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#129716 08/18/08 05:05 PM
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Hey guys my pond got its first rain \:\) and is about 1 acre at the moment. It should be around 5 acres at full pool. Max depth will be 17ft. About 3 acres of it will be only 4-6ft when full. The rest is the main hole and an area that will be about 8-9ft at full pool. I live north of Wichita Falls, TX on the TX Oklahoma line.

I just like many other PBoss members am willing to go overboard.
I want trophy bass, and am looking for stocking recommendations.
I am going to get some FH in ASAP.

Starting in Oct(ish), Was thinking about stocking:
4000-5000 CNBG and a few RES from 3-6in. About a thousand of each size if I can find them.
25+lbs Golden Shiners (to many?).
FH (again) if needed.

As far as bass, a mix of F1, N, and Fl bass, the ratio im not sure of yet, but about 50/a or about 200-300 6-8in fish total in spring of 09.

Somewhere in the mix, (maybe at the initial stocking) a small amount of Tshad, would 1000 adults be good? If not, I will wait and stock Tshad at a later date with larger numbers.

I know with lots of BG and up to 1000 5-6in BG in the initial stocking. My chances of growing some large BG could go down, because of overpopulation of BG?

I dont have a problem with the reputation of the Gshiner as an egg eater. But if anyone wants to throw a red flag I would be happy to hear why.

Also into the future I plan to stock Tilapia every spring, and will try some rainbow trout at least one winter.

My biggest concern is a drought, and if the pond went down to 2.5a or less im worried about fish kill with BG, Bass, Tshad, Gshiner, RES, and Tilapia all at the same time. I have never obsevred a fish kill in my area, but that does not mean it dosen't happen. Should I stock it as a 5 acre pond, or more like a 3-4 acre because it will most likely not spend much time full?

As for aeration electricity is not an option right now, so only a windmill system is an option, should I decide to get one. I will probably not fertilize unless I have a Pond Boss such as Lusk come and check it first. I do plan on feeding the CNBG with one feeder.

Now is your chance to help me spend some money.


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As far as the Tshad go if you stocked them early in the sping and they had a chance to spawn before the bass went in then 1000 would be enough to establish themselves. I only put 4500 in my 4.5 acre that was bass heavy and they have spawned and now there is a good population of them. I usually stock mine in April. As far as the bass go I would only stock 150-200. I would think the fewer there are the better the growth rates will be. I have heard great things about the F1 bass so I would use more of them. I wouldn't stock golden shiners but thats only because im not that familar with them. The Tshad should be plenty along with bluegill and Tilapia. If you get a feeder then texas hunter is worth the money. You could go heavy on the bluegill when you stock since you will be feeding. With a pomd that size and with that much food you should be catching 3-5 pounders before you know it.

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Hey jakeb,
Wow, what a great accomplishment. Congrats, my man!
I steer clear of most of that stocking recommendation stuff. I'm still a student, also.
I wanted to check in to send kudos on your project, and to also offer the thought that water at 4-6 feet deep during full pool has a very good chance to become a 3 acre weed bed. I know the experts give weed beds big thumbs up for protection and propagation of forage, I'm not sure of the potential downside to the balance of the biomass in the pond. Let's see now the feedback shakes out.

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Thanks guys,

jsand13 I agree with the less bass the faster they grow, and I assume the less you would need to harvest in the first year or two. So 200 or lower will be considered.

Brettski, thanks for the kudos, I just love this stuff. Based on the way its still raining at home we expect it to spill tomorrow sometime!!!! I just cant get my head around that! I think based on survey taken that area will be a 3 acre weed bed most of the year.

I am still worried about how much it will dry up if we have a bad summer. But I think we all face that. I will post pics of it dry, but that was only five days ago lol, so I have not posted them yet. Also when I get home from college(couple weeks) I will get pics of it full.

Would love to hear from others.


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First learn about carrying capacity. See this link.
http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92440#Post92440


As a general rule southern ponds will reach carrying capacity in 2 years or less. It will take even less time using advanced fingerling fish (6 in LMB and 3-5 in BG ).


150 6 inch LMB will be plenty. With those BG #s and TShad you will not need tilapia or GShiners for a while. A few GShiners to establish a population early would be ok.


TShad should be stocked pre LMB if possible but you need plankton for them to eat. They fill a different niche than BG.
















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I wouldn't spend any $ at this time; your water isn't ready to really support life. Water has to sit for awhile to let a phytoplankton and zooplankton base start brewing. Right now, I expect you have an acre of dirty water that isn't ready for fish. As more rains occur, you will add more non fertile water that is actually degrading your fertility. Wait until that thing is close to full, do a couple of tests, and then start adding forage.

More than likely, fatheads could exist in new water. They are super hardy but what is the use? Have a little patience. Yeah, I know. Me too.

Yep, and you are dang sure gonna get some droughts. BTW, after blowing a bunch of $ on expensive test kits, I now use swimming pool strips.


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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I agree wth DD1, EXCEPT, on one thing. I think you should put the fatheads in immediately if possible. They will survive and eat mosquito larvae to prevent THAT problem, also the waste they will create will jumpstart your beneficial bacteria growth needed to keep the ammonia and nitrate levels from spiking when you DO add the rest of the forage. Personally, I would put in at least 50 pounds of FH now.

Tilapia, in a couple years will help eliminate the 3 acre weedbed along with 8-10 grass carp if needed. Also, Feeding the FH will add fertilizer to help get everything else going. I think you could add the forage fish around late October if the FH go in now.

My $.02+



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My $.000002 says hold off. Admittedly, they will most likely survive but not thrive until the pond gets some decent fertility. Also, they will have very limited growth and spawning over the winter. BTW, I just heard on the news that Wichita Falls got 12 inches of rain in 2 hours this morning.


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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JakeB below is a plan cut and pasted for a client that has similiar goals.

I agree I would not consider tilapia until 2010. I would suggest going with 2 inch fingerlings June 2009 if lake is full. 2 problmes with 6-8 inch in spring, one forage not well established yet also those are this years fish so 6-8 inches not the best growth. So here you go, keep in mind this is to maximize chances for quality bass, if larger growth desired cut bass stocking by another 30%. The less bass you have the greater the growth. Also mentieond to client some 6-8 inch rainbow trout fall 2009.

