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Joined: Jan 2022
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An old 8 acre pond in Southern Illinois. I used to have an incredible bass fishery. A few years ago I was plagued with drought, nutrient load, and several turn overs. Since I have added 6 bottom diffusers, game changer on my water quality and fish activity *what's left. Introduced lots of pickerelweed, iris, and arrowhead. Added 15-20% of my shoreline in cover, maybe 2-3% structure in deep water. Added 6 bluegill beds and 50 more kiddie pools in my barn I'm adding this spring. The place is starting to look amazing but my numbers are still way down. I fished it a lot last year. Averaging 8-12 bluegill every time I went out. 3 dink bass all year. You don't even see a lot when you're out there. My goal is a trophy bass pond with high bluegill numbers for the kids. My thoughts are stocking 100 5-7" bluegill per acre next month. Maybe adding 20 f1s/acre mid summer. Then adding 20/acre more next year. Anyone have any better management ideas for me?
Thanks!

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If it was my pond, I'd call Nate or Austin at Herman Brothers Pond Management, (309) 693-3255 have them set up an electroshocking date and find out what your population is like in the pond by non-angling means. You might be amazed at what you see. THEN you can figure out what needs to be done to get it back to it's former glory.


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I agree with esshup on the electroshock survey.

If over the course of last year, you were only catching 8-12 bluegill per outing, that sounds like an anemically low catch rate.

Just thinking past a shock survey, you would want to amp up that bluegill stocking rate to at least several hundred per acre, and implement a feeding program towards a goal of having large bass.

In any of my ponds, you would catch as many bluegill as you'd want in a given hour in warm weather.


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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What would something like that run for a pond that size?

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Same thing I've experienced over the years. Any pond that's decent with bluegill, usually you quit when you're tired 9f catching them. My thought was buy larger, add the beds, and increase my numbers through spawns.

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Clint, that will work if your bluegill base is strong enough to support them. A bass needs forage that is about 1/4 to 1/3 it’s length. It’s a matter of energy expended for calories obtained.


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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test

test #2.

[video:youtube]
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