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jakeb Offline OP
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These are two of the fish we sampled. The bottom pic was the largest of the day at just under 6lb and a little over 19 inch. Hopefully in two years they will be 10 lbs!





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I just read this entire thread...well done and congrats Jakeb. You should drive over to Big Cedar this weekend and say hello!


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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When I finally get out of school I plan to make many trips to Big Cedar!


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This thread makes me smile. Good job man! Every time you post a concern I just chuckle and wish that I had your problems LOL. You are going to have one hell of a big bass pond.

I'm still cracking up that you stocked bluegill 32:1 over largemouth and you were concerned that there wasn't enough bluegill LOL.

Then you didn't find any dead tilapia over 4" long and that concerned you. Hahaha.

Your bass are in there eating until their stomachs are ready to burst open and you're concerned LOL.

You have one heck of a pond cooking man. Keep up the good work!!!


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jakeb Offline OP
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Hey everyone it has been a year from the last update, and Im happy to report the pond took a big turn this year towards trophy bass pond.

Some of my previous concerns about CNBG numbers have been answered via cast net surveys where I have had several net full casts of 10 CNBG from 4-7 inch. I have never caught a 10 incher. 8 probably at most, but I see this as a side effect of stocking much more than the usual 10:1 I did dig a forage pond for BG and will drain it next week to see if I had any offspring and will be transferring them to main pond.

In the beginning I chose 100 Fl and 100 F1 bass, and had began to have concerns about catch rate, but after this year I am very pleased. This was the first summer I have been able to fish it hard. At first I caught fish right and left and had 10 fish/hr days but as long as it stays around 3/hr I am happy. And one of those being a nice fish 4+ lbs.

Also because of school it is usually 2-3 weeks between fishing trips, I feel this helps to reset them with it comes to being hook shy.

I was also able to add various forms of structure this year, and all starting producing fish within weeks of placement. I think this is because I have very little structure of any kind in the pond, and because I placed them in good spots.

Now for production, I have been able to remove ~60 fish from 10-15 inch. based on my electro survey there were an abundance of 10 and 14 inch fish. Most of these fish were weighed before their exit from the pond, and almost all were 1-2 oz from 100% wr. I continue to cull any bass in 10-15inch range that is under wr, and probably will forever. All larger bass that were measured were over 110% and usually 120% wr. There was one fish at 4lbs that based on length had lost some weight and was under 100% wr

Now to the larger bass. I would say I have caught 15 within an ounce or two of 3.5lbs 10 at 4.5-4.75lbs and 4 over 5lbs. Pond record by hook and line is 5.5lbs. electro record was last year at 5.75lbs.

I always tell myself I am going to start a journal and weigh and measure all catches so I wont need as many electro surveys but that is the last thing on my mind when I catch a big fish on a 100+ degree day. Now that the water has cooled the bite has slowed for me, but so have my opportunities to go fishing.

Last December I added rainbow trout and always add tilapia in the spring. Hopefully can get RBT again this go around.

Based on my fishing I am confident that 1/3 to 1/4 of the bas population is 16+ inch and ~2lbs So I am considering opening the can of worms that is gizzard shad. Threadfin and Gizzard shad are the only forage options I have not pursued so far. I am dedicated to a catching that first 10lb bass. after than moment goals may change to balanced pond, but I doubt it. So I am considering perhaps a load 1/2 threadfin 1/2 gizzard shad. If the gizzards get out of control I am dedicated to getting them out by any means. I could even run a gill net for a week during the spring/summer to get them out. I don't know if I could get enough out to change the population in a 6 acre pond. Maybe gillnets combined with cast netting, and a yearly electro survey I could keep the gizzards in check.

Another thing that is making me consider gizzard is the apparent sharp decline in golden shiners. In the past years I could cast net golden shiners of all sizes at will, this year that was not the case. Perhaps the larger bass are starting to target the golden shiners more? Maybe I should just stock some jumbo golden shiners?

Finally overall I am very happy with the pond, because as you can see on the first page of this thread, the pond filled within 3 days to the dozer leaving and I was not able to add the structure I had planned on. That being said the pond is producing nice fish. When I started I had dreams of bass that gained 2 lbs/year. As of last year in the electro survey we caught 1 fish that met that number. So I have decided that number of 2 lbs/year is for the exceptional fish not the average. Am I right here??? Seems my fish are probably on average more like 1 lb/year. But I have never killed a larger fish to check age, so who knows what year class is doing the best, or how many original stockers I have caught, or even left for that matter.

Hopefully with more aggressive culling, and addition of gizzard shad, I can push that up to 1.5lbs/year for the average fish. Don't get me wrong I don't know of any pond in my county that comes close to mine when I comes to bass, but still its not where I want to be yet.

So hope you enjoy the update, feel free to weigh in on any of the issues, especially growth and gizzard shad.


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jakeb Offline OP
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These are some of the nice fish caught this summer/fall. They never look as fat in the photo as they do in person, the middle fish was 125-130 wr if I remember right. Shame I never have a camera man when I catch the biggest ones! cry

Last edited by jakeb; 10/14/13 06:54 PM.

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Well done Jake


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Nice Job looks like a great fishing lake. I enjoyed reading about the journey.

