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Hey everybody. New here. I just finished building my house on a piece of property I purchased with a 1/2 acre pond. So much time was devoted to the house the past year. Now it is time to turn my attention to the pond. Like I said it is 1/2 acre watershed pond fed by two inactive creeks and has mostly a sandy bottom. I was told it is around 8 feet deep (I plan to verify). It seems to hold water fairly well for a watershed pond in Texas. I don't believe it has ever been stocked, however there are a few (maybe 20) BG that will come up for feed. My goal is to make it both a LMB pond for myself and a fun catch-all-day pond for my kids (6 years, 3 years and 1 year) for years to come. I am looking for thoughts on who to get the fish from (I hear good things about Overton even though they are a little far) and what fish you would put in. I am thinking 200 BG and 50 RES for the kids/forage and 50 LMB for myself along with 5-7 lbs of FHM. Does that sound about right? Also, do you guys recommend crawfish? If so, should I add them with the fish or wait 6 months or so? Last question, I have a pallet of bricks left over from building the house. Would this be good to add in the pond (especially for the crawfish)? If so, do I let the kids scatter them out or would it be best to dump them all in one place? Shallow or deep portion of the pond?


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I don't recommend bass in less than about 1.5 acres in your area. Those guys eat everything that moves and soon run out of groceries. Then you wind up with runt bass that will still spawn and keep on spawning.

My favorite recipe for a pond your size is Hybrid Bluegills and Hybrid Stripers. Get a feeder, use about 40% protein pellets and watch them grow. As you catch the hybrids, some of them will die. That's OK, even bass in the summer often die when caught. When the water temp gets high in the summer, most of us the area quit fishing. Restock a small amount of the stripers when needed and you will have fun forever.

But, if you have to have bass, stock about 300 small bluegills and 30 small redears in the Spring. Wait a year and add about a dozen bass.


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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Dave, thanks for the input. Everywhere I have read though has said that Hybrid Stripers need deeper water and my pond is anything but deep. Is that only if you don't feed them?


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LMB will survive, reproduce, and efficiently control BG in 1/2 acre. I see that occur many times in northern ponds and it will work anywhere in the US with management. I commonly see it successful for your intended goals. You won't have a lot of LMB and they may not get much bigger than 2-3 lbs with maybe the rare 4 pounder depending on how you harvest/manage the fish.

Your main 1st project is to learn what sizes and approximate numbers of BG that are present. This will determine what sizes of bass need to be stocked to survive the transplant. How are you sampling the bluegill? Only by observation? If yes go to WalMart and get a small pack of No.8 aberdeen thin wire hooks, a slender bobber. Buy no weights. The weight of the bobber and baited hook is enough to cast 20-30 ft. IF not you are doing something wrong. Get a small box of worms. Fish the baited hook with a piece of 1"-1.5 worm at various depths of 2 to 5 ft below the bobber within 10-20 ft from shore. HINT: if you all sit down while fishing, your catch success greatly improves. Measure every fish you catch and get some pictures of them. And keep track oh how many you catch in 1-2 hrs of angling. As a rule you should catch at least 20-30 per hour when sunfish are common/abundant. There will be a debate as to weather you toss or return the fish. I reserve my opinion until I see some catch information.

Your 2nd project is to verify with 1-3 pictures posted here of your "BG". We want to be sure you have BG and not some other sunfish.
My experience is if you are seeing a few(20) BG you likely have 100's that you are not seeing. If you have only a few BG then it is possible you have a predator/s thinning their numbers. This predator could eat small fingerling bass.

Your 3rd main project is to locate 7"-10" bass as stockers. Overton is a very good fish farm. Try to use them. They do have 6"-8" and 8"-10 bass. These are what I would use for stocking a pond with an EXISTING UNKNOWN fishery. IMO you have too many unknowns to stock small bass(<5"). He does have pellet trained bass in these larger sizes. This type of bass at 15-25 per 1/2 ac when fed pellets will perform well beyond average bass. These 20 bass should be a good start to 'balance out' a small existing sunfish pond to send it on a path of good kids fishing pond. If after 2 years sunfish are not getting larger and you are not seeing small 4"-6" bass you can always make more adjustments which may involve adding more 8" bass.
https://www.overtonfisheries.com/Stocker-Fish/Fish-Pricing-and-Availability


Around 16-25 of these 7"-10" bass will suffice for the first stocking. You want something big enough to right away start eating small 2.5"-3" bluegill and be big enough the most average pond predator will not eat all your newly stocked bass.

IMO your 4th project before you stock any bass is to remove at least 2-3 BG/sunfish for every bass you stock. Your existing sunfish/BG will reproduce and should provide ample panfish for future angling.

At this point in time and with many unknowns I would not add any other fish until you know your existing fishery conditions. Then with more information the stocking plan can be adjusted.

Note - Overton does have larger sizes of BG and Redear Sunfish which may be a good option for you. Supplimental stocking of new larger sized fish have MUCH better survival rates when added to existing pond than small fish. IMO work with your existing fishery to wisely build on your current fish base, rather than trying to start over with a "standard" stocking plan of all small fish for a new type of pond.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/08/17 09:41 AM.

