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This land/lake was bought 1 year ago. Previous owner used it to duck and goose hunt in the winter. He said it was stocked with bass 7 years ago. We could not find any fish period. But it was and is full of frogs. So we killed the pond over a year ago and saw no fish.

In April I used pond perfect plus and treated it twice. Pond is 7.5 foot deep in center and 4 foot on shallow end well built, not much if any algae. It has thousands of tadpoles in it everywhere. Lots of frogs, has several wood ducks and couple of geese daily.

I had tremendous outcome with a 1/2 acre pond in mid 1990's that I stocked with 200 RES 100 BG and 50 LMB in stages. To this day it has 10-12 inch RES and BG and lots of 12-14 inch bass. I am a big fan of RES shellcracker are great to eat.

So I would like to have Big Bream and lots of Bass. Redear shellcracker have been hard to find this year here. Monday May 2 I stocked 10lbs of fat head minnows and 300 RES. Got them from fish wagon, they were to be 2-3 inches, but they were 1.5 to 2 inches. I was going to stock HBG and Coppernose until I started reading this forum. So stocking rest in June. Do I get 300 Copper nose ( by the way thank you pond boss didn't know what they were!) and another 100 RES? I want to stock 100 LMB as well, I was told to wait until october to stock the bass. My goal is big bream. I would like any input you guys have. Was just wondering since bass and copper nose 2-3 inches, if I could stock in June? I am fine doing it in stages it worked before, but I think RES are more of 50/50 stock if you want to have enough to catch, since they do not reproduce as much. I know I am new here but I would really like any help I can get, I want to do it right.

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Welcome to the forum. I'm not sure about the CNBG. If the pond freezes over in the winter, you may be better off with regular BG. CNBG will live but they might not do as well as regular BG if the pond freezes. If you like RES, stock as many as you want. For the LMB, you can stock them now, and further down the road harvest any LMB that is bigger than 12"-14".


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The pond did freeze over for a couple of days this winter but it only lasted couple of days and was not very thick, but ducks and geese wouldn't land on it. It will not freeze at all most winters, but last year we had that rare single digit temps for a couple of days.

I to have wondered about CNBG here, after reading up on it. I know several people here that have stocked them and they have done well. The guy I am getting fish from in June is out of Bowling Green, Ky. He only carries CNBG, RES, and HBG. He suggested mix of CNBG, HBG, and RES. 600 total Bream with later stocking of 100 LMB and 10 lbs Fathead. I just stocked 10lbs Fat heads and 300 RES, as I posted, from arkansas. They suggest 900 mix (600 BG 300 RES) with same FHM and 100 LMB.

So which total number of bream would be better 900 or 500/600. And with my options of CNBG and HBG in June. I was thinking of getting another 100 RES (if they are 2 -3 inches and not 1.5 inch) and 300 CNBG. Or how bad would it be to get 200 CNBG and 200 HBG? I want 50 to 60 percent RES. I am feeding Purina Aqua Maxx starter food by hand.

Pond is 1.1 acre I do not have it aeriated but would love affordable way to do it. ( that is not 1000 dollars). Spring fed and gets great run off 3 sides. I would appreciate any suggestions!

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I am leaning towards 300 CNBG ( no hybrids) and maybe 100 more RES ( if 2 inches or bigger) My big question is when to stock 100 LMB ( 2-3 inches) in June or wait till October? The 300 RES and ten lbs fat head minnows( already stocked) have 5 week head start and the Copper Nose will be same size? Feeding Aqua Maxx starter every day in small amounts,

I welcome any advise, I really want this to work in 2-3 years.

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If you wait till October it will sure give the FHM more time to fill up the pond and make a better food source for the small LMB. But I can't tell you which stocking time for the LMB is best and will defer that to more of an expert than me.

The FHM will sure do good on that starter feed and in fact they will do quite fine on feed that is way too large of pellets for them as long as they do not have predators keeping them away from it. When we had FHM's in our pond early we only fed Game Fish Chow because that is all we had readily available. We would see numerous minnows pushing the pellets around till they got soft enough and eventually get them consumed. Of course once the BG get big enough to consume the pellets they pretty much steal it all away before the FHM's can get it. But the FHM's are agressive pellet feeders till they get some competetion or predation.

Early on I would drop a small pile of sinking feed in about 4-5 feet of water. I had bought an under water camera on a cord that I could drop down and watch what was going on. In a short period of time a school of FHM's would find the feed (catfish sinking pellets) and tear into it till it was gone. Actually after a minute or so I would lose track of them because they would muddy the bottom up so much around the feed I could no longer see them on the camera.

