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Prokop Offline OP
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First of all I apologize if I am in wrong section and asking stupid question.

Here is my situation. I have a small pond in Northern Virginia, 1/2 of an acre or so. The pond is fairly deep and never dries out since it is the starting point of a creek - or run as it is called here. We live at this place for 20 years and for 10 years I run an aerator in the pond. I also stocked the pond several times with channel catfish and minnows. I know the catfish are there - they come up for food. Also bluegills, of course.

The plan for the pond is and always was to grow catfish and eat them, but I can not get them out. Yes, I admit I suck at fishing. grin Like this year I caught several bluegills and nothing else I tried store bought bait, chicken liver, chicken meat that sat with the chicken liver and stunk to heaven - nothing.

The biggest thing I caught this year was a 12" snapper - and it broke free before I got it out. I was not really unhappy about that, since I did not feel unhooking a snapper would be a pleasant experience.

So, I am looking for advice on a trap or any legal way to catch and sort out my fish. Or how to use fishing rod better, maybe its just me. I would not mind getting a bucket or two of bluegills* out and of course catfish is the primary goal here.


* Bluegills I use to make fish soup stock.

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Prokop,

Welcome to Pond Boss!

I am an amateur, so this is not expert advice.

There have been lots of threads on Pond Boss that demonstrate that sometimes the best way to "fix" a pond is to start over from scratch.

Usually that involves draining the pond, OR partially draining the pond and then adding a chemical to kill all of the existing fish. (Typically rotenone.)

That may be too radical for your plans, but it would give you excellent control of your pond going forward.

I believe it is difficult to manage a pond with only BG and channel cats. The BG have the opportunity to produce too many offspring and then all of the fish in the pond may become stunted.

Have you tried not feeding for 3-4 days prior to your fishing attempts? Many of the people with automatic feeders say they turn off their feeders prior to a planned fishing effort.

Hopefully, one of our actual experts will drop into your thread for some good advice.


Good luck on managing your pond to match your goals!

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Have the catfish been caught and released before?

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Prokop Offline OP
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Originally Posted by jludwig
Have the catfish been caught and released before?


I think I caught 3 or 4 cats over the years and there was no release - only fillets smile

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IMO the best way to catch those CC in around a 1/2 ac pond is to bait them and then use the bait pieces on a unweighted hook on the bottom and strong line of 12 lb or 14lb test. Try using fresh killed small BG so they sink in your baited area. Big CC like to eat weakened easy to catch small BG fished on or near the bottom. Size of BG bait should be appropriate to size of catfish. Youtube should have lots of CC angler ideas.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/10/22 08:55 AM.

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We've caught a big channel cat in our neiborhood pond using an imitation feed pellet on a fly rod. Once.

But, we don't typically fish that way, so maybe it could work on a few different fish.

On the fly rod, there was no tippet. We were on the leader, at probably less than 2/3 of the original leader length left, so a very stout line.


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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Prokop Offline OP
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Thank you, guys. I will try every suggestion.

Does anybody have an experience with fish traps?

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Originally Posted by Prokop
Thank you, guys. I will try every suggestion.

Does anybody have an experience with fish traps?


We use a fyke net to sample fish in ponds, you can catch a lot of fish in them.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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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Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by Prokop
Thank you, guys. I will try every suggestion.

Does anybody have an experience with fish traps?


We use a fyke net to sample fish in ponds, you can catch a lot of fish in them.


Thank you, I will look it up.


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