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Ok. Thanks for the tips BC. I have fished for the BG quite a bit as well as my neighbor who shares the pond with me. We have never caught any bigger than 2 or 3 inches and have never caught or seen evidence of any predator fish. I would like to do something before it gets ridiculously hot here in Texas (which is soon). I was thinking of holding off on LMB or HSB and just stocking maybe 300 BG, 50 RES and 5# FHM this Spring. Then this fall I was thinking of getting 20 or so LMB and HSB as big as I can afford from Overton. Either 8"-10" or 10"-12". Would that help me overcome any of the unknowns? What are your thoughts on LMB and HSB combination? What is the right ratio?


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Are you planning on feeding the fish pellets? Lets go through one question at a time. If it were my small pond I would renovate and start over with the best fish combination. But this is likely not a viable option in your mind.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/08/17 09:58 AM.

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I am not new to fishing, just new to pond owning and managing one. So, any advice is welcome even if you think I am completely wrong, which I may be.


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I can if needed. I probably don't have the funds to buy a feeder right now (just built a house) but come this Fall I might have a little saved up for one or it would make a great Christmas present for dad.


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The is hand feeding the fish 3-5 times a week an option?


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Oh yes. The pond is 50 feet from my front door.


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This picture was taken from my front porch. Sorry not much detail about the pond. My wife was focused on something else.

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Okay. What are you using to catch 2" BG? Is this actual measured length? Dominate presence of small 2"-3" BG mean you primarily need predators 7"-10" to right away begin eating those fish as food. At this point your pond from you info you pond is over crowded with stunted BG. They could be spawning at 3" long. If they are real crowed the overcrowding could be now limiting survival and recruitment of BG assuming they are BG.
LMB could have been originally present but too many famished BG prevented successful bass spawns. Then old bass died BG are predominant overcrowded fish.
I stand by my advice. Verify plan with Todd Overton. Stock these pellet trained larger bass as soon as you can work out a time with Overton. They will eat fish and pellets and grow fast. Stock 16-35 of them. Higher toward 35 if you want faster results and then plan on thinning a few(6-10) later when they are spawning. Up to 50% of them can be HSB. Angler fish mortality during the next 2 yrs would likely account for the needed thinning.

ASAP start removing small sunfish. Numbers will depend on how many you can catch per hour. My 1st guess is minimum 200. I would use traps and angling. When sunfish are abundant I can catch 50-60/hr with a small hook and worm.

Hand feeding the fish with food from Overton will get the remaining sunfish growing. Bass will immediately start removing sunfish. We have to remember the goal - kids fishing not trophies.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/08/17 10:23 AM.

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Ok. Thanks BC. I will try to catch some of the BG in the next few days and post some pictures and quantities here. So you are saying I need to skip my first step of stocking anymore BG and just go straight to 16 to 35 7"-10" LMB and HSB right away? I just wasn't seeing the numbers of BG (or whatever they are) that I thought would support predators right now. But like you said if you are seeing 20 there are probably 10X that many not showing up on the surface. Would you add anything else with the LMB and HSB like FHM? Sorry for so many questions. I am just anxious to get something going. I don't really care what as long as I know it is in the right direction.


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No FHM. They are for new ponds and will last only several days with larger bass present. LMB will usually eat FHM first then sunfish. YOU WANT immediate sunfish reduction, not your bass eating easy snack FHM.

If it is remotely possible the pond does not have enough sunfish to feed 30 bass then they can eat pellets to continue good growth. Unless I am crazy after 50 yrs of doing this, your larger7"-10" stocker bass will be 14"-17" by November of 2017. Keep them well fed. They as larger bass will very likely spawn for you next month thus their youngsters will control the 2017 sunfish offspring which there should be lots of them once you start feeding and thinning the sunfish. Check with Overton about this concept for verification and PROPER PELLET SIZES, they will likely suggest two sizes of pellets; one for sunfish and one for bass. Overtons have great fish food.

If you have enough money you can buy a some good quality larger BG or RES at 4"-6" long (maybe 30-50). These will provide good genetic brood stock to the pond and should spawn this summer. First lets see what sunfish are now in the pond. Watch for suttle differences in their appearance which can indicate species or hybrids. Get pics of differences.

Without much predator activity and no feeding of sunfish most of your sunfish will stay deeper and out of sight. What is your water clarity?. HOw deep can you see a white coffee cup in the water??? Measure it,,, don't guess.

Focus on catching and removing sunfish. You should be able to at minimum catch 30/hr. If yes get them all out! When your bass arrive,,, you can cut the tails off the sunfish you continue to catch and return them as easy bass-HSB food. Your bass will become tame and learn to 'love' you and in 2-3 yrs a few will grow to those 4 lb sizes if you follow my plan closely.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/08/17 11:15 AM.

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Ok. Thanks. I'll have to get back to you on the water clarity once I check. I know it is not great. It is a watershed pond and the hills around us have red rock and sand. So, the pond stays a redish brown color. I just sent Todd Overton a lengthy email with background info, everything I have told you and some of your thoughts. I will see what he suggests. Thanks again. It is great having access to guys that have done this for years like yourself. Hopefully I can return the favor to some of the young guys in a few years.


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Just keep us updated and advised about your pond project and your experiences on this thread and they will be documented and will definitely help other pond owners be better pond managers.

