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Bass Justice

Fishing small lake after being stocked

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Hey guys I had a question for those who might have some insight for me. 

One of my local lakes was drained and had some work done over the last two years. They dredged the lake bed if that matters. It's a small 270 acre lake, and they finally finished and filled it about a month ago. The report on the site says they are evaluating the current species health and are probably going to restock the lake. The lake before the drain was pressured regularly. My question is...

I have this assumption where all these new fish  they are going to use for stocking have never seen a lure and will bite anything. I imagine the bite will be fantastic the first couple months but I'm also inexperienced and relatively new in the sport. 

On the other hand I also think maybe the fish will be stressed from being relocated and might not bite at all being in a completely new environment. 

So how long should I wait to hit the lake after they stock it? The next morning? A week? A month? Next year? I have no idea how fishing success/ failure is impacted by newly stocked fish

As always thanks in advance!

-Mike

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Fish have to eat or they die so they'll bite something.  With trout I know the day of the plant the fish are usually lethargic as they acclimate to the new water and temperature, and day or day after the plant is when the bite picks up.  While it's drained I'd take some pictures of the empty lake and note where any dropoffs, ledges, channels, rocks, structure are located, as the bass will go to cover no matter what lake they're in and a newly filled lake won't have much vegetation for the bass to hide in yet.  Even throwing a softball sized rock near the shore would be a good piece of structure to fish once it's full.

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4 hours ago, blckshirt98 said:

Fish have to eat or they die so they'll bite something.  With trout I know the day of the plant the fish are usually lethargic as they acclimate to the new water and temperature, and day or day after the plant is when the bite picks up.  While it's drained I'd take some pictures of the empty lake and note where any dropoffs, ledges, channels, rocks, structure are located, as the bass will go to cover no matter what lake they're in and a newly filled lake won't have much vegetation for the bass to hide in yet.  Even throwing a softball sized rock near the shore would be a good piece of structure to fish once it's full.

Yeah unfortunately I didn't think about it or I would have! I imagine they would be lethargic after being transported for sure

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What size fish are they going to stock the lake with? Adult fish are very expensive so most of the time, fingerlings are stocked. It will take a couple of years after the stocking for fingerlings to grow to catchable size. If they are trying to get the lake to repopulate itself, they may use just a few larger brood fish that they hope will spawn and produce more offspring. Lakes that use brood fish are often posted no fishing so the brood fish aren't caught and removed.

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A local lake near me was drained / stocked over the course of a few years. They stocked it with fingerlings and it wasn't fishable for another 2-3 years after that. 

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I have no idea what they are going to stock it with. I didn't even know how it worked. That makes sense, stock it with smaller fish and let them grow. I'm sure that's probably what they're going to do, d**n I was thinking I was going to cash in big time! Oh well, i'll hit it in a couple years I guess. Unless I read about them stocking it with bigger fish

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Generally they'll stock them with fingerlings because of the cost of adult fish. They'll also stock some brooder fish, adult fish that have reached reproductive maturity that will continue to spawn over the next few years while the other fish mature so there isn't a huge gap in year classes. 

When they do that around here the lake is often closed for about 5 years to allow the fish to mature and to prevent anyone from keeping those brooders. Then when the lake reopens it's nuts for the first year with all those dumb fish in the lake. 

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I´ve moved fish from one pond to another and I was catching them in their new location a week later.

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22 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Generally they'll stock them with fingerlings because of the cost of adult fish. They'll also stock some brooder fish, adult fish that have reached reproductive maturity that will continue to spawn over the next few years while the other fish mature so there isn't a huge gap in year classes. 

When they do that around here the lake is often closed for about 5 years to allow the fish to mature and to prevent anyone from keeping those brooders. Then when the lake reopens it's nuts for the first year with all those dumb fish in the lake. 

I seriously died laughing at this lol. Alright well i'll keep tabs on the lake forum and see what they plan to do. I appreciate the feedback

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Hit  the usual structure . If there are long extended pints on the lake the bass will find them .

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Back in the day there was this lovely lake near me that held bass naturally but it was also stocked with rainbow trout every year.   I knew exactly where they were dumped.  the trick was knowing when.  anyway, I would show up a couple weeks before opening day and fish "the spot"  employing 100% catch and release. If the stocking hadn't taken place yet there would be zero action.  so I would go home, wait a couple of days and do it again.  then one day, BOOM.  there he is!....and the fun would be non stop.   A few people who knew what I was doing said it was unethical, but my answer would be "they are hatchery trout" for which I have no moral dilemma what so ever.

so I say.  Go for it.  

Oh, and that reminds me of a 'discussion' I had with a guy at a fly shop.  He was one of these "trout snobs" of which there are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than bass snobs.  So he saw that I had a mesh creel attached to my vest and was all 'how dare you keep trout" like they were sacred or something.   I told him "I'm fishing a stocked stream".(during trout season) and I intent to catch my dinner"....He got all puffed up and irate.   It was really laughable.  I knew there was no changing the guys mind and I didn't care to make the effort or "be right" but I did kind of chuckle as I walked away.   this stream get stocked three or four times every year with literally hundreds of thousands of fingerlings.  Like I said, while I firmly believe that all game laws must be obeyed, I have no moral qualms about stocked fish.

 

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On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 4:36 PM, Bass Justice said:

Hey guys I had a question for those who might have some insight for me. 

One of my local lakes was drained and had some work done over the last two years. They dredged the lake bed if that matters. It's a small 270 acre lake, and they finally finished and filled it about a month ago. The report on the site says they are evaluating the current species health and are probably going to restock the lake. The lake before the drain was pressured regularly. My question is...

I have this assumption where all these new fish  they are going to use for stocking have never seen a lure and will bite anything. I imagine the bite will be fantastic the first couple months but I'm also inexperienced and relatively new in the sport. 

On the other hand I also think maybe the fish will be stressed from being relocated and might not bite at all being in a completely new environment. 

So how long should I wait to hit the lake after they stock it? The next morning? A week? A month? Next year? I have no idea how fishing success/ failure is impacted by newly stocked fish

As always thanks in advance!

-Mike

Have fished two lakes a little smaller than the one you mention. The first year was great LMB fishing. Both of these lakes were managed by Mississippi Wildlife & Fisheries and fingerlings were put in the lakes with a waiting period of a few years before being reopened. As soon as they open the lake, I'd be on it the first day if I could and more afterwards. You can bet other bassers will, too. The window of opportunity is relatively short before they become educated.

Good Fishing.

 

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