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Joined: Mar 2004
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Dave,

Yes, they will eat pellet feed...but they don't seem to swarm on it like my BG. In fact, Dave, if you want Tilapia for algae/weed control, to get optimum benefit you should not artificially feed. I didn't feed in two of three ponds and the change was simply remarkable in those two ponds in terms of algae/weed control.

I have caught them occasionally on a grasshopper fly...target individual fish in shallow water. Also, one glorious time in the fall I was able to entice them into shallow water away from the BG and caught them on worms until I ran out of bait....caught over 30, many approaching 2 pounds. That was only one time, however. Never could repeat it. Maybe someone on here will figure out how to catch them, but first you have to get them away from the BG cause the BG will hit the bait quicker every time.

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Tentmaker Farm,

Let us all know how it goes for you. If you want optimum algae/weed control from the Tilapia do not artificially feed. I feel that I have to feed in my one pond with HSB but in other ponds with LMB, BG and Tilapia, I am not feeding at all this year. I believe the Tilapia will more than make up for the lack of feed with the forage they provide and the cleaning powers they invoke.

I'm striving for a pond which does not need any artificial feeders or chemicals and yet produces great Bass fishing....with Bass that are catchable.

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I am extremely interested in tilapia this year, but I'm a little far north (Kansas - OK border) and I haven't seen much on these fish up here. I have a 5 acre pond that is already having algae problems and the water isn't even 60 degrees yet. Right now I'm in the market for a supplier, doesn't seem to be anyone local that I can find yet. Any leads are welcome, I just don't want to double the price by shipping.


Shawn

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Getting non-sterilized tilapia is difficult in my area. What do you guys think of stocking these sterile 1 - 2" tilapia as a feeder fish? I could then see the results and always do annual stocking of the sterile tilapia. They could then do all the good things tilapia do plus take pressure off the bluegill and not have any issues with the tilapia competing for bed sites with my bluegill population.

Dave

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Dave B,

Hmmm interesting question. If the price were right and the volume large enough it might be cost effective, but I rather doubt it. That size will be consumed quickly by predators and you would have to buy so many of them to get the benefits, I doubt it would be a positive cost/benefit ratio.

I haven't seen any studies to confirm this but I suspect it takes a lot of Tilapia to clean out the algae that was consumed in my ponds...a whole lot of Tilapia. Not many fertile reproducing ones , but very many sterile ones to do the job. They are just incredible at reproducing.

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Blue tilapia are not as big on feeding on algae as others.

I feed the one I have now pellets almost exclusively.

I kept one outdoors I fed lettuce and duckweed.

AND YES TILAPIA WILL EAT OTHER FISHES AND FISH EGGS, AT LEAST O. AUREA!

I would put small fish in with a 13" blue tilapia I kept in an aquarium and it would gobble them up- minnows, goldfish, danios, whatever.

They are VERY omnivorous fish.

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There are over forty different types of tilapia, not counting the hybreds and the misnamed ones. I am assumimg that, like most other species, there are good and bad in that forty odd group.

Pick one that will accomplish your goal. My limited experience says they are not all that fun to catch, say, compared to a bluegill of the same size, but they are better to eat.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
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Rad,

How many 2 to 3 pound BG have you caught lately?

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Never, but I have never caught a tilapia that large either, my experience is about a pound, with most running half of that. What strain are you raising? I would like to try to find them in my neighborhood.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
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Rad,

I'm not a fish scientist, but I am a very experienced fisher person. I can tell you without hesitation that a 2 pound Mozambique Tilapia will make even the most ardent BG lover forget about the BG.

They are great fighters for their size. The only problem I have with them is that they are extremely difficult to catch...especially in waters with BG present. The BG will steal just about any bait before the Tilapia can get to it. This year I'm going to try some strictly "vegetarian" baits in hopes of finding a way to catch these guys.

By the end of the growing season, I have many 2 pound Tilapia and I really would like to make efficient use of them, i.e. dinner table, before they expire. I hope some enterprising fisher person on the Forum comes up with a way to catch them, if I can't.

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Meadowlark, in the Fall, were the tilapia visible from the surface in areas of your ponds. It seems that being orange would make them stand out a little. I bow hunt for deer and have taken gar and carp from the water...could you get within 20 yards seeing them ? p.s. my 60 tilapia are about 1 1/2" now, I will be putting them in my pond very soon, the water is warming up nicely. One observation I already have about them is that they are eating machines ! If I fed them every 15 minutes, they would continue eating 24/7. Their rate of growth exceeds anything I have seen, with unlimited food, the sky is the limit. (2 lb. fish in 6 months) The trick will be like you said...getting them to the table.

