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Weld's Largemouth

Fishing Trip In Florida!... But Something's Not Right.

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 Down in South Florida for a week and I'm fishing the golf course ponds that I always do when im down here. The bass have been plentiful and healthy, up until now.

 

Day 1.

Fishing a pond that has produced lots of bass with the biggest being upwards of 5 lbs. Most have been usually chunky and healthy. However, today the bass were absent and didn't bite anything except a few dinks on senkos and a surprising 22"er on a senko. This 22" bass was the first sign that something was wrong.

eZvBRzC.jpg

 

22" long and only... 3lb 9oz. With the head of a 6lber I knew this fish was not healthy.

A few other things I noticed were the abundance of the invasive mayan cichlid and the lack of bluegills.

I believe the over population of cichlids has created competition with the bass and bluegills. Most of the cichlids are too large for the bass to eat and I fear the bass lack food. Not sure why there is a lack of food.

 

Later that day I went to another pond and couldnt buy a bite on anything... and this lake usually produces many many fish with the biggest being 6.5 lbs, with four 6 lbers having been caught there. Nothing was there except a TON of cichlids.

 

Went to another pond and this pond has produced my PB of 7lb 6oz and many 4-6 lbers, and the fish in this pond have been some of the chunkiest, healthiest bass I have ever seen. I would see giant bluegills and tons of them that allowed these bass to grow so large. Today there were only a few bluegills and mainly mayan cichlids. I flipped a senko into a weed mat and pulled out this fish:

 

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Measured 21" and weighed 3lb 11oz

 

I have caught multiple 21" fish at this pond and they weighed 5+ lbs. My pb of 7lb 6oz measured 22 inches.... Now I realized something terribly wrong was occurring in my ponds.

 

 

Day 2

 

Went to another pond that usually produces nice healthy fish. Nothing was biting except a lot of cichlids.. and one bass..

 

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Measured 19.25" weighed 3lb 2oz... skinny fish....

 

 

All of this is quite depressing, these ponds are dying.

 

This is what I believe

 

-The mayan cichlids overpopulated and have competed with the bluegills and now the bluegills have struggled to find food since the cichlids are better predators and eat all the food. I still don't understand why the cichlids are over populating and why it is occuring in all my ponds.

 

Looking for feedback!!!

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I know you've done very well on those ponds, you've posted the photos right here.

 

Since it's residential property, I wonder if it's possible that the groundskeepers

overshot the pond perimeter with herbicides or insecticides.

 

Roger

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I know you've done very well on those ponds, I've seen your fish you landed!

 

Since it's residential property, it's possible that the grounds keepers

caught the perimeter of the ponds with too much herbicide or insecticide.

 

Roger

Very possible. I just don't understand why it wouldnt affect the mayan cichlids.

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Very possible. I just don't understand why it wouldnt affect the mayan cichlids.

 

I was wondering the same thing; it may be they have an inherent immunity.

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I was wondering the same thing; it may be they have an inherent immunity.

I hope things turn around with time

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Ran into similar situations like that. I lived in one of those gargantuan subdivisions in Miami many years ago. 

Me and my cousin used to catch little bluegill on bread, then put them on a bigger hook, swim out and drop them. Would catch decent bass regularly.

Now, a lot of these subdivision lakes are landlocked, some not(fed by the canal systems). Around the mid to late 80's, many of these invasive species were thrown into these lakes...and canals. Ciclids and pacu and whatever else people bought from the pet store and did not want anymore...

The bluegills were still around, but by the early 90's, the lake where I lived was devoid of bass. At least, I had not talked to anyone that had caught any bass for a very long time. I sure had not caught any in years. Left that place over 20 years ago. I know when I was there, the HOA did not have a "stocking" program" for the lake.

I would fish the canals on either side of the neighborhood and catch bass, peacocks, just about anytime/anyday I wanted.

In conclusion, the effect invasive species has on ponds,lakes, whether landlocked or not, is pretty clear.  

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Ran into similar situations like that. I lived in one of those gargantuan subdivisions in Miami many years ago. 

Me and my cousin used to catch little bluegill on bread, then put them on a bigger hook, swim out and drop them. Would catch decent bass regularly.

