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Managing SMB/YP pond
#512894 10/18/19 03:41 PM
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Have a pond with SMP and YP recruitment. What type of management (fish removal) is advised. Ten SMB from 10 to 16+ inches caught in a short period of time and released. Looking for a trophy pond for both species but SMP is priority.

Re: Managing SMB/YP pond
RAH #512896 10/18/19 06:17 PM
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Cull your smaller SMB so remainder have plenty of food to keep growing. Next fall you should see some 17"-18" smallies.


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Re: Managing SMB/YP pond
RAH #512907 10/19/19 05:47 AM
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Bill - Two others threw the hook and he said one was large. I caught one of the stockers 2 years ago that was 16". I asked that he call me the next time so that I can take some photos. What size cutoff do you suggest removing and how many per year in the 1 acre pond? I know this must be estimated based on very limited information.

Last edited by RAH; 10/19/19 05:48 AM.
Re: Managing SMB/YP pond
RAH #512918 10/19/19 12:58 PM
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Id cull anything under 100 wr.


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: Managing SMB/YP pond
RAH #512919 10/19/19 01:37 PM
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They are all fat. Looking for a length so they stay that way.

Re: Managing SMB/YP pond
RAH #512921 10/19/19 02:29 PM
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If you want to skew the SMB population toward larger individuals, then I would start culling those sizes that are most common and recruits from the original stockers. Remember as we leave behind the largest SMB those will trend toward hook shy and be harder and harder to catch as they age. You will definitely loose some of these oldest smallies due to deeply hooked fish and improper handling.

Based on the age of your pond and sizes of the oldest ones, I would be culling most of them from the newest year class and then some from the next older year class. As the year classes age their numbers decrease. Most likely this will be highest percentage culled from 6"-9" and then some from the 11" to 13" group. Return all 14"+ bass unless bleeding. This will "free up" more foods for the largest individuals and those remaining sizes so they grow optimally.

How many?. This will really depend on how abundant the smallies appear to be based on what is being caught by anglers. Your anglers should be accurately keeping track of all species caught, the fish length and lure used. Type of lure will bias the catch results. They record their catch as a return favor for you allowing them to fish. Tell them their efforts allow you to better manage the fishery so their angling is improved. Those unwilling to co-operate are suspect anglers and should not really be trusted and not allowed to fish.

My WAG for removal numbers from 1 acre starts with 8-12 6"-9" and 6-8 from 11"-13" group. We have to remember the smallies are usually not as prolific as LMB thus fewer numbers per acre than LMB.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/19/19 02:35 PM.

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Re: Managing SMB/YP pond
Bill Cody #512923 10/19/19 03:13 PM
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Thank you Bill. Just one trusted retired neighbor fishing. I will simplify to asking him to remove 10 6-10" and 8 12" since he is estimating sizes (if this seems reasonable). He understands that good management means more fun for him. He has been asked to remove 50-60 BG per year from our BG/LMB pond and recently saw the results when a friend from work caught a 6.4lb LMB which he kept along with 4 others 12" and under. Neighbor caught a bunch of nice BG in that same pond in early spring and kept some LMB under 12" as well to thin the herd. All were very fat which I credit very much to guidance received here and a lot of plant cover. It appears that the curly-leaf pondweed was not eradicated by the crayfish in the SMB pond and is doing fine in some spots without reaching the surface. It is much reduced from earlier years though. Is there any harm in adding the culled SMB to the BG/LMB pond? Don't want to screw up a nice pond. And as you guessed or remembered, I am interested in big but fewer number fish. Visiting kids can always catch and release a lot of BG and have plenty of fun. FYI - Neighbor is careful to lip hook the fish and get them off the line quickly when releasing them. I told him many released fish die after swimming away and to minimize time out of water. He is a very responsible guy.

Last edited by RAH; 10/19/19 03:36 PM.
Re: Managing SMB/YP pond
RAH #512935 10/19/19 08:21 PM
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Remember my numbers to be removed are a starting point and just my best guess based on not having sampled nor experienced the fishery. Angler catch records will indicate how well the culling is progressing as the pond and fishery ages which is why to keep catch records. Numbers and sizes caught per hours fished plus lure/s used. All these data items provide very important features about the fishery. These data allow for refining the removal numbers to achieve your goals of producing more numbers of larger SMB. It is good to have trustworthy and responsible anglers. I don't see a problem of moving some of the culled SMB to the BG-LMB pond.


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Re: Managing SMB/YP pond
RAH #512938 10/19/19 09:41 PM
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RAH it would be nice if you could get them to throw back th 6 pounders and only keep those smaller ones! 6.4 is big in Indiana.


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Re: Managing SMB/YP pond
Bill Cody #512942 10/20/19 05:34 AM
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Bill - Thank you. Only fish caught in SMB pond was a single 16" SMB 2 falls ago (stopped fishing after that), a handful of 6-8" YP (not footballs) last winter, and the 16 SMB caught in two 0.5-1 hour sessions in the last week or so. I understand that your recommendations are WAGs with the limited information that I can provide, but they are better than anything that I could come up with. Will give the angler the option of keeping or relocation fish.

Last edited by RAH; 10/20/19 05:45 AM.
Re: Managing SMB/YP pond
Andrew Epperson #512943 10/20/19 05:41 AM
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Andrew - The single big LMB was caught by a novice 60+ year-old angler in warm water and was really whipped by the time I recovered it from being tangled in lily pads (may not have survived anyway). The angler is a good friend and was really excited. I did not think removing that single fish would have a significant impact on a 1.25 acre pond. Would not want to have many of these removed per year though. Nice to know I have LMB genetics and conditions to produce fish like this.

Last edited by RAH; 10/20/19 05:45 AM.

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