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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #497347 10/09/18 08:35 PM
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Couple of RES caught right before dark from this pond. I think they are coming along ok. They just need to grow and spawn next year.

Also removed three RES hybrids. Glad to get any hybrids out of this pond. They go into my adjacent old pond where I enjoy fishing for hybrids.

Attached Files
20181009_183932 (600 x 600).jpg (126.24 KB, 363 downloads)
RES 1
20181009_184204 (600 x 600).jpg (167.78 KB, 333 downloads)
RES 2

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #497355 10/10/18 10:35 AM
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Sure are pretty fish John, they are one of my favorites

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #497730 10/20/18 12:35 PM
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The water in this pond has been unbelievably clear lately. FA growing on the bottom in some spots like gangbusters so maybe that is the reason (FA taking up all the nutrients maybe?).

Earlier this summer I could catch 3.5-6" SMB YOY one after another easily. Now I put a lure in the water, can see them and move the lure so it almost hits them, and they just ignore it. I did get them to play with a curly tail jig just a little bit last night. They would ignore it as long as it was around them but if I let it drop to the bottom in a clear patch a couple would nip at the tail a couple times before loosing interest. Did not catch a thing in this pond last night and only a couple strikes. That is one nice thing about having multiple ponds with different species. The BG were still biting reasonably well in my main 3 acre pond and the HBG and GSF in my other ponds are always good for a bite (only RES and SMB in this pond).

Since the water was so clear some big beds that I assume are my SMB beds are very visible. The reason I think they may be SMB beds are because of the size. The largest one is probably about 2' in diameter (the most distant in the picture). The RES I have seen on beds earlier in the season the beds were only about half or a little more in size. In this pond I made several finger mounds jutting out from the dam toward the middle of the pond. All of these structural fingers have beds on them similar to the one pictured only this has the largest beds on it. I also have some mounds out in the middle of the pond I can barely see from the bank with the water being so low but I can not see if they have beds on them or not. I suspect they do. I need to buy a small boat so I can go out there some time. I have not seen any fish on the beds for quite a while.

The pond has never completely refilled yet since I raised the full pool level by 9" this summer (pictures and description earlier in this thread). I would like to see what it would look like full but rains all summer and so far this fall have been such that only a small amount has run off into the ponds. Not enough to fill this one completely yet. The beds pictured will have another 12-14" of water over them once the pond is full to the new water level.

Bushy pond weed pictured closest to the shore in first picture with some slightly further out covered in FA. The FA seems to kind of keep the bushy pond weed in check by competing with it.

Attached Files
20181017_115922.jpg (104.38 KB, 288 downloads)
View of "finger" leading out from the dam toward the middle of the pond with beds on the top
20181017_115812.jpg (52.13 KB, 234 downloads)
closer picture of the finger with beds
20181017_115845.jpg (65.21 KB, 221 downloads)
close up of the largest bed
Last edited by snrub; 10/20/18 12:46 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #497733 10/20/18 06:50 PM
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Interesting. I don't recall ever seeing SMB nests in a colony before but the ones I've seen are in a stream or river.



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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
Bill D. #497734 10/20/18 07:23 PM
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I don't know for sure they are. They just seem to be larger than the other beds I was able to see RES on so i was making an assumption. Could be wrong.

During the spring when the SMB woukd have spawned I could not see these beds because water was not so clear and it was a bit deeper.

Last edited by snrub; 10/20/18 07:24 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #497735 10/20/18 07:47 PM
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I suspect the larger bed was originally a SMB bed that was likely reused by a RES and then other RES made a couple beds near the large bed.


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
Bill Cody #497736 10/20/18 09:59 PM
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Well the sun came out and the fish were biting in this RES/SMB pond for a few minutes. Then they started ignoring me again. Caught three in a few minutes then nothing for the next hour. Oh well.

Water is so clear I can see lots and lots of 4-6" SMB

Moved the smaller one to my forage pond and the larger one to my sediment pond to grow them out big enough to put in my main 3 acre pond. They will probably get moved to the main pond next summer or next fall. The RES went back in this same pond to grow.

Attached Files
20181020_152707.jpg (90.79 KB, 227 downloads)
These SMB amaze me what they will try to bite
20181020_152930.jpg (89.72 KB, 292 downloads)
A little bigger YOY SMB
20181020_153731.jpg (82.2 KB, 270 downloads)
And a RES
Last edited by snrub; 10/20/18 11:06 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #498328 11/03/18 03:14 PM
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The SMB went back to avoiding my hook again. So I changed tactics. Got the cast net out. I could see them in the clear water, but they just would not bite a hook.