Now, a lot of these subdivision lakes are landlocked, some not(fed by the canal systems). Around the mid to late 80's, many of these invasive species were thrown into these lakes...and canals. Ciclids and pacu and whatever else people bought from the pet store and did not want anymore...

The bluegills were still around, but by the early 90's, the lake where I lived was devoid of bass. At least, I had not talked to anyone that had caught any bass for a very long time. I sure had not caught any in years. Left that place over 20 years ago. I know when I was there, the HOA did not have a "stocking" program" for the lake.

I would fish the canals on either side of the neighborhood and catch bass, peacocks, just about anytime/anyday I wanted.

In conclusion, the effect invasive species has on ponds,lakes, whether landlocked or not, is pretty clear.   

Thanks. So does it seem like the bass in my ponds will just slowly die off? I wonder what made this happen this summer ... the ponds have been well for the past 2 summers..

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It's a possibility. Or they will just be skinny. "Only the strong survive" in nature. Could be a "cycle", but that is pure speculation. 

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if you catch cichlids...you know what to do with them :)

Throw the bass back!

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Have you normally fished these ponds this time of year before when the bass appeared healthier?  

From my limited experience after moving to Fla last August is that the bass are skinnier during the hottest months.  My assumption is that in these smaller waters is that they get stressed out. Their optimum water temps are in the 70s and ponds down here can easily get into the lower 90s.  Oxygen levels also drop.  My thinking is that despite the boom in baitfish making them plentiful, they are lethargic but require more food and end up looking like they have empty bellies.

If you always fish them this time of year, then that theory might be out the window.

 

This time of the year I try to move even faster getting a photo and releasing them as fast as possible.  Being already stressed, they don't need anymore from being handled too much. 

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I don't think anything is wrong. Welcome to South Fl in the summer. Those ponds, water temps were or are in the low 90's right now. Sending those bass metabolism through the roof. They are skinny but not sick skinny. When temps regulate the bass weights should come back too. The abundance of mayan's cichlids just proves how hot the water is. They thrive in these temps.

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I don't think anything is wrong. Welcome to South Fl in the summer. Those ponds water temps were or are in the low 90's. Sending those bass metabolism through the roof. They are skinny but not sick skinny. When temps regulate they weights should come back too. The abundance of mayans cichlids just proves how, hot the water is. They thrive in these temps.

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I don't think anything is wrong. Welcome to South Fl in the summer. Those ponds water temps were or are in the low 90's. Sending those bass metabolism through the roof. They are skinny but not sick skinny. When temps regulate their weights should come back too. The abundance of mayans cichlids just proves how, hot the water is. They thrive in these temps.

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Have you normally fished these ponds this time of year before when the bass appeared healthier?

From my limited experience after moving to Fla last August is that the bass are skinnier during the hottest months. My assumption is that in these smaller waters is that they get stressed out. Their optimum water temps are in the 70s and ponds down here can easily get into the lower 90s. Oxygen levels also drop. My thinking is that despite the boom in baitfish making them plentiful, they are lethargic but require more food and end up looking like they have empty bellies.

If you always fish them this time of year, then that theory might be out the window.

This time of the year I try to move even faster getting a photo and releasing them as fast as possible. Being already stressed, they don't need anymore from being handled too much.

I fished the past two summers and the fish were not skinny and were very active. However, this summer the water level is lower so the oxygen levels are probably low and the water heats up fast. I really hope its just a summer thing, florida needs some more rain soon.

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I don't think anything is wrong. Welcome to South Fl in the summer. Those ponds water temps were are in the low 90's. Sending those bass metabolism through the roof. They are skinny but not sick skinny. When temps regulate they weights should come back too. The abundance of mayans cichlids just proves how, hot the water is. They thrive in these temps.

This makes sense. You just gave me some hope. The low water levels are also probably making it harder for the bass.

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This makes sense. You just gave me some hope. The low water levels are also probably making it harder for the bass.

More than likely. Bass are survivors, but this heat takes a toll on them.

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Agree with BassinLou. That's just summer fish doing the best they can in the environment given to them.

This is a sick fish.

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image_zpslkcxkrrw.jpg

Went 19" and didn't weigh much over a pound.

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