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mddrew88

What To Do When There's Too Many Shad

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So today I had absolutely no luck at my local fishing hole, an acre pond on private land. This came as a shock to me as I always C&R at minimum one or two each time I go out. I must have thrown everything under the sun at the shallows: topwater first in the early am, then tried shallow crank, deep crank, dark/light plastic worms, a spinnerbait and a few types of frogs (frogs are almost my bailout bait here, but no luck today.)

 

I notice baitfish have absolutely taken control of the pond. I couldn't find a single patch of water without spooking them. You could see bass just inhaling them left and right, so much so that they have no room in their bellies for my so-so looking baits. Every single cast of my pop-r and the landing zone would look like you hit it with a 14 gauge, shad fleeing everywhere. Every single *bloop* of my pop-r and same situation. I doubt the bass could even see my lure with the surrounding water peppered the way it was with shad.

 

It's starting to make sense why I always catch half # to 1# fish, when I know obviously there has to be more than a few trophy sized living handsomely. So how do you fish when the bass are living like kings already? Should we be thinking about introducing another predatory species to bring down their populations, or is there a trick?

 

- a confused fisherman   :)

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I would think about it, some crappie or perch would balance it out nicely.

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get yourself a cast net and catch some of those shad. use them for bait in the pond, and then go somewhere and use them for striper and catfish bait as well. if youre going to add a predatory fish, get the landowners permission first...

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Well, that pond is way too small for crappie so I would rule that out. 

 

If there are that many shad you have a problem, something in your ecosystem is out of whack. How is the bass population? Maybe somebody is sneaking onto the land and keeping all the bass they catch? Sounds like you are super low on predators if that many shad are in there, you need more bass! Be sure to check with the landowner before you go adding/removing any fish from his pond. 

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It's rare for a pond to have a shad population, however we are talking about Texas where ponds are called tanks, small lakes are often called ponds.

Remember summer is the period when the lakes ecosystem is alive with young of the year fish of all types and it's the growing season for predators that need a lot of protein. The bass will eat themselves fat, so lots of baitfish is good.

Try fishing at night with a buzz bait or big soft plastic worm.

Tom

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It's rare for a pond to have a shad population, however we are talking about Texas where ponds are called tanks, small lakes are often called ponds.

Remember summer is the period when the lakes ecosystem is alive with young of the year fish of all types and it's the growing season for predators that need a lot of protein. The bass will eat themselves fat, so lots of baitfish is good.

Try fishing at night with a buzz bait or big soft plastic worm.

Tom

 

 

Everything is bigger in texas! He said 1 acre in the first post. That is a very small pond to have a baitfish problem. Something is not right from the way it was described, that is for sure! 

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Well, that pond is way too small for crappie so I would rule that out. 

 

If there are that many shad you have a problem, something in your ecosystem is out of whack. How is the bass population? Maybe somebody is sneaking onto the land and keeping all the bass they catch? Sounds like you are super low on predators if that many shad are in there, you need more bass! Be sure to check with the landowner before you go adding/removing any fish from his pond. 

 

We have a small population of crappie, not many though. Mainly we have LMB and bluegill with the occasional crappie.

 

Well right behind the shad are tons of bass eating them up. I have noticed that all I catch are very young (or maybe just small) LMB. I wouldn't doubt it someone was fishing them all out. The owner caught someone out there the other day that had no business on property. Having said that, it's hard to imagine the bass population being that low. I see them pounding the banks every single morning, they just aren't interested in what I'm throwing out because they have much easier targets to home in on.

 

Night fishing lately hasn't produced much with plastics or topwater. I'll give the buzz bait a try.

 

Oh by the way, I may have been conservative of the size of the pond. It's more like 2-3 acres, and it's a natural pond over 100+ years old. I'll take a few pictures tomorrow morning for reference. I'll also get some video of the baitfish going wild. Maybe they're small bass and we're overstocked?

