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Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #529969 01/24/21 07:59 AM
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CityDad,
Cool body of water you have. I understand your in the Tampa area, too?

Do you now the history of it whether it was dug for fun or if it was a borrow pit of some sort? There are lots of those around. f that's the case, it could be deep.

Best money you could spend right now would be on a little jon boat to get out and cover some water to see what you have. Bass are already beginning to bed here and bream will start shortly. That is as good a time as any to survey the banks for bedding activity by sight and smell. Need some polarized glasses with the dark waer.

Keep an eye out for the birds; heron, osprey, cormorant, eagle, etc.. They are better fisherman than you and I would ever be. smile

Being Florida, you're gonna have fish in there. There are lunker bass in the smallest of stormwater retention ponds around here.

Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #529974 01/24/21 09:25 AM
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Without electrofishing my current plan is to cull 50-100lbs of skinny LMB and adding at last 3 fish condos with feeders above them (probably cheap moultries bc $$$) before rainy season starts (aprilish) and I add BG, Shad, Minnows, and Craws (if I can find craws). Hopefully that will kick start the forage and help out the bass.

Near the fish condos I think I'm also going to plant vegetation in buckets (so it can't spread). What plants do yall like near your spawning area/condos?

So far I've got 2 volunteers to help me out, both better anglers than me so can probably hit that if not Ill invite more.

Over the summer take out anything at all that is skinny.

Re-evaluate in the fall. Maybe invest in some new genetics for the pond (note this is Florida fall, so its still warm)



Non fish related pond projects for this year:
*Purchase water test kits and monitor closely
*Invest in DO meter for same
*if money isn't an issue, invest in a digital bobber to map the lake bottom
*Clear out lots of scrub brush along the bank to fish from.
*Plant lots of grass where scrub brush used to be
*Plan future landscaping for banks (I somehow have very few cypress trees, I think that should be fixed for erosion control and habitat double header)
*Monitor water/banks and make plans to improve them next year via riprip, bentonite, and cinderblock retention walls.
*Relax and enjoy

Have I missed anything?

Last edited by CityDad; 01/24/21 09:27 AM.

Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #529982 01/24/21 01:31 PM
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I wouldn't add any forage until you remove those 100lbs of bass or else you will just be encouraging more overcrowded bass.


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Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #529989 01/25/21 12:31 AM
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I'm in Bill's camp about not adding any forage fish or anything that they could eat. You would be just throwing money away.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #529992 01/25/21 08:10 AM
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Yup you've convinced me, that's priority number 1, as well as building the fish condos. I think I found a good spot for a nursery in the back, if I can find a good net I might go ahead and net it off and put the forage back there to grow out and hopefully spawn a bit.
As we all know its a combination of time, money, and work. If I can make a grow out spot and then invest in time to spend less money, I'm gonna do it.

Recomendations on the net/netting for something like this?

Also- What plants do yall like? I want to scatter 10 or so 5 galloon buckets of vegetation in some spots as fish attractors that dont overtake the pond. I want that in before I add all the forage too



Forgot photos from yesterday! First time bringing the family out to enjoy it. My FIL also helped me clear a few spots to fish from and we are planning the next patches to clear.
https://imgur.com/gallery/2GILnuv

Temperature spiked hard overnight, and I think that made the bass mad. Couldnt get any bites. I saw a tons of schools of fairly large perch or tilapia (couldnt catch em) hanging out eating grass. If I had to guess a few of em passed 1lb. Camera phone couldnt capture em. They looked beautiful though, and I want to stick a fork in one... Next time Ill bring a cast net.

Last edited by CityDad; 01/25/21 08:15 AM.

Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #529995 01/25/21 09:36 AM
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I was re-reading some Forage Pond threads and someone mentioned putting them in large water tanks to grow out.

DUH why didn't I think of that? I've been collecting them for other purposes for the farm and can definitely set aside 2 for raiisng forage. I think the water in them will get REALLY hot though. Any thoughts on keeping them cool? Central florida is already 80* and water temps climbing from the low 60s. Set em up with a pipe into the actual pond should be simple enough. Screen on top to keep birds out. Gravel and sand on the bottom to hold a few plants/spawning beds.

Any other advice on that topic?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530023 01/25/21 08:21 PM
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Raising fish in outdoor tanks can be very different methods between north and south regions. Species in the warm-hot south would have to be high temperature tolerant fish. Raising fish in tanks is definitely not as easy as it sounds. It becomes and requires methods specific aquaculture.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/26/21 09:50 AM.

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Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530038 01/27/21 09:21 AM
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Hi Bill-

Some quick googling shows me that Gams prefer ~77* f and can tolerate up to about 100*
Bluegill seem to be almost as tolerant of warm temperatures (maxing at ~95*)

Gams Seems like a good place to start this project. Hopefully sooner than later because time is money. If It works out ill do BG later. Time to start hunting for pumps etc.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530065 01/28/21 08:21 PM
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Hey guys.

i know the short answer is going to be "as much as you can afford" but I'm going to ask anyway....

I'm pricing out riprap etc as structure for crayfish. How much is the "minimum" size pile you'd make for them?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530067 01/29/21 06:32 AM
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I ordered a triaxle load and built a jetty for crayfish. At full pool, it is submerged completely. I thought that this use of riprap might provide more habitat for the crayfish, but I have no concrete evidence that it does. However, after adding the papershells, my curly leaf pondweed is all but gone.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by RAH; 01/29/21 06:33 AM. Reason: typo
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530068 01/29/21 06:43 AM
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Over the past 6 yrs I have kept my eyes open for the stuff that I can use for cover in the pond and is free for the picking. Piles of used brick, or different sized rocks scattered around the property. All kinds of free stuff out there if you don't get in a hurry and take your time and your eyes open. Free gambusa minnows that live in the wet low spots and free crawfish in those same low spots in the spring. There are plenty of places to spend money on the pond, like a good fish feeder, fish food, stocker fish. forage fish, sein nets, cast nets, scales to weigh fish along with measuring boards. Building material for a pier. I can go on with all the money that one can spend on a pond. I am happy to see you got your pond.


