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Alright. So on top of the lakes and rivers I have access too, I also have three private ponds that I have full access too. Meaning I can harvest / come and go as I please. Sounds great right ? Well. It is, except for the one that my grandmother owns. Its a little over an acre and a half . the bass are stunted .they're not skinny. They're just small! The pond has been around for a couple decades and was never like this . I don't know what to do.. the bluegill are huge. Like gigantic. There's some crappie in there that are decent. And the bass are just pathetic .biggest I caught out of it this past summer was just over a pound and like 14in. Most going around 8-10. I've been told harvest.  But what do I do.? What would you do.? Should I stock minnows ? Remove the bluegill ? And the bass ? I'm so lost and disappointed. 

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I'd harvest some of everything .I'd go proportionately high on the specks.They eat a lot of the same things bass do.

There's a site you can Google.I think it's called pond boss ,that should have some helpful information.

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Harvest some of the smaller bass and leave any decent size ones.  Sounds like there are just too much competition for the food supply and these small size bass are eating everything.  I'm not an expert at pond control, its just an educated guess.  Smaller bass will be quicker to the food supply then the bigger ones.  On the Alley when the water drops, the canals will be flooded with bass of all size escaping the shallow flats before they go dry.  Sometimes we have to add weight to a bait to get past the smaller wolf pack bass to get to the bigger ones deep in the canal.  Many times small bass will hit the bait as soon as it lands in the water.  Bigger ones are at the bottom just buying their time for an opportune strike.  They don't waste their energy!  :ph34r::ph34r::ph34r:

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What type of Pond do you want?

Do you want a quantity pond, where the majority of the bass are one to three pounds? If so, start thinning out the bull bluegill put in some more forage fish such as Golden Shiners or Fathead minnows.

If you want a trophy pond, where there is a few bass, that are all huge, go the opposite direction. Start harvesting bass that look stunted or are 10-12 inches. Leave the few 12+ inch bass in there to grow. However, this process will probably take a few years, as bass don't reach lunker size quickly up here in the north.

 

Good luck with the pond anyways

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Read this forum, there is a lot of information in here. 

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Each situation is different and you need to also ask yourself what your goals are for the pond.  One thing I know, in a pond that size, you will not have trophy bass if there are crappie in it.  They just don't mix well until you get to at least 20 acres or so, too much competition for bait fish and other forage.  I also suggest pond boss forums as well as the articles on lake management here in bass resource http://www.bassresource.com/lake-management/

There is a ton of info from the experts right here.  

Based on what I've read and experienced, if you ever want to have consistently larger bass in that pond, you will need to scrap it and start over, especially with the crappie well-established.  If you want to catch plenty of smaller bass, just leave it as is.  

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I don't think you necessarily need to start over. Keep the small bass or move them to another pond and keep the large bluegill and crappie that are much bigger than hand size. Also there may be bigger bass in there. If you aren't against live bait catch a pan fish a little smaller than hand size and hook it under the dorsal with a wide gap or kahle style hook. Then use a large float or small balloon tied 2-3 ft above it. Cast it out and let him swim around til the float goes under or balloon pops. Give him at least 5 seconds to take the bait and then lean into it. There's no telling what you may catch out of there. As an alternative to live bait try a bluegill swim bait like a mattlures ultimate and u2 gill, savage gear gill, little creeper sunfish, hudd gill, or other soft bluegill swimbait. I've caught 8lb+ bass out of small ponds where I could hardly manage a 2lber on regular baits

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40 minutes ago, timsford said:

I don't think you necessarily need to start over. Keep the small bass or move them to another pond and keep the large bluegill and crappie that are much bigger than hand size. Also there may be bigger bass in there. If you aren't against live bait catch a pan fish a little smaller than hand size and hook it under the dorsal with a wide gap or kahle style hook. Then use a large float or small balloon tied 2-3 ft above it. Cast it out and let him swim around til the float goes under or balloon pops. Give him at least 5 seconds to take the bait and then lean into it. There's no telling what you may catch out of there. As an alternative to live bait try a bluegill swim bait like a mattlures ultimate and u2 gill, savage gear gill, little creeper sunfish, hudd gill, or other soft bluegill swimbait. I've caught 8lb+ bass out of small ponds where I could hardly manage a 2lber on regular baits

Yea. I've used live bait on all the ponds. For hours and hours. It's been this way for the past 2 years now. And I want to believe there is bigger fish in there. But the thing is . I catch big bass at the other two almost consistently. And I record the catch. And have managed to catch the SAME hogs out of a BIGGER body of water. I know what you're saying . My girlfriends dad has a pond that's literally 70 foot by 20 foot. And has a three pound bass living in it. I don't know how it survives. Anyway. I think I have a problem with someone coming in and taking our fish. Because the big ones just aren't in there. My grandma swears there is. That my past grandfather put them in there. But they're gone. I wish I was wrong. But I highly doubt it. Just small . 8-12 inch bass. With a 14 incher I've already caught twice. But let me ask this ? Are they only "stunted" if they're skinny ?