Others with experience with adjusting an overpopulated sunfish pond are welcome to provide advice. Second and 3rd opinions are good to have. It will be interesting to see what Overton Fish Farm suggests. They are not usually with the philosophy of just selling standard amounts of fish. They should take the time to evaluate and suggest some fish to improve your overpopulated 1/2 ac sunfish problem.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/08/17 07:57 PM.

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You have verified that you pond is truly 1/2 acre?. Try this pond measuring tool from Google.
http://acme.com/planimeter/

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/08/17 12:15 PM.

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I used this app called Distance Measure. It gives me an area of 21,607 sq ft. That converted is 0.496 acres. The image in this app is from a year or so ago when the pond was low. So, I would say it fluctuates between just under 0.5 acres to a little over 0.5 acres. It is pretty full right now but will go down a few feet in the summer.

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I just verified this using the website you provided. It was even lower on the website and came in at 0.43 acres but I could make out the high water line and measured that and it came in at 0.55 acres. So it fluctuates right around 0.5 acres.


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At 0.5 acre IMO my numbers of fish to help your pond are basically correct. We will eagerly wait to see what the fish selling professionals propose. Then we can re-evaluate the stocking improvement plan and make adjustments if necessary. I am interested in what POND Boss Bob Lusk proposes to do with a pond in TX such as yours. Remember, I do my management mostly for small Ohio ponds less than 1 acre, so TX fishery experiences and opinions could be different.

Keep in mind that I think you should ideally renovate and start over to produce a high quality fishery which really is not your goal as I understand it.



Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/08/17 03:52 PM.

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This is a recent thread that also deals with rejuvenating an older existing fishery. B.Lusk provides some ideas. Read through the whole thread.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=463363&page=1

Another similar old pond restock thread
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=270344#Post270344

When you try to rejuvenate an existing fishery one has to keep in the fore-front the owner's goals which should be the basic guide to the methods used for management.

Your situation is not unique and numerous other members have asked for similar help as yourself. There should probably be a Topic dealing with this in the Forum's Common Pond Q&A Archives section. I will look into that. The main problem with that is locating the relevant older posts with takes a lot of time.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/08/17 04:42 PM.

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BC,

This is Todd Overton's reply to my email which basically echos what you were saying:

"Are you sure your existing sunfish are bluegill and not green sunfish? Have any pics of em?

If I were you, assuming your pond has naturally stocked sunfish (green sunfish most likely) and mud cats, then I would go ahead and stock your bluegill, redear sunfish, fathead minnows, largemouth bass, and hybrid stripers all at the same time. If you have existing green sunfish and mud cats, they are predators, and they may sabotage your plan to produce baitfish through spring/summer. In this case, it’s best to stock all at the same time, in balanced ratios, and supply some high protein fish food as a supplement to fill gaps in food availability.

If, on the other hand, your pond actually does have naturally stocked bluegill and not green sunfish, then yes you may already have 1000s of them and you might be ready to go ahead with predators and skip the bluegill..."

So, I plan to fish for both the sunfish and catfish the next few day to get a better idea of what I have. Then I will get back with you and Todd to see what I need to do going forward. I have invited a few friends and their kids over to get as many hooks in the water as possible. Then the kids will go home and some of us dads will do a little night fishing to see if we have any cats. Not a bad way to spend the next few days.


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Bill, we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

But, let's see how his fishing/testing of current situation turns out.


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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This is evidence that Overton is high quality. You received a very timely, same day, and good informative reply to your questions from the actual fish farm owner. Few fish farms are this prompt and attentive. You are a small volume customer, but they still treated you promptly and well.

The result of the fish sampling will help a lot to determine what plan or path to take. Overton also realizes two paths are possible based on fish content. I realize DD1 and PondBoss Lusk have lots of fish experience with south central US and TX ponds. They are welcome and should also provide their best advice for your problem. It will be interesting and educational to see if my proposed plan can work in an overcrowded sunfish pond in TX. I see no reason it won't work. This is interesting enough that I am almost willing and tempted to buy 1/2 of the 30 8"-10" stocker pellet trained bass at $5.00ea. In life you pay in time, sweat, effort, or money to learn. This will be a learning experience for all those interested.

As Overton mentioned the plan/path would be different if the existing fish were green sunfish as compared to bluegill. If all you have are GSF then yes you should be stocking some beneficial panfish such as BG &/or RES. I would not add FHM. YOU want bass to begin immediately eating small panfish. This spring's sunfish spawn will feed the 2017 bass spawn.

When did catfish, mudcats, or bullheads enter this picture / problem??? Only as T.Overtons guess?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/09/17 09:05 AM.

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Bill, it is my observation that in Texas and other warm weather areas, bass spawn and over spawn. The forage base generally lasts a couple of years and then you have a really great big bluegill pond with starving bass.


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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BC,

Yes, Todd assumed that if I "naturally" have GSF then I may also naturally have some mudcats as well. Another assumption I will try to validate or refute.

Thanks,

Justin


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NTHA, here is a thread I started on fingerling BG, GSF and RES with pictures. I am no fish expert, so if some of the experts have opinions on the pedigree I welcome it. Very possible I could be mistaken.

But the pictures show small fish side by side, which is very helpful to distinguish some of the subtle differences Bill Cody talks about.