I wanted a few more of the 3-4" size to transfer to my forage pond to grow out over the winter and next spring. Ended up with 18 to transfer. A couple looked a little light weight and a couple of tubbies that were very fat. But most just looked to be in very good shape. Most were in the 3.5-4" range with a couple slightly larger. I was a little surprised I didn't get any 6-8" ones because I see them from the bank regularly. They may have been out in deeper water. Or just quicker to escape the net.

Some pictures below.

FA is terrible in this pond. Brought up blobs of it along with some bushy pond weed, but still got a few fish most casts.

Also got one RES hybrid in the cast net. frown Fat little bugger. Moved it to my old pond.

Attached Files
20181102_163025.jpg (161.02 KB, 207 downloads)
20181102_164956.jpg (121.5 KB, 249 downloads)
20181102_172959.jpg (166.86 KB, 271 downloads)
The entire catch for the day
20181102_164923.jpg (130.62 KB, 252 downloads)
And one YOY RES from the cast net
Last edited by snrub; 11/03/18 03:32 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #505924 05/15/19 01:33 PM
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Took the wife down to this RES/SMB pond around noon today so she could see the RES on the nests clearly. The water is clear and with the sun overhead it is easy to see the RES on the shallow nests. Maybe 12-18" deep water.

Several scattered nests around the edge of the dam where there is a shallow ledge. On another side 7 grouped tightly together getting into squabbles at times over turf.

When we fed last night saw one pair actually spawning in that group of 7. Did see one hybrid on a lone nest as it has some yellow tipping on the fins. Need to catch him and remove.

Lots and lots of SMB from 4" up to about 10" readily visible all around the pond. With the warmer water the larger ones are really starting to hit the feed and come swimming towards the bank when I come up on the pond with the 4 wheeler. Feeding has been persnickety and off and on this spring with the SMB. But they are getting with the program now, finally.

Bill Cody 5 part series on raising SMB. Part 5 with the links at the bottom

Last edited by snrub; 06/26/19 09:36 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #509726 08/03/19 09:25 AM
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Some of the SMB I have been catching and transferring to my main 3 acre pond and my old pond. I target 6-12" sizes specifically for transfer by using small curly tail jig or a jig head with some tiny Gulp Alive waxies or maggots. Once in a while I will catch a bigger one on the small jigs.

Have transferred about 25 of this size of SMB so far this year. I have a BUNCH in this pond that come up to feed. Need to thin the herd. grin

While I was away a friend fished my main pond and among the catch was a SMB that weighed in over 4#. That would have been one that originally came from this pond and was transferred in a previous year. (I transferred some larger ones back then)

Attached Files
20190728_181006.jpg (151.37 KB, 136 downloads)
SMB 1
20190728_181201.jpg (145.33 KB, 103 downloads)
SMB 2
20190731_192230.jpg (143.35 KB, 115 downloads)
SMB 3
20190802_160450.jpg (151.94 KB, 115 downloads)
SMB 4
20190728_184008.jpg (119.63 KB, 227 downloads)
Ureka! I actually DO have RES in this RES pond :-)
Last edited by snrub; 08/03/19 09:37 AM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #518573 03/29/20 10:15 PM
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While riding around the ponds today I ran a small minnow net through a puddle at the bottom of the RES/SMB pond dam where the water was coming out the overflow. Caught several small fish in the puddle. They likely came out the overflow but could possibly been deposited there when we had a flood earlier.

If they came out the overflow, the fish SHOULD be either a RES or a SMB fry. About an inch long. Can anyone ID for certain? Would these be this years spawn already? Or from last year?

The last picture I know is a gambusia. But the other pictures?

I ended up catching several of them and we put them in a very small aquarium. I hope they live long enough to positively ID them. I hope they are RES fingerlings.

Attached Files
20200329_173130.jpg (75.06 KB, 113 downloads)
20200329_173207.jpg (77.46 KB, 114 downloads)
SMB or RES fingerling????
20200329_173126.jpg (60.08 KB, 86 downloads)
20200329_173334.jpg (70.77 KB, 77 downloads)
20200329_173236.jpg (55.46 KB, 93 downloads)
Last edited by snrub; 03/29/20 10:16 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #518579 03/30/20 06:10 AM
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All of the fingerlings look like SMB to me.

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
jpsdad #518592 03/30/20 01:04 PM
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Ok Thanks.

I have a few in an aquarium now, if they live long enough maybe they will grow and will become more obvious. When they get 3-4" long they will develop a dark tail. Last year caught a bunch of small ones on tiny 1/64 oz jigs. I could see them swimming near the bank and target them with the jig. They would attack it. They were easy to identify by the dark tail.

