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Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
#523316 07/06/20 06:53 PM
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I have a question on when to start removing small bass. I built a 30 acre pond in central Alabama in 2016 and stocked it in 2017 with the goal of growing the best bass I can. Lots and lots of natural and artificial structure. Had water tested this year and looks good. No lime needed. I'm fertilizing it and keeping visibility between 18” and 24”. I’ve been feeding the bluegill since the beginning.

The reason for my question:
The pond was expensive to build and stock so to save some money I stocked it for a 20 acre pond instead of 30 to let them “grow in”. In March 2017 I put in 30,000 copper nose BG (1,000/acre) plus 20,000 fathead minnows. And in June 2017 1,500 2” Tiger Bass (50/acre). So the bass are in their 3rd year.

My question
Do I need to start taking small bass out now to keep the pond balanced? Or do I wait another year or two to give the bass a chance to grow into the 30 acre pond since I stocked it for a 20 acre pond? In other words, since I "understocked" does that mean I should wait until the 4th year or longer to start removing small bass?

Thanks in advance! And I used what I learned on this forum to create the pond so I’m very thankful for the great information and advice here.

P.S. Largest bass so far was 6.15 lbs caught about 2 months ago. Photo attached.

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6.15.jpg (49.13 KB, 79 downloads)
Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523318 07/06/20 08:46 PM
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I think I would start culling. To me, it seems hard to really make a difference but I’m sure it does. IMO, the year that you skip culling is the year that your forage base gets in trouble.


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Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523319 07/06/20 08:50 PM
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Thanks Dave. I have been taking out any 1 lb and under starting this year. Probably taken 80 out so far in year 3. None before that (except a few to eat).

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523367 07/08/20 07:02 AM
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Curious if anyone else has an opinion on this?

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523369 07/08/20 07:19 AM
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A general opinion is to start removing smaller lmb on the 3rd year but every pond/lake is different, I could not do that in my pond due to haveing too many cnbg that effected reproduction/survival of the lmb fry. So i would tell you that every pond/lake is different. So "it depends" might be a better answer for you. Look at your catch rates, check you Relative weights of the fish you catch and adjust your culling on that info. The one problem i see with monitoring RW is the fish might look good but as soon as your forage drops the lmb don't look good so then you are playing catch up and that is not so easy in a large pond/lake. It only takes one or two females to spawn enough fry to populate your place.

Last edited by TGW1; 07/08/20 07:23 AM.

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Tracy
Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523371 07/08/20 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Alabama30
Curious if anyone else has an opinion on this?

Opinion? yes

Good information? questionable

I had the same experience as Tracy. My bass never had a successful spawn for several years. I think my pond is about 7 years old now and I have not removed any bass to speak of other than a gut hook or one that looked bad or something. I am just starting to catch smaller recruits this year. I actually had to supplemental stock some LMB a couple years ago because I still was not getting any recruitment. Just too many BG.

Things have now turned around and am starting to catch some foot long LMB. So I expect about next year I will start removing some. So that will be about 8 years before trying to reduce population of LMB.

Don't take that as advice because I believe Tracy and I are the exceptions rather than the rule. But it does point out that every pond is a little different and every stocking plan can turn out differently than anticipated.

My best guess, to answer your question, is to monitor your catch rates for different size class of LMB. If you are catching lots of fish every outing in a certain size class, maybe that class needs reduced. That is about as specific as I will get because I definitely am no expert on the subject and I may be going too far the opposite direction as we speak and may wish next year I had taken some out this year. I have been putting in SMB also as a predator for the last three years so that adds another variable to the complex question.

Another consideration for my particular situation is unlike Tracy that wants trophy fish, I target more of a general fish population with high catch rates. I am much more of a pan and BG fisherman than a trophy fisherman. So my goal is to somewhat over populate smaller LMB to control the BG numbers and have higher catch rates of bass. I am doing really good with that goal for this year, finally. We will see how long it lasts.


John

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Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
snrub #523376 07/08/20 08:27 AM
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I’m now in the same boat as Tracy, first bass bass bass now BG have stopped all recruitment of bass and crappie because of numbers. What a balancing act it is. But you have to see the problem before you can fix it. So now I’m at war with large LMB and need to remove about 1000 larger BG so the BCP and LMB can get off a spawn

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523377 07/08/20 08:32 AM
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John, I agree with you when you speak of how close our ponds have been alike. Both are @ 3acres +- so makes me wonder how many other ponds that are 3 acres that are similar to ours's has been and we are in different locations with different weather patterns. You are soon to be adding the HSB and i think that is a plus. But I am not so sure 80 stocked, which is what I did, over 4 yrs is a good number unless you are going to feed regularly and provide lots of forage other than bg. I am guessing I had 50 survive the 80 stocked and catch rates and size were good. But I think you will have to feed them. I will feed at least a bag of the Purina LMB per month, all of it through hand feeding. Also provided TFS and Golden shiners. The bg are good but i did find a few Hsb over the years that chocked and died eating bg.