As the fish grow a little larger, ID becomes much easier. I have been trying to ID fish only going on 4 years now and I know in the beginning it was very difficult for me. I posted these pictures for people in the same situation I was back then.

Fingerling BG, RES,GSF and some hybrids identification

Last edited by snrub; 02/09/17 06:37 AM.

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Thanks snrub,

I am definitely not an expert at fish ID. Beginner actually. Growing up fishing in Texas creeks we just called them all "perch." I am going to enjoy learning all the nuances and small differences in each fish. You pictures really do help.


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That is what they still are called here too, perch. Although sometimes when I was a kid if they were brightly colored in spawning colors they were called "sunfish" by my older brothers, not realizing the difference between male/female and seasonal differences.

The most fun from my pond so far has been the learning process first, feeding and observing the fish second, and fishing third.

Last edited by snrub; 02/09/17 09:03 AM.

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Hey Snrub, does that mean "eating" is fourth? Ha!

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To keep this thread active while we wait for catch results, DD1 says ""Bill, it is my observation that in Texas and other warm weather areas, bass spawn and over spawn. The forage base generally lasts a couple of years and then you have a really great big bluegill pond with starving bass."".
I think in this particular situation a soon to be overpopulation of bass will not be a bad thing considering the goals of this pond. As the bass numbers increase the sunfish sizes increase which can be viewed as angling diversity and change. If catch records are kept and not tried to be mentally remembered, the changes of fish balance an sizes will be readily apparent. Then some selective harvest of bass or sunfish can relatively easily be made in a 0.5 ac pond.

My 1st concern is to get a successful bass spawn in a crowded sunfish pond which can be a challenge when too many starving aggressive sunfish are present. Good success of reproducing bass or additional bass stockings will be needed IMO to get control of the overabundant sunfish. Catching and selectively removing adequate numbers of bass in just a 0.5 ac to maintain a reasonable community balance will not a big challenge. An adept angler could do that in 2 or 3 fishing sessions for a 0.5 ac pond. For good fishery results,,, every pond's fish community always SOONER or LATER needs some adjustments and management of one or both of the fishes when they get too abundant and upset a balance of forage and predator. Great fisheries do not last forever.

When you are raising any animal this good rule for applying managemtn always applies to produce a good crop, weather it is plants in a garden or animals in a pen/barn/coop. Even deer herds need management especially when predators are not at correct densities. Management, Management and Attention to some Details are always best for raising good 'crops' and children.

If we "add" stocked this problem pond with catfish and HBG the pond would still NEED and benefit from some form of management such as restocking or harvest to keep the quality of angling experience elevated, fun, and exciting in the future for numerous years not just the short term. As an example B.Lusk just renovated his catfish pond - as a management project. Good fisheries don't last forever.

Based on the soon to be reported catch results, we can provide several supplimental stocking options and let NTHA choose which best fits his schedule, plans, and goals.


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Originally Posted By: 4CornersPuddle
Hey Snrub, does that mean "eating" is fourth? Ha!


Depends on what time of day it is. grin

Reminds me, I'm getting a little hungry........


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BC,

I do plan to keep good catch records with sizes, pictures, dates, etc. (any other tips on catch records?). I did a little catfishing last night just to see if I could catch something random. I didn't do anything special. I just used some PowerBait I had. Nothing. I also threw a little inline spinner, crankbait and jig. Nothing. This afternoon I will have a few friends over and all of our kids fishing with worms. I will take lots of pictures. If they are GSF I will probably throw them in a bucket and maybe use for catfishing tonight. I have never seen any sign of a predator fish but while messing around last night there was a huge swirl/splash near me about 6 or so feet from the bank. It could have been a frog or something but haven't seen any frogs big enough to make that kind of splash. The plot thickens!!! I'll update as I get information. Probably tonight.


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With a large swirl near bank, put a small 3" sunfish on a hook under a bobber about 3-4 ft deep. Let it fish for a couple hours near where you are fishing for sunfish. The vulnerable hooked unusual swimming sunfish is a very easy target for a predator that is attracted to the activity of anglers.

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Might try a minnow trap also for fish sampling. Put some fish food or bread for bait.


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So, my friend and I and our boys fished for just under two hours this evening after work on my mystery pond. We fished anywhere from 1 foot deep to 5 feet deep and anywhere from a few feet from the bank to as far as we could chunk a hook, worm and cork. We literally caught two fish and it was hard work getting these tiny things to bite. I then put these guys on a bait hook and threw them back in to see if I could entice any type of predator fish. Nothing. My next thought, as snrub suggested, was to put out a minnow trap to see what I could catch. The only sporting goods store in town is Walmart and they didn't have one when I went by to get worms. I will have to order one or get one at Academy next time I'm in the big city. So, what are these little guys? GSF? What next? Is one time with little success enough to prove it is essentially empty? Any thoughts?

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bluegills.


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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DO you have a cast net?

I agree with Dave they are BG which is a good start.


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Bluegills and they are significantly stunted. IMO one of the reasons you had poor angling catches was due to your cloudy water. How can a fish see the bait-food when it can't see 6"-12". BG and sunfish are like cherry or fruit pickers; see pick, see pick. Notice the large eyes of your 2 BG. Very out of proportion indicating lack of food and very slow growth. For fish stunting to occur either the food is very lacking or there are way too many fish or the fish can't find the food. Maybe some of all three. IMO and research turbid water significantly suppresses natural food production in the pond. This then limits the amount of all critters above and including phytoplankton.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/11/17 08:45 PM.

