Slipke plus Norm & Sunil and others) SMB & LMB in the same pond , forage types and other SMB info.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=16788&fpart=1


First Spawn of SMB (Willis , Eric , Baird , West and others ) SMB nestes , nesting , yoy - fry with pics.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=88382&fpart=1

When Will SMB produce the first spawn?
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=332516#Post332516

smallmouth in north texas ( George , Willis , Gallus , Norm , West and others) SMB in southern ponds.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=16958&fpart=1


--------------------
Theo Gallus links added

SMB/RES Pond Concept
http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000499#000008


SMB in 3 acre pond
http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000079#000002

SMB with LMB?
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=10907

SMB Temperature Tolerance
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=10373


SMB/YP/BG
http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000029#000003

SMB in a Farm Pond
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=66673


SMB/HSB/LMB Together?
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=281979#Post281979


Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/28/17 04:39 PM.















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Here are links to some ideas and discussion about forage items for SMB.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=307375&page=1

If one has a pond with smallmouth bass and/or hybrid striped bass who eat pellets and the pond has too many small bluegills consider trying this technique used by Shawn Banks:
I had a similar problem in my smallmouth pond. As you know I also have hybrid stripers. The bluegill, however, were getting out of control. I really didn't mind it except that my family and I like to swim in the pond. We all got sick of bluegill continously biting us while we were swimming.

To solve the bluegill problem, I shut my feeders down for nearly 2 months this past summer. My smallies and wipers had to step up to the plate and earn their keep, which they did. Cutting them off from the tasty aquamax morsels meant that they had to eat bluegill or starve to death. Tough love but it worked. My predators adpated, improvised and overcame (thanks Mr. Eastwood). They put the hammer down on the bluegill, we commenced swimming in peace, and the predators were rightfully rewarded with loads of Aquamax this fall.

Obviously densities of predators is an important consideration when determining how long to shut the feeders down. A couple times per week I would cruise the shorelines and monitor progress. I watched the bluegill numbers dwindle until I felt the objective was met. Everyone (fish included) benefitted from this management decision.
My predators were in great condition prior to and after this little experiment. My smallies range from 3/4lb to 2 lbs+ at this time. My wipers are from 1.5 to 5 lbs. My initial class of bluegill and redear (class of 2010) are doing great with some fish pushing 9 inches. The last two years of spawn were the biters. I have no weeds whatsoever except for a small patch of cattails that I manage, but I have plenty of hard cover (hone hole trees and shrups, rock piles, gravel beds, couple of porcupine attractors, cubes made from pallets, and log configurations/cribs.

The bluegill numbers were getting out of control. I could go to my dock and scratch off periphyton from the floats and just like Pavlov's dogs, I would schools of little bluegills converge on my location. When walking around the pond's edge, I could see them everywhere. When the feeders went off, it became very evident that I had too many. I got great joy, however, from watching a few smallies that always preferred to pick bluegill off than eat pellets. The pellets left the little bluegill vulnerable- they couldn't but to go for the pellets- but the smallies would hammer them. However, there were literally only a few smallies that used this technique. Most of the smallies preferred the Aquamax Welfare Program. When I cut them off, they did switch to working for a living and started hammering the bluegills, as did the hybrid stripers.

When the mass genocide of small bluegills was ended, it took over a week to get a frenzy of feeding with the Aquamax again. The larger bluegill and the smaller smallies never missed a beat, however.

Speaking of the smallies, I have two distinct size classes from the original stocking of 4" fish from 2010. Some are living like rock-stars and have crazy growth rates, while others are healthy but mediocre. I thought maybe this was a gender thing, but we whacked 10 of them early last summer, and they were just as likely to be males as females. I also pulled otoliths to confirm they were the same age and they were.

I've had reproduction of the smallies but they don't recruit to the fishery. The reproduction is very limited and they don't make it past 2.5-3 inches. This has happened for the past two years. Perhaps some of them could have snuck through this past year had I not shut the feeders off, but most small things got eaten when I shut down the Aquamax.


TJ, I resepctfully decline to answer your question as to why I stocked bluegill- lol. In hind-sight, I would have done some things differently.

Information Copied from this thread:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=25205&Number=320604#Post320604

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/20/13 08:00 PM.

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Smallmouth, yellow perch, redear sunfish and choosing native minnows in a new Indiana pond are discussed in this link:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=350786&page=1

Trying to grow big smallmouth in a 1 acre Indiana pond with YP, RES, Shiners
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=485312#Post485312

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Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/17/18 09:54 AM.

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Improved version of proven and successful SMB spawning beds.
In this link are pictures of TJ's new version of raised spawning beds for SMB plus pictures of old silted spawn beds. Smallies do have the ability to sweep almost all the silt out of a gravel depression to clean it for a spawning site. TJ's raised beds allow for good water circulation from below and silt to sift through the nest site which will probably increase the hatch success of the eggs. Note that with the bottom of the nest 'open', newly hatched non-swimming fry could fall or drop through the nest and pallet into an area or zone unprotected the male bass. This may or may not lead to some fry predation if fry fall completely through the nest??? TJ reports excellent hatches from his SMB nest sites.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=368577#Post368577

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/30/22 05:31 PM. Reason: added title

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A pic of a SMB (3 lbs - 15 inches) on a natural bed in Canada.






Last edited by ewest; 01/18/18 10:45 AM.















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Notice on ewest's picture that the sand and light fluffy sediment has been swept out of the middle of the nest and piled up around the lower perimeter margin. I commonly see this happen in ponds where the nest rocks get 'silty' during the non-spawn season and a male bass returns to the nest site and re-cleans the area.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/12/14 06:03 PM.

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A link that includes some good information and discussion about raising smallmouth bass and its compatible forage items.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=390928&page=1

Here is a link to growing SMB in Texas and similar southern states where water gets warmer than the standard northern pond conditions.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=401222#Post401222

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/18/15 02:38 PM.

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Several years ago 'ewest' posted this about the natural diet preferences of smallmouth bass.
"In general, the types of food consumed by smallmouth black bass, Micropterus dolomieu, are fairly well-known. Practically all the important studies that have been made of the food of fry, fingerlings,or adults have been based on material collected from lakes.

The most important food studies of smallmouth black bass have been made by Tester(1932), Wicklift(1920), Eaton(1928), Moore (1922), and Sibley and Rimsky-Korsakoff (1931). Tester's study was based on an examination of the stomachs of 540 fish of all sizes obtained from various lakes in Ontario. He noted that as the fry increased in length, several changes in diet took place. These changes were correlated with the ability of the growing fish to take organisms of increasing size. In the larger lakes, Georgian Bay (a part of Lake Huron) and Lake Nipissing, the food of the larger bass consisted of about 75 per cent crayfish and 25 per cent fish, mostly yellow perch.
In a smaller lake, Perch Lake, fish and crayfish were the most important items, but, in addition, a large percentage of insects and other organisms entered into the diet of the smaller fish.

Wicklift (1921) examined 313 fingerlings from 0.85 to 6.50 centimeters in length from the western end of Lake Erie. He concluded that copepods and cladocerans were the most important food until the fish attained a length of 15 millimeters (0.6") . From 16 to 45 millimeters (1.8") copepods and cladocerans, mixed with mayfly nymphs, midge larvae and pupae, fish, and adult insects were important.""

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/30/22 05:35 PM.

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