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We've been able to seine approx. 50% of tilapia with a short seine while pumping fresh water to a pond end and cutting them off as they huddle up around it. I suspect that may be possible by just pumping out and back in with a gas water pump, spraying the water back in the pond. Then just cut them off with a seine when you can see them. This wouldn't be a size-selective measure. Also might try carp dough bait, as you can ball it up on a hook fairly large and select for larger fish.


It's ALL about the fish!
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Meadowlark,
The fishing methods used here encumber the fish making it a ho hum fighter. The bait is bread based with many secret additives, from banana oil to strawberry soda. It is mixed into a sticky mass and pressed into a spring like affair with several hooks on short leaders (a carp rig). The hooks are pushed through small Styrofoam balls and embedded in the bait ball. The rig brings the caught fish to the surface pulling its head out of the water. I have tried small single baits with little success, I am still working on it. All of the ones I have caught and have seen caught have been on these types of baited rigs. Two lbs and over would nullify some of the rigs drag, however.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
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Corn is an EXCELLENT bait for tilapia fishing.

It's about all I ever use.

\:\)

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From article "Catching Tilapia" in Southern Pond & Wildlife fall 2004. Tilapia are filter feeders, but will readily eat pelleted fish food as well as some aquatic insects. These fish can be caught on artifical lures or flies that closely resemble these food items. Don't forget crickets when all else fails!------If you miss fishing at the end of the summer, keep a close watch for the first week of really cold weather. Many of the adults will be swimming slowly near the surface and can easily be picked up with a dip net. Check the lake at night with a spotlight, during the first cold weather; many of these big fish will be nosed up to the bank and can be easily captured with a dip net.
Written by: Don C. Keller a "certified fisheries scientist" and co-owner of American Sportfish

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I hadn't tried corn. I've tried all sorts of other things and my redear seem to get to it before the tilapia. When I electroshock a couple of weeks ago we did dip net some 3-5 pounders so I could try them. Great table food.

My tilapia are spawning b ig time now. Up in the shallow on nests. Water temp 72 degrees.

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I hadn't tried corn. I've tried all sorts of other things and my redear seem to get to it before the tilapia. When I electroshock a couple of weeks ago we did dip net some 2-4 pounders so I could try them. Great table food.

My tilapia are spawning b ig time now. Up in the shallow on nests. Water temp 72 degrees.

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Good article on Talapia in April issue of Texas Fish and Game.

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Eastland,

Yes I could see them in the water...in fact see large schools of them...one school of over one hundred if you can believe that...it is true.

But catching is another story. Corn may be the answer. The BG probably won't mess with it and the Tilapia should....but then you might catch a grass carp like I did last fall...or I should say hook a grass carp, too large to land.

PomPoms may work also, but again the BG and HSB will be a problem.

You should see 2 pound Tilapia by fall if my experience holds true and the cold weather holds off. It was Christmas last year before mine started dying.

Just imagine what the LMB and HSB think when they see those perfectly shaped items of food trying to warm in the sun on the surface on a fall day...it was a sight to behold, I'm telling you.

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Meadolark - Thanks for all the info on Tilapia . You have sold me on this { Hopefully Great fish } I am stocking them 2nd week of april . Sorry Overton Fisheries , but your just to far from me to pick them up . But will be getting in touch with you about areaton for my 1.6 acre pond . Harvey .

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Harvey, where are you getting them?

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Hello gents,

I am picking up 50 lbs of Tilapia tomorrow. This will be my third year of stocking them. The only plants they haven't been able to fight back, are cattails.

If there are any negatives, that would be it. They completely clean out the pond of any vegetation. I am going to plant some water lilies this year, to provide some shade and cover. I hope they make it.

They ARE hard to catch, but excellent meat.

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What stocking rates are reccomended with Tilapia?

I have a one acre pond with bluegill and bass, the fish supplier I talked with is reccomending 60 lbs of Tilapia. The fish he has are about 1/2 pound each. Sounds like alot to me? What do ya'll think? I could not find a definitive answer while searching the forums, sorry if I over looked it.


If wishes were horses, dreamers would ride.

I must admit that I am not a fan of the Catfish \:\)
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Is there any other places to purchase tilapia other than texas, seems everyone in texas has them. I know in some states they are illeagal, but how about a supplier in ketucky, or tennasee?
Shipping them from texas would be expensive, but chemicals for alge control (6ac. pond) are not cheap either. They would live about 6 or 7 months in my area. Thanks for any help.

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Alabama Woody,

Did I read that right....60 pounds in 1 acre...and they are 1/2 pound fish?

I think that guy is trying to sell Tilapia. That's far more than you need...unless you are trying to feed Alabama. \:\) Based on my experience, 5 to 10 pounds per acre is plenty enough.

You will need to invite us all over to Ala. for a big fish fry at 60 pounds per...Hell, they might even mow your grass at that rate.

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