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So what's next? I didn't get around to checking the water clarity. I will try to do that this weekend. It is murky but I have fished in many ponds in this area that were way muddier than mine and caught really nice bass out of them. Does that mean I need to turn it into a catfish pond? I hope not. I am definitely not a catfish fan. Any suggestions? I do not own a cast net nor do I know how to throw one very well, but I have a few friends that could help out.

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Look at the two "Muddy water" threads. Muddy water is different than water that is cloudy from planktonic algae.


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So, I probably should have posted some pictures of the pond at the beginning of the thread. As you can see from the pictures the pond is an orangish-brown color. The soil in the area is red sand/rock. There are also a lot of live oak trees all around the pond, don't the acorns stain the water as well? Thought I read that somewhere. I also know I need to cut all the willow trees down since they are water hogs. Currently working on the wife about that. I also included a picture of the dam/spillway. The last picture is of one of 100s (maybe 1000s) of tiny frogs we have in the pond right now.

Thoughts? Too muddy to be a LMB, CNBG, HSB pond?

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For what it is worth, the water looks pretty good to me.

Maybe a little staining from the organic material, but otherwise not that different than what my water looks like part of the year.

My water changes looks at different times of the year,


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I agree with snrub the water looks(8246) like it will have a secchi clarity close to the 16"-24" a standard good visibility. IMO it will support a "regular" LMB-HSB-sunfish type of community especially when the fish are stocked and conditioned to eating pellets in one area. However it may not have a high phytoplankton community contributing to the reduced current visibility. When were the pictures taken?. FYI -Phytplankton changes daily following the nutrient availability and seasonality of each region.
Lots of frogs indicates a low density of bass. A single 12"-14" LMB would eat 1-3 small-medium frogs a day in water above 60F. I suggested adding 30 LMB and at 1 frog a day equals 900 frogs gone per month!

Seeing pictures of your pond, one possibility is it could have undergone a seasonal fish kill. "Natural fish" kills usually removes the largest fish first while also killing most or all of the bass that require slighly more DO than the smallest sunfish. Survivors of the kill would have been mostly small BG which survived to be what the fish community grew to what it is now, numerous stunted BG with no or very little predatory pressure. Low predator numbers is evidenced by numerous frogs. Frogs are usually easier for a bass to catch than a frisky agile BG.

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Water looks ok for the time of year.
















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Thanks BC. So, you think I am good to go with your original recommendation and what Todd Overton suggested? If you were me would you do LMB, BG and HSB or would you do LMB, BG and CC? I kind of had fun trying to see if there were any catfish in there this week? They are also a lot more hardy than HSB correct? Anyone else's thoughts?


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Thanks snrub and ewest. The more people that say it looks good the better I feel about going forward.


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I emailed all of the pictures and fishing report to Todd Overton. I'll let you guys know what his thoughts were.

Any other suggestions?


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If you are not planning to regularly clean and eat CC leave them out. Try the HSB first and you will find them to a much better, exciting sport fish. When larger CC can be a nuisance utilizing too much pond fish biomass and behaving like pellet hogs forcing other fish to the periphery when pellet feeding. CC an always be added years later if you miss their hoggish nature.

If you an aerate the pond you should have not problems growing fish in that water if you maintain an average prey-predator balance.

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Ok. Thanks for the tip. I was just worried about how hearty the HSB would be during the Texas summers. It is 100 degrees plus here from May through October. It seems like it would be hard to avoid catching the HSB when fishing for LMB in the summer. If you catch a HSB in the intense heat they are as good as dead right? Could go through that initial stocking of HSB pretty quick. Thought maybe CC would be more resilient. Honestly, I would rather not mess with catfish. So, if you think I can manage HSB in the Texas heat I am going to go that route.


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A lot of us have learned that ANY fish, in our ponds, caught when our water temps are that high are probably going to die. A lot of us just don't fish then.


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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DD1 has good advice about TX heat and pond angling. First try the HSB then watch how they survive. Later you can always periodically restock HSB or CC.


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Have an appointment tomorrow at Overton's at 10:30!!! Finally getting my fish!! Exciting times. I will try to take lots of pictures of the process and post them here.


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Todd is a great guy and will steer ya right. Tell him pat W said hey

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You will like him and his staff. I'll warn you, stocking fish is very addictive, you'll be wanting to go back and get more once you release them and start feeding. It's very relaxing. Our whole family goes down and watches them eat.



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Well Todd Overton and Overton Fisheries are as advertised! Well worth the 2.5 hour drive. They were super crowded when I got there so I got a chance to just roam around. They took their time with each client and answered any and all questions. They made sure each person was completely taken care of and satisfied before they let them leave. There were vats of fish everywhere and every fish I saw looked healthy and vibrant. You can tell they take pride in the quality of their fish. They took the time to explain why they were separating into so many boxes, how to properly acclimate the fish to my pond, etc. I think they could tell I was a first timer. I was thoroughly impressed. If you live anywhere within safe fish transportation distance I wouldn't go anywhere else. I drove 2.5 hours back and the fish were just as feisty as when they put them in. I bet they could easily go 4 hours or so depending on the temperature. I took some pictures. I forgot to ask Todd if he cared if I posted them. Hopefully he doesn't. If you see this, thanks again Todd. Another very satisfied customer.

