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Tiny crappie pond, need advice
#534945 05/08/21 07:39 PM
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So I bought a farm with a nice 1.5 acre pond on it that is over 30 years old. The dam has the spillover pipe sticking 10 ft above the water level. The dam is grown over with autumn olive too thick to walk.

The dam might have a leak in it. I'm not sure.

I fished it for the first time today not knowing it even had fish at all. Caught about ten tiny 4" -5" crappie in an hour.

What can I do to get bigger crappies (big enough to eat) and manage this pond better?

Any help is appreciated.

Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #534948 05/08/21 08:02 PM
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Welcome to the forum! I'm not a pro but they will probably tell you to remove all the Crappie you catch because it is probably over populated with them. Also to keep fishing and use minnow traps to determine what all is in the pond, and their size and condition.


Bob


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Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Bobbss #534960 05/09/21 11:05 AM
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Welcome to the forum. What other fish are in the pond? Are the crappie white or black? Are the crappie that you catch real thin and eyes look to big? Fish for other species like bass and bluegill to get an understanding of what’s in there.

Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #534963 05/09/21 12:34 PM
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All I caught was crappie. Yes, they were very thin, small and the eyes looked big now that you mention it.

Both black and white.

I will go back and try to catch more next weekend. I was surprised I didnt catch a bass, bluegill or anything else besides the tiny crappie.

Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #534969 05/09/21 06:05 PM
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There you have it... catch every one you can and bring them alive to me..... just kidding.... remove a lot of them and the survivors will grow.... seems like you still need to see what else is in pond and go from there.... large LMB can and will reduce the population of crappie as they have done in my 6 acre puddle

Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #534970 05/09/21 06:18 PM
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Thanks for the advice pat and Bobbss. I will do so and report back.

Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #534982 05/10/21 05:49 AM
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To me, step one is why is it ten ft low? I had to look up autumn olive. Sounds like nasty stuff. If you kill it will it compromise the integrity of the dam? Has it already done so? Or, could it be why the pond is low?

Not sure you can fish your way out of a crappie infestation. I’ve never had to try.


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: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #534991 05/10/21 10:17 AM
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Agree with Dave !

Find the leak first. You could seine out a lot more fish than catch by fishing.
















Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
ewest #534999 05/10/21 12:47 PM
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I missed the leak part and 10’ low...... so y’all don’t think you can bass your way to control crappie, sure did in mine

Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #535009 05/10/21 04:44 PM
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How did you do it Pat?


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: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Dave Davidson1 #535013 05/10/21 04:55 PM
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Dave
Big bass big appetites hardly any crappie left
Caught a 5-6# LMB with by the looks of tail in throat the crappie was 6-7” long or bigger

Last edited by Pat Williamson; 05/10/21 04:58 PM.
Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #535025 05/10/21 06:03 PM
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I have a 2.5 acre old pond (40 + years) with BCP and LMB among other things. I had loads of stunted small crappie when we bought our place. We removed 200 each summer for 3 years. Once my LMB got a big enough gape (in my estimation) I started clipping fins off any BCP that was underperforming (thin body, big eyes like Pat says0 and tossing them back in for an easy to catch snack for the LMB. So all those things helped my pond. BUT....having 'good water' i.e. stable depth, weeds under some measure of control, dam and outflow in good repair, are key for ALL species. But crappie are an enigma. Why my pond produces some trophy size BCP and Pat's hasn't (so far) is puzzling.


“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.” – Ayn Rand
Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
DrLuke #535026 05/10/21 06:08 PM
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Dr Luke last spring I watched the BG completely decimate the BCP and LMB spawn

Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Pat Williamson #535027 05/10/21 06:20 PM
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That's interesting Pat. I have a mud bottom and lots of FA. I have created gravel beds and some structure piles to help with my fry survivability, but don't get to observe most of my fish beds. Is your pond fairly clear? I have read that BCP spawn first (at least before BG and LMB) but never considered the predation the existing BG are doing to the crappie fry. Can you boost their cover?


“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.” – Ayn Rand
Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
DrLuke #535028 05/10/21 07:59 PM
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Dr.
They have spawned last year along the dam, last year the water was real clear 3-4’ this year didn’t see any spawning by the crappie but did see several large LMB going through the motions in the same area. Good bloom this spring. Have approximately 1-2 acres flooded timber with all the tree tops and brush in that area. A few cedar piles scattered around the main pond. It is my understanding that as soon as crappie come off nest they head out to open water till they get 4-6”, so they don’t use cover like BG do in shallower water . Beats me but several ponds around me are the same. Wish someone could figure this one out but so far nada

Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #535062 05/11/21 02:18 PM
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get better info on the pond....mine is similar and this time of year black crappie are soooooooo easy to catch that it might lend you believe that the pond only has crappie.

The good thing is this time of year is the best time to thin out crappie by rod and reel. Throw every one of them on the bank or dispose of any way you want.

BTW autumn olive is just honeysuckle. Very easy to control/kill off if you want. Saw down the shoots at the base, pile them up and burn in the spring. Do it before they berry out. Treat the "stump" with tordon or spike and it will not come back

Anything that can fit a baby crappie it its mouth will eat one basically - I see the same thing. Post crappie spawn is a feedin frenzy on my pond along with post bullhead spawn. Bullhead get picked off at a higher rate as the school tighter and cruise near surface where crappie are a bit more spaced out and mid column

You can also trap stunted crappie - cloverleaf in mid depth with tuna can with holes in it for bait


Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP
Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #535065 05/11/21 03:21 PM
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Missionshooter,

Most water will only support 75 to 125 lbs of crappie. So that 125 lbs probably constitutes the worst case. A 4.5" weighs .5 oz and so the maybe there are 4000 crappie/acre or 6000 in your pond. They will not produce offspring until you are able to reduce their numbers to where they are attaining 8" in length and so what you are dealing with is a limited number of them.

It takes a decent sized LMB to take 5" crappie but a 12"incher may be able to do it if you help by scissoring the dorsal fins and caudal fin. So catching and crippling may work with LMB around 12" in length until they get up in size. Those 5" crappie are definitely on the menu for LMB > 18" where is about where you need them. You need around 25 to 35 lbs per acre of 18" LMB to handle the dink crappie. Stocking fingerling LMB will end up giving the dink crappie snacks.

When you get them to 8", I would recommend harvesting crappie 8" or longer. They are big enough to eat and this will allow you to grow some larger specimens.

An easier approach may be to try one 20 lb flathead until you get the crappie up to 8" at which time you could harvest the flathead and add some bass in advanced fingerling sizes > 8" about 50/acre. Try to do that transition in fall.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/11/21 03:27 PM.

Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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Re: Tiny crappie pond, need advice
Missionshooter #536734 Yesterday at 08:51 PM
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Thank you all for your help.

I fished again with a roadrunner and twister tail.

Caught 12, 4-5" crappie with big eyes for such small fish. Caught one 9" thin crappie . All went on the bank.

I had many get off the hook close to the boats all tiny crappie.


On the pond:

The spillover pipe is 10-12' above the water level. Lots of weeds growing in water. Lots of shallow water, only an acre of >10' water level.

I had an excavator guy say he thinks the dam has a leak due to the dam being completely grown over in autumn olive and roots causing small leak

He of course wants to drain it and dig it out to make it deeper, getting down to clay bottom.


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