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i'm new at this, so bear with me....

Central SC. 7 acre diked pond. Deepest spots are in the 10 foot range with little to no structure other than trees around the edges (many which we cut to fall into the pond), one small island, and some shallow flats to which we have added christmas trees throughout the years. There are some 4-6 foot channels throughout that were made when the dozer was in there.

2 feeders feeding dawn and dusk.

Water levels are maintained by pumping fresh water in from a creek. We used to have a netting that was supposed to help curb invasive fish, but it is no longer attached. I am aware of some invasive fish out of the creek, but have not decided to address them at this time. (only non-stocked fish we have seen/caught are mollies or whatever you yankees might call them)

Stocked with bream, largemouth, and catfish. I have been asked what kind of cats before and all i can tell you is that they are in the 6-8 pound range and eat good. i have also been asked the intial stocking amounts, but have been unable to find them.

Bream are thriving. Many in the one+ pound range. Bass are struggling. Most are 12", one pounders. I have only caught a few three pounders in the last couple of years. I have yet to catch a 2 pounder...

I am not trying to make a trophy pond
under the circumstances, but would like to have the bass population kept in check. I have kept about 200 pounds of bass out of the pond in the last two years and have apparently not made a dent. I have been told to keep any and all bass, but haven't....

we have fertilized using one central platform for three years. weeds are not a problem. actually, i would like to see more vegetation, hence the fertilizer regimen for 3 years. water is quite clear. we fertilize in late spring for 3-4 weeks at 100 or so pounds per application on a platform.

spawn this year is what worries me. i have never seen so many small fish. i am worried about the "carrying capacity" of the pond but would love to see the bass feeding aggresively.

fire away, oh wise ones...

do i need to address pump issues, fertilizer, feeders, bass numbers, etc???

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2thDoc, I'm an amateur so take this w/ a grain of salt.

You've given some good descriptions of your pond.

With that many bass in the 12" range, it sounds like you may be bass heavy or overpopulated.

If you removed 200 LMB over the last two years, you "effectively" took out about 28 bass per acre over two years; or 14 bass per acre per year.

That number needs to be jacked way up to have an impact.

If the LMB were about one pound, you may want to pull out 50 per acre in one year in order to see an impact.

One year of hard culling can do wonders for your fishery.

Also, you don't want to take your bigger fish. You could develop a slot limit to cull by.


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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As Sunil says, whack the bass. A properly stocked pond should support approximately 100 lbs. of predators per acre. That counts catfish, bass and other critters that prey on your forage base. I heard a panel discussion by Pond Pro'swho agreed that, after about the third year, keep every bass under 13 to 14 inches. What the dickens is a mollie?

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Sunil:
I'm an amateur so take this w/ a grain of salt.
I've always wondered about the implications of amateur vs pro...somehow amateur seems to imply lesser knowledge, when in fact, it may not be lesser at all, just different. What I'm trying to say, without pissing anyone off, is that "amateurs" that have their own ponds and lots of experiences need not apologize for not being pro, IMHO...just the opposite. I want to hear from folks who have had hands on experience as well as pros and those who have had formal training/education but maybe less "hands on".

I totally value the inputs of experienced hands on pond folks and certainly do not place an "amateur" label on us...was that politically correct?

p.s. its a slow day on the forum, need a little stirring.

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ML:

I tend to agree with you; and shall endeavor to use the terms "expert" or "inexperienced" in lieu of "amateur" or "pro" in the future.

I value the views and inputs of all the experts here, both pro/am, as well as the views, questions, and insights of non-experts (I have often found that a uninitiated mind can see the trees as well as the forest).

I especially value the knowledge of older experts such as yourself. \:D
(How's that for stirring?)


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uninitiated mind...is that like a Texas Aggie?

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i think you two pros need to stop hijacking my thread.

this ain't my first rodeo....

(how's that for stirring the pot?)

now will someone please explain to Dave what a molly is?

is there a set number of LMB/acre or pounds of fish/acre that i am aiming for? (i see the 100 lbs/acre part, but aren't they all predators?)

i can cull a heck of a lot more bass if i set my mind to it. i am just having a hard time understanding how the bream and catfish got to be "keepers" while the bass didn't.

i will accept answers from pros and amateurs alike.