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What did you wind up getting? I don't know about your weather, but today is down right chilly here. Did you get any rain last night?



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I wound up getting: 250 CNBG, 100 RES, 35 LMB, 20 HSB and 10# FHM (I put 8# of FHM and 15# of craws in about a month ago). Todd said with my goals it was ok to go ahead and stock everything together.

A little drizzle last night. Mostly stayed south of us. In the mid-40s today.

It sure was fun seeing "fish activity" on the water last night. Walked around with a flashlight and saw tons of FHM everywhere and even a few bass cruising the shoreline. Exciting times!

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Yeah it is very exciting! Just wait till you start feeding and they will be a tidal wave coming to shore. Someone on here told me they could hear your footsteps and he was right on the money. I still take my bell, but they are usually already there or on their way.


I have thought about some HSB, but I think I'm going to wait awhile. With all the CC and the Tilapia that I have planned, I should I plenty to catch.



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Hey, one more question. Did you try any of the Cargill 4512? My BG really seem to like it.


Oh yeah, I almost forgot. If you want to try the Optimal BG feed, there is a fellow on the forum in Grand Praire that just ordered a pallet. There is a thread on here about it.

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I did get a bag of the 4512. I have gotten increasingly more action the last two evenings. However, I will have to transition to something else once the bag is up. I can't get the Cargill products here locally and won't pay the premium for shipping. I plan to switch to Purina AquaMax MVP next. My local feed store can get it for me and it has the different size pellets to feed all of my different size fish. Simple. I like simple.


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I will say my CNBG are eating the MVP very well. I threw out close to 5#s yesterday afternoon, and they hammered it. I was throwing out a handful at a time and they could eat it faster than I could throw it. Once it gets a little warmer, I'm going to test how much they can eat in 10 minutes, but will stop the max amount. I don't think they can eat that much, but at 5 pounds, they ate the last handful as aggressive as the first one.


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Wow! A $40 sack of feed every 10 days? That could get a bit pricey.


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I'm up to 2 cans a day. 1 can at noon, 1 can in the evening. That around 4 cups. I don't know how long my feed will last, but I figure this first sack will last at least another month.



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Originally Posted By: N.TexasHalfAcre
Wow! A $40 sack of feed every 10 days? That could get a bit pricey.



It does sound pricey, but I get a lot of utils out of that $100/mo. I compared to a couple nice meals, it's really fairly cheap for the enjoyment I get out and the entertainment it creates.

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Oh I agree. That's what makes being a pond owner so great. You can put as much or as little time, effort, money and resources as you want into it. Everyone's budget, availability, health and goals are different.


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When I first got my feeder, I was thinking a bag a month max. I was running about a bag thru the feeder, and hand throwing a bag plus a month because I enjoyed watching them feed. Finally I just set the feeder to throw what I was hand feeding so it would be more consistent.

The beauty of feeding, is you could feed at the same rate as me for a 1/4 the cost, since is is based on surface acre. That is an advantage to a 1/4 or 1/2 acre pond when it comes to a feeding program.

When i started my pond project I was wanting a 6-8 acre BOW, till I figured out the construction cost. Now, I know that size would be 3x the cost for construction, in buying fish, habitat that had to be placed, and feed that would thrown. In BOW bigger isn't always better.


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Anybody else sit at work and count the minutes that you get to go home, relax by your pond and feed you fish? My new oasis from the stresses of the world. I guess it will eventually have stress with it too, but not for now.


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I hang out at mine every chance I get. It's so relaxing and calming just sitting there. Right now mine is still muddy from the flood and nothing is coming up to eat and it's driving this old man looney.



Hey, I meant to ask you if you had any trouble transporting your Bass. Do they box up the larger fish the same as the fingerlings? I've been wondering how I'm going to get my Tilapia home.

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Originally Posted By: N.TexasHalfAcre
Well Todd Overton and Overton Fisheries are as advertised! Well worth the 2.5 hour drive. They were super crowded when I got there so I got a chance to just roam around. They took their time with each client and answered any and all questions. They made sure each person was completely taken care of and satisfied before they let them leave. There were vats of fish everywhere and every fish I saw looked healthy and vibrant. You can tell they take pride in the quality of their fish. They took the time to explain why they were separating into so many boxes, how to properly acclimate the fish to my pond, etc. I think they could tell I was a first timer. I was thoroughly impressed. If you live anywhere within safe fish transportation distance I wouldn't go anywhere else. I drove 2.5 hours back and the fish were just as feisty as when they put them in. I bet they could easily go 4 hours or so depending on the temperature. I took some pictures. I forgot to ask Todd if he cared if I posted them. Hopefully he doesn't. If you see this, thanks again Todd. Another very satisfied customer.


My wife and I make that trip 2 or 3 times a year, and it's always a fun day.

I've had my pond a while, and I've had great advice and fish over the years. Bob Lusk, Todd Overton, and Bob Waldrop are as good as they get.


