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#537901 07/19/21 02:48 PM
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Three months ago, I purchased 40 acres in Johnson County, Illinois, near the Cashe River basin. It has a 5 acre spring-fed pond that was built less than ten years ago. It is beautiful. It is over 20 feet deep near the dam and a 6-12 foot channel runs through standing timber (which was a former creek bed) emanating from a large artesian spring. I want to turn it into a trophy bass and bluegill mecca. First bass caught was about a half pound little guy, less than 10 inches. We started catching multitudes of similar size bass (10-12 inches and low relative weights) so we culled 250 (50 per surface acre) of the most abundant skinny bass. We are catching bluegill, most of which are very large (6-9 inches, and very plump) and we have returned all of those to the pond. We have caught 3-5 bass weighing over 5 lbs. But those nice bass are few and far between. There is plenty of structure in the lake, as it was carved from a tree-lined valley and many of the trees remain, as it is a relatively new lake. The water is crystal clear (being spring fed) and visibility is between 4-6 feet. I treated it early in the year with 50 lbs of copper sulfate, which worked very well. I have also applied Diquat directly to some of the underwater vegetation, that prohibited shore fishing. I tried posting pictures, but all of my photos are above the 2 MB limit for files.........SO, do I stock bluegill in the fall? Wait and see what happens after the culling of 250 bass? Suggestions? I don't want to pay the "dumb tax" and buy things that will make do a hand plant in a year or two. Thanks in advance for your opinions and suggestions.


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Welcome to the forums! The bass you described is a definite sign of stunting (multiple catches in the 10-12" range). I'm not sure if its possible to have both a trophy bass and trophy bluegill pond at the same time. Since it sounds like you have a stunted bass population, that's the best scenario to have larger BG. If you want to go the bass route, you're on the right track with the culling you've done so far, In my amateur, non-expert opinion, with your current situation, the easier route would be to grow trophy BG since you already have the right size bass in place for it.


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Do you have any idea what the ratio is between bass and bluegills? Once predators are stocked, it seldom pays to stock new bluegills. They are generally eaten on arrival.


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.

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BVBob, welcome to the forum. You'll get good advice. It sounds to me that you are already "doing your homework" towards understanding your pond.

What Steve and Dave have offered are right on. I am no expert, but often what is advised is to live with your pond for a period of time, observing it for up to a year, before you really dive in with expensive adjustments. Now that certainly does not preclude culling bass after bass after bass, as Steve has said. And if you have several pairs of large bluegills, you have brood stock for tens of thousands of BG fry, so prolly don't spend money on more now.

That ratio of LMB to BG can accurately be assessed by electroshocking. I think our experts might suggest getting an electroshock survey done. You can try lots and lots of fishing techniques, lures for big and small fishes, live bait on tiny hooks under bobbers, resting on the bottom, larger live fish for bigger bass. But in a 5 acre body of water BOW, it will take a monster sample size. Electrofishing could get you that info in an afternoon, and could ramp up the bass cull at the same time.

I hope you are excited and looking forward to an incredible journey managing 5!!! acres of water. My pond is a measly 1/4 acre and at times it can take all my energy and intellect. Hahaha!

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You might not have to stock Bluegills. By taking a lot of the smaller bass out, that will allow more of the offspring of the spawning bluegills to survive and grow. With it being an artesian spring feeding it, there won't be much nutrients in there, so it might be a good idea to get the bluegills on a supplemental feeding program so they can reproduce more.

Texas Hunter Feeder, Optimal Bluegill food. 5 acres, you could use 2 feeders. You would be (most likely) feeding 3 bags per month between the 2 feeders once the Bluegill get with the supplemental feeding program.


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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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We are catching at least 15:1 Bass to Bluegill. Bass hit everything you throw in the water. I'm interested in making the Bass population grow larger.

Thanks for the advice!


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You can feed the BG as per Esshup and or depending on water quality fertilize to increase productivity. Be sure you understand each before you implement. Removing poor quality LMB will help. On size structure see below;

The best easy to understand rule I have seen is provided by Professor Richard Anderson who literally wrote the book on population analysis.

From an archived thread :

For LMB

This is what is suggested by Dick Anderson - the Prof who wrote the book on PSD.

Keep taking <12 in bass until the number 8-12 equals number 12-15. Ideal pond structure is 40% 8-12, 40% 12-15 and 20% 15+

This assumes good fish condition.

Another suggestion is take out all the fish in poor condition in all size groups. Note the size group that is stunted will have a much higher % of fish in poor condition.

These are all correlated to the concept of RW mgt.

Here are 3 archive links with a ton of info on the subject.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=255372#Post255372

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=255359

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92492#Post92492

If the only method of removal is hook and line then you need to consider the catchibility issue which is genetics.

Last edited by ewest; 07/20/21 09:54 AM.















ewest #537951 07/20/21 10:03 AM
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Thanks you ewest! I will continue to keep the forum apprised, BVB


BelleVegasBob

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