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#564101 02/03/24 05:35 PM
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Hey guys,
I built my 1 acre pond in may 2022 and added 300 RES 3” long from fish truck out of Arkansas. On August 2 2022 I Added 70 smallmouth 2” long along with 100 YP 3” long. On September 20, 2022 I added 50 more 2” SMB and 50 3” YP. SMB & YP from Zetts in PA. Thanksgiving 2022 I added 125 YP 4”-6” from Fenders hatchery. Also added 1000 golden shiners from Anderson’s minnow farm. Fenders perch spawned in February 2023. I planted parrot feather on the pond and added iris, pickerel plant, and other shore line vegetation for YP to spawn and hide. The spring fed creek that I dammed has lots of natural chubs and crawdads.
In November 2023 I added 60 rainbow trout 12” long and 100 hybrids striped bass 6” long.
Fishing has been great for RES and YP since spring of 2023. Rainbow can be caught quite easily. My question for the forum is why has only one smallie been caught in the 18 months they have been introduced. Am I being impatient or should I start planning to restock.

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A fish truck loaded in Arkansas and drove them to North Carolina? That truly is a long haul fish delivery! Was it 11 or 12 hour ride? Amazed they can keep them alive that long.

I can't help you with the SMB survival question. It sounds like the only fish in the pond where the 3" RES and it seems unlikely that they could eat the 2" SMB. You stocked 70 SMB and then 50 more 2" but 1 month or two later you added 4-6" YP from Fenders. It is possible the 6" YP could eat some of the 2" SMB.

However other pond owners have said that the SMB are not easy to see after they are stocked and don't rapidly take to pellet feeding.

Other SMB owners could help you more.

The combination you have in your pond is awesome. Adding the HSB and having a good solid group of YP of various sizes sounds like a great setup for a variety of fish that will bite on almost any live bait.

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Do you live at the pond?

I am only asking to see if you noticed any mortalities within a few days after your stockings. (That is a long ride.) Of course, not all morts float.

I am hoping you still have some SMB in your pond.

Do you have any good spawning locations and material set up for your SMB? That would help any remaining SMB propagate, AND it might be a good place to catch some during the spring spawn.

Good luck on your pond. It sounds like it is off to a great start!

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As a general comment, your SMB stocking numbers are not too high for a 1 acre pond, so seeing/catching them may not happen much early on.

Further though, if your stocking history didn't include any forage base for the predator fish, you may not get as much expected growth early on in the predator fish. If the predator fish haven't had such a good growth rate yet, you'd be less likely to see/catch them.

Having said that, if the YP and RES you've been catching are healthy, they're eating something!


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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I'm kinda curious about the spring fed creek part of your description. Is there anything that would prevent fish from coming or going up the creek?

What was the forage base in the pond when you added the SMB?

By chance did you take a weight or measurement off the single SMB you caught?


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Fish trucks from Arkansas travel around nc farm supply stores from march to September. My initial stocking of RES also included 5 lbs of FHM in may 2022. I purchased 5 lbs of FHM again in September 2022 as well as march 2023 and july 2023. Another 500 GSH in October 2023. I regularly see schools of minnows when I walk around pond, Which I do everyday. The only death I witnessed was yellow perch from the initial Zetts mail order. Probably removed 30-40 floaters over a month long period. That is why I purchased from fenders. The creek springs up 700 yards above my pond so there is nowhere upstream for the fish to go. The pond does overflow the spillway a couple of big rains each year but I only ever see 1”-2” YP caught in the grass and clover. The single smallmouth that was caught was 10-11”long. It was caught in august 2023. No weight recorded. I have added several rubber saucers filled with rock and sand to promote spawning hopefully this summer.
Can’t figure out how to add pictures.

Last edited by Groundhog7; 02/04/24 08:11 AM.
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Glad to hear about the forage base.


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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Look in the archives, there should be pictures of smallmouth spawning structures and there is a great thread on how to add pictures to the forum. Basically you have to use an on-line hosting service line Imgur. That's what I do but I only use a laptop or desktop to access the forum, not the phone.

Archives

Last edited by esshup; 02/04/24 12:48 PM. Reason: Forgot to add the link.

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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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I'm going to guess that those smb are only 6-7".. Those are always the toughest size for me to catch because they have a vast ecosystem they are dealing with-lots of other food types, but there is a lot of competition there.
I think they are still there, but it may be slightly out of whack. YP need lots of food to be productive to a point they reproduce in vast numbers. Your SMB are going to rely partly on big numbers of YP to keep them fed and growing. Hopefully your GSH have reproduced well because you have a lot of mouths to feed.

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SMB are tough to catch when they are 7”-8”, I had the same questions about mine last summer but they started turning up. Use a small Ned rig to try and catch them.

100 HSB seems like a lot in that size pond, they are pretty aggressive eaters. I guess others on here would know better than I would.

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Snipe and h2ofwler - What I’m hearing…… sometime between now and fall I should start catching these 2 year old smallies?
I agree with the number of hybrids being excessive. I was told by the hatchery that when I put them in at 5”-6” that I need a large enough number for them to school and “look big” to improve survival rate. Hopefully I wasn’t duped by a sales tactic, but even so I felt like I needed to order enough to make it worth their while. They met me halfway of a five hour trip!! My regards to Newalla Fish Hatchery. My plan with them is the same plan I have with the rainbow trout. I will aggressively harvest them as they grow until I am down to around 25 or so. Hopefully they will help control the YP from overpopulating. Considering adding a warm water shad to keep them busy this spring as well.

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I'd stay clear of shad, unless threadfin survive in your location. Don't do gizzard shad, that's gotta be managed for that to make it work.


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