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basslover12345

Stunted Bass

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There's a nice sized community lake by my house I have permission to fish through my bass club I started- but all I can catch are 9, 10, 11 inch bass, rarely anything bigger than that. The lake is pretty big in width and length and has deep water in the middle with shallow sides with flats, backwaters, and islands. Only bass and bluegill inhabit the lake. There's chunk rock and gravel on the sides of the islands and the water can by dingy to stained at all times, I went out just last Saturday and caught 37 bass on a drop shot and missed many more. Any suggestions for finding the "big ones" of the lake? My biggest out of there is 17 inches caught last may on a prop bait. Where should I target?

Here's how my day went Saturday-

9 inches

9.25

9 inches

10 inches

10 inches

10.25

9.5

10 inches

9 inches

10 inches

9.5

9.25

10 inches

Dink

10 inches

10 inches

9.5 inches

9 inches

9 inches

9.5 inches

9 inches

10 inches

9 inches

8 inches

10 inches

10 inches

9 inches

9 inches

8 inches

9.5 inched

Dink

11 inches

9.5 Inches

10 inches

8 inches

8 inches

10.5 inches

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Because there are a ton of little bass in there the big boys are probably targeting those 8-10 inch bass. I would throw some bigger baits, swimbait and jerkbaits that are in a baby bass color. Or if the fish are active in the morning or evenings I would throw a top water hollow belly frog, those tend to get bigger fish. Good luck.

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 I would start keeping the smaller bass. It sounds like there are so many bass in your pond tha the population is stunted. Best way to solve that problem is by removing some fish. Have a community fish fry.

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Got to pull a bunch of those little ones out. I grew up fishing a lake that had the same problem until I started keeping dozens of them each time I'd go out (semi private with no size/bag limits). I started culling out every fish under 12" unless it looked like a very healthy individual. It took a few years of doing this but now the average size has gone up to the 14-15 inch range with 3-5 pounders pretty common and occasionally one in the 6-7 pound range. The bluegill population is much healthier now also. Bass that size are very easy to fillet and you get a surprisingly good sized fillet off of them and just ask around and you'll find someone more than willing to take them if you don't want to eat them. 

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Select harvesting! Some hardcore fish lover will say its wrong to keep bass and if you throw back all fish they will become trophys. That's furthest from the truth especially a smaller size lake. Too much competition and they all get stunted.

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Our 300 acre lake is similar but most of our fish are 15". They added sterile grass carp about 10 years ago and there is NO grass. Hence no crayfish and fry get picked off rather easily. Plenty of big bream and crappie but not many small ones.

 

We hope the carp will start dying off and the grass will come back.

 

Our lake also lacks nutrients. But adding nutrients causes an algae bloom and green water. Lake comitee said NO WAY to that. Average catch at our tournies are 1.5 pounds. To catch a 3 pounder is pretty rare.

 

County fish expert says what other here are saying. Remove the bass under 15". We have been taking smaller tourny fish to the local pond but state wont give us lenience on the 5 bass per person possesion law.

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