Another experience with FHM's early on in my ponds life is I put my scuba gear on and just laid on the bottom in 3-5 feet of water. Within a minute a school of FHM's would find me and start tugging on my hairs all over my arms and legs. I would rarely see them with my eyes, for some reason tish seem to be able to tell which end the mouth is on and that face mask I think just looks like a big mouth ready to eat them. But I could feel 10-20 maybe 30 of them trying to eat the hairs off my arms and legs.

Wife and daughter had a similar experience with their feet. They would sit on the dock and dangle their feet in the water. They would start giggling as a group of FHM's would go after their feet and ankles. They said they were getting a food massage.

Of course all this ends when BG or LMB or any other predator gets big enough to cause a threat to them. Then they are mostly relegated to the shore line or where there is cover from predation. But as long as the fatheads have free range on the pond, they will be everywhere trying to eat what they can. If you can hold off on stocking predators for a while, we just enjoyed feeding them. I even caught a few on hook and line with a tiny hook and just a wee bit of a worm on it. Size 10 or smaller hook.


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HBG and BG in the same pond is not the best idea. I would not add the HBG.
There are different options on adding LMB. If you wait until fall then use larger advanced fingerling LMB (6 inch +) and use only about 35. If you decide on June then use 2 inch and use 75+-. You want the first spawn of BG and RES to not be decimated by the LMB. Initial stocking #s for BG/RES using 2-3 inch fish range from 1000 to 3000 per acre depending on goals. This changes if you use advanced size BG/RES and they spawn quickly without LMB present.
















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I agree with ewest, at least for the first 4-5 years leave out the HBG. See how the BG and RES perform with your management. . Your fish guy is pushing HBG just making money moving HBG. HBG will grow initially fast but then tend to slow growth at around 8"-9" whereas well fed BG-RES will keep on growing well and out grow -perform the HBG as top end size if they get plenty of food. Plus offspring of HBG is sparse density and grow not as well as the original HBG parents. If your goal is big BG & RES then you want the bass to trend toward the smaller sizes less than 14"-15" as noted by esshup above when he said ""further down the road harvest any LMB that is bigger than 12"-14". ""Lots of smaller bass eat lots of small panfish to reduce their high numbers. As you noted above "" back in 1990's, lots of 12-14 inch bass allowed big panfish to develop.

The remaining BG-RES have more food and less competition that allows them to grow faster and bigger. Also to grow the biggest BG,,,,, harvest primarily the females. Bull male BG are needed to suppress spawning of smaller BG so smaller ones keep growing fast instead of expending energy for early spawning as smaller sizes.

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I am going to get 300 CNBG and maybe another 100 RES, if size is better than 2 inches. Now back to stocking the 100 LMB.

Still trying to decide if I should wait until October or go ahead and stock in June, since they all should be 2-3 inches bass/bream.

I like the idea of stocking the CNBG in June and giving the summer for the minnows, RES, CNBG, time to get established. Stocking 100 LMB 2-3 inches in October.

However after reading way to many articles, I fear that the Copper nose can spawn at 4 inches. Is this true? I do not want to be over run with BG from the get go, without a predator in the pond. My question is if I stock these CNBG in June is there a chance they spawn this summer, while small? And if I wait till october is that too long without any predator?

I had just assumed that it would be next spring or summer before any spawning. This forum is great and I appreciate the help!

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I had a friend of mine that has two ponds, tell me that with me feeding every day the food I am. That the CNBG and RES could be 6 inches by october. He said if the bass I stock, in october , are on small side (closer to 2 than 3 inches), that the bream would eat the bass. He is telling to stock them at the same time because they are the same size.

My other friend, that works for fish and game, told me to wait and they would not grown that fast and wouldn't eat the bass. He said it would be better to wait and let the bream and minnows have the summer to settle in. He said I could stock bass in fall or early spring. He made a good point, once the bass go in there is no going back. He also said LMB do better stocked, in cooler water in fall and early spring.

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Wait until fall and stock lower numbers of 6 in LMB.
















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They are not even an option, I have to buy 2-3 inch LMB (1.50 a fish) or maybe special order them but they are going to be 6 to 8 dollars apiece if, I can get them them at all that size. So what to do? Right now my plan is 300 CNBG and 100 LMB in June and if some die add to it in october. Welcome any and all thoughts!


I do not want to get behind the 8 ball and have to many bream ( if they spawn this year with no predator) I do not think the 300 RES already stocked will spawn until next year but these new ones not so sure!

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LANGSTER,
Many on this forum have waited a year or more to introduce predators to their pond. No one has ever complained that they had too many baitfish. The idea of waiting to stock your predator fish is to have the baitfish reproduce as much as possible. Once you introduce the LMB there is no turning back. Pay close attention to what Esshup, Bill Cody and Ewest are saying.

