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#24977 10/26/02 06:11 AM
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tim k Offline OP
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any downside to stocking threadfin shad in an existing lake in central texas? established forage base of coppernose, shiners, and crawfish. I know if water temp gets too low they can die off, but otherthan that are there any other potential problems with them? stock in early spring? number per acre? thanks

#24978 10/28/02 11:06 PM
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We will wait for B. Lusk on the specifics of threadfin shad. Bob discusses both species of shad in "Basic Pond Mgmt" and "Raising Trophy Bass"; both available from Pond Boss forum site, see front page of PBoss forum and click on: Books.


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#24979 11/08/02 06:06 PM
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Here's a few thoughts on threadfin shad. They die when water temps reach 42 degrees F., or lower. No leniency...they die. Threadfins are filter feeders, gleaning their food from the water column. Occasionally, threadfins will graze, but not normally. They grow to 6 or 7 inches, and have an average life span in nature of 18 months. Therefore, they spawn often. Every 45 to 60 days, once water temps rise into the mid-60's, threadfin spawn. They spawn at dawn, running the periphery of a pond or lake, looking for grass to lay their eggs. Baby shad must only be 45-60 days old to become sexually mature. So, threadfin have the potential to be the best forage for large bass, right behind bluegill.
Here's some of the problems.
First, availability. It's best to stock them in the spring, but not many dealers raise them. It will take several phone calls to find someone who will actually deliver.
Second, if threadfins are stocked into an existing bass population, where bass are even slightly overcrowded, the big mouth predator can eradicate threadfins before the silvery creatures can establish themselves. So, don't be surprised if it takes two or three stockings to establish threadfins. And, then, don't be surprised if a cold winter slips into central Texas just long enough to push your water to 41 degrees, even if only for a day or even a few hours. Dead shad.
Another concern is food for shad. Stock them in clear water, with moderate predator pressure, survival rates will be low.
Here's the best scenario...fertile water, plankton bloom with visibility to 24 inches, grass around the edges, stock adult shad, during their spawning season, starting in April in central Texas. Come July, watch out. Bass will start hitting shad, and topwater action will be great.
Here's a true story...Lake Texoma, a 90,000 acre public lake straddling the Texas/ Oklahoma border, renowned for its striper fishery, lost all their threadfin shad during the week before New Year's day, 1989. Water temps sunk well below 42 degrees.
The following spring, state biologists trapped 20,000 from a nearby power plant lake, restocked Lake Texoma. 18 months later, Lake Texoma was teeming with threadfins. When situations allow, threadfins are an excellent choice.
Here's an interesting factoid about threadfin shad. They have no air bladder, so they must swim, 24/7, or they sink. They run in schools, for protection. When a predator hits a school of shad, the baitfish explode in all directions. That move confuses predator fish, and saves a few lives.


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#24980 11/10/02 04:01 PM
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Bob, as always thanks for great info - sounds like a clear pond like mine with good population of bass PLUS chance of below 42 degrees the chances would be dicey at best of establishment of threadfin. SO that begs another question - what about tilapia? Or is there some other option in a pond like mine? Have excellent blugill population along with shiners and crawfish established. Simply looking (along with fertilization next spring) to boost the 7-8 pounders into double digits. (trying to be patient but also like trying to help Mother Nature out as much as possible)

#24981 11/13/02 10:05 PM
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Tim,
I would encourage you to stock threadfins. But, be sure to have a good bloom first.
Tilapia die at 52 degrees. That's Tilapia mossambica, the only species legal to stock in your lake in Texas.
The down side to tilapia is this...yes they spawn prolifically, yes they feed bass. No, they don't compete with bluegill. But, let's say you are able to increase your standing crop of bass by 5% during the year. Then, tilapia die. There's a significant void in your food chain. It becomes even more important to cull bass. Once your bass population has 25% of its fish larger than 16", you should consider gizzard shad. Big bass eat big meals. Here's the boldest statement I make. Every legitimate trophy bass lake under my care has gizzard shad.
But, conditions must be right, or gizzard shad can become a problem. They spawn once in the spring, have lots of babies, and grow fast. There must be enough big bass in the lake to chow down on mega-numbers of young, growing shad.


