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Managing Existing Pond?
#531631 03/07/21 12:22 PM
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I have a 1 acre pond that I've been wanting to stock but not sure which direction to go.

It's only about 9 feet deep.

I've fished it for a year now and also threw a cast net to get a feel for what's in it.

Fishing isn't great, very inconsistent some days can't catch anything.

Have caught 10-12 inch bass, have caught a few 4-6 pounders.

Have caught 3-4 sizes of crappie ranging from a few inches to 12-13 inches.

Also has bullhead/polywog catfish in it.

Have also seen and caught 2 species of perch. Cast netted shad.

Lots of evidence of crawdads and have caught a lot of crawdads.

Fish that are caught do look healthy.

I want to improve the fishing.

I just don't know which direction to go with the current fish I have.

Channel cat?
Bass?
Crappie?

The fact that there are already crappie in it and seem to be the most populated fish I have a hard time thinking I'll be able to really grow a good number of large bass.

However, everything I read says crappie are hard to keep in pond.

I'd like to make it an awesome crappie pond if possible.

Thoughts?

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531632 03/07/21 12:40 PM
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Bradybuck, sounds like a pretty good pond already!

Hopefully, some of the actual experts will drop in to give you some advice.

I am pretty sure that advice will include comments that state it is very hard to have a "good" crappie pond when you only have 1 surface acre to work with.

My amateur advice would be to keep working this spring to evaluate exactly what is in your current pond population. I would then pick a goal for improving the fishing on mainly one type/size of fish that is part of your existing population.

The experts here can definitely assist you in reaching that type of goal!

Welcome to Pond Boss and good luck on your project. cool

Rod

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531634 03/07/21 01:46 PM
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Thanks, I wouldn't mind leaving it alone except for the fact we aren't catching many fish consistently. I may go serval days of fishing and only catch one fish.

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531635 03/07/21 02:03 PM
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Fish can become "educated" if you regularly practice catch and release.

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531657 03/08/21 01:35 AM
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Over what period of time have you caught the above listed species?
Are the 3-4 different crappie sizes in the same season from this pond?
If the crappie are achieving 12-13" consistently you don't have a crappie problem and if the bass you are catching are not skinny with sunfish present, my question would be size structure of BG/GSF/RES or whatever it is you are calling "perch" as there may be a clue, or red flag right there. Do you catch many very small sunfish? Tell us a bit more about those.
As posted above, fish can become very hook-smart in a pond but it may be more important to know what your expectations are and how many times you fish a month.
If you can add a few more details, maybe we can add something more to this.

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531719 03/09/21 09:51 AM
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IMO, if you’re not satisfied with what you have, putting in more fish won’t work. Both crappie and bass will eat the new arrivals. Unusual to have successful crappie and bass in the same one acre pond. I can think of worse situations.


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: Managing Existing Pond?
Snipe #531721 03/09/21 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
Over what period of time have you caught the above listed species?
Are the 3-4 different crappie sizes in the same season from this pond?
If the crappie are achieving 12-13" consistently you don't have a crappie problem and if the bass you are catching are not skinny with sunfish present, my question would be size structure of BG/GSF/RES or whatever it is you are calling "perch" as there may be a clue, or red flag right there. Do you catch many very small sunfish? Tell us a bit more about those.
As posted above, fish can become very hook-smart in a pond but it may be more important to know what your expectations are and how many times you fish a month.
If you can add a few more details, maybe we can add something more to this.

I fished several times a week for short periods through last spring and summer, didn't fish much over the fall and winter. Any time I threw soft plastics or spinner baits I would typically catch 1-2 bass in an hours time. Sometimes more sometimes wouldn't catch anything. Below is a picture of the what I'm calling perch. Sorry not up on my perch species.

When using minnows I have caught multiple size crappie with a few over 12 inches in the same sitting but that is uncommon. More common to sit for an hour and only catch 2 or 3 if any.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531742 03/09/21 01:23 PM
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Not a perch. To my eye is a hybrid but has some green sunfish in it. Mouth size is hidden and the opercular flap looks a bit dark and a bit big for a straight GSF. Some straight or hybrid bluegill may be in that fish too.

Last edited by canyoncreek; 03/09/21 01:53 PM.
Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531757 03/09/21 02:39 PM
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would love to see pictures of your crappie? Are they white or black or hybrid or 'mutt' crappie?

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531759 03/09/21 02:47 PM
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That appears to be a female bluegill to me.

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
crimsondave #531760 03/09/21 02:57 PM
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Looks like some green sunfish genes in the mix, but I'm no expert.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 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, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206,51




Re: Managing Existing Pond?
canyoncreek #531761 03/09/21 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
would love to see pictures of your crappie? Are they white or black or hybrid or 'mutt' crappie?

I'll see if I can't catch some soon and take a picture. Pretty sure they are white crappie.

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531960 03/12/21 06:09 PM
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Well Minnows must be the way to go. These were just a few of what we caught today.

Three sizes of crappie and 3 sizes of bass.

Only caught 6 or so bass 1-2 pounds with the one that was probably 3-4 pounds.

Crappie ranged from 5-6 inches, 8-9 inches and the one that was 13.5 inches.


[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

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Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531961 03/12/21 06:11 PM
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My daughter also caught a few of these

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

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Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531973 03/12/21 07:54 PM
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Bradybuck,

Great job doing all of the "hard work" to further evaluate the fish population in your pond!

The pics are a nice bonus for us. Further, there are several experts on PB that can tell a lot about your fish populations just by observing the characteristics of the fish in your pictures.

The big LMB is nice, and so is the 13.5" crappie. Did any of those fish keep moving up the food chain to hungry humans?

Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #531980 03/12/21 08:47 PM
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All the "perch' pictures are hybrid bluegill in various stages of hybridization (as in different generations). LMB from current pictures are abundant enough and probably big enough to be controlling the crappie numbers. HBG produce fewer fry than BG. So from data so far,,,, it appears to me that there is not enough HBG(sunfish) reproduction and overall pond productivity causing limited forage to produce more fish biomass thus indicating or contributing to low fish numbers and low angler catch numbers. LMB and crappie are more of a predator than creating or serving as forage food items. From the LMB pictures the LMB appear to be at a lower than optimal RW relative weight (less plumpness & around or less than 80-85) this also indicates reduced forage food density, i.e. weak food chain and/or food web. Having more species of pellet eating fish and having a more prolific pellet eating fish species should noticeably help increase in food chain and more fish for anglers.

Also having hook smart fish I think is also contributing to lower catch numbers. This is a stronger possibility especially if all the fish in the pictures were catch and release(C&R). C&R and the more frequent C&R is practiced, the longer the angler hours of each episode, the lower the fish species density, and the smaller the water body all contribute to making hook shy/smart fish and to lower fish caught per hour (CPUE catch per unit effort).

Also if you do some fishing with a smaller baited wormed hook (sz10 maybe 8), it will provide some insight into what types of smaller fish (3"-6") are present. This info helps determine what sizes are in the forage base. Minnow traps and beach seines(10ft to 30ft) are also good management tools for getting this info.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/13/21 12:20 PM. Reason: edited for improvements

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Re: Managing Existing Pond?
Bradybuck #532019 03/13/21 01:20 PM
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^^^ What Bill said!


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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).

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