Based on 25 acre lake- quality bass
�� Stocked as soon as the lake is half full:
�� 50,000 1-2 inch bluegill. Traditionally 1,000 bluegill/acre is
recommended. Research has shown even better bass growth
achieved by doubling this number.
�� 50,000 fathead minnows
�� 5,000 redear sunfish (shellcracker)
Stock February-March 1,000 lbs. crayfish
�� Stock April- 25 Grass Carp 8 inches
�� Stock April - 2.5 million golden shiner fry
�� Stock April – 6,000-10,000 threadfin shad- 2 loads
�� June 2009 - Largemouth bass stocking (2”)
�� 500 F1 “tiger” bass
�� 250 Northern bass
�� 250 Florida bass
�� 250 F1advanced- held over in our tanks until July and hand
selected for growth and aggressive nature. These fish will be
the best of the best.
�� When available- 250 1.5 inch Hybrid Striped Bass


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jakeb Offline OP
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Thanks everyone.

DD1 your right we got another 4in. last night and WF got 10in. My pond has spilled. It is a good 5 acre. So I hope the water will be fertile by late Oct.

If I stock anything before mid to late Oct it will be a small dose of FH. I am trying to wait...

Will start thinking and formulating stocking plan agian. Will go with the 2" bass around June. As far as BG I would like to get more than 10:1. I will probably use mostly 1-2" fish as Greg mentioned.


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Congrats on the new pond! Keep us updated on what you decide to do and we always enjoy pictures. I have always wanted a trophy LMB pond. I bet it's hard to wait for the water to settle and get fertile. I know I would be chompin at the bit to put some fish in.



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jake I somewhat disagree about waiting to get it "fertile" What is advantage of waiting? If the FH and a few bluegill put on weight then great for spawning success next spring, and if not then fine also (as long as they do not lose weight). Keep in mind I think you have similiar growing season as we do. If stocked b/f mid October shodl get some growth if after doubt it so at that point no big advantage and might just wait until March. However if you have some water and can get some fish in without extra del charges I suggest stocking them sooner than later. Make sense? And Yes 20:1 or 30: 1 is the "new way" to stock your pond if growing big bass is goal.


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That's neat. Dang near filling 5 acres overnight. BTW, you are just North of the Red River. What color water are you expecting?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 08/19/08 04:57 PM.

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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Food for thought on BG stocking methods for LMB ponds. What is the easiest way to get lots of BG quick to establish a base for LMB in 4 mths for the same $ starting with spring stocking ? Use 1 acre for example.

1. Buy 1000 2 in BG at .30 each = $300 or
2. Buy 800 2 in BG at .3 each and 100 5 in BG at .6 each = $300

In 4 mths from stocking under no. 1 there will most likely be 1000 BG in that acre less natural morts.

In 4 mths from stocking under no 2 there will be lots more BG than no 1. There will be 800 of the first 2in BG less natural morts plus 100 of the original 5 in BG less natural morts plus the first spawn of the 5 in BG. Using average #s reduced for the fact that the female BG will have eggs based on weight (less eggs for 5 in than bigger females). 50 pair of BG using average spawning #s of 50 nests times 10,000 eggs = 500,000 eggs/fry. Even assuming 75% morts when there are no LMB to eat them yet , you still get an additional 125,000 baby/yoy BG in no 2 that you don't get in no 1. Plus you have 3 year classes of BG prior to the LMB being stocked.
















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DD1, the watershed for the pond is all grass, pasture, or No-till farm land. So I dont expect much silt. However the water came in VERY fast so it may have brought some silt. But with all the grass between any fields and the pond I bet its ok. The water color for a small pond on the same place, with the same type watershed (just smaller) is between 12-20" visibility year round with a green tint. I hope this will be the same for my new pond. Most of the "tanks" in our area are muddy, brown, and silted do to cattle and plowed fields next to them.

ewest, I see what your saying, and plan to do something just like your no 2


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eric agree but 4-5 inch bluegill now retail at $.90 and I have seen as high as $1.50. Also availability is not as predictable. In ideal world #2 is a great plan. In my world hard to plan on delivery of both sizes at sametime, if second del. is neccesary need to factor in a second del charge.


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Here they are at the same time. It can be done with a little planning. I did the same thing 3 mths ago also on 2 mths notice( at .30 for 2 inch and .50 for 4 inch also have some 6in coming @ $1) as in the pics which were several years ago. You just have to plan in advance which should not be a problem if you are building a pond to stock. My records over 10 years + indicate that historically 3-5 inch are 2X the 2 inch. Even at 3X you are only spending $30 per acre more.























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Sounds like I need to make some calls. Hopefully I can make something close to ewest's recomendation of the two different sizes happen.

However it happens, I plan to stock around 1000BG/acre and change bass numbers to fit 20:1 or greater.


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You can get a jump on fertilizing by going to Wally World and getting about 4-5 bottles of Miracle Grow Liquid fertizer and putting it in now. There won't be much chance of over fertilizing at this tim of year. I agree With DD1 that you wouldn't get a whole lot of spawning from the FH, BUT they will do well in a muddy pond and if they are grown FH, 50 lbs will add about a million fry for next spring.



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Here's the problem with stocking in North Central Texas and just North where he is at this time of year. The water is hot, not quite bath water, but too hot to move fish around.

Heck, I have an overstocked forage pond that I need to trap and seine. I won't be able to do it and move the fish until the end of September. And, the target pond badly needs the forage.


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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DD1, I defer to your wisdom! I still don't see a downside to adding the 50lbs of FH though. They will reproduce even in the heat, they're cheap, and any that die will help build the bio-system that much faster and make stocking the BG this fall almost a sure bet.



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The top pic is looking out from on top of the dam. It is 17' at the bottom of the hole and the horses in the distane are about 5' tall. The area the horses are in is now a good 6' of water. The water is 3' all the way back at the fence(which cant be seen in this pic). The water now covers almost all that can be seen in this pic, except the far right which is a hill.

