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Small pond-lots of warmouth, wanting lmb
#512289 10/02/19 09:47 PM
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First off, I'd like to thank this site as a collective for the invaluable information it provides. You've all been incredibly helpful to me as a first timer, possibly without knowing it!

Last April, I dug a 100x70 pond, 15 feet deep in the center. This spring, after the literal dust had settled, I noticed an abundance of tadpoles and then gambusia appearing. A few months after that, fish were popping left and right. Yesterday, I fished it for the first time and dragged out warmouth after warmouth, to the tune of about 10 between 3 and 6 inches long. My plan is to stock lmb in the spring after I get my aerator. What size lmb should I be looking for if the warmouth are already 6 inches? I just started feeding purina game fish chow, with good results on the fish taking it. I was also wondering what I should expect to hear from the local hatcheries on lmb numbers for stocking. I believe I have everything I need to sustain a healthy environment, but I'll defer to you folks on specifics. It's not lost on me that this is a very small pond. I expect to hear numbers in the 40-50 range. The goal of the pond is to create a healthy bass environment more than anything, but I do like the way panfish fight and taste.

My other (somewhat related) question is concerning a visitor that has also taken an interest in my fish, which is a 2' alligator. How much damage can this little guy realistically do to my food chain? He's very slow moving and I would imagine not able to really make a big dent in anything but the toad population. In any event, he's there and eating something, and it may be my fish! He doesn't bother me, and I don't bother him, but the thought will always be in my mind, especially when the bass get here. I was thinking about picking up crawfish next week, but that sounds more or less like a snack for him.

Re: Small pond-lots of warmouth, wanting lmb
DownByTheRiver #512290 10/02/19 10:04 PM
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Welcome, glad to have you! First question I would have is where are fish coming from if you didnít stock them. Then what else might be swimming around in there already?

Re: Small pond-lots of warmouth, wanting lmb
DownByTheRiver #512291 10/02/19 10:07 PM
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Don't know much about 'gators so I can't say what it would take from you, fish-wise.
Warmouth probably will not sustain a LMB fishery long-term.. I believe you'll be wanting to add CNBG next spring, like 200-250 4-6" fish. They will spawn and provide the YOY it's going to take to support LMB in your area.
I think 40-50 LMB is likely twice what you'll want to start with in a 1/6 ac impoundment and I think 6-8" fish would be fine but I'd wait until fall 2020 to add them.. allow the forage base to expand with the CNBG and I believe I would cull every warmouth you catch.
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Re: Small pond-lots of warmouth, wanting lmb
DownByTheRiver #512299 10/03/19 12:15 AM
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Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
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Good advice from Snipe.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Small pond-lots of warmouth, wanting lmb
DownByTheRiver #512302 10/03/19 04:41 AM
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You should begin training the gator to eat Herons and otters. It will pay off long term.

Re: Small pond-lots of warmouth, wanting lmb
DownByTheRiver #512303 10/03/19 05:26 AM
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In 1/6 acre, I don't see bass being a good idea. They are pretty heavy spawners. Actually Lusk says to not stock them in warm water ponds of less than an acre. I think I would go with channel cats; maybe about 20.


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Re: Small pond-lots of warmouth, wanting lmb
DownByTheRiver #513318 10/25/19 10:53 PM
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Hey DownByTheRiver,

That gator is there to eat something. It hard to say how many fish he'll eat. But the more he weighs and the faster he grows the more it will take to feed him. He will eventually move on when the pond won't support him any longer, or when you relocate him, or club him, or ....

Given what you got already, you might try to make a nice Warmouth BOW out of it. You don't need a lot of predator. Maybe say two Female LMB or a 5lb Flathead Catfish. Or maybe 5 HSB every 3 years or so. Best if the predators don't reproduce. You could fish them out when they start to get lean and replace them. Try to keep the weight of predators below 12-15 lbs gross weight. With enough predation the Warmouth should grow large for you and your skillet.

The way to look at this is that Warmouth will not support a lot of LMB. But if limited and not reproducing, there is no reason why the warmouth could not support a couple or just a few. The fewer there are, the larger they will ultimately get. It may even be possible to grow 1 LMB to >10lbs.

If you want lots of LMB ... then stock them mixed sex as recommended above with some BG. They aren't going to get large because they will be recruiting but you should still have some nice BG and maybe a few WM that will probably eventually disappear.


Last edited by jpsdad; 10/25/19 11:10 PM.
Re: Small pond-lots of warmouth, wanting lmb
DownByTheRiver #513323 10/25/19 11:52 PM
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Just an observation here.. I keep seeing throughout some of these threads the recommendation to not utilize LMB in less than 1 acre ponds.. That may be true in other areas, or certain areas but here on the high plains where we have small, non flowing cricks, not 20' across and maybe 40-80' long we catch bass and good ones. Mostly supported by a mix of GSF and a few BG, these little holes do very well. some don't get fished for a few years at a time, yet they still produce healthy 3-4-5lb bass. I think sometimes our definition of "It works or it doesn't" has different meaning.
Again, just an observation but I don't think everyone is necessarily looking for 10lb LMB in their 1/2 acre pond.
I feel like what jpsdad is suggesting would provide very similar results to what I consider a good fishing spot.

Last edited by Snipe; 10/25/19 11:59 PM.

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Re: Small pond-lots of warmouth, wanting lmb
Snipe #513340 10/26/19 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted By: Snipe
Just an observation here.. I keep seeing throughout some of these threads the recommendation to not utilize LMB in less than 1 acre ponds.. That may be true in other areas, or certain areas but here on the high plains where we have small, non flowing cricks, not 20' across and maybe 40-80' long we catch bass and good ones. Mostly supported by a mix of GSF and a few BG, these little holes do very well. some don't get fished for a few years at a time, yet they still produce healthy 3-4-5lb bass. I think sometimes our definition of "It works or it doesn't" has different meaning.
Again, just an observation but I don't think everyone is necessarily looking for 10lb LMB in their 1/2 acre pond.


+1

I think any body of water capable of sustaining fish is a blessing and should be appreciated for its unique character and despite any of its limitations. You make a great point about the definition of "working or not" and I would just add that no BOW can meet the wants of even one person unless that one person has his wants fully aligned with reasonable expectations. If someone thinks he wants his BOW at capacity with 10 lb Lunkers ... be forewarned ... he won't be catching a lot of LMB. He'll get skunked often and he probably won't have a great BG fishery either.

Some of my favorite memories are tied to water with fisheries that many would deem undesirable or unacceptable. Most all of the fish I have eaten have also come from the same waters as they were very productive and sustainable systems. It worked for me I think because I appreciate these waters for what they are.

Last edited by jpsdad; 10/26/19 08:38 AM.

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