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Excellent - aggressive culling and establishing a solid forage base of GSH and BG leading to impressive WRs. What are you going to do - Gizzard or TFS? I'd try TFS first...Gizzards can become management issue at least up here they certainly are.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Thanks everyone for the kind words! Well I was thinking about a load of both threadfin and gizzard in some ratio. maybe 60:40, 70:30 or something. I know they are a management issue, but I feel that they could be worth the risk. Also in two years I will finally be done with school, and my time available for management will go up considerably.


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Call Lusk RE the Gizzards and TFS...he's managed many lakes with them down your way - can't get better guidance than that.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Agreed Tj, I planned to do just that.


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Man, I can't believe I hadn't seen your thread before. Awesome job!! I actually stocked my family's 2 acre pond, with your same goals, about a year after your stocking. My largest bass caught (all hook and line) are around 4-4 3/4 lbs. I also have a separate cnb forage pond that I bring in extra fish from. A couple questions: Have you ever started any supplemental feeding? Have you ever fertilized your pond to get a plankton bloom? Once again, looks like you are doing great and keep us updated!

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Good plan Jakeb...can't wait to see what you do next. Again, well done, and congrats on your graduation, too.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Dawg, sounds like you are doing just fine! My forage pond was mainly an experiment, and this year about all it was worth was a good learning lesson. However I did learn about how I am going to do it next year.

For supplemental I don't have any feed for the bass but I buy them tilapia, rbt, etc. I don't think they would take to pellets being f1's and fla genetics.

I have one texas trophy hunter feeder that works well, but it is on my forage pond, nothing on the main pond. When budget increases I would like about 4 on the main pond but nothing at the moment.

I have never fertilized because I am scared of it causing a kill. My water level fluctuates way to much, and with summers getting hotter every year, it gives me chills/sweats thinking about it. If I can get some better management help I would consider it though!


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I also stocked a heavy ratio of CNB compared to bass. Even with the large number of CNB it's amazing the size they can grow being fed purina aquamax. My forage and catfish ponds have good sized bream that are fed gamefish chow, but the aquamax makes a very noticeable difference for me. I'm not sure what you're feeding from your Texas Hunter, but fish based feed is something to consider when the funds/time are available (which is never soon enough!) I know your ponds goal is trophy bass (as is mine), but it sure is cool to see those giant bullheaded CNB come up to feed everyday also!

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I totally agree, I see no problem in feeding them. I checked the forage pond today and was surprised in how much they had grown. I use AM when I do feed.


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Just wanted to share this pic of my progress. Got another survey in Oct of 14. and got this girl, 8.5lbs and just under 22 inch. To be fair she did have about a 1/2lb bullhead half down her gullet. We also got another fish at 8lbs and a little over 22 inch. Hopefully one of these girls will see 10lbs and the other end of my line in 2015. All fish sampled over 19 inch were over 100% RW.

This fish was stocked at 2 inch on June 11, 2009

Survey also helped to confirm my suspicions that still need to harvest small fish, and running short on 3-5 inch CNBG. Steps are being taken to ensure these two don't run short of groceries this year.


Last edited by jakeb; 03/25/15 10:46 PM.

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Awesome


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Just read your entire post. Keep up the good work. Your plan is very similar to mine. Good to see hard work being rewarded. Keep posting updates.

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jakeb - Nice job so far. You can be proud of the bass you are growing. I look forward to seeing pictures of your first 10 lb bass even if it has another fish in its gullet. I put this thread in the LMB Archives as an example of good management of LMB. Thanks for reporting the info about the bass eating a larger bullhead. That info went into the bullhead thread for controlling BH.


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Jakeb, I thank you for letting me read your blog here. I am also going with the heavy forage stocking. LMB going in this June.

Tracy


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That's great Jake. Now, get back to the books.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Originally Posted By: jakeb







These are some of the nice fish caught this summer/fall. They never look as fat in the photo as they do in person, the middle fish was 125-130 wr if I remember right. Shame I never have a camera man when I catch the biggest ones! cry


Jake, congratulations on some great fish! I also noticed that you held them properly, so they will live on. Three of the five Texas Sharelunker entries this year -- 13 lb plus bass -- have died from broken jaws caused by holding them solely by their jaw. So glad you did it right and they will have a chance to get even bigger!


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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TGW1, I think it is also important to note that even though I went forage heavy, just 5 years later the bass have eaten all small CNBG.

Bill, thanks! I just did this thread for some help but as I have added to it, I often come back to it for reference and dates. I am glad people can read this multi year story that is not yet complete!

Dave, thanks for always keeping me into the books! I have finished classwork and am now on rotations in OKC, I have to work at a different location every month for 9 months. However I get June and July off some summer fishing!

Finally I am curious as to how my growth compares to an "average pond". I feel like I have done a lot of extras with tilapia and RBT. However no fertilizer, or good feeding consistency, as well as newly discovered lack of CNBG probably hindered my growth. Something else to take into account is that I didn't harvest any bass for about 2 years.

Anyway I am learning so much and still have a chance at a 10lb bass, but when I have time to manage year round and some more$$$ for the budget, I have much higher hopes for the next project. Also thanks to anyone who has contributed to this thread over the years! I really rely on the help of my pondboss family.

Last edited by jakeb; 03/26/15 02:48 PM.

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