The second is a pic from the side, where the pic was taken from is now about 3' water and it slopes down from there. That is a 3/4ton four door dodge in the distance for refrence. That area is now I would guess at least 7' water.

These pics are not when it was complete, and I have not been home to see it or get pics of the finished product, only what my dad has told me.

I will never turn down a rain, so now I have to get a boat so I can sink some tree buckets and other "toys" as I like to call them. At leastthe dozer did cut some trenches and edges after this pic was taken. On the plus side there are many 2' bt 2' Mesquite trees in open area, I hope the fish will like.


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So how does this sound?

Once again 5 acre pond. Big Bass as goal.

4000 1-3" CNBG
1000 3-5" CNBG
50lbs FH
all in Fall 08 sometime

ewest, Greg, Dave, or others, would this be a good mix of larger and smaller size CNBG for the initial forage stocking? Just trying to get it planned out. Feel free to adjust any of the numbers.

later will come Tshad (March) and then bass (June). Still plan to stock a small amount of bass to get to at least 20:1


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Sounds great. Few comments.....

March seems a little early (we get them when ready to spawn usualy means late April) on shad no biggie though since no predators at that time. 1,000 would probably be plenty to seed the pond.

What about redear? I suggest 1000 1-2 inch ( hard to get them bigger)

No golden shiners, the 250,000 fry for $250 seems like a good deal to me.

Yep 250 fingerling bass should grow like crazy. If you can might mix in a few diff genetics say 150 F1 and 50 northern 50 florida (just playing here)



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Yep Greg you read my mind, I had the RES in the works, dont know why I never posted them. I was thinking about 15 lbs Golden Shiners (because I have a pond I can cast net that many out of) or the fry. and Thats about exact on what I had in mind for the bass.

Thanks for help.
jakeb


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Update:

So I got to come home this weekend to see my pond for the first time. Just wanted to share because Im so excited. Some of the before pics are on the previous page. The pond filled to its current level just five days after the dry pics.

This is from the backwater looking to the dam, and I could not fit all the pond into the pic


This is from the dam looking back to where the first picture was taken. Once again its not all in the pic.


Some of hundreds of crawdads that have washed up dead, I dont know why. Should this worry me? The pasture that is now the pond had them in it naturally so maybe it just flooded them out.


But you cant hold mother nature back here are some brand new crawdad holes at the waters edge.


This is the most northern end of the pond. This pic was not even taken on my property. Thankfully the other two owners that were affected were happy to have more water on their land. The second fence is the start of my land. The posts are 12ft apart and I dont know if you can see them but there are 12 in water so the tail of the pond is over 144ft wide and a good 4ft deep.


This last pic is just thrown in haha


Some other intresting observations:

There have been 5-10 horses on this 80 acre plot of land year round for the last 20 years. All the horse manure on the groud where the pond now is all floated up and out on the side of the pond. Let me tell you there is now one big pile of manure on the side of the pond, but it is out of the water.
There is a slight odor about the pond espically in the more shallow parts but I think this is normal. Also some will evaporate soon. The water by the dam already seems to be rather clear, probably 10in clarity. I think this will get better as time goes by, also I hope it will take a more green tint soon. But we have buit cattle ponds only a mile away and they have never been anything but muddy, ponds with redish water. So I am happy that the water is the way it is.

I also found a small fish (under 3in) dead, it had been dead awhile but I took it to be a HBG, so that tells me some fish were washed in from somewhere. I dont know why he was dead. So maybe any other fish that washed in are dead now also. I tried to take a pic of the fish but it didnt come out. Ill go back with a dieffernt camera and if I can find the fish will try to take another picture.
Possibly the old manure and new water could have became toxic somehow and killed the fish. In the shallow grassy areas there is a slight oily looking film on just a little of the water. I know of other ponds in my area that have fish populations and the same film/grass around the pond so Im not worried. Good or bad the film is being pushed to the tail end of the pond by the southern winds. So I think this is a good thing.

There are already many ducks, birds, and deer, that have found the pond. The small beetles that swim in circles have also made it home. Also numerous small underwater inscets are easily seen, which I take to be potential CNBG food.
If I think of or see anything else Ill be sure to post. I plan to go back after some football games and take my swimming pool test strips to get a rough Ph estimate.

Last edited by jakeb; 08/30/08 04:31 PM.

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What a great project Jake. I don't know how I missed this thread. Looks like you are gonna have a great pond! It's amazing how quickly wildlife can find a pond. Keep posting, this is a great thread!


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Congrats on the full pool!


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."

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Hey guys just gonna offer an update, and share a few observations.

I was walking around the pond when I saw a single fish dead in the water. It was a RES. It was 4in and weighed 21 grams dead. It had a small hole in its side (maybe cause of death) but otherwise looked very healthy. It even had a small "helmet" head forming. I stocked some RES in Jan but they were 1-3in. I highly doubt that a RES would have washed in from someone elses pond. So in ~2 months in cold water whats the odds he grew 1 inch or more and put on 16 grams weight? Then the next question is what killed him? obesity!!?

Next I went up into the backwater of the pond and noticed some minnow swimming around, hoping they were small CNBG I netted some and they were gambusia. I dont mind them, but didnt stock them.

Finally I know it is still cold, but my pond is very clear. It has 3-4ft visibility is some spots from the shore. Should this worry me? Its not even a year old, and never had a summer so maybe it will green up soon. It does have a slight bit of some kind of algae growing all around, some of the algae looks diff than others, maybe have more than one type.

any thoughts or comments appreciated,
Jake


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The hole in the RES might have been caused by a Heron.

Have you seen any Herons around?


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."

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They are all around although I have never seen one at this pond, that is probably what got it.


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I wouldn't worry about the gambusia, probably a good thing... Just curious where they would have come from? Mixed in with your other fish that you stocked perhaps?

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Yes im fine with gambusia, they are very hardy, they could have been living in a small mud hole of a pond and washed in wtih the last rain, the bigger question is what else came in with them?

I highly doubt they were mixed in with the other fish I stocked.


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How big is this mud hole pond? Any idea what is in there, that'll give you a good idea what may now be in your other pond.