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I do understand and appreciate it. I just do want to many bluegill and it really bothered me that 3-4 inch CNBG of BG could spawn. It threw me off the original game plan. I will stock another 300 CNBG or BG, let them do their thing and stock my LMB in October. Tennessee wildlife resources says stock 500 bream and 100 bass. Most sites I have seen say 10 to 1 ratio. I assume 10 to 1 is for people wanting to raise big bass. That is not my goal, I just want bass to keep bream eaten down.

Had it not been for you guys and joining this forum, I would have stocked HBG, BG, and RES. Down the road that would have been a mess! Does anybody out there have any affordable aeriation ideas for pond with no electric even close bye?

I just cannot see spending 1500 or more on it, there has to be a redneck way to do it, I hope! Thank you all again

My RES are slowing taking pellets more and more each day and FHM love them

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Originally Posted by LANGSTER
Does anybody out there have any affordable aeriation ideas for pond with no electric even close bye?

There is the DIY Solar power option. With the prices associated with buying a system, DIY can be attractive for those on a tight budget.

I had tried to plan out a Solar system for my pond using a rocking piston pump but they demand too much power and the cost for battery storage was prohibitive for me. I would recommend setting your sights on a diaphragm pump such as a Hiblow, that will have lower electric requirements. There's always the option to find a cheaper brand as well but you usually get what you pay for.

I am no solar expert whatsoever though. I just know what little I learned while trying to map out the option for myself although I eventually went to using my house power for my aeration.

You'll need solar panels, 100W can be found for around $100 a piece. You'll need a controller (< $100, maybe < $50), an inverter (< $100, maybe < $50) , battery and an optional timer if you don't want to run it 24/7 (all of which can be found on Amazon and the questions and reviews found with these items can be very informative). Some of those items you can find cheap (controller, inverter) as you'll likely build a system that doesn't require a lot of power. If you haven't went this route with something before, some youtube searches on DIY can be beneficial to get the right components that work with each other and serve your needs. Also, I found a forum that was a big help where members will try to help you with your projects much like the community here does. Also, there are resources on this site as well.

The solar forum I am speaking about is at https://diysolarforum.com/

It wouldn't surprise me if you could find a system that works for your size pond that's $1000 or less if you purchase the items and install it yourself.

One day I'd like to build one myself for the part of my pond that's too far away from my house to run electricity.

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With only stocking 300 CNBG in a 1.1 acre pond, I wouldn't worry about them getting too far ahead of the bass when the bass are stocked in the Fall, in fact only stocking that many I'd recommend waiting for the CNBG to pull off a few successful spawns before adding the LMB. You are fine stocking them this Fall. Only throw 100 in there, you can always add more if needed, but with a great forage base those LMB will be over 12" long in a year.


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I personally believe in stocking a new pond with 10 pounds of fathead minnows, 500 to 1000 3 to 4 inch bluegills, and 300 to 500 red ear sunfish. Use an electric feeder. After a year, add bass.

I realize that different regions should be stocked differently. But, I want to create an environment when the top of the line predator(s) can go to sleep with their mouth open and wake up with a full belly.


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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
I want to create an environment when the top of the line predator(s) can go to sleep with their mouth open and wake up with a full belly.

That's a great line to explain that pond management philosophy!

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Friend of mine took me to 4 acre pond yesterday, It was great! We harvested 40 RES 9 to 11 inch and 19 blue gill 9 to 10 inch. It was full off bass we saw small ones everywhere caught 15. That is what I would love to turn this pond stocking into. The RES hit worms, jigs, road runner, and the blue gill crickets and worms. I am thinking about going 300 CNBG and at least 100 to 200 more RES, they fillet like crappie at 10 to eleven inches thick and had shoulders. Then I add 100 bass in october, just thought I would share that. Thanks again, I maybe totally wrong but I think reason people don't catch shellcracker is they do not stock enough, this guy said he stocked this lake/pond ten years ago with 1000 BG and 1000 RES. We caught 2 to 1 RES, I never fished a good bream pond that did not have lots of bass!

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Should I be concerned. The water in this pond is not very clear except on the edges. When I first started feeding, I was getting the FHM to feed on the pellets pretty good ( some RES too) that went on 2 weeks. I have not seen any minnows or fish in a week, they quit eating pellets. I feed every day, now around dark, I do see activity in the middle of the pond. Looks like top water feeding. I did have a large cricket hatch in the last week. But not seeing any minnows has me concerned. I would have thought that feeding would be getting better not just shut off. No floating fish or minnows. Could it be they just have plenty to eat for now without pellets?

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I stopped feeding for 5 days, went back yesterday and most tadpoles are gone. RES and FHM really took pellets pretty good. I am looking forward to getting my CNBG next week. They should take pellets even better. How long should I feed starter food, before I move to bigger pellet? It looks like my RES have grown an inch or better in a month.