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100+ year old pond prob has some monsters in there

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I fished Lake Wisconsin this past weekend for a multispecies outing. We used live bait and artificials. The lake was overrun with baitfish. Live bait did not work well. What did work were cranks, that were similar in color to, but larger than the baitfish, with rattles in them, These caught the most fish. My buddy was using cranks which were a completely different color than the baitfish. These caught the biggest fish.  

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Well I got "skunked" again this morning. Same situation.

 

I've come to the conclusion that the pond is overpopulated with bluegill and that's what I'm seeing darting everywhere. I'm starting to wonder if I should add more bass to bring their numbers down. I doubt a healthy bass population could thrive with that many bluegill sucking up all the oxygen. You'd think they'd just eat em' all up. I couldn't get the pics off of my phone but I'll try again soon.

 

No luck with the buzzbait, or anything for that matter. I did however catch a bluegill from when I set up a rig with a nightcrawler last night. I found it this morning dead in the shallows, must have fought its way into the weeds and suffocated.

 

As far as monsters are concerned. I caught a huge 30# softshell turtle the other day on a topwater lure. It snagged him in the leg by accident and boy did he take my canoe for a ride! I was convinced I had a dub digit bass. I dragged him on shore but he wouldn't let me come close. That mouth and long neck were biting everything in sight, I had to break off my favorite pop-r.

 

Another incident I saw was a huge bluegill head floating in the water. You could tell something with powerful jaws and teeth tore him up. I'm still scratching my head on that one.  :Idontknow:

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Maybe the lake is overpopulated with turtles could explain the large bluegill bitten in half. snappers are voracious and eat whatever comes close to its mouth

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sounds like you need to get a 3wt fly rod and start busting some blue gills.  Maybe have a fish fry

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Cranks, spinnerbaits, soft jerkbaits. Have to find out if the bass want the exact same size or go big...like maybe with a 12" worm.  Also suggest fishing early or late there, and maybe spending some time with a #6 hook and taking out a mess of 'gills.

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What kind of artificial lure would you guys suggest to get the gills to biting?

 

If I have to keep putting crawlers on they'll run me out of house and home before long. There's just way too many for real bait I think.

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If you want to get them out, just go to walmart and buy their panfish fly kit. Put a fly on a spinning rod with some light line and whip it out there. You should be able to fill a couple buckets full. 

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What type of shad does this pond have? My guess is it doesn't have any shad!

1 acre is slightly smaller than a football field, less the end zones. If this pond had 20 adult size bass it would be over populated.

Bluegill love meal worms.

Tom

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Hmm...5 or 6 Pike should help out if the water temps permit...lol

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Hmm...5 or 6 Pike should help out if the water temps permit...lol

 

Lol, I'd like to keep my remaining bass not make them food. Would be fun to catch though.

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If you have a fly rod throw something tiny like a nymph if not get your favorite topwater and tie a 5 or 6 inch leader from one of the hooks and tie the nymph on it you can catch bass and blue gill with it fly fisher man have used this technique forever for bream and bass

Tight lines

Andrew

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A handful if nice sized cats would thin that bluegill population out.

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Invite all your little kinfolk over, offer a dime for each brim they bring to ya.  Gulp makes an AWESOME little tiny artificial worm (comes in a jar at walmart)  for about five bucks. a morning escapade and twenty bucks worth of dimes = one huge dent in the brim population and a bunch of happy kids...JMO

 

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Thanks for the help here guys. I think I was a little quick to jump the gun, there's definitely bass here. They just needed the temps to cool down some (We've had several 100 degree days in a row). I just got back from catching a 1-10 bass on a yellow magic popper. Amazing how a bass even that small can make your day. :)

 

About the bluegill, I tried a size 6 hook with bits of nightcrawlers and nothing, absolutely zip after several locations and 3+ hours. Also tried a few nymphs but no bueno. I don't really care anymore though, I stayed away from their schools and used the popper in the still waters to get a few bites and the catch. Now I know.

 

Oh, I forgot to mention the pond is clay bottom and stays turbid almost year 'round. Adding catfish would probably mean perma choco water.

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