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Im not sure if it would even flow into my pond, I have never checked it that hard. I will look into it. The watershed for my pond is rather large and to tell you the truth I dont have a clue where all my water comes from. Most is run-off from wheat pasture.


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Its time for an update, for me as much as anyone so I can have an e-journal of my pond if you will.

Today I went to the pond to deposit my new bass from Overton! They were in great shape and went in fine. I purchased them at 2inch and 100 Fla and 100 F'1 in the 5 acres that is currently at full pool. As I released them several feet out I noticed schools of minnows and I captured some and they were to small to identify, but probably FHM. I knew there were some fry but now after today I am confident there are literally millions fry the right size for my new bass to eat. So this prompted me to come back later with my cast net. I caught 4 massive CNBG and 2 pot belly RES on MY FIST CAST, excited does not say enough. I did not have my camera but you can bet next time I will take pics and weigh them to see how they are doing. Hopefully tomorrow.

On my next few casts I discovered some adult FHM which I did not know got anywhere close to that big one was 5 inches. I also caught a good size golden shiner and some small bullhead fry. the bullhead fry were two inches also, maybe my bass will outgrow the bullhead and then eat them. The bullheads did not go back, I have never seen them that small it was something else.

The discovery of the bullheads made me take a closer look at this mud hole of a pond I speak of in previous posts. I cast in it several times and came up with some real nice golden shiners about 6 inch or better, some either small BG or CNBG, one green sun fish, several large FHM one small RES, a crayfish, a bullhead fry, and many gams.


So this raises some questions, this pond had CNBG, golden shiners, and FHM, all fish that I stocked. So did mine run upstream to this small pond or were they already in it for years and waiting for the chance to go downstream with the recent rains to my bigger pond? maybe both?

next if my neighbor will let me should I seine the small pond when they are no longer connected and get the usefull fish and take them to my pond or by now would they just be a drop in the bucket?

All in all I learned alot about my pond and fish today. I hope to get pics of these CNBG and RES because I feel they are in great condition for never being fed or managed to be that big.

Also what % of orgional stockers are same size as the ones I caught? Time will tell, but my plans are coming together and im about to jump through myself.


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Congrats, it sounds like your pond is coming along nicely. With all that FHM fry swimming around, your bass should grow quite fast!

The first thing that comes to mind on the comments you made about the fish you caught is that FHM do not grow to 5". If you catch anymore that size, try to get a photo and post it on here.

As far as the fish in the mud hole going up from your pond or vice versa, I think both are possible. The bullheads probably were present in the mud hole for years and decided to swim down stream and call your bigger pond home along with the GSF. I wouldn't stress out about the bullheads. The bass will grow fast and start feeding on them.

As far as seining the smaller pond, I think it is probably going to just be a drop in the bucket...

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Ok a little over a month after stocking my 2in bass from Overton I caught some today in a cast net!
here is one. I did not have a ruler or scale but I do know the bottle in the picture is 8.5 inch. Hopefully it was at least 5 inches. In a little over a month from 2 inches, maybe this is good growth? I also caught 2 this size, and 2 much smaller. Are the bigger fish females? or flas? or both? Just trying to figure out why some were about half size...

Also caught some great CNBG and the pictures just dont do them justice! They are doing good, I came back with a scale and some are at 100% relative weight with no artificial feed yet. Here are a few.
One of the biggest females.


Is this a male or female?


Here is one that had nice color.


Hopefully many more pics to come. I cant wait till these CNBG push 10inches. I hope to get a feeding program for them! The yoy spawn are doing good too.

I also went to my trophy BG pond that does have fish food, and caught one at just under 7 inch and 117grams.


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Nice fish! My uneducated guess is the bottom pic is of a male and the one right above that is a female. Experts???


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That is good growth on the LMB. At that age the big ones could be male or female , Fla , northern or F-1. So could the small ones. The small ones are that way because of several possible factors including , genetics , food , or age.

Bottom BG is a male CNBG. Middle one - very hard to tell , my WAG , a female , but it could be an immature male.
















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Some great looking fish!

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Hey guys, time for a little update, and a few questions.

I was surfing the net when I decided to check out google earth, and glad I did because the Sat. photos of my area have been updated. My pond that I eyeballed at 5-6 acre is really 8-9.

the pond is now 19 months old, the CNBG have been in 15 months, and bass 9 months. I have yet to get home to be able to sample them and check condition numbers and see if I can find yoy for all kinds.

the pond is stoked over 32:1 BG:Bass similiar to the way Greg Grimes advises (heavy bg:bass), but that was considering 5 acre. Could this be good or bad now that i discover its much bigger? I fear that there may not have been enough BG and the bass had to hunt harder to find dinner? or could it be the opposite that it could mean an even higher stocking ratio now? any thought on this? (my bass seemed to be doing ok in the month after stocking but there were lost of minnows for them to go after, see above posts and pics)

I plan to add 10lbs/acre tilipia for forage and FA control, should i get them ASAP (mid april) or wait till may b/c they probably wont spawn till then anyway?

I know these could be better answered if i could go fishing, or have an electroshock survey but i fear neither is in the near future.

Also will my carrying capacity reach its limit slower now that i could have stocked more fish, or after 15 months have the BG made up for lost time?

Last question, I dont need to harvest any bass this year right? the yoy should all stay eating size for my org. stockers?

Any thoughts, advice, or questions appreciated. My goal is to see some 1+lb bass by Oct and some 9 inch CNBG.

Once again this is a Trophy LMB goal pond.


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Bump, for some opinions on previous post, thanks!


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I am far from an expert in this, but I am pretty confident that you have enough BG in the pond even now that you found out it is bigger than you originally thought. The BG should pull off one heck of a spawn this spring and will quickly fill the void. If you intended goal is to grow some huge bass, the fewer bass you have in the pond the better. I don't think you will have to harvest bass until the year after you see your first reproduction happen in your pond. At that time you want to start removing the first generation of bass born in you pond. You don't want to remove the original stocker fish. Just the ones born in your pond and remove lots of them if your goal is big bass...

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Jakeb, Conratulations on the surprise of having a larger pond than you expected. That's a great bonus.

I was fired up to hear your Satellite photos had been updated on Google earth, but I was not as lucky and my pond still isn't showing up.