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#24982 03/11/03 09:14 AM
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Bob always says it best. Threadfin are the way to go. Gizzards can become very dominant especially in lakes that are muddy or have a dense bloom. If there are a good number of large bass gizzards usuually dont have a chance to overpopulate. Usually. There are some other threads on this site about the ups and downs of gizzard shad as well as tilapia. But just as Bob said stick with threadfins to pack the weight on the bass. Give me a shout if you are having trouble finding any.

#24983 03/11/03 10:30 AM
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Threadfin shad fans:

The past 10 years, I have owned and/or operated four fishing clubs in south-central Texas, with water bodies ranging from 1 surface acre to 55. I stocked all three with threadfins and was most pleased with the results.

In one fertile pond (next to a feed lot), the brood threadfins spawned in a matter of weeks. Every time an angler retrieved a spinnerbait, the juveniles frantically scattered. "Bait shower," we called it.

Aside from the temperature issue, I have two caveats: (1.) Threadfins are not always readily available; (2.) when they are, the fish are delicate as hen's eggs, thus tricky to transport, particularly in hot weather we all know is coming.

My practical experiences with gizzard shad are decidedly less positive, as the fish robbed high-protein feed intended for my bluegill and grew too large for the bass population to control.

Viva threadfins. Buy all you can reasonably afford, and stock them where you can.

Mark McDonald
Editor, TSJ

#24984 03/11/03 02:43 PM
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Okay since my water temperature gets well below 41 degrees without difficulty in the winter, what would another option be besides threadfin to increase the forage base (Besides bluegill)?

I plan to add a couple sacks of crawfish when boil next month (sack for me, sack for the bass, sack for me, sack for the bass, sack for me) but pending the results of an upcoming electrofishing survey (Greg I'll get confirmation tonight and we can pick a date/time!) I have a feeling I need more forage. Any suggestions are welcome!

#24985 03/11/03 03:33 PM
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Hey topH20, I would love to help/watch when you and Greg do the survey. If that is OK call me at my office 770 448 3385.

#24986 03/19/03 01:39 PM
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Have Bluegill & Threadfin & some type of minnows but would like to add crawfish to the prey list, doe's anyone know of a supplier close to Dallas , Tx. I live in Dallas but pond is in Canton,Tx. about 1.5 hour drive. Thanks

#24987 04/02/03 08:32 AM
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It appears that the threadfins lived through the winter in a few of my Atlanta ponds. A few showed up in the shocking surveys yesterday.

#24988 04/02/03 08:41 AM
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tim k Offline OP
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harvey the best place i have found for crawfish is Central Texas Baitshop in Killeen Texas - I know it is not near you, but crawfish can be hard to locate - this shop has them fairly regularly but call first to make sure they have them - they may be able to ship them to you Tim

#24989 04/03/03 09:44 AM
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Harvey,

Out on I30 East, east of I635 about two or three miles (I think at the Bobtown exit) is a small bait store called Fishermens Supply. They stock all sorts of baitfish, and can special order whatever you want. We had some goldfish special ordered last year for catfish bait, jug lining on Lake Tawakoni. Also, there is a reputable stocker fish supplier in Tyler, Tyler Fish Farms.

TopH20, As far as another forage fish, rather than shad, think about golden shiners. They are hardy, do not spawn as prolifically, but there can get to be lots of them. You might post a new thread asking others for their input.


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#24990 04/03/03 11:09 AM
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I got a little lucky. On my way back from the Final Four in New Orleans, Go Horn's, I will be picking up crawfish cheap.

#24991 04/08/03 05:27 PM
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Thanks Nick & Tim my pond is just a few miles from the tyler fish farm , will try them first-Harvey --------Texas715 - was rooting for the horns also.@*#@#*

#24992 04/09/03 01:11 PM
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Well TopH2O I don't think anyone answered that question of another alternative to threadfin in climates that regularly go below 42*. I thought of stocking threadfin during the 8 months of the year that my areas' lowest water temps are above 42* and perhaps stocking rainbow trout during the other 4 cold months. The problem with that is I doubt that either would establish for the obvious temp problems so other than gizzard shad there don't seem to be many options for additional forage that can become established and be a forage base for the big boys. Have you found anything else? Many have mentioned golden shiners on PB but I can never get that bold statement that Bob makes in his book as well as this thread about ALL of the 20 trophy lakes he manages have gizzard shad.


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