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I bought 20 large HSB (picture in post above) and they split them up in bags/boxes of 7, 7 and 6 for that reason. Said with their sharp fins they would stab each other pretty bad if you packed them in too tight. I wouldn't worry about it. They definitely know what they are doing and do whatever is needed to get your fish home safe.


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You've got to stop showing me pictures of those Bass! You are giving me a HSB itch. I can't do it now though, I've got Tilapia to buy. Maybe in about a year I can get a dozen to grow out. By that time, I should have lots of Bluegill to feed them along with hand feeding.



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Another fun pastime of mine now is to go out with a flashlight and watch the Bluegill chase the minnows around in the shallows. I could do that for hours. Of course my pond is 50 feet from my front door so it is easier for me than some.


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Mine isn't too far, it's about 50 yards out my door. I haven't been down there at dark though.



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farmallsc, this may make you want to go get some HSB even more. First cast ever in the pond with an inline spinner. Fought like a 2 lb LMB. Stocked 9 days ago.

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That is sweet!!!

I've been trying not to think about Bass. Must resist....



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Finally doing a little sampling of my fish stocked 6 months ago. This guy was 6” long when put in back in March!!


Last edited by N.TexasHalfAcre; 09/30/17 01:24 PM.

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That's good growth! I bet your FHM are gone. How big are the BG?

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I haven’t gone after any BG yet. I have seen them when feeding and there are several in the 6” range. And they spawned at least once this summer. I’ll post some pictures when I catch a few.


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I want to thank u for your post, it has help me because I have a daughter who has a similar situation in her pond. She purchased the home and property last spring and it has a pond just under the half acre. We fish it a few times last spring and found a few small cnbg in it. Guessing it went through a fish kill at some point in time. I stocked the pond with some nice sized cnbg from my pond at that time. My cnbg originally came from Todd about 3 yrs ago. I was not sure which path to take from this point on but after see what you have done with your pond, I think I may follow the same path because she is like you and wants a place where family and friends can come fishing for fun. I will be picking up some res and some feed trained lmb along with some hsb from Todd soon. Have not made a request for the fish yet, but he has always been a good guy to work with. And I am sure they will take good care of me, as they have always have. It's about a three hr drive for me one way but well worth the trip. I think I will take my daughter along with me.


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Sure thing. I stocked mine all together at once. Todd informed me it would be ok to do that if stocked in the right numbers. Sounds like you are ahead of the game with your daughters pond with stocking some large BG early on. I kind of wish I had done that but I am closer to 4 or 5 hours from Overton’s so it made more sense for me to knock it all out at once. I plan to go back this Spring and get some Tilapia to hopefully take some pressure off the BG. I have seen quite a few BG that are too big for the LMB to eat so I think I am headed in the right direction. Glad I could be of help.


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Post here also for record keeping: I hadn’t been seeing any CNBG fry and was starting to get a little concerned. I went out tonight with a flashlight up in the mouth of the creek that feeds into my pond. It is about 12-18” deep and I saw hundred of CNBG fry darting all over the place. I also saw several bullfrogs and crawfish as well. Pleasantly surprised.


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Well, I may have answered a lot of long standing questions about my pond today. If you start at the beginning you will see that I fished and fished my existing 1/2 acre pond and caught nothing. So, I “thought” it was empty. I did however hear some large “swirls” when night fishing one time. Well, I proceeded to put $600 worth of CNBG, RES, LMB and HSB in last March. I have recently been catching LMB in the 1 to 1.5 lb range. Today I caught this hog!! Think it must have been the source of the “swirls” I was seeing. Still have a bunch of CNBG coming to feeder so she hasn’t completely eaten me out of house and home. I have not caught a HSB in a while. She may have taken care of them. Looks to be close to spawning right? I know it may have been best for my overall pond to take her out but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. 8 lbs 1.5 oz. Couldn’t get a length. She was twice as long as my measuring tool. Thoughts?

https://postimg.org/image/swxd2pddr/

https://postimg.org/image/clx96civj/


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Only thought is that is a heck of a nice fish, especially for a small pond.


4 acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17. Added 35lbs RSC 3/18. 400 N LMB fingerlings 6/18
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Nice bass for any pond.


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Wow!!! Just curious,what did you catch her on and what time of day?? Simply beautiful fish. Congrats!!


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It was the middle of the afternoon on a cool Fall day (for Texas) on a large Shad colored willow blade spinner.


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My boys and my favorite pastime is to explore the creek that feeds our pond after high rain events. The creek bed that is normally dry comes to life. Today we saw a large female crawfish clutching a ball of eggs. Thought I would share. I have always heard about it but have never seen it.

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Cool pic. Thanks for sharing.


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One of my Overton’s HSB caught a year after stocking. Nice growth if I do say so myself. And I was out with my 5 year old son and he had just gotten tired for the evening. He was walking back to the house when I caught this on the next cast with his little Zebco 202!! Felt like I was fighting a shark on the little thing. My son was mad he quit too early. Sorry for bad picture quality. My 7 year old daughter took the picture and it was getting dark.

https://s19.postimg.org/eadsegnhf/7_D2_A0_AA6-7_FA9-4077-884_E-_A7_C0_F9_A19146.jpg


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Very nice HSB growth!