I'm also anxious to add Tilapia also for FA control and not so much for Bass forage just because my CNBG have done great and pulled off some excellent spawns. I have asked Todd Overton via e-mail today about when the soonest I should stock Tilapia in my area would be, and I'm sure I'll hear from him soon.

Good luck with your trophy bass pond and be sure to post some pictures when you can.


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FRPeeps, please let me know what you learn from Todd. If i remember correct, As long as the water stays above 60 you can put them in, but they wont do much till the water hits 70+

and picturs are first on my list of thngs to get done tomorrow.


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Bass Caught in cast net yesterday, now 9 months old. Should do well when tilapia are soon added. Easy 10 inch, not overweight by any means, but i think it is healthy. Only one I caught do to the very little fishing i got to do, so there has got to be a bigger one in there somewhere.


also learned that I have had a RES, and BG spawn either this year or last fall. Golden shiner numbers seem to be strong, and caught a few adult CNBG that looked good! overall im excited to move into summer and see what all the fish look like the next few months and into fall. Heck im ready for tilapia die off and dont even have any yet =).

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 Originally Posted By: jakeb
FRPeeps, please let me know what you learn from Todd. If i remember correct, As long as the water stays above 60 you can put them in, but they wont do much till the water hits 70+

and picturs are first on my list of thngs to get done tomorrow.


jakeb, PM sent.


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Update: Went fishing yesterday and caught first rod and line bass from my pond. did not have ruler or scale plus at 105 outside I didnt want the bass of of the water for long enough to even take a pic. I marked a spot on my arm and threw it back in. I did notice that it had a nice little belly, more so than comparable sized fish from the smaller pond on the same property. I estimate the fish at 14-15 inches, I guess it is an original stocker but wanted to see it a little bigger. However the pot belly I felt was a good sign.

Also my tilapia lasted until late December last year and found dead ones from about 4 inches and up, none smaller. That worried me some, I thought I would see less of them but my bass may not have been big enough to eat anything bigger. Anyway I have not stocked them back this summer because the pond is so low. We have had about 4in of rain from October to now, which is scary and if we dont get any soon, it may be September until we expect to get some in our normal pattern. The pond is basically down to little more than the main hole that was dug. So I thought it best not to add anymore fish. The BG and golden shiner population is still great.

I have not seen any of the stocker CNBG in about a year or more, Im sure they are in there somewhere. But I have seen plenty RES in my cast net and some are quite sizeable over 1lb. The minnows are long gone but the G shiners are thriving. Pleanty of CNBG in the 3-5inch range, infact thats all I have seen in about a year. I do think they have all to eat they want.

Next year if it rains I will get tilapia or possibly shad.

I know I have had at least one spawn because I have seen some 3-5inch bass in my cast net. But now that the bass are 2 years old I think I need to take some offspring out, or even stockers that are not doing well? Say if I catch one 11inch I suppose if it is fat its an offspring and if its thin could be struggling stocker?

I know there are so many things to consider, and I dont have a very large sample size to work from, but either way its probably time to take smaller fish out? keep in mind I stocked about 30:1 as opposed to the 10:1 usually seen.

Perhaps its time to put a electro survey on the wish list for winter?

Any help or comments appreciated.


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Hello everyone, sorry to bring up an old topic but im adding to this because this thread is basically my blog of my pond if you will. But feel free to comment if you wish!

Today we conducted first shock survey and results were encouraging.


First from my last post till now has been uneventful for the pond. It was very very low in 2011 and such a hot and dry year I didnt even fish it.

Now to the survey results! we caught around 30 bass from 10-20 iches. The largest was just under 6lbs and over 19 inches. When the report comes back I will have his exact measurements and RW. We caught one fish longer at 20 inch but was not as heavy. Remember bass were added June 11 2009 from overton at about 2inch. 100flas and 100f1. with a heavy 30+:1 stocking of CNBG to BASS. I was hoping to see a few bigger but I understand electro fishing is just a sample. Also two fish just escaped the electricity and could very well have been bigger than anything we caught! (gotta have a one that got away story wink

A few interesting notes, fish were mainly caught in 3 areas, the areas that also happen to have the best structure in the pond. Golden Shiner population of 3-4 inch fish is outrageous, probably higher than most people would like. Also very few CNBG and RES were sampled, but with such a great RW's seen there has to be plenty in the pond. This is also confirmed by cast net. Tilapia were also stocked this summer, and have grown well, only two were sampled today tho, one in the mouth of the large fish, and another in the 5-6inch range. Another cause for the poor sampling of bait fish was the fact that the pond was very low and much of it was not accessible to the electro boat. He also harvested about 6 fish and pulled otiliths (spell check?) and the report will let me know if some "borderline" fish were runts from last year, or exceptional fish from this year.

One more interesting observation I had was that the bass in the 16inch range all seemed to have very small mouths compared to their length and weight. I hope this is a sign of a fish that is growing very fast.

I have now also confirmed at least two spawns of bass, which would be correct I guess if the bass were added as yoy in June 2009

I will try to post a picture tomorrow of the large fish. I look forward to fishing the pond now that I know where the big fish hang! I will also post again when my full report comes back and I read what it has to say. Although he already said the fish were exceptional and the report will more focus on the need for more structure and aquatic vegetation. We also discussed the idea of a CNBG "feeder" pond that only purpose would be to grow CNBG over winter to add to the pond come spring.

I would like to thank everyone here on pondboss that has helped me with this project so far! I think it is coming along well. I am still in a relentless pursuit of that double digit bass!.

Last edited by jakeb; 10/05/12 11:13 PM.

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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!


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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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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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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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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.

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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.

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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!


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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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Keep a fairly close eye on those bass to see if they are maintaining good Rw body condition as the CNBG are becoming in short supply. Without enough larger sized forage like 1/2 lb bullheads those largest bass may hit the growth limit wall before they reach 10 lbs. Earlier you considered adding gizzard shad. Did you do that and if you did are you seeing recruitment? I can scan back through the older posts.

