Originally Posted by jpsdad
Originally Posted by KarlZ
A pond management company recommended the FHM (Spring), panfish & crawdads (Fall) and 50 LMB (next spring) schedule, so of that’s not a good plan, please educate me as to why.

That's a typical stocking recommendation leaning to favor larger bass. So its not uncommon to see recommended stocking rates between ranging between 50 and 100 LMB fingerlings per acre. There is a huge difference between 50 and 100. The difference for you will be that they will grow faster and fewer fish will need to be culled, 38 LMB would be 50/ac for your pond.

It is possible to go with less LMB. I'm just going on memory now, but it seems I read in a thread here that Greg Grimes will go as few as 25/ac. That said, if you go with that small a quantity it is important that there be a great abundance of BG in order to inhibit LMB reproduction. I don't see anything wrong with 50 (66/acre) but culling will still remain an important part of your management. Without it, growth will start slowing around the 3 lb weight might completely stall at less than 5 lbs.

These stall weights are predictable and you can do the math. If your pond is on the upper end at say around 100 lbs/acre (75 lbs). What's the potential average weight of the original stockers? It is clear that you must depend on mortality if you are going to grow trophies. There will be some natural mortality but probably not enough without culling some fish yourself.

It's just me and there probably nothing to it .... but I might be reluctant to introduce the crawfish that early in the game. It's just they can and will eat a fair number of your minnows and creatures your bluegill need. They will also raid BG nests and might impact that forage source in a negative way. They grow fast and reproduce in great numbers. To make matters worse most will be too big to feed your fingerling bass when you stock next spring. As long as you have plenty of good cover, I think the introduction can wait until the fall after stocking the LMB. I would probably release them near cover after dark. Enough cover to protect ~20 lbs of crawfish is all you need. They will reproduce and disperse through the pond periodically and be good forage for the LMB and panfish.

I presumed that the 3 years was to start at the LMB introduction. I think its very realistic to set a goal of 5 to 6 lbs for that milestone. 8lbs is possible for sure if not in 3 yrs ... within a couple more with good management.

Jpsdad Really good info and I appreciate it. I think stocking 38 instead of 50 is a sound idea.

I’m sorry I posted my “fishing goal of 8 lbs in three years as that has dominated all my replies. I officially hereby abandon that goal for something more reasonable.
For now I need to know what plants I should put in, and how I get my water & soil tested. I’m all ears! Lol....