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Feed pellets no larger than 25% of the fish's mouth gape.

May be good to get a multi-sized feed or break some up so all sizes can eat.
















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Is there a brand of multi size feed that yall recommend? That is a great idea thanks!

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Start with Optimal Bluegill Jr. transition to Optimal Bluegill the following year and then that year mid summer see if they are big enough to eat the Optimal Bass food. I feed a 50/50 mix of Optimal Bluegill and Optimal Bass food.


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I get my CBNG next friday June 2 so fired up. I have already stocked 300 RES (1.5 to 2 inch, they are 3 to 3.5 inch already) and 10 lbs FHM ( they have already spawned at least once). I was going to get 300 Coppernose and 100 more RES. I was thinking of getting 400 CNBG and another 100 RES and another 5lbs FHM. That would give me 50/50 split. But it would give 800 bream in 1.1 acre pond. Found a source that will bring me 4-6 inch LMB in october 1. The pond does hold a dozen or so wood ducks daily

Am I over doing it? I could just get 300 CBNG and have 600 bream total. I do think the ducks are getting my minnows, which is why adding 5 more lbs

Any opinions welcome

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Langster,

With a goal of big bream and lots of bass I think 300 BG/300 RES is neither too many nor too few. I would lean more towards a small increase in the number of bass. A general rule of thumb for balanced reproduction is 100 LMB 400 BG and 150 RES. This tends to provide multiple years where panfish are capable of growing >8" and LMB are capable of growing > 1 lb. This combination is manageable by harvest. It is easier to grow larger BG/RES when LMB are more numerous. It is easier to grow larger LMB when LMB are less numerous. The keystone is not the BG or RES, the keystone community member is the predator. The LMB is the dog that wags the tail (fishery). Predator population management determines not only what kind of predator fishery you will have but also what kind of pan fish fishery you will have as well. I have said this before, every pond fishery is a compromise and to have more of something involves having less of something else. My sense, from your stated goals is that there is no limit to the size of bream in your goals ... the bigger the better. So all you have to decide is how big you would like your LMB to be. The smaller and more numerous they are, the bigger those BG and RES will get.

I like your starting place with 300/300. With 80% survival to the end of the second year ... with feeding/fertilization ... they could weigh between 350 and 400 lbs all told. This of course excludes the small BG & RES they will spawn and your standing weight of LMB. So it isn't too few for sure. By the end of the 2nd year, you want most all of the progeny spawned by the BG & RES to be consumed by LMB where only a small proportion (much smaller than the initial stocking.. say 100 to 120 or so annually) are growing to a size to evade predation. If you get more recruitment than that you will need to manage the recruitment through harvest of BG and RES. The larger you want your BG/RES to grow, the more restricted that number needs to be ... otherwise ... recruits will compete and usurp the growth of larger fish. If you want to increase to 400/400, I don't think it will take you to an unmanageable place but you will need to do more harvest. With no harvest until the fall of the second year ... you should expect ... however ... a 25% reduction in the individual weights of BG & RES relative to your current plan (assuming equal feed/fertilization).

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/29/22 09:24 AM.

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That is great info thank you

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I added another 5lbs FHM wed. Got 15 lbs iN pond now and at least one heavy spawn. Feed my starter pellets today ( we have a lot of rain) Minnows went nuts feeding and the minnows smaller than 1.5 inch are getting pounded by RES Saw many RES 3 to 4 inch Very aggressive and good to see. I am so excited to get my CNBG next friday, I assume they will pound starter pellets better than RES

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Please assist with this. I feed every day and today I found scores of black snail shells in the shallows today? I had never seen a snail period in over a year owning this pond. I have 300 RES and minnows only in pond. Getting CNBG this friday. Does this mean RES doing there job? They would not eat at all today but the FHM did and few RES ate them. Why would have snails and that many?

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I think if the RES are eating the snails you wouldn’t see any snail shells …. I think

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All of these are just snail shells, they are dead, or no snail in the shell. Some of the shells are cracked but a lot them it is like something just sucked the snail out of them. And I saw around 100 total like they just washed up on the bank. We have had some rain, just kind of strange.

Makes me feel better about the RES, knowing I have a snail population. Friday is my big day to get my CNBG and I hope another 100 RES.

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RES aka shellcrackers

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Finally got my CNBG, yesterday only lost 4 out of 300 stocked, which I thought was great for stocking in June. How long will it take them to start eating pellets really good? I stocked in the morning and feed yesterday at dusk. I saw a few CNBG and a few RES, take the pellets, my fat head minnows are crushing the pellets and I saw a bunch of RES eating minnow as they ate pellets.

