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Joined: Apr 2018
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Dilley Offline OP
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So I've been fighting with a murky pond for 3 years. It's finally cleared up though which is awesome. I've got some really big bass. I caught a 4 lb and there are tons more just like him I can see them from the shore.

Thing is now my bluegill do not seem as well populated as they were. Before they would follow me around when i paddle out. Now they are no where to be seen. I do also now have quite a bit of american pond weed along the shores. I'm guessing the bluegill now just have to hide out because the bass can finally see?

I have a feeder that is floating in the middle of the pond when I ran it last weekend and today nothing hit the food. This clarity is coincidentally coming at the same time winter is coming though so I'm also wondering if the BG especially the bigger BG just aren't bothering with food right now. It is still warm down here in South TX though.

Thing is when I ran the feeder 3-4 big bass just started sharking the heck out of it. So I'm guessing they are just having to be more cautious?

Curious if others have seem similar behavior changes when the water clears up or if y'all think I should be concerned for my BG population?

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Well, it depends.

It took at least 40# of bluegill to grow that single 4# bass. So, if you have tons of bass in there, they could be just hammering the BG and that population could be dropping.

How big is the pond, how old is it, how much cover is in there for the fish to hide in, how many bass do you take out annually, and what is the body condition and size of the BG that you catch?

What are the goals for the pond?


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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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The pond is only 3 years old. It's just over half an acre. The pond weed has taken over the edges of the entire pond so there is decent cover. I've not taken any bass except that 1 4 lb so far. She was super fat. Great overall shape. I've not caught any BG. I stocked 400 BG last spring and this summer there were tons and bajillions of mosquito minnows.

The pond weed has grown quite a bit more thick since then and the pond has cleared up finally where as back then it was still 18" or so of clarity.

goals are just to have a decent fishing/swimming hole. It's not a big deal for me to stock some more BG, but I also don't want to over stock it.

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With very many large lmb in only a 1/2 acre pond your bluegill are probably getting wiped out. especially when you said how fat that bass was. I don't believe you will continue to see "fat" bass much longer with the decline in bluegill. personally I don't believe you will overstock bluegill with that many lmb of that size in there. Plus those bass are going to spawn and multiply! Just my opinion. My 2 acre pond is now 6 years in producing bass and only this past year has the water cleared to around 36 inch visibility. I have noticed a HUGE decline in 2-4 inch cnbg now that my bass can see better to feed on them. Only cnbg I see at my feeder are probably 5-9 inch in size!


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Originally Posted by Flame
My 2 acre pond is now 6 years in producing bass and only this past year has the water cleared to around 36 inch visibility. I have noticed a HUGE decline in 2-4 inch cnbg now that my bass can see better to feed on them.

Most ponds have increasing fertility as they age. Now I see two posters are saying their ponds are clearing. I feel like I am missing some important variable.

Flame,

Why do you think your water visibility was getting better this year?

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Originally Posted by Flame
My 2 acre pond is now 6 years in producing bass and only this past year has the water cleared to around 36 inch visibility. I have noticed a HUGE decline in 2-4 inch cnbg now that my bass can see better to feed on them.

Most ponds have increasing fertility as they age. Now I see two posters are saying their ponds are clearing. I feel like I am missing some important variable.

Flame,

Why do you think your water visibility was getting better this year?

My best guess is that the nutrient load is tied up feeding aquatic vegetation rather than an algae bloom.



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Shorty,

I think you are spot on for Dilley's pond. Dilley observed that the American Pondweed was getting more abundant along the shores.

I wonder if Flame will report some observed change that correlates to his pond clearing.

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FishinRod, my water clarity improved because of 2 things. Mostly I believe because I had topsoil hauled in to cover my steep clay banks. then I spread winter rye grass seed to hold soil till spring. Then I put an overkill amount of bermuda grass seed out in the spring. It didn't grow all that well but...my topsoil I had hauled in was from a cow pasture and was FULL of bahia grass seed apparantly!! It took off like a rocket and completly covered my hills.. I just got finished mowing it today! Now, the SECOND thing I did was turned off my aeriation completely. I honestly started seeing things clear up in about 30 days!! I'm still not running it and it has been over a year. I am keeping about 30-36 inch visibility and I love it! Downside...after clearing all my grass on the ponds edge today i spotted huge GBH tracks on the bank and a 10 inch lmb floating at the edge right next to the tracks. I found no "holes" in him but he was barely breathing as if he had been knocked out! Dang birds!!


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James Bahia is everywhere around here …. It’s green though and definitely will hold the soil better than rye grass and you can’t hardly kill it or cut it….as far as GBH they are welcome to eat all the bass they want here…. They can’t catch many large fish in the shallow water that they fish cept when they jump off pier to snag a BG at feeding time. Now that’s fun to watch

Last edited by Pat Williamson; 12/05/21 05:54 PM.
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Flame,

Thanks for the comprehensive update. Good job on getting your grass growing well. (I think a little "luck" is a very underappreciated pond management tool.)

EVERY pond is an experiment. I like your aeration/pond clarity relationship. Hopefully, you can use that to your advantage in the future.

As regards, the GBH. It's Texas! Surely someone down there has developed a strain of venus flytrap that you can plant on the shoreline that will snap up herons!

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Dilley Offline OP
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So I went out yesterday morning and i was seeing schools of BG along the edge and the big bass weren't hunting it. I'm almost wondering if because it warmed way up the bass were trying to stack some pounds and in a frenzy mode that was having the BG hunker down.

I've stocked 650 total BG in this pond over a 3 year period. Thinking maybe I'm in OK shape. Do bass eat the catfish food? Water has been so dang murky I've never really been able to see exactly what is eating. Now that it's clear and I'm seeing tons of bass I'm wondering if they benefit from my feeding program at all or if they just gobble up my BG?


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