That would make sense that the SMB already got a spawn off. I think it is still too early for the RES.

My SMB have had good spawns. Have caught lots and transferred to other ponds.


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #518857 04/04/20 04:50 PM
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Been catching crawdads and putting into this pond.

At the overflow pipe there is a small wash that the new half inch long crawdads seem to migrate up to from a low lying area with puddles. I can get about 40-50 a day with a small dip net in this puddle. Come back the next day or two and a bunch more will be in there.

Probably have put 150 or so of these tiny crawdads into this SMB/RES pond. Hopefully they will grow up, eat the bushy pondweed and FA, and feed the SMB. I place them in different areas around the bank into some bushy pondweed so they have some cover to start out in.

Identified the variety in this thread. Water Nymph crayfish

An interesting thing is that snails are just thick in this overflow pipe, trying to migrate up to and into the pond. Some of them are making it. Go RES!

Last edited by snrub; 04/04/20 04:55 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #518900 04/05/20 09:12 AM
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Snrub, like you we have caught as many as 1200 of those small sized crawfish and added them to the pond. We did this back around 5 yrs ago and about the same time we added our lmb to the pond. They grew and denuded the pond of all vegetation. Here, the red swamp craws grow in most any ditch that holds water. I recently caught around a hundred of them like you and added them to the pond. i need to add a lot more and hope they feed on the bushy pondweed


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
TGW1 #518907 04/05/20 11:50 AM
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Man getting that balance of control is crazy hard.

My main pond has never grown any weeds other than some rush we planted around the edge. Of course I did put 4 grass carp in the pond early on as "preventative" (3 acre pond) which may have been a mistake.

Then this RES/SMB pond, within a hundred yards of the main pond, got over run with bushy pond weed in its second - third year from being built. Just crazy different how the two ponds evolved. Same soil types and clay.

One difference is the RES/SMB pond is further from the house and gets more migratory bird traffic. I think that is what brought the bushy pond weed in, as my other ponds have zero.

Last edited by snrub; 04/15/20 12:18 PM.

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A new direction for the RES pond
snrub #520347 05/02/20 03:49 PM
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Well I just can't leave well enough alone.

After seeing the really nice BG/RES cross fish a few posts back, decided I wanted some. I have had quite a few GSF/RES hybrids in my main pond but have had only the rare RES/BG cross that I only speculated that was what it was.

Ask wife if we caught a really nice male copernose BG out of the main pond what she thought of the idea of adding it to the RES pond to get some crosses. She said go for it. Well we did catch a really pretty copernose and transferred it to this RES/SMB pond. So maybe next year we will be catching a few BG/RES hybrids out of this pond. I only plan on this single male (at least I think it is a male) so hopefully the hybrids will not completely overwhelm the RES. But hopefully we will get some and also up the sunfish catch rate in this pond. I like catching fish and not so much fishing for them. So catch rates are important to me.
I suppose if it is a female I will still be ok but one of the reasons I am only doing one fish is then there will be no mistake of getting one male and one female and have an "Oops!".

Having the single male CNBG among a pond full of RES females I ought to get some pretty hybrids.

I have caught some GSF/RES out of this pond (a few fingerlings I misidentified putting into this pond) so there is still an outside chance that I could end up with some "mutts", but my experience with those hybrids is they are very easy to catch and I think I have caught most of them and removed them already.

Caught a few 9"+- SMB out of this pond and transferred to the main pond. Been thinning the herd in the main pond by filleting lots of BG/GSF hybrids and GSF in the main pond so figured adding the SMB would not hurt.

Last edited by snrub; 05/02/20 03:51 PM.

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Re: A new direction for the RES pond
snrub #520350 05/02/20 04:49 PM
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I'm looking forward to reading the progress on this project. I was a bit surprised to learn how the hybrids dominated the catch in Theo's pond. I wonder if that was because they are numerically much stronger than the pure strain RES or just that they bite more readily. It makes sense that the hybrids grow faster and (perhaps consequently) survive better. If so there may be numerical strength of hybrids amongst recruits.

So I try to imagine how the male BG are able to accomplish success having young. I imagine the RES on their beds ... so what happens next? Do the big BG just bully their way to center and the RES girls choose those nests due to their prime location? Or perhaps do the big BG just go where they want dispersing there genes as dominant satellites that male RES are unable to prevent? I recall you are a scuba diver and if you commonly still do from time to time dive your own ponds... I would be most interested in your impressions if you ever happen to observe male BG breeding with the RES.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/02/20 04:55 PM.
Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #520358 05/02/20 10:16 PM
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I have done both scuba and snorkeling in my main 3 acre pond and this one acre RES/SMB pond snorkeled once last year.