Okay I see that you discussed (Oct 14, 2013) adding Threadfin and gizzard but never saw where either one of them were added. You also mentioned calling Lusk about adding gizzards - did you ever do that?. I think Lusk will tell you that most 10 lb LMB he sees come from water with gizzard shad. However I am confident that 10 lb bass can be raised without gizzard shad, just maybe not as many/ac nor as frequently.

Are you still adding trout annually? Maybe spring and fall trout stocking will work instead of gizzards? Adding trout will take some of the predation pressure off the BG. Then in summer the bass can eat other things to maintain growth?

Your bass population may be at a growing point where enough big BG are in short supply to adequately keep the biggest bass growing. Possibly just add threadfin at this point. You may have to consider removing some of the largest bass so remaining bass have enough food to keep growing at the same rate of weight gain with the existing forage.

PS- this is a great thread of how to grow bass. Thanks for keeping it up dated.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/26/15 03:52 PM.

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Bill thanks for your input and questions.

I did contact Lusk, (really Walter/Chad) Chad conducted the last survey and I am working with him on management. I really think without tilapia I would have ran out of CNBG much sooner and would have had less growth than I have seen.

I have only added trout one winter (2013-14) I wanted to add this year but availability was an issue.

Side note for anyone who may be reading this for bullhead info, when the lake first filled many bullhead and sunfish came in from a pond upstream. I was very concerned seeing schools of baby bullhead swarming in the first year, but now I only rarely see any and they are large when I do. This tells me that LMB have kept their numbers very low. I have not seen any of these swarms again.

I also once had an unbelievable population of 3-5 inch golden shiners but they are also rare to see now. More proof that bass are great predators. Even with 30:1 CNBG to Bass stocking and harvesting all bass under 17 inches, I am running short of food! (also yearly tilapia 100lbs).

I asked Chad about the gizzards and told him my goals (10lb bass) and he still did not recommend them. I am on the list for threadfin shad this year but no promises due to availability. I am willing to put in the work to make gizzards work, such as running a gill net in the summer, traps, extra survey time just to remove them, any other method that may help manage their numbers.

I think spring/fall trout of the right size would be a good substitute for gizzards. I really like the idea of stocking trout in the spring so that they are not in the pond long before water warms and they are eaten. If I could find adult golden shiners (6+ inch) I think this would be good too.

After the survey and after Chad crunched the numbers, I had a bimodal curve population. He confirmed my 17 or less inch cull size was good to continue. He felt my largest challenges were low CNBG numbers due to lack of cover/structure. I am working to correct this in June/July with both natural and artificial structure. I am going to add a second Texas Hunter feeder, and feed more aggressively. I am considering fertilizing the water, (will probably do that myself if I decide to). We also plan to stock crawfish later in the year. Basically my plan depends on if I get threadfins or not. If not I will double up on buying some more CNBG and Tilapia.

Also I am fortunate to have a small forage pond right next to this main pond and I will probably try to raise CNBG in it either this year or the next.

I have conducted this project from Aug 07 when pond was built until now. The whole time I have been in undergrad/professional school and starting Jan 16 I will be free! At that time I will be able to open up my budget and manage it the way I really want to. As of now I basically only fish it in the summer and can only makes changes such as adding structure in the summer.


Last edited by jakeb; 03/27/15 02:49 PM.

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jakeb -

My LMB love trout fingerlings 3"-8" in size. Source of high protein and easy to swallow vs the spiny and more disc shaped CNBG. I began stocking trout in the Autumn as forage and they are quickly devoured.

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Originally Posted By: basslover
jakeb -

My LMB love trout fingerlings 3"-8" in size. Source of high protein and easy to swallow vs the spiny and more disc shaped CNBG. I began stocking trout in the Autumn as forage and they are quickly devoured.


Great info, basslover. Of course, we know how big California LMB get feeding on trout, which confirms your experience.

I hope to raise tilapia until the fall, when they get sluggish and die. (Around here that's usually November/December.) The bass could eat them, then I could stock trout. They won't last past April/May due to heat, but again will get sluggish before they die and the LMB will enjoy them.

Both tilapia and trout get plenty big enough to encourage LMB growth to 10 lb. The only real issue I see is that I need to keep on feeding. Another advantage is that it would take some pressure off the CNBG population.

Last edited by anthropic; 03/27/15 03:56 PM.

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Originally Posted By: basslover
jakeb -

My LMB love trout fingerlings 3"-8" in size. Source of high protein and easy to swallow vs the spiny and more disc shaped CNBG. I began stocking trout in the Autumn as forage and they are quickly devoured.


Wow! Yer trout fingerlings must be a lot cheaper than they are here. The two species available at the fish farm I use are Browns and Brooks. Fingerlings 4 to 6 inches will cost $1.50/ea here. No way, I could afford to use them as LMB snacks.


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jakeb - Check with Rainman he may be able to work in adelivery for you. If you put an advance order and standing order in for the trout from wherever you get them you will likely get them reliably in spring and or fall or both. Fish farms can better schedule grow out if you have a standing order or a preorder for them.


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Originally Posted By: anthropic

Great info, basslover. Of course, we know how big California LMB get feeding on trout, which confirms your experience.

Both tilapia and trout get plenty big enough to encourage LMB growth to 10 lb. The only real issue I see is that I need to keep on feeding. Another advantage is that it would take some pressure off the CNBG population.


That is why I began feeding my bass trout - seeing the large bass in Cali dining on trout. I wasn't certain how my LMB would react to the inclusion of trout. I know where some LMB hang out, so I took a few trout over there and dropped one in. My water clarity is crystal clear, so I had perfect visibility 4 feet down. The trout hugged the pond bottom, two LMB swam over, one nudged it near left pectoral fin and the other LMB just sucked it in sideways and took off with it sideways in its' mouth.

I baited one on and within 30 seconds had a LMB on the line.

I later added a few more and watched as the LMB just slammed the trout.


I know my LMB had never seen a trout before, so I wasn't sure how they'd react. But they quickly began eating the trout. When you look at the shape of a trout compared to a panfish it's easy to see why a trout may be preferred over a bluegill - the torpedo shape is so easy to swallow and there aren't all the spines on the trout like the bluegill has.

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Originally Posted By: Bill D.

