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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #524404 08/05/20 05:06 PM
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[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

Originally Posted by snrub
Picking up a pound of HSB fry from KEO Fish Farms at 8am Monday morning. Should be back at the pond around 4pm to put them into this forage pond to grow out. A pound of these fry should be between 400 and 500 fish, depending on what size he has at the moment. He said he would try to get me some of the larger size.

Thanks to NEDOC for showing me his cage raised HSB a couple years ago at his place and getting me excited to raise some.

NEDOC chronicles of stocking HSB thread

Got a couple of local PBF'ers that hopefully I can help stock their ponds with some if I get them raised up to size successfully. If most of them live I will have a way more than I need for my other ponds.

51 days from stocking today and this is my first HSB out of this pond caught on hook and line. 1/64 oz jig for a hook and a Gulp Alive green waxie for bait. 6" long and I caught 4 more in short order all in the 5-6" range.

They are hitting pellets really well now. Still see them thrashing the water in schools I presume whooping up on the FHM's in about a 3' diameter frothy circle on the surface. Top picture was size at time of stocking.

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Last edited by snrub; 08/05/20 05:21 PM.

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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #524413 08/05/20 09:34 PM
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Good work at growing these HSB. You are providing plenty of food for them. Excited to see what they will look like in 1 yr then 2 yrs.


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #524429 08/06/20 07:39 AM
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That's some pretty good growth already. Do ya have a guess of what these will weigh next year? Thought it might be cool to look back and see hoe close your guesses are.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #524432 08/06/20 09:17 AM
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Snrub, did you caught these from the forage pond or from the stock you introduced into the main pond? Looks like really healthy HSB too.


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
Snakebite #524434 08/06/20 09:39 AM
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From the forage pond. Caught another 6 last night hook and line and walked them over to the main pond.


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
RStringer #524436 08/06/20 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by RStringer
That's some pretty good growth already. Do ya have a guess of what these will weigh next year? Thought it might be cool to look back and see hoe close your guesses are.

I have no clue but if you look back through these posts as I recall someone very thoughtfully gave me estimates of feed consumption and growth and I think he knows what he is talking about.

If you want to come over and fish some out or we might be able to get some with a cast net you are welcome to some. They probably are not quite big enough to escape large LMB predation but if you want to get some early and then get some more later as they have gotten bigger (I'm guessing this fall some time) that would be fine. I figure at least a percentage will escape predation.

If most of them have lived from the original 500 there are still over 400 in this tiny 1/20th acre pond. I have taken out less than 100 so far.

I have heard they can be raised in really dense populations if the feed and aeration is there (I do have aeration in this pond). But I would just as soon thin them out a little and reduce the possibility of a fish kill. That goes for anyone else on this forum that have indicated they would like to have a few. Get a few small ones now that might or might not escape predation then get some more when they get a little bigger. By thinning them out in this pond the remaining ones should grow better.

If you have a way of transporting them, come get some. I have been thinking of making a transport but have not got around to it yet. A barrel would probably do it at this size.

I also have a small seine but not nearly large enough to go across the pond. But might be able to corral some in a corner or something if you don't mind getting wet.

Last edited by snrub; 08/06/20 09:53 AM.

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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #524857 08/18/20 10:19 AM
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Went out to hand feed the HSB I'm growing out in this forage pond. They are really feeding aggressively now.

But what I noticed was a half dozen newly cleaned beds. I could tell they were fresh because there was no algae on the limestone rocks in the nests and I could see the fresh sediment ringing them. I put 100 1.5" RES in this spring and I have caught a few a while back in the 3.5" range. I thought there might be a late fall spawn but was really surprised to see they were building nests this soon. I suspect there are some 4" and maybe a few 5" RES in there.

Surprising how soon sunfish will "mature" when there is no competition from larger bull males. All that is in this pond is the RES, the HSB juveniles and FHM.

Last edited by snrub; 08/18/20 10:20 AM.