Problem is the water is almost never clear enough to see anything very well. Because of the excess bushy pondweed in this pond it was actually clear enough to see maybe 3'. Problem is at 3' visibility you can really only see "well" about 18". Things beyond that are more just fuzzy shadows. We did see SMB last year snorkeling but the only way we ended up seeing them is by placing floating feed on the surface and being in the middle of the feeding frenzy. Then we could see flashes of fast moving fish. Not really a clear view. I did find some fingerling RES maybe a couple inches long in among the bushy pondweed.

One year in the main pond in late summer the water cleared up to about 3' and I crawled around in 2-3' deep water and saw lots of BG on beds. I could actually creep up towards the beds slowly and the fish would get used to me and stay on the beds. That was kind of cool. I would get a big male BG to "charge'" me to try and run me off. Took a bunch of video with a go-pro but I had the camera upside down so all the video was upside down, LOL. I did find one nest out by itself in another location that was a RES nest. I could see the red opercular tab. Problem is to see them really clearly in 3' visability you need to be within about 18" and the fish will not let you get that close. About as close as they would let me approach without leaving the nest was probably 2.5', so I could see them but not terribly clearly. Was still fun.

Under water in fresh water at least, fish can see and sense you are there long before you can see them. When I used to competition spearfish in Tablerock lake, the rough fish we targeted always knew you were there but I could not see them. If you scuba dive and swim all the time it is likely you will never see a fish. The way we spearfished is to drop to the bottom, lay as still as we could on the bottom or in a submerged tree, try not to even move your eyes. The fish would get curious and start circling in. You would see first a shadow on the outskirts of vision pas in front of you. Then just hold still, They would circle around and the next pass come closer. Once you were able to get a positive ID (so we did not shoot a game fish which is illegal) we could shoot if they were in range of the gun. Funny thing is, clear water was a lot harder to shoot fish than muddy water. We had retaining strings on the spear about 6-7' long. Spears lost a lot of velocity at the end of range and if the tip hit a big carp scale some times would not penetrate the fish. In muddy water we would hold the tip of the gun right under our our face mask. Pneumatic guns, not the rubber band guns like used in the clear ocean. If you held the gun out in front of you, the fish might pass between you and the spear tip. So if it was extremely muddy we might have the spear tip just inches in front of our face mask and shoot a fish that was maybe 2' in front of our mask. Best fishing was when we were shooting fish about 3' in front of us.

I was never very good at it. My partner brother was a lot better. We did scuba spearfishing one day and skin diving spear fishing the other day. He could hold his breath a lot longer than me. Dropping down in 3-10 feet of water, holding your breath till you get a fish or as long as you can, then doing it again and again is not easy. But there were some guys that were really good at it. I think is was 4 hour competition and some of the really good spearfishers could bring in 50 or more fish. I was usually lucky to get a few. We could shoot any rough fish which included carp, suckers. drum. buffalo and shad.

But I digress. The trick to seeing fish in lakes and ponds is not swimming to look for them. It is holding still and letting the fish come check you out. Fish are curious. Bluegill you will feel biting on the hair of the arms and ears before you see them. Then eventually if you hold still small ones will come peck on the mask faceplate. It is really hard to see the larger fish unless they are on the nest. They are much more wary than the little ones. I have successfully fed them by hand though. Had foot long CC come right up to take feed. If you do it often enough (I did not) you can get CC tamed enough to eat out of your hand. In Beaver Lake in a cove the divers there had several pet CC that they took hot dogs down and fed them. They would come right up to a diver looking to be fed. So if you work with the fish they can be tamed to the point you can see them. For the average person just jumping in with a mask, it is a good chance they will never see a fish unless they hold still.

Last edited by snrub; 05/02/20 10:30 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #520368 05/02/20 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by snrub
While riding around the ponds today I ran a small minnow net through a puddle at the bottom of the RES/SMB pond dam where the water was coming out the overflow. Caught several small fish in the puddle. They likely came out the overflow but could possibly been deposited there when we had a flood earlier.

If they came out the overflow, the fish SHOULD be either a RES or a SMB fry. About an inch long. Can anyone ID for certain? Would these be this years spawn already? Or from last year?

The last picture I know is a gambusia. But the other pictures?

I ended up catching several of them and we put them in a very small aquarium. I hope they live long enough to positively ID them. I hope they are RES fingerlings.
I'll probably eat crow here but I'm going with RES on these except the last (Gam)


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
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That would have been my guess, because the RES I recently bought from the fish truck had the vertical stripes just like the ones from the puddle. But what baffled me was how early it was. I could fully believe that the SMB had spawned, but the RES??? And that small of fish out the overflow been last years spawn??? I didn't think so.

