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Here are a few pics from my recent smallmouth fingerling harvest at my first attempt at producing my own fingerlings.


A 3 1/2 to 4 inch smallmouth that was hatched just a couple of months ago. I removed some up to 5 inches. Perhaps the record high water temps had something to do with some of these shooters?



On the other end of the spectrum is this 1 1/4 inch fish of which there were many more. Note the orange section of the caudal fin.





One of the RAS tanks with the smaller of the two size groups.



The other smaller RAS tank with the larger of the two size groups but less in number.



So far with several seine pulls I've taken out 615 fish in this 1/10th acre pond. Once I drain down completely I hope to remove at least a couple hundred more. This pond is extremely steep sided and not optimum for seining.

I think my numbers would have been higher if not for significant cannibalism by the larger of the to size groups (I witnessed it on several occasions), and the accidental introduction of yellow perch fry. Some of the perch were the plumpest I've seen.



Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 07/16/12 05:45 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Some of those smallies should be nice sized by October. Good job for the first attempt. Numerous fish farms can't manage to do what you did.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/16/12 06:35 PM.

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Nice pictures, Cecil!


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From Bob Lusk: Dr. Dave Willis passed away January 13, 2014. He continues to be a key part of our Pond Boss family...and always will be.
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You the man Cecil! now if only you were in Illinois I would have a home for as many as those babies as you could ever produce.


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Quite the size range!

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Originally Posted By: n8ly
You the man Cecil! now if only you were in Illinois I would have a home for as many as those babies as you could ever produce.


Nate, it'd still work as long as he gets his testing done. (well, that and the miles to pick them up).


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yep the closer to home, the way easier and more economical for end user to get er done.

that being said if he cant find homes for them, I surely can!


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LOL - He is better taking a focused picture of his shoe than the fingerling smallie. eek
I couldn't resist the opportunity of payback for the trash can fish cage comments.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/16/12 09:16 PM.

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I was gonna mention something too. Both shoes loud and clear!!


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
LOL - He is better taking a focused picture of his shoe than the fingerling smallie. eek
I couldn't resist the opportunity of payback for the trash can fish cage comments.


My dad took that photo and the first one.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 07/16/12 10:01 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Hey, at least the shoes are on his feet and not in the pond! wink grin


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Not yet.

The pond will be down in a day or two (it's taking longer because I'm pumping in well water as I drain down).

Not looking forward to walking around on the bottom in the muck and going up and down a ladder but I will be in waders.

On another note, the 8 foot poly tank I attempted to sink to the bottom after seining won't sink. My metal ones did when I used them. The plan is to use it as a clean water reservoir to drop the fish into I collect off the bottom.

Completely full of water it just sits there just below the surface. I had to put a concrete block in it to get it to sink, and even then, it still sits at an angle because the block slid to one side. Hopefully as the water level goes down it will rest on the bottom and be at least mostly full of water.

I realize the plastic is buoyant but I was sure full of water it would have sunk like a rock.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 07/17/12 07:10 AM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Originally Posted By: esshup
Originally Posted By: n8ly
You the man Cecil! now if only you were in Illinois I would have a home for as many as those babies as you could ever produce.


Nate, it'd still work as long as he gets his testing done. (well, that and the miles to pick them up).


Yeah they can go anywhere once I get the testing done. I have not had anyone interested in Indiana.

I have one farm in Ohio that really wants them but it's not written in stone.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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If you get testing done I will be very interested for Fall of 2013!


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Very nice Cecil!

How are the smaller fish doing with the feed training?



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Originally Posted By: RockvilleMDAngler
If you get testing done I will be very interested for Fall of 2013!


I'd be happy to but I'd rather get rid of them in one sale via wholesale.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Originally Posted By: Shorty
Very nice Cecil!

How are the smaller fish doing with the feed training?



They seem to be eating the feed but it's hard to really tell for sure with sinking feed. At least with floating feed you can see them hit the surface.

I put a belt feeder above the bigger tank with the smaller fish which I will use along with broadcasting feed periodically.


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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1

I realize the plastic is buoyant but I was sure full of water it would have sunk like a rock.


Specific Gravity of the plastic tank material alone is pretty close to what water is. That is why it would not sink, even full of water.

Doing a great job with the smallies!!!



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Yes that's it. It just seemed like it would sink like a rock.

Thanks for the kind words. Not out of the woods yet. I need to get them voraciously feeding on floating pellets at some point not only to get them sustained and healthy but to reduce the mess sinking pellets create in the tanks.

I would have preferred a flow through for feed training but with the temps outside there it would have been risky and salt would not have been an option. Salt has been a life saver for me after I've stressed fish as in seining.

I haven't lost a single one yet...

BTW I had visitor to the pond this morning; A Kingfisher.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 07/18/12 12:23 AM.

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I got up at the crack of dawn to check for the Kingfischer and run him off. (While pond is low and fish are vulnerable). No Kingfischer the first three checks. Took a short snooze, went out and there he was. LOL

As I've stated here before I no longer shoot anything unless there is no recourse. As soon as he sees me the little devil is gone for the day. grin

Today, what fish I can salvage while draining will be out and he will be out of luck.

BTW bigger smallies in a separate tank, which are probably cannibals, are eating pieces of redworm AND hydrated feed. Bill Cody's method. Soon I hope to get them on all pellets.

Smaller fish seem to be eating pellets but it's not clear cut as I try and keep it fairly dark in that room. I did lose one.

Big water changes once a day due to all the waste lots of small fish produce and the uneaten feed.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 07/18/12 10:08 AM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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The remaining SMB in my RAS system still prefer hydrated sinking pellets to floating pellets but I haven't forced the issue yet, it's coming though. I am waiting on a fresh bag of AM500 to come in, hopefully next week. I do have a handfull of SMB (biggest ones in the tank) that have no problem eating non-hydrated pellets off the surface.



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Ended up with 754 smallies. Turns out the most common fish in the pond were not fatheads but sticklebacks, which no doubt were mixed in with the fatheads I got from a bait supplier. Next year either no bait fish added at all for the broodfish smallmouth or I will be sure to remove any sticklebacks before planting the fatheads.

It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers I can get with no other species in the pond.

I was relived to know I did get all the broodfish out as none were present in the drained pond.



Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 07/19/12 01:59 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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I wouldn't be suprised if some of the sticklebacks ate some of the YOY SMB too.

They are common in the FHM from bait dealers around here. When I was buying FHM for Crappies, I'd say I got a Stickleback per 2 dz. FHM.


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I've gotten sticklebacks in my bait bucket before as well. From what I've heard said, fish don't care much for them. I've also noticed they have a much higher tolerance to low oxygen than FHM.

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Cecil - I would be very interested to see what effect the sticklebacks had on your offspring numbers. I have heard and read so many conflicting things about stickleback minnows.

We have done numerous beer sponsored studies with different types of bait fish native to our ponds. The goal was to see what species of bait fish were preferred. All "studies" have been conducted from May-Aug with a minimum of 6 cold beers per guy.

Using the same location, same time, and same rigs, we tested: Fatheads, Bluegills, Mud Minnows, and Sticklebacks side by side. Here is how they rated, listed by most preferred in my ponds by BCP;

1) Sticklebacks
2) Bluegills
3) Mud Minnows and Fathead minnows pretty even

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