Wow! Yer trout fingerlings must be a lot cheaper than they are here. The two species available at the fish farm I use are Browns and Brooks. Fingerlings 4 to 6 inches will cost $1.50/ea here. No way, I could afford to use them as LMB snacks.


I usually drop in 6-8" trout, so I'm looking at between $.90 to $1.20 per trout. The 4" trout run $.60 a fish. Sure I wish they were cheaper but they are high quality protein and they don't die - my LMB feast on them. Stocking them relieves some other forage fish and improves the diet of the LMB while dining on the trout.

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Jake, drag a bunch of cedars into the pond and around the edges for forage protection so they can grow. If you don't have any or enough cedar, come to my place in Bowie. I can fix you up with all of the trailer fulls that you need. Just pick the size that you want to cut and load.


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Dave, Jake's coming to NE to cut MY cedars. When they are all gone, he can come to your place if he needs more.

Jake, amigo - good to hear from you again. Been way too long - and you missed another PB conference. No more mulligans, young man. Congrats on your fishery - your management techniques have paid incredible dividends - and it's been an honor watching your progress...really incredible stuff we have all learned from.

Now - do us a favor and stick around. We need your input on the forum!


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Trout normally retail for around $7-12/lb depending on transportation....that is often cheaper than FHM, and a whole lot more filling for a bass over 1.5#. Adult brooder Golden Shiners can run about $15/lb.

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Just a dang minute TJ. I have first dibs on anyone a hundred miles or so from my place who needs or even likes to cut cedar.

Actually, to retain my Wildlife Tax Exemption, one of the things I have to do is try to eliminate cedar. Even though I am 99% oaks, I'll never finish cutting it all.


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Originally Posted By: Rainman
Trout normally retail for around $7-12/lb depending on transportation....that is often cheaper than FHM, and a whole lot more filling for a bass over 1.5#. Adult brooder Golden Shiners can run about $15/lb.


Thanks Rainman,

I guess I never thought of it like that. Really hammers home the point I see in so many stocking recommendation posts about establishing a forage base first. If you do the math using 10# of forage for every 1# of weight gain, if yer buying that forage even at $7/lb of forage fish, yer talking $350 to raise 1 LMB to 5 lbs!

Last edited by Bill D.; 03/28/15 07:19 AM. Reason: Clarification

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Here are some of my thoughts and rationale why to stock expensive trout just to feed bass.
I think the rationale for using trout is to feed the bass larger than 6-8lbs to give them adequate food to push them toward and over the 10lb mark. It is supplemental forage. The trout due to overall nutrient content will produce slightly better weight gain compared to bass eating FHM & GSH. Also FHM and GSH will not put weight gain on the biggest bass. The biggest bass of 6-8lbs probably ignore the FHM and even smaller shiners and look for larger forage as a food staple.

Growing bass to the 10 lb mark usually requires a different type of forage for these big bass compared to growing bass of 4 to 6 lbs. In some waters, the big bass forage species are lacking, not abundant enough and adding the trout is one fairly low cost way to provide large size live food. Trout are readily available and cheap to produce compared to say bluegill, suckers, and perch at 6"-8" to feed those big bass. Remember small food items are barely if even sustenance food for big bass and small foods put very little if any weight on big bass.

Some don't want gizzard shad in their pond to feed big bass. A strong population of g.shad can roil the water when their primary food of plankton becomes in short supply. Turbid water from suspended silt/sediment/organics then reduces the overall plankton productivity of the pond and the whole fishery then can deteriorate.

Plus it takes deep pockets to feed trout to bass, but for some with lots of money and strong desire for big bass - No Problem! The money can be considered well spent if it allows you to have 10+lb bass! If you are not trying to grow bass bigger than 6-8 lbs then trout are maybe not 'all that' beneficial unless your pond is lacking forage.

When using trout for the benefit of the biggest bass it is probably a good idea to stock larger trout that are 8"-10" even 12" long. Larger trout would have a low vulnerability to the unintended smaller bass. No use having your small bass compete with the biggest bass for food items. When the water reaches 70F larger trout that escaped predation will struggle to survive and be easy prey items for any bass big enough to swallow the bigger trout (12"-13"). This predation vulnerability is similar to using tilapia although the main difference is trout are dying in summer and tilapia in late fall.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/29/15 02:24 PM.

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[quote=Bill Cody] FHM and GSH will not put weight gain on the biggest bass. The biggest bass of 6-8lbs probably ignore the FHM and even smaller shiners and look for larger forage as a food staple.

Bill, you are surely correct that FHM won't feed big bass directly. However, they may feed them indirectly by feeding CNBG and other bass prey.


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Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Just a dang minute TJ. I have first dibs on anyone a hundred miles or so from my place who needs or even likes to cut cedar.

Actually, to retain my Wildlife Tax Exemption, one of the things I have to do is try to eliminate cedar. Even though I am 99% oaks, I'll never finish cutting it all.


Hey, if anybody has some hardwood trees, especially oak, they wish to get rid of that are close to Marshall, TX, please let me know. Like to use them for cover, they last much longer than the planted pine I have now.


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I'm like Dave I got plenty of cedar already down and plenty of dead post oak from the drought. Here for the getting if any body wants to come get some


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Bill I agree with you, and I think that they die as the water warms is even better than how tilapia die in the fall/winter. My question is how many to buy before it becomes overkill.

Based on my survey 25% of my bass are 19 inches or larger (5 acre pond). I know its probably lower than that but my point is, if I buy large trout for the large bass and money is not a concern, how many can these fish actually utilize. During the cold winter months the bass probably wont be able to eat many large trout. As the water warms and the trout slow they will be utilized but a bass can't eat them endlessly.

Any guess? I am sure its very hard question to answer but are we talking in the neighborhood of 5 large trout per large bass? or 50? I know they more trout you have, the better the opportunity will be for a bass to get one.

I guess its similar to the how many pounds of tilapia to stock for forage debate.


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Here are some of my thoughts and rationale why to stock expensive trout just to feed bass.
I think the rationale for using trout is to feed the bass larger than 6-8lbs to give them adequate food to push them toward and over the 10lb mark. It is supplemental forage. The trout due to overall nutrient content will produce slightly better weight gain compared to bass eating FHM & GSH. Also FHM and GSH will not put weight gain on the biggest bass.