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If they are very skinny then that usually means there isn't enough forage like bluegill, crappie, crayfish and frogs. The best pond I've fished has a feeder system for the bluegill. It shoots pellets out into the pond that the panfish feed on. When they come to eat the big bass swarm them. I've fished quite a few ponds full of small skinny bass but I've still managed at least a few over 4lbs from each one on the live bluegill technique I mentioned above or on the bluegill swim baits. I really don't know other than harvesting some small bass so there's less competition and some of the larger bluegill and maybe even stocking some fingerling bluegill  so that there will be more food to support the smaller panfish. Even then it will take a few years of spawning classes. You might even try stocking some Florida strain bass if possible that are large enough to not get eaten as soon as they are stocked. The cost for stocking might be a little high but Florida strain bass get larger than northern strain

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Alot of good info stated in the posts. I have a 10acre pond thats private with stunted fish but won't go full into details about it in this post. I also don't think crappie are good in a smaller pond due to competition. Pond Boss has several articles about this on their site. I have a 3/4 acre pond that I manage and you'll be surprised how well the bigger 4+ lb bass ignore lures. You could remove the smaller bass like mentioned and if you have a fishery local have them deliver a load of small bluegill. Not sure if you want to have any Florida strain bass in your northern pond due to the winter temps. I had that intention years ago but was advised not to.

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"Usually" stunted bass dictates a overpopulation, remove some. If the crappie and bluegills are huge then Id take some of them out too, because they will be competing with the bass for the bass's forage. Dont remove them completely, you will need some to spawn more forage for the bass

Its going to take some time for the pond to re-bound but it will if its healthy enough to support the larger panfish. This worked for a small pond up here that the state screwed up by removing the weeds, and the asians could now bobber fish the heck out of it from shore, and caught all the bigger bass leaving a ton of smaller bass. which snowballed to a stunted pond. 

 Some of us concerned cartopper anglers removed some of the smaller bass one year,.. and the pond is now back to its former glory,.. weeds and all, took about ten years but it worked

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On 8/12/2016 at 11:11 AM, GORDO said:

Read this forum, there is a lot of information in here. 

Bob Lusk the Pond Boss! :)

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I would start thinning out some of the large bluegill and maybe a few crappie. Stocking baitfish could help some as well. Give it a year or two and see if that helps, and then I would start thinning out smaller bass. 

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My friend has a small pond exactly as you described. I've caught 50 small bass out of his pond in a couple hours. You have to persecute those small bass and large bluegill. The food source of bluegill has gotten too big for bass to eat and is competing with the bass for the same minnows, crawfish, etc. Keep and eat them, give them away, throw them over the dam, invite a slew of people over to catch all they can or whatever you have to do. They're usually so hungry they're stupid and both species will eat the same baits. You can make it more sporting with light tackle.

To keep a pond in balance you need small and large fish of both species. Crappie only make the situation worse as they eat minnows almost exclusively. That's one main reason most people don't want crappie in a smaller pond.

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This sounds like it would be fun to fish with an ultralight rod, small hooks, and dough balls for bluegill.  Wish I knew some people in NorCal that had this problem, I'd love to help out!

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3 minutes ago, blckshirt98 said:

This sounds like it would be fun to fish with an ultralight rod, small hooks, and dough balls for bluegill.  Wish I knew some people in NorCal that had this problem, I'd love to help out!

It is fun. Especially to bring young kids just getting into fishing . And for yourself if you bring UL gear like you mentioned. But I personally have more fun at the other ponds catching the hog bass.. BUT if you know someone who is a die-hard bluegill fisherman. It's a dream spot. 

IMG_20150622_200902874_HDR.jpg

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i wouldnt even worry about the bluegill just yet. i would first focus on removing any and all crappie that you can, they compete with the bass for food more than the bluegill. Then I would remove a bunch of the smaller bass as well. Those big bluegill will spawn a lot of food for the bass if they didnt have to compete with crappie, crappie are known to school up and obliterate bait/forage fish. crappie should never be in a small pond with bass if youre looking to raise big fish...

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