I cannot thank Pond Boss enough for the help. I would not have known, what a CNBG was until getting on here. They are really cool looking fish. The RES and CBNG were in great shape and much better size than what I got in may. But the RES, I stocked then have doubled in size in 5 weeks. Saw one hit minnow yesterday over 4 inches.

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They’ve been pellet fed at the hatchery.


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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Think you are correct. RES and minnows feed today. I was shocked to see 4 inch maybe 4.5 inch RES making beds today, saw 4 beds being made, moon next week. Fine with me hope they spawn. I read on here, that it may take up to a week for CBNG, to start taking pellets. But I have a ton of FHM that have spawned too.

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This is good news to my ears. I have RES around those sizes I stocked in April. I am hoping they and some of the bluegill will spawn this year. I wasn't planning on it and haven't seen any beds yet but this gives me hope at least. My FHMs have turned from thousands into what looks like millions now in that short of time.

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I saw males fanning four beds today, moon shaped in 2 foot water, I hope they spawn. Hope since it is RES, they are more beds deeper. I am shocked that 1.5 to 2 inch fish can grow that fast in 6 weeks! But having no bass and tons of FHM , snails, tad poles, and pellets. It is possible.

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June Full Moon 2022: Strawberry Supermoon on June 14th -- watch for BG spawn.
















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My CBNG finally starting feeding on pellets yesterday. They have been in there a week and wouldn't take feed until yesterday. They ate again today, but it is not what I expected. Just glad to see them feeding

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Originally Posted by LANGSTER
My CBNG finally starting feeding on pellets yesterday. They have been in there a week and wouldn't take feed until yesterday. They ate again today, but it is not what I expected. Just glad to see them feeding

It depends on how stressed they were from transport and how much natural feed is in the pond. I've transported LMB fingerlings to a RAS and they were feeding in 1/2 hour after going in the tank.


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I am going to run out of Purina Aqua max starter food in next week or so. I am thinking of ordering Optimal Food and trying it. Would the Optimal Junior be better or optimal blue gill? With my coppernose being in 3 inch range, I would think the Junior would be the way to go.

Also it really does not tell you on the website but is it a 40lb bag?

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Optimal BG and Jr comes in a 40lb bag. You have to go to the "Additional Information" tab on the product you are looking to buy to see the bag weight.

I would go with the Jr for 3" CNBG. If they were HBG, the BG bag would work fine, but the CNBG's gape is pretty small for the larger Optimal BG size. The Jr would be the safest way to go since the smaller fish can use it and the larger fish will NOT refuse it, for sure.

I found myself in a similar situation my fish grew and I ended up buying a bag of the BG when my Jr was about half gone. Then I mixed equal parts to make everyone happy. Your fish will grow quick on the feed, but I think it's better to make sure all the fish sizes get plenty to eat as opposed to leaving out the smallest.


Fish on!,
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They love Optimal Jr wow

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At first they loved Optimal Jr and my bigger CNBG and some off the bigger RES ( 3.5 to 5 inch) eat to some. The RES like pounding FHM when they feed on pellets. Long story short, the Aqua Maxx starter is getting eaten way better than Optimal Jr. Pellet size difference, do I buy another bag of Aqua Maxx and keep mixing ( almost out ) or just run out and feed the Jr.? I am thinking keep mixing it until I stock bass in october?

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I like multi-sized formulations. You can crush up the bigger pellets if needed. Feeding the one they eat best is a sound idea.
















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Agree


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
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Bought more aquamaxx starter. Today I watched an albino totally white FHM, eat pellets is that something else or minnow? He had a hint of pink around the fins. Never seen him before but I have thousands of minnows

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I have seen a couple of albino solid white FHM in pond. I put 15 lbs in and they have spawned many times over, I have thousands. Today I saw several that are solid pink! I mean they stand out, more than the few white ones I have seen. What is it? That all the rest are normal colored black and silver. The pink and the white ones look like regular FHM, I am pretty sure they have spawned in the pond, they are around one inch or so, I have many from 1/2 inch to 3 inches.

I have had more fun feeding and doing this project than anything in years. What would make some solid pink and white?

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I am seeing more and more of these solid white fathead minnows, in different sizes 1 to 2 inch and still seeing solid pink ones it is strange. My CNBG and RES are doing great and pond full of FHM

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My RES (300) stocked May 1 , are right at 5 inches now ( 1.5 - 2 inch when stocked). They seem to have gotten to 5 inches very quick, but getting fatter not longer last several weeks. First of June I stocked 300 CNBG (2.5- 3 inch) and another 100 RES (2- 2.5 inch). Now my CNBG are 3.5 to 4 inches and the last 100 RES are about 3 inches. In June RES where making beds, but had heat waive and they left the beds. I have stocked 15 lbs FHM, they spawn small every 2 weeks and big each moon, I have thousands and thousands of FHM. I would have thought these CBNG would have spawned July moon. I have had 0 spawning of bream that I can find, or see. The plan was to add 100 bass in october, but if they do no spawn should I wait until 2023 spring to add Bass?