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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525229 08/26/20 06:31 PM
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Snrub any chance you will be around this weekend? I was thinking I could make it over there. Iv been wanting to check out your ponds for awhile now.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: Building new forage mini pond
RStringer #525233 08/26/20 08:00 PM
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As far as I know right now. If you have a way to transport some come over and catch some HSB. They are about 6" now and could use some thinning out of their pond. You could get some more later when they are larger also.

Caught 8 tonight by hook and line and transferred over to my main pond.


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525241 08/26/20 09:57 PM
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snrub, I'll be down in Joplin for the weekend, I'll try and get over and say hello if possible also :-))


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525242 08/26/20 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by snrub
As far as I know right now. If you have a way to transport some come over and catch some HSB. They are about 6" now and could use some thinning out of their pond. You could get some more later when they are larger also.

Caught 8 tonight by hook and line and transferred over to my main pond.

What a great success this project has been. Sounds like you are enjoying the catching and moving part of the process. How is the fishing for them? Are they finicky at all or do they bite readily?

Re: Building new forage mini pond
jpsdad #525252 08/27/20 08:24 AM
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They are a "strange to me" fish. They don't hunt the shore line like a LMB that size would. They are more of an open water fish from what I have read and observed. They school and I will see a school of them boiling the top of the water (like shad or something being chased) in what I assume is some poor FHM school being attacked. I don't know of any other reason for these "boils" happening.

As far as catching them, they are persnickety, but not sure I know the best way to catch them. So far my success has been a tiny hook with a tiny Gulp waxie or maggot on the jig head hook in a fairly fast retrieve across the pond anywhere other than the shallow edges. If I see a "boil" of them, assuming they are feeding, I can throw into that or the other side of that and the boil instantly goes away and no strike. Any disturbance on the surface of the water tends to stop them from doing whatever they were doing. I just get random strikes, never when it first hits the water like a SMB or LMB often does, but always on the retrieve while the bait is moving. Retrieve too slow and they have too long to think about it and sometimes I will see them flash by the bait, if the water is clear enough to see, but not take it. They seem to like something moving fast and they strike before they figure out it is something they don't want. Tried a small spinner bait and no strikes. At 6" they do not have a very big mouth so the bait and hook has to be small. Have not tried the cast net for a while.

I have never found a time when it is just "wham wham wham" like bluegill will do when feeding. Yet at times I have been able to catch a dozen of them within an hour. When they hit the bait they hit it like a hammer.

Caught 8 last night and transferred over to the big pond.

I wonder if I maybe would not feed them for a day before fishing might help. They are tearing up the feed now. Their growth will probably slow as I do not feed them nearly as often as I should and the FHM's are getting thin. I'm trying to feed twice a day but probably should be a lot more often. The ones I caught last night were 6"+-. I will give you guys a private message with my phone number. I don't want to miss you if you stop by and you are certainly welcome to do so.

Give me a call so we can coordinate.

Last edited by snrub; 08/27/20 08:33 AM.

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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525254 08/27/20 08:52 AM
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Try a very small chrome spoon (kastmaster/little cleo/etc.) We use big spoons (up to 2oz) on the Osage to catch hybrids/whites, and it's not unusual to hook a 6" fish on a 4" spoon.

Maybe replace the treble hooks with light wire single hooks to reduce damage done to the fish when they bite.

Re: Building new forage mini pond
Augie #525270 08/27/20 09:06 PM
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Thanks for that tip!

I've only started fishing when I built the ponds a few years back so I am not really much of an angler. I know how to catch BG out of my ponds and that is about it.


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525273 08/27/20 10:09 PM
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Augie beat me to it recommending a spoon. I've never fished HSB in a pond but I have fished hybrids, whites and stripers for decades and spoons have always worked best especially on hybrids and whites. It is interesting that they beat it out of there when they are working the top of the water and you throw into them. My experience, albeit in lakes not ponds, has always been if you can get into them working the top, throwing into them isn't an issue and they will strike aggressively when the spoon hits the water.

Re: Building new forage mini pond
MisterA #525291 08/28/20 12:04 PM
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A couple things that may make a difference in my situation is that the pond is tiny (1/20th acre) so the fish are very aware of what is going on around the bank. When I throw fish food out there is an arc near me with no fish feeding. Back up a few feet and they come closer to bank.

