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Joshua Vandamm

Can a 100+ ft, 50 acre, 100yr old quarry..,

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Really only hold 2-5lb bass??

 

One of my favorite spots to fish is an old rock quarry  which has perfect seeming conditions and relatively clear turquoise water. I’ve only caught up to 3 1/2 pound bass here however. The other day I was talking to someone that lives on the property and they said they’d only ever caught a 5 pounder. 

 I feel like there must be some monsters in there but this guys been fishing it for decades so I’m wondering if it’s even possible there is such an over abundance of medium size bass that there are actually no big ones.? Or they’re just really hard to find/catch. 

 

Thoughts?

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Bigger bass are harder to catch. And the fact that it has an over abundance of medium sized bass makes it hard for a medium size bass to grow into a big one. A pit I fish, is only 90 acres and doesn't see much pressure. The owners didn't keep many bass at all until about 7 years ago when we caught a lot of bass that were 14-17 inches long and as thin as paper. We started keeping 50-75 bass a year 12-16 inches and our quantity of quality fish has sky rocketed. Used to a 20lb bag on 5 fish was a great day, but it did happen fairly frequently. Now a 20lb bag is almost expected on a 10hr trip. I would say with the quarry being very deep and decently sized there are good places for giants to hide, but they are probably few and far between because of all the medium sized ones over populating the reachable fishing area.

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What a pond is capable of producing depends on a lot of different factors. If they have the right combinations, they could have lots of big fish, but if a pond doesn't have the right water quality and food to grow them, then the fish aren't going to get big. 

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some of those old deep quarries are not very fertile. may not have enough prey.

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3 hours ago, CroakHunter said:

Bigger bass are harder to catch. 

No, it just seems that way because there are far fewer of them.

 

A quarry, particularly a clear one is usually not the most efficient bass growing environment, but if its well established, there should be some bigger fish in there. A sure way to find out is to gingerly walk the perimeter during the spawn.with polarized glasses.

 

 

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3 hours ago, bagofdonuts said:

some of those old deep quarries are not very fertile. may not have enough prey.

Right. Some are basically ruined by the minerals they've exposed.

 

There's a granite quarry near here that has a good many chunky bass and very large bluegills. I took a hike there with my daughter and a cousin a while back and we saw them swimming. It looks like they've been fed because they rose to some Cheetos we threw in. I don't have fishing rights there though. It belongs to my cousin's boyfriend's extended family. Years ago, people could just drive down to it and swim. There was a swing rope hanging from the old crane and a ladder to get out. Back then I caught one bass on a small live bluegill.

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5 hours ago, reason said:

 

No, it just seems that way because there are far fewer of them.

 

 

Which means it is harder to catch them. I never said anything about there is less opportunity to catch them. 

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Another thing to consider is that a body of water can only hold a certain poundage of total fish. All fish (crappie, carp, catfish, bluegill, shad, bass, etc.) are included in this. Once a pond hits its max one of two things happen: a.) fish start to die or b.) fish size suffers. Usually it's a combination of both with more fish losing weight than dying off. This is why ponds often get an over abundance of small fish- they've hit their weight max.

 

This max is determined by a number of factors including water quality, vegetation, and space. 

 

The ideal big bass pond would be stocked with only bass and bluegill. The pond may have shad if it's very big but bluegill can support a bass population by themselves. The pond would also harvest fish in the 10-14 inch range annually in order to reduce some of the poundage in the pond and give the other fish some room to grow (kinda like letting the air out of a balloon).

 

I would check and see if there's any other species in the pond because they are contributing to the ponds weight.

 

If you're serious about turning it in to a bass haven, I would consider doing some more research and instituting a harvest plan (these are based on acerage so that's why I suggest the research) and maybe consider removing excess fish species such as crappie, catfish, carp, etc.

 

Hope this helps! 

 

 

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I fish some places like this and have similar results.

 

My very first time there I caught the biggest fish the people there told me that they had ever 

seen caught there (it was 6 or 7 pounder). In the few years following that I have caught several

4 pounders and a couple of 5's but mostly 12" to 16" fish.

 

I have seen a handful of really big bass when I sneak around like a ninja but I can't ever get

them to even show interest in anything I throw in their area.