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One year progress on some of my stocker fish. CNBG were 2-3" and are now around 7". LMB were in the 4-6" range and are now around 14". And the HSB were around 10". I haven't had the opportunity to measure one yet, but they are probably around 15-16" and fight like a son-of-a-gun!! I am only feeding the Sportsman's Choice from Tractor Supply. I can't afford the expensive stuff. I could only imagine how big they would be if getting higher protein content. Maybe someday. Picture 2 is my major goal coming to fruition!! This was my son's first fish to actually get to the bank. He talked about it for the rest of the night!! Money well spent. Thanks to Todd Overton for the quality fish!!

Attached Images
3-25-18 Progress (1).JPG 3-25-18 Progress (2).JPG 3-25-18 Progress (3).JPG 3-25-18 Progress (4).JPG
Last edited by N.TexasHalfAcre; 03/26/18 11:26 AM.

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AM MVP or 500 will cost you about $10-$15 more per bag, but you could feed less of it and may still get better results with less waste left in your pond for the same $. Just a thought.

Fish look great.

Last edited by BrianL; 03/26/18 11:30 AM.

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Super nice LMB NTHAcre.

It is nice when things work out well.


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Originally Posted By: N.TexasHalfAcre
My boys and my favorite pastime is to explore the creek that feeds our pond after high rain events. The creek bed that is normally dry comes to life. Today we saw a large female crawfish clutching a ball of eggs. Thought I would share. I have always heard about it but have never seen it.


Try taking them out about 2 or 3AM some time later this spring when it is warm. Night at the pond The peeper toads can get so loud they are almost deafening. Night time at my sediment pond in the spring


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So, this weekend one of my pond goals was met. A friend of mine brought his eight year old son over who liked the idea of fishing, but couldn't stay with it very long because he got bored. Well, he proceeded to catch 25 hand-sized bluegill in about 45 minutes and I do believe he is now hooked on fishing. The smile on his face was priceless and his dad was elated that hopefully this was the break through that would turn his son into his fishing buddy.

I should have taken some pictures to show, but I am determining that my pond must have had an existing BG population before I introduced the CNBG. About half of the fish he caught were obviously not CNBG because they didn't have any of the coloration that the rest of them did. There wasn't any GSF characteristics in them which I am glad of. But it was weird that almost every fish looked different. Is this typical? Is this just the CNBG and BG mixing into a Hybrid of the two and each one looking slightly different? Sorry for no pictures. I'll try to get some next time.

Last edited by N.TexasHalfAcre; 04/25/18 10:42 AM.

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Bluegill can take on a lot of different "looks". Even the same fish under different conditions can change their coloration and pattern significantly. Add in male vs female for even more variation.

I'm kind of like the kid. I like catching BG. Lots of action.

Last edited by snrub; 04/25/18 11:45 AM.

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Does anyone else notice their fish, specifically LMB, getting lock-jaw when all of the fry start showing up? I am seeing large amounts of CNBG and LMB fry in the shallows right now. I haven't been able to catch a LMB since they showed up. Is this because they pretty much have an all-you-can-eat buffet right now? I would tend to think if they are actively in a feeding frenzy it would make them easier to catch. I have also thought that it may be because I have caught all of my original stockers at least once and now they are hook shy? Thoughts?

Last edited by N.TexasHalfAcre; 04/30/18 11:49 AM.

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I don't think that the fish eat much during spawning times. Maybe the LMB are spawning too. And, how much fry do larger fish really eat, I don't know, but I would think that the larger fish would not be full of small fry.


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It's been a while since I have updated my pond thread. We were in Houston this weekend visiting friends. There was no way I was driving North on I-45 headed home without stopping in at Overton's. I picked up a few pounds of Fall Tilapia snacks for my LMB and HSB. The kids had a blast watching them scoop the fish, weigh them out and even helped me get them in the pond.

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10-15-19 Tilapia (1).jpg 10-15-19 Tilapia (2).jpg 10-15-19 Tilapia (3).jpg 10-15-19 Tilapia (4).jpg 10-15-19 Tilapia (5).jpg 10-15-19 Tilapia (6).jpg

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Attending Bob's Pondology and was hoping to hit Overton's (never been there). Is their on-site sales open Sunday and/or Monday? It's a haul from there to San Antonio, but I'd like to get some stock (those Tilapia snacks look pretty good!)


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Their website shows that Sunday and Monday are the two days they are closed, but it is worth calling them to ask. I know their actual hours have changed and the website has not been updated.


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Looking at the fancy website I see...nothing about when the market is open. I'll contact to see.


Last edited by DannyMac; 10/16/19 04:47 PM.

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I had a group of friends over this past Sunday and all the kids had a ball fishing with earth worms and bobbers. There were 7 kids there all under 10 and each of them caught at lest one fish with the most avid of the bunch catching 17 BG. Two of them caught something bigger than their Zebco's could handle (probably HSB) but two of them were able to get their HSB to the bank after fighting them for several minutes. The biggest fish are seen in the pictures below.

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10-20-19 (13).jpg 10-20-19 (17).jpg

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Originally Posted By: N.TexasHalfAcre
I had a group of friends over this past Sunday and all the kids had a ball fishing with earth worms and bobbers.


I'd say they looked hooked for life!

Good job.


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Oh yeah!! They have all been begging to go fishing again since.


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