Here's an example: For $14 I can get 1 dozen trout 5-8" in size, or for $17 I can get 1 pound of minnows 3-4" in size. There are about 50 minnows in 1 pound this size.

During August and September 2014 I fed my LMB these 3-4" minnows. They picked them off as they saw them. I fished with these same minnows and landed some LMB.

During October and November 2014 I fed these same LMB trout fingerlings 5-8" in size. Just as with the minnows, the LMB would hit the trout immediately. And I also used some trout to land some LMB.

My observations without using a scale or a measurement stick and relying solely on my eyes and comparing photographs snapped of the landed LMB is that as the water temperatures cooled in October and November the size of these LMB did not hold steady or regress (in weight), but instead the LMB gained weight.

Note that I have less than 16 LMB in this pond so I'm very familiar with the LMB due to their markings and sizes. My LMB have always appeared healthy - there is plenty of forage for them to dine on and not much competition.

While I don't have a weight and measurement chart, I can recall from the photographs and memories of landing the LMB that the LMB certainly appeared to gain more weight dining on the trout compared to the minnows. I also know that a healthy 5" trout has more body mass than a healthy 5" minnow (at least of the ones I stocked). The LMB were thicker and their bellies plumper in late October and through November. I've watched 14" LMB swallow 8" trout.


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Jake, if you get your hands on trout can you grow them out in your forage pond over winter? How much do you think they would grow on pellets? The canloops at my rainbow provider break 12" under his feeder with lots of running water. Think the trout and cnbg could get along.


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Great idea fishm_n, I could use the forage pond for growing small trout over the winter if need be. I think they would gain something like 2:1 on feed but I could be wrong. Depending on the size I am able to buy them I may not need to put them in the grow out pond.


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I have a lot of oaks but digging them up transplanting might be iffy. Never tried it.


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Yes good idea of buying two sizes of trout in the fall; using the larger ones immediately feeding bass, and the smaller 3"-5" ones to hold and feed in a forage pond then later seining and adding them to the bass pond in the spring. Using 5-10 or 15 trout per large bass would be a good starting number. Adjust numbers to stock each year as you monitor how many trout are feeding on pellets which is a good indication of how many remain.


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Originally Posted By: anthropic
[quote=Bill Cody] FHM and GSH will not put weight gain on the biggest bass. The biggest bass of 6-8lbs probably ignore the FHM and even smaller shiners and look for larger forage as a food staple.

Bill, you are surely correct that FHM won't feed big bass directly. However, they may feed them indirectly by feeding CNBG and other bass prey.



Good thoughts, but BG will perform much better on pellet forage, not FHM. Gape issues. Crappie and YP, another story - but FHM are not ideal forage for BG or other backbone Lepomis. Pellet consumption by Lepomis will indirectly benefit LMB in a big way. LMB won't waste energy chasing tidbits, waiting for nice 6-8" BG, Crappie, et al.


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Interested in some Trout? Trout have been mentioned on this thread as being about the best forage food source there is for LMB, and that's true. A LMB can eat a trout nearly it's own body length due to the fusiform shape and IIRC, trout put pounds on LMB at around 4 or 5 to 1.

I got a call from a food fish supplier that has about 10,000 pounds of trout ranging from 6" to 18" that he has no outlet for. He asked me if I had any customers looking for cheap LMB forage. I'm not sure if anyone would be interested in $5-$6/lb springtime forage fish...?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/30/15 07:52 PM. Reason: Preface


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Rainman do you know any providers of fall spawners of rainbow trout?

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Or thoughts on growing out october/November spawned browns? I don't think you could get the size on other fall spawned trout. I don't know much about trout sources in texas. Looks lIke rainman is willing to make a big trip to keep your Texas bass fed.


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I just read through this whole thread and WOW! What a pond! Why would GShad be a bad idea now? If 25% of your bass are bigger than 19" they should do a great job controlling the Gizzard Shad and take the pressure off the CNBG. Keep up the good work!


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Hello pondboss friends! it has been awhile and I have plenty of updates! I am FINALLY finished with school and have passed all my boards and I am proud to say I am a licensed pharmacist in two states! Now with that book learnin' out of the way I can focus on some fish!


As many of you know I started this thread almost 10 years ago trying to grow a 10+ pound bass. So I had an electroshock survey today, we did not get that 10 we were looking for (even though she is probably in there). but we did get great results and some things to think about. The big girl this trip was 8lb 3oz. and an astounding number of fish over 6lbs. When Chad provides me with his full report I will try to post some of the charts showing just how many large fish we caught and report some RW. We manages to also shock up a 1lb 2oz CNBG (George would be proud). This is my first 1lb gill and also one of the goals I had for the pond. Two gar and a carp that had to come in during high water, along with who knows what else.

Last time the main concern was lack of cnbg, but they were plentiful this time. About the only thing done differently was more aggressive feeding schedule. Also the lake was at 95% capacity today and was at about 30% during the last shock.

We picked a great day! it was only 60 but no wind, and the big girls were up shallow and we hammered them. Got some great weights, and they appeared to mostly be spawned out already but still extremely chunky. We put back two fish that were identified as large males.

We had quite a spectator crowd of around 15 people that came to watch which was great! One group brought equipment to transport bass, and went home with 75 bass of all sizes 17 inches and under. With one 6lber that was culled because she was 23 inches long and only 6lb. Many of the other 6lb bass were much shorter, but I cant remember exactly. But for instance I think the 8lb was only 22 inches.

I look forward to Chads thoughts but we are considering gizzard shad to get us over the top and into the true trophy bass pond category. Also I have yet to try crawfish. I have the capability for a forage pond and plan to get it back into production soon. Also we are playing with the idea of introducing some new genetics, as we have never done this.

As always I'm in a never ending quest to add structure of all shapes and sizes to improve habitat and forage production.

Anyway more to come, and I have to get up and go to a pharmacy meeting in the morning but this is some food for thought. Let me know what you think of my new challenges and how to get around them!








The third one down is the big fish from this trip!


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Congrats on passing the boards and congrats on some great fish!


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