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Could bass have died?
#521547 05/24/20 08:01 PM
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We have a 3 acre lake we fixed the bottom of 2 years ago when it was dry. It filled up over night with a massive rain in the fall. We put a lot of fatheads and bluegill in it and let them reproduce for a few months. We then put in 50 3-5 pound bass. We still had a slight lake dam leak so we scattered bentonite on the surface near the dam. Fast forward to this summer and we can't catch a single bass. Bluegill are everywhere. You'll catch 100 out of 100 casts. We can't catch one bass though! Any thoughts? Are the bass dead? Is 50 not many for a 3 acre lake and we're just not catching them? Could bentonite have killed them?

Last edited by ashannoniii; 05/24/20 08:02 PM.
Re: Could bass have died?
ashannoniii #521549 05/24/20 08:37 PM
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Were they Florida strain bass? Notoriously hard to catch on lures when they get big, though that is true to some extent for all largemouth. What were they eating before you stocked?

Re bentonite, I'm no expert but would be surprised if that's the issue. Never heard that it harmed LMB.

Last edited by anthropic; 05/24/20 08:41 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 107




Re: Could bass have died?
ashannoniii #521551 05/24/20 08:52 PM
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I believe they were Florida. We bought them from Camelot Bell. We stocked with bluegill and then put the bass in later. I didn't think the bentonite would hurt them but it all seems ironic. We've fished hard and not caught any this year.

Re: Could bass have died?
ashannoniii #521552 05/24/20 09:46 PM
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Love Camelot Bell/Lone Star Legacy Floridas, have some in my pond. But large ones which only have to open their mouths to get all the fresh fish they want will be extremely difficult to catch on an artificial lure.

If I had to guess, most are still alive & growing fat on all those BG, but are almost uncatchable outside of using live bait. Excess BG have suppressed LMB spawning, too, or you'd have caught some little ones. In your shoes, I'd stock some very aggressive northern strain LMB for both catchability and to crossbreed with the Floridas. I did something similar myself after blundering my initial stocking and have never regretted it.

Last edited by anthropic; 05/25/20 01:39 AM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 107




Re: Could bass have died?
ashannoniii #521555 05/25/20 06:03 AM
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Lots of unknowns when this happens.

What size were the BG? This may be the biggest key. A bass needs prey that is about 40% of its size. It's a matter of energy expended vs calories obtained. Those 3-5 pound bass need(ed) 7 to 8 inch bluegills and an awful lot of them. Bluegills don't reach that size in a couple of months.

It is generally best to stock BG today and bass a year later after feeding heavily.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 05/25/20 06:06 AM.

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
Re: Could bass have died?
anthropic #521560 05/25/20 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by anthropic
If I had to guess, most are still alive & growing fat on all those BG, but are almost uncatchable outside of using live bait. Excess BG have suppressed LMB spawning, too, or you'd have caught some little ones.

+1

Why don't you try to set some brush piles and similar structure in the spots that look most prime? This will help to focus your trophy LMB in places that are predictable where you can fish for them. Try using some live bait. Choose BG in the 4" length or GSH in the 6" to 8" length. Please report back with the results and please comment on growth if you are able.

Quote
In your shoes, I'd stock some very aggressive northern strain LMB for both catchability and to crossbreed with the Floridas. I did something similar myself after blundering my initial stocking and have never regretted it.

OK. I think this is great advice if you want to catch LMB more easily. It's just too bad the Camelot Bells are not F1s but pure strains.

Just some quick questions. Were these sold as female only? Do you know if maybe they had been sexed? If they are predominately males, there will not be much if any further growth in the majority. If they are predominately female, then you have trophy water that has tremendous potential so long as it doesn't become infested with male LMB by high water events.

Before you stock any additional LMB you must decide what it is you really want. Fishing in trophy water is very rewarding in terms of the quality of fish you catch but the fishing is going to be slow compared to water that has a higher density of hungry LMB mouths. A deer hunter trying to bag a trophy whitetail generally doesn't return from the hunt in 15 minutes either. Trophy deer require more effort than spikes and forks and it works the same way with trophy LMB.

If trophy water is what you truly want, you must accept that catches will be fewer and you should have a long term plan for maintaining your trophy succession. If the Camelot Bells are sexed females, they represent what I would call the "missing link" for people managing for trophy female only water. Until now, I was aware of no resource for genetically superior adult fish for waters where reproduction of LMB is prevented. in 2 or three years you need to get into a regimen of take 1 LMB/acre add 1 female LMB/acre or take 1 add 2.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/25/20 07:38 AM.
Re: Could bass have died?
ashannoniii #521578 05/25/20 10:27 AM
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I was able to look up specifics on our stocking dates-

11/2018 stocked 40lb fathead; 1200 large coppernose bluegill; 400 large red ear

We then fed fish food heavily once or twice every day.

6/2019 stocked the big bass

I so hope they're alive and just have full bellies. We're going to go try again today with live bait.

Last edited by ashannoniii; 05/25/20 10:29 AM.
Re: Could bass have died?
ashannoniii #521580 05/25/20 11:21 AM
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Good luck!


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 107





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