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Tracy
Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Pat Williamson #523378 07/08/20 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
I’m now in the same boat as Tracy, first bass bass bass now BG have stopped all recruitment of bass and crappie because of numbers. What a balancing act it is. But you have to see the problem before you can fix it. So now I’m at war with large LMB and need to remove about 1000 larger BG so the BCP and LMB can get off a spawn

Pat, being at war with large lmb can be fun even if it effects your goals. Did i just read and understand that you recently added some larger sized crappie to the pond?


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


Tracy
Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523379 07/08/20 08:41 AM
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BAMA 30. have u considered adding HSB to your 30 acre lake?


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


Tracy
Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
TGW1 #523383 07/08/20 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TGW1
Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
I’m now in the same boat as Tracy, first bass bass bass now BG have stopped all recruitment of bass and crappie because of numbers. What a balancing act it is. But you have to see the problem before you can fix it. So now I’m at war with large LMB and need to remove about 1000 larger BG so the BCP and LMB can get off a spawn

Pat, being at war with large lmb can be fun even if it effects your goals. Did i just read and understand that you recently added some larger sized crappie to the pond?

Tracy I did add 10 14-16” that I stocked into my neighbors pond.... hopefully nothing in my pond can eat them other than me

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523386 07/08/20 12:15 PM
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Reading the above comments I have come to the conclusion that culling is not an exact science, go figure,, I would say it depends a lot on what your goals are, is one more dedicated to catching abundant panfish, or trophy bass, or is one wanting to stay conservative and make sure the bass you keep are well fed or more bass available to be caught but maybe not as many wallhangers,,, what to do, what to do? I'm somewhat in the same boat, but I definitely want fewer bass but trophy size, as compared to a lot of average sized bass that keep my panfish numbers low.


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
gehajake #523388 07/08/20 12:22 PM
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Seems one can’t have multiple goals lol. Guess that’s the reason it is said IT ALL DEPENDS! Lol

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523393 07/08/20 01:31 PM
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My opinion: It doesn't matter what your goals, plans, strategy, and effects on fish population are, sooner or later nature will throw you a big surprise.

So, do what you think is best and be ready to change course when you get surprised.


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Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523396 07/08/20 03:00 PM
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Healthy looking bass! Congrats. Your BOW is four times the size of mine, can't imagine the amount of feed you have to deal with.


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: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
TGW1 #523399 07/08/20 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TGW1
BAMA 30. have u considered adding HSB to your 30 acre lake?

Sorry but don't know what HSB are...

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523400 07/08/20 04:28 PM
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HSB = Hybrid striped bass. They flourish in ponds, though they don't reproduce there. Stronger & better fighter than largemouth bass (LMB), though they don't jump.

Last edited by anthropic; 07/08/20 04:33 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: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523407 07/08/20 08:45 PM
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No, not planning on any hybrid bass. Guy down the road has some along with crappie in a pond and he enjoys them. I'm trying to grow the biggest bass that I can so sticking to bass and bream for now. Want to convert a 2 acre pond to a catfish pond and another around 3 acre one to a crappie pond. But this stuff is expensive so I'm holding off for now.

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
anthropic #523408 07/08/20 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by anthropic
Healthy looking bass! Congrats. Your BOW is four times the size of mine, can't imagine the amount of feed you have to deal with.

I have two Texas feeders and feed a total of 9 pounds of feed per day. Each feeder 8 seconds 3 times a day. I came up with that number based on spending $100/month on the feed. I know I'm probably supposed to feed more but I have to set spending limits so I went with that.

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523437 07/09/20 04:35 PM
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If you really want big fish, you might want to consider converting those other ponds into forage ponds for the big pond. Others here have done so with nice results.

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Bocomo #523535 07/12/20 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Bocomo
If you really want big fish, you might want to consider converting those other ponds into forage ponds for the big pond. Others here have done so with nice results.

Can you expand on that Bocomo? What would you suggest specifically?

Re: Start Removing Bass 3rd Year or wait?
Alabama30 #523669 07/16/20 09:29 PM
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I would monitor the bass growth by their relative weights. Once their relative weights start going below 100 then I would get aggressive and harvest those sized bass (length wise) and the next year class below them. That will allow the appropriately sized forage fish to recover.

When I say aggressive, I'm talking about 20# or more of bass removed per surface acre.


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