I keep reading that it would be better to have a couple of spawns before adding bass? Is my feeding every day preventing spawning? A friend of mine told me that I should not feed during full moon, I fed anyway that should not matter, I did not think. What do you guys think? I feed aquamaxx starter and Optimal Jr, mixed everyday,

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I would wait. My thought is keep feeding as long as they keep eating or when you run out of money.


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.

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Keep feeding them what they will eat in 15 minutes or less, depending on your pocketbook.


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Finally, I have seen were either CNBG or RES have spawned. I assume they are CBNG. Now I am thinking of adding bass in october. I have tens of thousand FHM, they spawn every month. I am amazed at how fast these fish grow on Optimal Bluegill Jr. mixed with Aqua Maxx starter ( the FHM'S really eat that)

Pond is 1.1 acre, I have stocked 300 CNBG ( june 1) 400 RES ( May 1) I am going to add 100 Large mouth bass in october. I was thinking about adding another 50 CNBG

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If you want the LMB to grow bigger faster reduce the 100 stockers to 55-70 and you will see 20-30% more LMB growth of those first set of LMB compared to stocking 100. If LMB more numbers of LMB are a goal then stock the 100. The original LMB stockers will grow fast until the first year class of hatched bass grow to 6"- 8" then the pond may start running low on small fish limiting fish LMB growth.

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I do not care about bass, I am trying to grow 2lb CNBG or RES. I am only stocking bass to control Bream. The CNBG I would add would be 3 to 5 inch. I was thinking that would make it more 50 50. What do you guys do about Blue Heron? I know what I am doing! SIck ot them

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Langster - What state are you in??
Okay GOALS are very important . if you are trying to grow trophy panfish as in CNBG & RES then you really need to stock more LMB not fewer. If it were my pond and BG & RES have spawned I would stock more than 100 LMB in 1.1ac, maybe up to 150/ac. To get best "BG" growth long term one needs heavy predation of always the current year class of panfish to keep their numbers low density so they always have plenty of excess food for optimum growth. Feeding pellets helps with maintaining abundant food, however too many BG without proper harvest results in less than an optimum trophy fishery. Too many fish and in limited water area with excess pellet feeding eventually results in decreased water quality and a less than optimum fishery.

Another option rather than 100+ LMB per acre would be to manually by trapping and or seining shallows to thin the current year class of sunfish in their first 1-2 years of life.

Once pond is stocked with bass, then it becomes your management task to properly harvest the "BG" crop to optimize "BG" growth in terms of long term rapid growth. Proper Harvest of BG involves best numbers to remove,,. best sizes to remove,, and focus harvest on removing a higher percentage of females compared to males. Bull male BG influence how well and how fast the younger males or each year class grow. It is a bullying affect of biggest males suppressing maturity of the young males that enables them to achieve the best growth rate.

See this lengthy discussion about growing the biggest and best BG from our Archives. IMO the information also applies to RES.
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=286872#Post286872

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That is great info. I will stock more bass then. Thank you this forum is great!

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You can always remove some 10"-14" bass if you decide that is necessary because they are eating too many small "BG". However I doubt this would be needed. Generally the more bass you have per acre the bigger and fewer the BG will be.


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My fish guy came on September 1st and was not coming back in October. So I put 135 Large Mouth Bass in on first and they seem to be doing well. They got plenty of FHM to eat and baby coppernose

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You will not find better people and service than the folks at Optimal Fish Food. I ordered Optimal Jr. and got Optimal Bluegill. Which I was going to get some of that soon to mix with Optimal Jr. E-mailed them and ordered another bag of Optimal Jr. Within 30 minutes the owner of the company called me and offered me free replacement bag. I told him it was not a big deal because soon I was going to be ordering the Optimal Bluegill anyway. So I would just keep it and buy another bag of Optimal Jr.

Yesterday I got my Optimal Jr. and a nice Optimal hat and Optimal coaster. Not only is the product the best on the market but the customer service is awesome.

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I find it hard to believe but last weekend, my CNBG went on bed yet again and it is October. Usually they do not feed as well for a couple of days. However it has been a week and the CNBG just are lethargic and not feeding well at all. Could that be cooler weather? The coppernose normally feed like piranha. Now they eat much slower and not as many at a time. All summer you could see "V's" coming when I got out of the truck. My RES are still feeding and so are the minnows. Also I have had the bass in the pond since september 1. And I have yet to see the first bass since I released 135 of them. Is that normal?