I don't know if they are going to survive in the little plastic aquarium we have them in. They are still alive but not growing. They are acting like RES in that they do not want to feed on the fish starter we have. Once in a while they will take a pellet as it falls and spit it out. They act just like the RES we raised before in a bigger aerated aquarium. We do have some snails in there laying eggs so maybe of some of them hatch and if they are RES they will survive. I don't really care if the fish live or die other than I would like to know what they are. The gams are growing like gangbusters on the feed and wait for me like puppy dogs for me to feed them.

I have never seen a SMB that small. I have caught bunches of them at 4" with a few as small as 3.5". I catch them on 1/64 oz jigs with a Gulp Alive waxie for bait in about 6" of water. Those little suckers are voracious. Watch them follow the lure and attack it. I have had lots of them every year. But they always have a dark band on their tail and are easily distinguishable even watching them in shallow water from the shore.

On a different note, here is a picture of the CNBG wife caught out of our main pond and put in this RES/SMB pond. Hopefully it will produce us some pretty CNBG/RES hybrids that will be easier to catch than those persnickety eaters RES. I'm calling it a male. Anyone think it is a female? Caught another one just about like it tonight and considered adding it too, but thought no, just my luck I would add a male and female. I really don't want a pond bull of CNBG in my RES pond. A few hybrids (hopefully lots of males) will be just fine.

Attached Files
20200430_182649 (450 x 600).jpg (38.31 KB, 56 downloads)
20200430_182738 (600 x 450).jpg (38.5 KB, 61 downloads)
Last edited by snrub; 05/03/20 12:28 AM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
Snipe #520402 05/03/20 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
Originally Posted by snrub
While riding around the ponds today I ran a small minnow net through a puddle at the bottom of the RES/SMB pond dam where the water was coming out the overflow. Caught several small fish in the puddle. They likely came out the overflow but could possibly been deposited there when we had a flood earlier.

If they came out the overflow, the fish SHOULD be either a RES or a SMB fry. About an inch long. Can anyone ID for certain? Would these be this years spawn already? Or from last year?

The last picture I know is a gambusia. But the other pictures?

I ended up catching several of them and we put them in a very small aquarium. I hope they live long enough to positively ID them. I hope they are RES fingerlings.
I'll probably eat crow here but I'm going with RES on these except the last (Gam)

Agreed, probably a late hatch RES from last summer.



Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
Shorty #520405 05/03/20 11:27 AM
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Just surprised a fish that small survived.

The pond was chock full of bushy pondweed though. So there would have been plenty of cover.


John

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #521331 05/20/20 10:50 PM
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Been catching a bunch of SMB from this pond and transferring mostly to the main 3 acre pond but also a few to the old refurbished 1 acre pond. Pretty easy to catch 3-5 within a a half hour, put them in a bucket with water, and take them to the other ponds. Probably about 20 of them so far this spring from 6" to 12" in length. Lot of times catch them like BG by not even casting the lure but just swinging it out like a cane pole right near the bank. I'm certain this pond has more than it needs and they need to be thinned simply by how easy they are to catch. Have never caught anything much over 2#. Man are they fighters. I fish a lot with mashed down barb on the hook and they can jump out of the water and spit that lure out like nothing.

Anyone that likes high catch rates, I recommend SMB. Of the ones I have transferred to my main pond I catch a disproportionate amount of SMB compared to LMB. The things have voracious appetite, eat at the feeder, and are not afraid to bite a lure. I really like them.

The third picture is a bullfrog tadpole. Have hundreds of these that scurry away from the bank as we travel around the pond in the UTV. Netted a couple to take a closer look. Growing legs so soon will be frogs.

Last picture is a nice RESxGSF hybrid that I am trying to eradicate from this pond. They were a stocking mistake where I raised fingerling RES in my forage pond. I transferred a few that were too small for me to notice they were hybrids (had a GSF in my forage pond that crossed with the RES). My mistake. Pretty fish, but it went to the old refurbished pond. Was going to fillet it but decided it was too pretty and let it live.

Attached Files
20200510_161255.jpg (51.7 KB, 84 downloads)
20200510_162809.jpg (46.06 KB, 53 downloads)
larger SMB
20200516_135803.jpg (46.49 KB, 43 downloads)
Bullfrog tadpole
20200510_160958.jpg (47.41 KB, 88 downloads)
RESxGSF hybrid

John

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #521341 05/21/20 04:51 AM
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That is a pretty fish. I like it.


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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