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Connor, I recently caught a huge GSF mix from my pond. It had the GSF markings but not the elongated body. No idea what the % was on the mix. I neither weighed nor measured it but it was 9.5 to 10 inches. Biggest one I've ever caught.


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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If you can land him on a fly rod, I believe that busts the previous state record by at least an inch!

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Doubt that I'll ever have the opportunity to see it again. My first thoughts when I catch a really nice fish is to get it back into the water ASAP.


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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This also brings up the question of what percentage GSF a fish must be in order to qualify for a state record... Wouldn't it stand to reason that almost all GSF in the wild have some degree of BG influence in their bloodlines? And if said fish was to some degree a hybrid, how prominent do you think BG characteristics would have to be in order to disqualify it as a record fish?

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I was kinda wondering whether to call it a GSF with mutt BG genes or vise versa. But then, I like GSF more than BG.


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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I started feeding optimal bluegill feed on May 1st, and the fish have taken extremely well to it. In fact, seeing so much activity led me to do casting net surveys. I'm now feeding over a quart of feed per day, with fish activity dropping off fairly sharply after the quart has been fed.

The fecundity of the bluegill amazes me. Even though only about 20 bluegill were stocked last July, they make up the vast majority of what I catch when using the cast net.

I know earlier in the thread it was discussed on the timing of adding bass... Should they be added now to reduce to bluegill population, or will the GSF benefit from the greater forage base even though more fish are eating their feed?

Also, Walter Bassano tells me he should have a ballpark delivery date for me next week for the tilapia. It was also discussed here that tilapia should be stocked at a rate of no less than 10 lbs per acre. Would it be counterproductive to add both bass and tilapia this season as far as maximizing GSF growth?

Sorry for all the questions and post length, but I feel that these next few months are crucial in the making or breaking of the project. Thanks in advance for responses!

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GSF have the same mouth gape as a LMB up to about 8"-9", so whatever you can do to maximize the food that LMB up to that size eat, the better off you will be to achieving your goal.


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The tilapia shipment got here on June 2nd, and it seems to me that they've already done a number on the algae. I can't say enough about the integrity of Walter Bassano, who made sure I got the best deal possible on my fish and has been instrumental in encouraging this entire process. It ended up being about 60 fish added totaling 20 lbs, and I saw them eating pellets as soon as four days after stocking.

Chara has begun to reach the shoreline, and water clarity is beginning to improve. Fish are eating half a gallon of optimal bluegill feed every day.

The bluegill population has exploded, and it's become very obvious (as has been stated here numerous times) that adult green sunfish cannot keep up with bluegill reproduction on their own. I've decided to add largemouth bass to cut down recruitment.

I've read plenty on when to harvest bass when managing for bluegill, but can't seem to find much on how many bass to stock initially. For a pond that is typically an acre and a half, how many bass should be added this summer or fall?

Edit: I also plan on removing all fish that do not have a body score similar to this

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Last edited by Connor Kelley; 06/19/16 11:44 PM.
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That greenie looks like it has its belly full of Optimal!

They are chow hounds, that is for sure.


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Yep, that is a chow hound.

Connor, I really like the idea of 50 bass per acre. It delays the time to cull.


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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Number of LMB stocked depends on your goal. For large LMB 50 per acre or less. For balanced pond 75 is plenty. However with large GSF and BG stocking 2 inch LMB may be problematical. If you could get 40 (total for your pond) 6 inch LMB then that may work better.

Question why stock tilapia if no predators (LMB). If so then you better watch your biomass with the tilapia.
















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Ewest, the thought on the tilapia was to try and maximize available food to growing GSF while cutting down on FA (I've also heard rumors that they may eat chara under certain circumstances, but that played a negligible role in the decision to have them stocked).

As far as keeping biomass down goes, I'm hoping to maintain a very intensive culling program where I fin clip all fish under 2.5 inches and remove fish of any other size that are not comparable to the fish in the last post.

The hope is that by the fall I'll have a fishery consisting mainly of largemouth bass and BG/GSF averaging 6+ inches.

Also, I compared the price of buying 40 5-7 inch bass with buying 100 2-3 inch bass, and the latter option is cheaper by about $20 (Overton's online pricing and availability sheet). Even though the time to the first cull is accelerated, would these 6 inch fish be able to spawn next year?

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Yes 6 inch LMB would be able to spawn next year in your location. With out high predation (IMO GSF can't provide that) tilapia can fill up biomass like no other pond fish even BG.

The risk of using less but larger LMB in your situation is far less than the risk of missing (over or under) your needs by using 2 inch LMB and $20 as well.

Last edited by ewest; 06/21/16 04:23 PM.















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I agree with ewest, the $20 is nothing. I would opt for the larger fish especially with the type of fish in the pond that you would be stocking the 2" LMB on top of. For me, going with the larger fish is a no brainer.


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Sorry for my absence, this summer has been extremely busy for me. I stopped feeding for about three weeks while I culled fish and have started back up during the cool spell that those of us in North Texas are experiencing right now.

I also raked out chara today, raking out a rake's width and then shifting over two or three widths before starting another strip. I plan to do more, but wanted to see how it looked once the water settled back down. Water clarity is excellent, and I plan to measure exact visibility with a homemade secchi disk tomorrow.

