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#568129 06/24/24 01:32 PM
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Hey guys just purchased a new property with a 20 acre pond on it in eastern Virginia. Average depth is around 8' and it is loaded with stumps, the remnants of standing timber, and lily pads on the very upper reaches. The pond is over 40 years old. It currently has Chain Pickerel, which I would like to keep, LMB, BG, and crappie. The bass are stunted and overpopulated, so I know what to do there. My big question is the crappie. I know that crappie are a no no in small ponds, I currently manage a 3 acre pond at my house, but is 20 acres still too small to support a trophy crappie fishery? Is it possible to manage for big crappie (2lbs +) and giant largemouth (8lbs +)??? What would you guys recommend?

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Congratulations on your new lake (some say over 10 acres is a lake, and not a pond)!!!

I would think you need to do a very detailed study on what forage you have available now, and what additional forage may be necessary to grow both Crappie and LMB to larger sizes.

As larger Crappie probably eat on the same type of forage fish, and you already have a LMB stunting issue, you may be starting from a deficit situation forage-fish-wise.


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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With those goals and BoW size I would definitely be looking for somebody to come in and electro survey the lake as Sunil eluded to above. Sounds like you have a plan on the LMB to correct stunting. Work that plan between now and fall to find somebody to help with a survey.

If you aren't feeding the forage yet....even one feeder with quality food will likely help even if it's on a smaller scale.

Congratz on the new to you pond/lake. Sounds like an exciting opportunity.


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I have read a lot of the crappie threads on Pond Boss. There are multiple examples of people with trophy (or very good) crappie ponds in BOWs MUCH smaller than 20 acres.

My (non-expert) opinion is to go for it!

Start culling the bass and keeping good records of all of your species results, and then you can manage the pond towards your goals. Plenty of experts on the forum to help you analyze the results and give future guidance.


P.S. I actually don't like the lack of any deep water. On a 20-acre lake through old timber stands, I suspect there is an old creek channel that wanders through your lake.

Can you easily draw down the lake a few feet and then have it naturally re-fill fairly quickly? If so, then that might be a good time to get an excavator to dig out all of the muck and silt in the old creek channel wherever it meanders close to the shoreline. Obviously, the closer you are working to the dam, the more likely you are to be able to create some deeper water. (I would just pile the spoils on the bank and install a silt fence down slope. You can get rid of the spoils at a later date after they become more workable.)

The crappie (and some of the other species) might really benefit from having some deep water available.


P.P.S. Congrats on your new lake. I am expecting much fun in your future!

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I'd get the lake electroshocked as soon as possible and then develop a fishery plan. During the electroshock survey, you can remove every LMB that is shocked. That will give you a jump start on getting the stunting problem solved.


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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 have 19 acre pond. It has both black and white crappie in it, as well as bass, bluegill, green sunfish, Golden shiners, and bullheads. I get the feeling that the Golden Shiners may be the most important forage fish in it. Have caught 19 inch crappie and 9lb bass. I keep every crappie I catch, and let some pretty dedicated old guys fish it with the instructions to keep everything EXCEPT... fish that excited them to catch. Those are to be thrown back (unless it's a wall mounter then they should keep it). They basically keep everything under 2lbs and toss back anything 5 or bigger. They are around 170 bass removed this yr. They don't fish for crappie.

Not really any knowledge to be gained from this post, but maybe some encouragement that it can be done.

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cat, how would you describe your bullhead population?


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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Hard to tell. I haven't targeted them but they are easy to catch with an umbrella net and oatmeal, plus sometimes I'll catch them on feather jigs while crappie fishing. I never catch small ones, usually a pound or so.


I forgot the channel cats in my original post. 6-10lbs aren't uncommon but I don't fish the pond for them much either. Usually go to the creek when catfishing.


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