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not sure if I'm a pro but for sure experiecned. Not sure of last question. Good advice hard to cull too many bass in your situation/goals. Do not remove bluegill. Also you are not properly fertilizing lake. 3-4 times in spring is not the right way. You have to fertilize throughout the growing season. Try to maintain 18-24 inches of vis April-Octoner. THis will aid in forage base but also by next year mean you will have to remove even more bass. ALso much easier why than old granular on platform, I like and sell water soluble 10-52-4 iit only takes 4 lbs/ac vs. 40 lbs acre of granular. Many other pond mgmt ideas also but start by harvesting more bass.


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If you have many small bass they tend to eat all of the forage base that can fit in their mouths. The BG that are too big for them to eat grow even bigger because they do not have the competition for their food supply from their smaller cousins that the bass are eating up. I am dealing with a similar problem in my newly purchased pond. After 4 months of culling any bass under 11 inches I am already seeing some minor improvement in the weights of the 12 inch and larger fish. I think I am on the right track but realize it will take time.

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Marc Z., you forgot to add a comment that would stir things up.


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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thanks for the input. i have more ponds to discuss, but this one is the easiest for me to take my kids to. no matter how much fun we can have while dunking crickets, i just like the thought that the next bass we hook could be a big one.

greg-since you are the closest....bring some liquid fert and a big cooler to take your fish home in and hurry up. \:\)

UGA is for losers...(pot-stirring)

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 Quote:
i think you two pros need to stop hijacking my thread.
Sorry, it was a non-plus afternoon at work.

 Quote:
now will someone please explain to Dave what a molly is?
Explain to me too, I'm a Yankee.

Please excuse the hijacking. If you've got Greg involved, you're in excellent hands (He is definitely a PRO). As for Meadowlark, excuse him to; older guys tend to ramble on. ;\)


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All you ever wanted to know about Mollies but were smart enough not to ask:

http://www.animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/livebearers/molly.php

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2thDoc :

Great info from the pros above . Pond management can be a lot to learn all at once and sometimes does not seem to be logical. Pondboss has a couple of inexpensive easy to read books on the subject and the South Carolina DNR has a free publication online at

www.dnr.state.sc.us/wild/freshfish/fishpond.html

It is a good place to start with S. C. based info. Every pond is different and as Bill Cody reminds us --it all depends-- but it does have good basic info. ewest
















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Meadowlark.... I don't believe that a true Mollie is what he is refering to. Even a Carolina winter I think would be too harsh for a Molly to live thru. I used to raise freshwater fish and sell them wholesale. Mollies tend to start dying off at temps below 65 degrees.


I'll start treating my wife as good as my dog when she starts retrieving ducks.
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Okay, toothy, Whats a molly?

You know, after 20 years of pond ownership, stocking, etc., I'm not sure I have even reached amateur status. I sure screw up a lot. That's why I call it experimenting.

BTW, don't expect these guys to cut you a lot of slack. Some of them are downright evil.

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h20fwlkillr,

In that case of an apparent Pond Boss law violation (i.e. improper use of a fish's name applied in a colloquial manner), 2thDoc will have to suffer the consequences...remember the guy who posted about goggle eyes ( or gooogle eyes according to Theo)...we haven't heard from him since...think about that. Pond Boss has its ways.

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i will have to find a pic somewhere...but the molly we catch is a bream/bass looking hybrid. they don't get much bigger than 12oz.... other people call them "warmouths" because they look like a bream with a big mouth.

y'all do chew tobacco while you fish, right?

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DOC you must be an USC man. I just had a SC guy come over to buy tiger bass and our fertilizer. He got lost with good direcitons go figure. Just kiddin' nice for a SC guy. SC has some good DNR advice but still very outdated and general. I'm telling you go with water soluble powder not granular or liquid if you intend to get on a fertilizaiton program. Yes I have heard of molly some south GA folks say that. IT is a warmouth or better yet Lepomis gulosus.


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Thanks Greg...we've had that fish called 1) goggle-eye, 2) rock bass, 3) perch, and now Molly...and all that time I thought it was a green sunfish, also called goggle-eye...Lepomis cyanellus. Its a Warmouth!

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i hate USuCk more than UGa.

and quit speaking latin....unless its pig latin. THAT i can understand.

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[img]http://nas.er.usgs.gov/imageserver/image.asp?ID=182[/img]

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greg-outdated SC DNR? no way.... say it ain't so.

actually, the SC DNR used to have small pond fisheries management, but with all the budget cuts, it got cut....

that is why i am bothering you guys.

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Chew tobacco while fishing? Nope, my Dentist owns tobacco company stocks and has a bigger stock tank than I do.


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