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


Tracy
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530071 01/29/21 08:25 AM
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RAH- That is one truckload? How many yards? If so that looks like a great start. Also uhh.... I might invest in changing the way that rock is laid out. Or is my mind just corrupt?

TGW- hitting construction sites for garbage that i can use is definitely high on my list, but I also want to do the turn money into time thing by getting some good stuff right away.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530077 01/29/21 09:29 AM
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I've put rip-rap on most of the dam in my pond. Also have three submerged peninsula piles that run perpendicular to the shoreline.

~60 ton in so far with another ~15 ton to go.

Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530084 01/29/21 10:28 AM
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The design RAH has is a good one, especially if you ever think you will be electroshocking the pond. To do that effectively, you need some areas that the fish can be "herded to" to trap them in the current from the e-shock boat.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530102 01/29/21 02:24 PM
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Just one truckload. It is sold by the ton rather than the cubic yard, but I cannot remember the tonnage. Carrying each stone out separately by hand and placing it was the real work, especially with the water level being where it is shown in the photo. I later raised the full pool by 1 foot using a water control box from AgriDrain which covered the top of the rocks, but not very deeply. I did this for establishing bald cypress in my last pond as well, and I just added an elbow to the pipe in my 3rd pond to raise it as well, but don't have bald cypress in that one. During droughty times, the top of the jetty still sticks out of the water.

Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530103 01/29/21 05:35 PM
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HAHA ok no one else sees anything funny in the shape, I guess my mind is just dirty.
I think the place down here sells em by the "yard" vs the "truck" I've left em messages but no response yet to confirm. Of course their website has "by the truck" rates for fill dirt but not rip rap...

I also need to get some bald cypress going. It's shocking that a pond in FLorida doesn't have a ton of it already but *shrug* any advice for me on planting it?

I'm going to load my riprap onto a john boat and then across my pond when I get it so.... Yea thats gonna be a pain in the ass but worth it. Or maybe not, but I'm doing it. I'll post a picture later of where I'm putting structure and feeders.

Going to look for some american pondweed and arrowhead this weekend. Then plant both in buckets to see how they do. I get 2 days at the pond this weekend, 1 solo 1 with the fam smile perfect mix.

Im gonna do a bunch more clearing of the banks to fish from, and hopefully at least a little fishing. Might try to throw oneof these things I think is tilapia on the fire smile


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530104 01/29/21 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
HAHA ok no one else sees anything funny in the shape, I guess my mind is just dirty.

This forum is serious business, no joking allowed! wink

Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530107 01/30/21 12:18 AM
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Post a picture of what you think are Tilapia and we can ID it for you.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
esshup #530111 01/30/21 09:59 AM
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plaanning on catching one this weekend and doing a taste species test


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530112 01/30/21 07:45 PM
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NEW PHOTOS!

https://imgur.com/gallery/fhsPVBS

Can you ID the lil baby fish?

Visibility ~3'

Also- I think I saw 3 spawning beds... clean bowls in the sand but with no fish guarding them. Am I crazy? Maybe birds got em? Would they scoot if they saw me walk up?

Hopefully will have more fish to ID tomorrow from the minnow cage. Also gonna focus on catching these tilapia that stare at me. They *might* be common carp.

Also saw what I think is a sailfin catfish.

For the catfish and carp/tilapia I'm gonna have to get a bow smile I dont want non natives in my lake!

Caught the biggest fish I've had in that pond so far! Skinny but I kept it in because the length was so nice.
I did also catch a 6" one that maybe I should have culled? I thought it was young enough that I should let it stay in? No picture of him, I caught it kinda funky and wanted him back in the water.

I'm pretty confident that there is an extreme shortage of bluegill in this pond. I haven't seen any vaguely bluegill shaped shapes in the water. The fishery only sells BG as large as 2-4" MMmmmm gonna have to figure out how to grow em out I think. I'll have some chain link fencing to recycle in a few weeks, maybe Ill set up that to keep birds and bass out of one of the areas I labeled 'potential nursery' in the photos.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530113 01/30/21 07:49 PM
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The small fish in your pictures above is a mosquito fish probably a male.


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Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
Bill Cody #530121 01/30/21 09:33 PM
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Thanks Bill!

I think I'm going to try to catch a few hundred of em and stick em in a tank to spawn em and put em back. There's tons but they appear ot be the only forage fish.

Any advice for stocking BG and crayfish to established ponds?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530123 01/30/21 11:29 PM
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The bass that you put back in should have been removed. Too skinny. The length and weight tells me that there aren't enough fish in the pond of the correct size for it to eat to grow any larger, or heavier.

The tall grassy things should be removed too - those are cattails and will get so thick you can't walk to the water.


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Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530134 01/31/21 12:40 PM
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Esshup-
ooh thanks for the warning about cattails

i was worried id be removing too much cover.

.... yer right, i just felt bad for em. My heart yearns for all bass to be free! Whats the max size i should keep? about 8"?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: I finally got my small pond! It's just kinda big!!
CityDad #530138 01/31/21 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
.... yer right, i just felt bad for em. My heart yearns for all bass to be free! Whats the max size i should keep? about 8"?

Whatever is under 100% Relative Weight. Honestly, I would remove every bass you catch that is under 120% Relative Weight until you reach removing 30# of bass of ALL sizes per surface acre. That will get your pond back into shape quicker.


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