I watched some minnows being chased out of the water the other evening and thought that was bass. It was not, it was school of RES running the minnows and they are really growing.

It has been very dry here but we got 3 inch rain the other day and I thought that would help them take food better. But it did not. Usually when I have seen this only lasted couple of days this time it has been a week.

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Langster, I wouldn't be too alarmed that you haven't seen any of your (135) LMB yet. It does suck waiting to see them though.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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My fish started feeding again yesterday. I dont understand unless it is the cooler weather and fish had to adapt. They had not fed well in 10 days, but yesterday was back to feeding. But I would like to see a bass

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Been out the last few sunny days and checking the pond. Pond is full water looks great and it is very clear now. See lots Copper nose and a few RES. What is amazing to me is I have more FHM than I did this summer. Thousands of them on the bank in the grass and big bait balls full of them. Do they spawn in the winter too?

I put 135 largemouth in september 1, I have yet to see the first one of them. I would have thought that many bass would have worked the minnows over better. Not to mention 300 CNBG and 400 RES in there. I was thinking of going back to feeding everyday March 1 I quit feeding when it got cold here in November. Would March 1 be about right?

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Originally Posted by LANGSTER
Been out the last few sunny days and checking the pond. Pond is full water looks great and it is very clear now. See lots Copper nose and a few RES. What is amazing to me is I have more FHM than I did this summer. Thousands of them on the bank in the grass and big bait balls full of them. Do they spawn in the winter too?

I put 135 largemouth in september 1, I have yet to see the first one of them. I would have thought that many bass would have worked the minnows over better. Not to mention 300 CNBG and 400 RES in there. I was thinking of going back to feeding everyday March 1 I quit feeding when it got cold here in November. Would March 1 be about right?

The feeding isn't calendar day dependent, it's more water temp dependent. Get yourself a cheap wired indoor/outdoor thermometer or a cheap swimming pool thermometer. Try a handful of feed when water temp is 50-55, if nothing shows up, try again at 55-60 degrees.

A customer will throw feed as soon as ice leaves his pond and the fish are feeding. He's got HBG and YP along with a few HSB.


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We have a 54 acre lake in Monteagle, not far from Langster. We operate 6 Sweeney feeders from April Fool's to Halloween, 7 months. We use 1 ton of feed for our season, 40 each 50 pound bags. We have used Cargill Triton 4512 the last 3 years, very happy with the service, price, product.

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I fished this pond last weekend with a float and a jig. I have Coppernose 8 to 9 inches and fat. I got 5-6 inch and fat got 4 inch and fat. They were stocked June 10 last year. My RES were stocked May 1 last year they are 6 to 7 inch and very healthy but I wouldn't call them fat. The bass were stocked September 1 and were 3 to 4 inches. 7 months later they are 6 inches and 7 inches and thin. Pond is full of minnows I put 17lbs in there and they spawned and spawned it is full of minnows, why are the bass not fat and bigger? I am afraid the coppernose will take me over due to small bass size. To me I wish I would have put bass in sooner, what did I do wrong? Or am I not being patient? I caught 75 coppernose 16 bass and 12 RES when I fished it.

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How much cover is in there for the bass to hide in and ambush the fish that swim by? What type of "minnow" did you stock?


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Fat head minnows and they are plenty in there, and coppernose offspring. Plenty of cover water is up, got grass now, and several pallets in pond with concrete blocks and some pipe and a nice brush pile. Why are the bream growing ( yes I feed everyday) and the bass look like I got them out of a creek? Now they are pounding minnows in the evening now, did not see any for 6 months, maybe it is weather but they got plenty to eat. Growing 3 to 4 inches in 7 months has disappointed me. I was hoping for 8 to 9 inch and thicker

It is how thin they are that concerns me. I wanted 6 to 8 inch bass but I did not want to pay 6 dollars a bass.

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Originally Posted by LANGSTER
Fat head minnows and they are plenty in there, and coppernose offspring. Plenty of cover water is up, got grass now, and several pallets in pond with concrete blocks and some pipe and a nice brush pile. Why are the bream growing ( yes I feed everyday) and the bass look like I got them out of a creek? Now they are pounding minnows in the evening now, did not see any for 6 months, maybe it is weather but they got plenty to eat. Growing 3 to 4 inches in 7 months has disappointed me. I was hoping for 8 to 9 inch and thicker

It is how thin they are that concerns me. I wanted 6 to 8 inch bass but I did not want to pay 6 dollars a bass.

