Big Bass in Small Ponds
By Bob Lusk
A common question asked of professional pond managers revolves fish populations in small ponds. Most schools of thoughts profess simple stocking of channel catfish with fathead minnows, maybe a few hybrid sunfish. After all, it's explained, small waters won't grow many bass.
While this is true, don't discount bass from a small pond. As long as you know the rules, you can play. Bass will grow in small ponds, but small ponds grow small quantities. A half acre pond, for example, probably won't grow more than 25 pounds of largemouth bass, naturally. Since bass are top line predators, focus on forage fish production, if you want bass. Feed bluegill, diversify with tilapia and/or threadfin shad in fertile water. Bass will thank you. And, from time to time, supplement with crawfish or minnows. It won't be much more than a snack for hungry bass, but you will get a kick watching bass annihilate your offering.
From time to time, weigh and measure a few bass. After all, you can completely change a fish population in short order in small waters, if you need. If bass decline, remove a few, or stock adult bluegill.
Read your pond, it will tell you the story.
Reprinted with permission from Pond Boss MagazineFish and Lake Management