The tilapia have done tremendously from what I can tell, and I have no more FA to speak of. The white tilapia are especially visible right now, and reiterate to me that a top tier predator is going to be vital in this setting. I planned to add largemouth bass back in June, but was out of town for all the local shipments to feed stores. I expect deliveries to pick back up this fall so that I can add LMB to feast on lethargic TP.

As always, time on the pond is well spent, and the attached pictures are even more captivating when I think about what is going on beneath the surface.

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75 LMB fingerlings were added this past Friday to the pond. I did 50% water changes every five minutes with pond water to get the fish acclimated, and then tried to add them all to a shallow area of flooded mesquite on the south end of the pond. I counted the fish as I released them (partly because it did NOT look like there were 75 fish in the bucket) and got to 37 when I noticed some of the fish looked like they were trying to jump out of the water.

I didn't think about any toxins leaching from the mesquite trees because there were young bluegill and tilapia all around my feet in the water. Regardless, I did not want to risk anything, so I released the other fish near a brick pile in shallow water 60 yards away.

What kind of losses to predation should I expect? I know larger fish would have been better to stock, but I will not have time until later this year to pick up any fish from Overton's. I do intend to make a trip down there this fall and make a field trip if nothing else, but I really wanted at least some bass to be able to take advantage of the tilapia die-off.

In the near future, are there any drawbacks to adding bucket stocked lmb besides possible predation on the lmb I just stocked? Obviously the fish would need to be well under the cull length when stocked, but for a trophy panfish pond could it hurt to add more bass at this stage?

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You should add in some rip rap and some large rocks, GSF absolutely love hiding in the dark crevices created by rocks. Also, I would consider supplemental stocking of papershell crayfish, these will help to get that state record GSF as well as the health of the LMB.

Last edited by ABC; 12/31/16 12:07 PM. Reason: To make it more clear

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I would love to have rip rap, but cattle also have access to the pond and I worry about a hooves getting caught.

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Connor,

If you really want rip rap it does not have to be continuous around the pond. Maybe you could pick a few spots around the pond in the lower cattle traffic areas to put rip rap. I suspect the cattle will avoid the rip rap if it is in just a few localized spots.


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Conner, Bill D is spot on in his assessment of cattle traffic. You might consider fencing the cattle off nearly the entire perimeter of the pond and only allow access at 1 specific spot. They don't need to be tramping around the whole pond, mucking up the shoreline, sloughing off the banks, crapping in the water.
Besides, those soon to be crocodile sized GSF just might gang up on a calf and pull it under! Sata massagana for GSF; chop chop for bovine baby!

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Select areas of rip-rap around the pond sounds feasible, I know where I can source material around here for free... How small can these areas be and still be effective?

Current pond conditions are as follows:

-tilapia ended up really diminishing chara density (I haven't spotted any in months)

-fish are still eating, especially with the relatively warm temperatures right now

-water visibility is only about 12 inches right now (I'm assuming because of the lack of vegetation to hold sediment in place) and depth is right at 10 ft.

-fish condition is okay, not excellent.

As far as top tier predators go, I'm considering adding larger LMB than the ones I did back in September that were about 3 inches long. As was warned against in this thread, I'm afraid a majority of them either fell to predation or died due to stress.

How many 6-8 inch bass (from Overton Fisheries) should/could be added and could they be added before the start of this spring?

Sorry for the length of the post, but thanks for the consideration.

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I would check with Overtons to see if they can provide non-pellet trained LMB. My understanding from a recent PBM article and PBF posts is that LMB that are pellet trained will not perform well in a natural environment unless they are provided pellets to survive/thrive.

Last edited by Bill D.; 01/22/17 08:27 AM.

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MY EXPERIENCE and your mileage may differ.

Not sure where this stuff comes from. At hatcheries, bass fry, like other fry, are fed powdered meal of some kind.

Get some bass minnows and put them in a large container. Each day there will be less of them. Those little cannibals eat each other. Many years ago I put some bass fingerlings in my creek. I was watching 2 of them that were side by side. And then there was one with the others tail sticking out of its mouth.

Quite a few years ago, another poster put about 50 of them in a barrel and kept them there for a couple of days. Each day there were less of them.

If they will eat each other they will eat other small fish and bugs. Without pellets, they revert to predators. I believe it would be safe to call them instinct feeders.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/22/17 06:55 AM.

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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To build on that, if pellet trained fish were so particular, how would you catch them on a plastic crank bait?

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Hey guys,

Don't shoot the messenger on this one. I was just providing the info on the subject I've read in PBM articles in the last couple years.

Quote from Bob L. in the Jan/Feb issue of PBM...

"..if you are adamant about doing things nature's way, then don't even think about using feed-trained fish in your stocking plan. They won't make the shift from feedlot to your underwater range."

He goes on to provide that if you stock feed trained fish anyway and don't feed them, then 60% will deteriorate or disappear. 20% will have flat performance and only 20% will thrive at some level.

Last edited by Bill D.; 01/22/17 09:36 AM. Reason: Clarification

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