If there isn't enough cover in the pond for the LMB to hide in and ambush their prey, they will miss a lot of attacks. Like you trying to sneak up on a whitetail in a picked rice or corn field with a bow. Ain't gonna happen easily. The bass need cover in there to ambush their prey from. Think of tree tops, etc. that have holes in the cover that are 12" dia to 24+" dia for them to loaf in and dart out of to get their prey. With minimal cover they are like marathon runners - eating a lot of calories but burning most of them off swimming around. In your pond you want about 1/4 acre minimum of cover for the fish. Do you have that of the correct sized cover? Don't stock any more minnows, let the bass eat them and start working on the baby bluegills.


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What is your water clarity? Sometimes if turbidity is high this can hinder a predator's ability to see and eat lots of small fish. Also your bass were stocked in September. For TN I don't think you will see as much growth during Oct to April compared to May to Sept. Getting 3"-4" of growth from small LMB during a TN winter is pretty good IMO.

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It was very clear, in september thru Jan. We gotten a lot of rain Feb and March. Water has good color but has not been muddy much. I think I have plenty of cover, and water has been way up all spring. I get the 3 to 4 inch growth but how thin they are is what bothers me. They look like they are starving very thin but it is what it is hope they get fatter, plenty of food for them.

Thank you all again

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After dealing with fish for ponds and LMB for around 40 years, these are some of my experiences. You said "The bass were stocked September 1 and were 3 to 4 inches. 7 months later they are 6 inches and 7 inches and thin." Also you said "I am only stocking bass to control Bream."
1. Since your goal is to have LMB as bream control and help produce big bream, I would not be too concerned that they are not real fat at this point in time. Your bass are a tool for sunfish control so ideally you want them lean and mean to consume lots of small BG. The more they eat small BG the better and bigger your bream will become. The larger the bass get the more they will focus on eating larger bream. IMO you want mostly 1"-3" BG getting the heaviest predation which means most of these bream sizes are preyed on heavily by 9"-12" bass. Bigger 15"-17" bass prefer to eat 3.2" to 4.5" BG. Remember that guideline for predation pressure for the size groups of your bream population.

2. I think you ideally do not really want lots of FHM to be present. These FHM will detract from the new young LMB growing and eating this spring's bream new offspring. IMO you do not want the LMB to be eating mostly the abundant FHM and not prey heavily of the new bream hatchlings that will soon be present. I am not sure that I would have initially stocked any FHM with your stated pond goals. You want lean mean hungry small bass to heavily prey on bream late stage fry and small fingerlings to large fingerlings.

3. Years of dealing with many fish farms taught me a lot about how they operate and sell fish. Some are definitely better than others!. Not all are alike. IMO the 3" - 4" LMB that you bought in a TN September were IMO one option of a good bass to buy for your goals. A. 3"-4" LMB in September were either mostly males; males tend to grow a little slower than the females. Males also stay somewhat smaller than female bass. B. A sorted and graded size of bass, or C. a first year class mixture of fish that had been over crowded as fingerlings each not getting ample food. Well fed LMB fry by September should be 5-7" long. See later.

IMO these 3"-4" LMB were good for your stated goals of good control of bream offspring.

Fact Lesson - each hatched year class of bass has a large range of growth potential IF all these fish get all the good foods they can consume. A large Spring hatch of bass grown in a well fed pond will genetically and normally have some slow growers (2"-3") and some very fast growers 7"-9" some maybe 10" and the bulk of the hatchlings will be in the middle sizes of 4"-6" ALL at 5 months old in climate of TN. Most producer fish farms will then sort or grade these bass into $ size groups. Your ""fish guy"" probably bought this size class of fingerling bass from a large producer, or maybe but less likely, he grew them himself. Crowd all the hatchlings together in limited space with limited foods and most all will be the 2"-4" sizes at 5-12 months old. A low percentage of the more aggressive ones aka "jumpers" could easily be 8"-10 long".

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Posts: 95
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Joined: May 2022
Posts: 95
Likes: 9
No problem with bass growth now, they are really growing females are 10 inches or better and males smaller but they are really healthy now and very aggressive. I caught my first 2 hybrid speckle belly this week. Got to be the best looking bream I have ever seen and growing nicely. Stocked 2 inchers in Febuary and they are 4 to 5 inch already. But nothing grows like CNBG, if you feed them every day good food. I got 10 inch fish already and wider than your hand in one year!


Thank you guys for all the help on this forum. Hooking up my aerator at my new 3/8 acre pond saturday. Very excited! It just got delivered Pro Lake 1.1 1/2 motor with 9 inch Duraplate diffuser 1/2 motor with built in timer.

The only thing that I would have done different is stocked minnows redear and speckle belly first wait. Then add the bass when I added the coppernose. They grow great but they sure spawn alot already having to cull lots of small ones. CNBG need a predator quicker than I did it. But it is all good!

1 member likes this: FishinRod
Joined: Nov 2007
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All sounds great to me!

Especially the good looking hybrid speckle-bellies.

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