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Joined: May 2009
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MarcN Offline OP
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Hoping to get the forum's help creating a stocking plan for a pond in Central Virginia. The pond has been around for 50 years, is about 1/2 an acre, and is starting to fill back up after the old overflow pipe rusted through at the drain pipe and has just been replaced. The property has an existing 3 acre pond with a "classic" mix of LMB, BG, and RES that is doing well, although perhaps getting a little bass heavy, as well as a forage pond with BG and fathead minnows.

My original plan for stocking the 1/2 acre pond was to move a bunch of forage over and let them multiply for a year or so, and then introduce some LMB in the hopes of creating a pond with some nice big bass and enough BG to keep busy when not catching bass. That's still an option, but I am also interested in some other ideas. My existing LMB are northern strain, and the BG are "regular". Should I stock a different strain of bass that grows bigger/faster and some coppernose BG for the same reason? Will those "southern" fish do OK in my region? Should I think about something different like HSB? Any ideas where I can get access to any of those species in my area?

What say you, pond experts? Should I keep things traditional with a LMB/BG/RES mix -- and if so what kind of stocking plan should I go for with the primary goal of growing large bass? Should I go with different genetics than we have in the other pond -- what would that approach look like? Or should I go with HSB (is that even possible in my area?) or other non-traditional species, and what are your tips for that? Or should I do some combination, or something different entirely?

My overall goals are to have fun, which I would define as catching some big LMB and BG and/or catching some new and different species. We fish more for fun than food, so harvesting for food isn't an objective.

Thanks to everybody in advance for thoughts on a stocking plan, potential suppliers for the fish, and any other advice you might have!

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Will you be pellet feeding the fish? All I can add is that I am amazed at how fast my HSB and HBG are growing with supplemental feeding. 1/4 acre Missouri pond with 500 HBG, 40 HSB, 100 Res and feeding about 1/3 to 1/2 pound of Optimal a day.


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MarcN Offline OP
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Thanks, Quarter Acre. We don't currently plan on feeding (and don't supplemental feed in our other pond), but could always rethink that. I would love to hear any advice and pros/cons on feeding that folks have to offer, and I will do some searches to catch up on existing advice. Thanks!

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I believe F1 LMB, which grow bigger than northern LMB, should do okay in Virginia. Pure Floridas probably can't take your winters.

You might even be able to get feed trained F1 LMB. If you really want to maximize your fishery, I'd suggest feeding, even if only for your forage fish. Your LMB will thank you!


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 -13




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you already have a traditional lmb, res and bg pond so why not try something a little different. I did a half acre pond at my daughters where we added 50 6 to 7" cnbg in the spring and then added 250 3" res along with 25 lbs of fhm's and 50 4" hsb the following fall (last fall). She hand feeds the fish and loves doing so. The hsb are getting larger from pellet hand feeding along with the fhms, and other fry from the bg and res. The hsb put on a heck of a fight, just ask anyone who has some. At 4 lbs they will pull like a freight train on lighter tackle. I love hooking up with those sized in my 3 acre pond.

Last edited by TGW1; 07/19/18 06:05 PM.

Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


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My fist pond is like yours and my second is a 1-acre YP/SMB pond which also has RES, FHM, and LCS. I started by letting the FHM and LCS build, then added RES, followed by YP, and finally added SMB. Threw out a hard bait last year and caught my first SMB and then stopped fishing. Very different fighters than LMB and it had reached a size that I did not think possible in so little time. Neighbor caught a nice YP last winter that he kept to eat. I think he said it was a foot long. Pond is full of forage for the SMB so I will have to see how they grew over the last year at some point.

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Thanks to everybody for their input. Couple quick questions back for the group.

-- What are the downsides to HSB's? Will I need to replace them every few years since they don't reproduce much/at all? If they do reproduce, are the later generations desirable? Can they coexist with LMB, or is it one or the other?

-- SMB is an interesting idea, but I assumed a pond in my warm climate may be too hot for them? Anybody have any experience with SMB in ponds in Virginia? Pros/cons?

Thanks all -- please keep the advice coming. I really appreciate it!

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HSB don't reproduce in ponds. They fit in pretty well with bass because HSB occupy a different niche, the open water areas.

SMB should do just fine in Virginia. However, they don't flourish in BOW with LMB, will get out competed. Also, SMB don't control BG nearly as well as LMB, you might think of stocking pumpkinseed instead as forage.

Last edited by anthropic; 07/20/18 12:23 PM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 -13




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HSB are only there in theory. You can stock them, but youll never ever see them again.

(JUST KIDDING!! Its just me! They smell me and head for cover. wink )


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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SMB and LMB or BG are not going to work. SMB do fine in warm water but cannot compete with LMB under warm conditions. YP and LCS are a better forage base for SMB. YP will also likely need to be harvested to prevent stunting, but smaller YP are yummy for SMB. RES are also compatible with SMB.

Last edited by RAH; 07/23/18 07:07 AM.

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