So I suspect even when they are feeding on the surface in the middle of the pond, they are still aware that I am nearby and that may spook them. The water has also been very clear lately except when we get a rain with runoff. That also makes them more aware of what is going on at the banks edge.

I can drive up in my UTV now and see the wakes of a number of fish heading my way expecting to be fed. But if they don't get the feed they quickly disperse.

Caught another half dozen last night. Will see if any place in town has a tiny spoon today and try it. Hope I can find a small enough one. Might have to order on line if not.


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525318 08/29/20 01:04 AM
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Buy some Stubby Steves imitation fish pellets, cut them in half and use a small hook with minimal weight and no bobber. Or use that on a fly rod.


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525349 08/30/20 06:42 PM
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Got 25 of these HSB today from Mr. SNRUB. Also got some where between 20 n 50 RES. I had 1 hsb tht was struggling alil bit at 1st n mine pond. After 30 second or so it uprighted and swam off. Thank you very much sir. I used the smallest rooster tail Wally world has. They were hitting both the yellow n white. It only took use an hour at most to get them. Man those hsb even at 6 inches can fight like crazy. I cant weight to hook into a 3 pounder or more.

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The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: Building new forage mini pond
RStringer #525351 08/30/20 08:02 PM
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We did pretty good today.

I'm still amazed that the RES spawned and had fingerlings for you to take home. I only stocked those as fingerlings this spring.


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525352 08/30/20 08:22 PM
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I didnt measure any of them but I'm guessing 3 inches (RES). Yes thata seems crazy a fish that small has already pulled off a spawn.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525354 08/31/20 01:15 AM
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Rusto, sorry I missed ya today. I did make it over on Sat late afternoon in time to see the feeding spree.
So well set up! John has some nice everything there. Seeing SMB come up 1.5' from the bank and smash Optimal hand throw bass pellets is amazing. That place is a true fish factory.. just beautiful.
snrub, thanks so much for the tour!


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
Snipe #525362 08/31/20 11:53 AM
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By the time we had caught 25 of them mostly by hook and line and a few via cast net, the HSB were pretty much spooked. They did not clean up their feed as they were wary of what was going on. I'm glad we had pretty good success at catching them. I think getting any more than we got would have been a slow process as they essentially hunkered down.

They should be back to feeding full force today though.


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Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525363 08/31/20 12:11 PM
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Maybe next time Snipe. I had one of my twins with me. Before we even meet my daughter was saying how sweet the couple was. There were on an afternoon cruise on there pontoon/paddle boat. Defiantly quite the fishery for not being much of a fishman. PONDS PONDS PONDS oh and another pond lol. Very nice setup you have going. When you do something you go all out


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525373 08/31/20 06:10 PM
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So I get home from work today and stroll on down to the pond and bout started crying. So far iv pulled 10 floaters. When I got home I did the add some of my water to the cooler and let it set. Which had a really good airatior going for them. I waiting prolly 20 minutes or so an added some more water for bout 10 minutes. When I let them go.had one HSB tht sunk n flipped over. I got him up n going and swam off (bout 630). Before bed (10 or so) took spot light down and didnt see any floating. So my question is what did I do wrong? I think in the 11 years iv had the pond Iv only found 2 to 3 ead fish. I know these where healthy when I got them. Only in the cooler for maybe an hour n 15 minutes.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: Building new forage mini pond
snrub #525377 08/31/20 08:14 PM
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I don't know but they seem to be pretty sensitive fish. I have had a few that I transfer over to another pond that will turn upside down. I upright them and they take off but it seems if you keep them out of water very long at all it is hard on them. I have had my best success if I get them to the next pond ASAP and just toss them in. When they slap the water they take right off. If I release them gently sometimes they stall and roll over.

They are kind of a strange fish, at least to me.

You were the guinea pig. I think Heath is going to come over to get some later this week. Will see how he gets along. He is probably only 20 minutes from my pond.


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