I am sure the fact that they can see a 20' Bass boat from a mile away in the clear water probably has something to do with it.

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3 to 5 pound bass are fun to catch and not that small.  Just go out and fish and stop worrying about catching 10 pound bass.

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9 minutes ago, geo g said:

3 to 5 pound bass are fun to catch and not that small.  Just go out and fish and stop worrying about catching 10 pound bass.

Yep!

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Refresh my memory, what regional area are you in, southeast, northeast?

Rock quarry lakes usually lack nutrients unless there is a stream running in to bringing it in. Most quarry lakes are spring fed with limited populations of prey and bass, you don't see a lot of smaller fish for a reason.....they are the prey source.

Crawdads are always present, frogs, lizards, birds, mice and rats, just like a pond, just deeper with sparsh vegetation.

The bass must spawn to sustain a population, find the shallow water road bed used to escavate this quarry, that is where the big girls should be this seasonal time period. I would T-rig w/sliding bullet weight a baby brush hog and target the road bed area or any other shallower areas.

Tom

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The part that gives me pause is the 100’ deep. Where’s the thermocline at? Will such a depth deter them and keep them closer to shallow water? If they can’t relate to the bottom given the depth, maybe there really aren’t that many bass? Of course I’m probably way off course on this but Id love to hear everyone’s thoughts on that. 

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Where do you live? In my area, a 5lb bass might be 10 years old, and maybe older in waters with a lower-quality environment. In small public waters of the kind I fish, which are typically a few dozen acres, it's a tall order for a catchable bass to live that long without being harvested by somebody eventually (or killed from improper handling at some point).  There actually may not be more than one or two bass over 5lb in some of my haunts, and I am lucky if I catch more bass over 4lb in a summer than I can count on one hand.

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1 hour ago, frosty said:

The part that gives me pause is the 100’ deep. Where’s the thermocline at? Will such a depth deter them and keep them closer to shallow water? If they can’t relate to the bottom given the depth, maybe there really aren’t that many bass? Of course I’m probably way off course on this but Id love to hear everyone’s thoughts on that. 

Depending on where the OP is located thermoclines shouldn't be a factor until the surface warms over 75 degrees, the cold deep water is very close temperature to the upper layers until the upper layer warms up significantly in a few months.

The bass will relate to the steep walls, not the beep bottom areas. 

Tom

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On 4/13/2018 at 8:05 PM, WRB said:

Refresh my memory, what regional area are you in, southeast, northeast?

Rock quarry lakes usually lack nutrients unless there is a stream running in to bringing it in. Most quarry lakes are spring fed with limited populations of prey and bass, you don't see a lot of smaller fish for a reason.....they are the prey source.

Crawdads are always present, frogs, lizards, birds, mice and rats, just like a pond, just deeper with sparsh vegetation.

The bass must spawn to sustain a population, find the shallow water road bed used to escavate this quarry, that is where the big girls should be this seasonal time period. I would T-rig w/sliding bullet weight a baby brush hog and target the road bed area or any other shallower areas.

Tom

Northeast. 

It’s got a feeder creek. Lots of pumpkinseeds too. They eat a lot of craws tho. I do a regurgitation test occasionally.    

 

Baby brush hog huh. I was thinking yum craw bug. 

On 4/13/2018 at 7:00 AM, JT Bagwell said:

I fish some places like this and have similar results.

 

My very first time there I caught the biggest fish the people there told me that they had ever 

seen caught there (it was 6 or 7 pounder). In the few years following that I have caught several

4 pounders and a couple of 5's but mostly 12" to 16" fish.

 

I have seen a handful of really big bass when I sneak around like a ninja but I can't ever get

them to even show interest in anything I throw in their area.

I am sure the fact that they can see a 20' Bass boat from a mile away in the clear water probably has something to do with it.

I’m fishing from shore. Since it’s so rocky I don’t think the see me coming. I’m a creeper. Lol

I’d be happy with a 6lber. And sure it’s still a lot of fun I’m just genuinely shocked they arnt bigger

On 4/11/2018 at 4:48 AM, CroakHunter said:

Bigger bass are harder to catch. And the fact that it has an over abundance of medium sized bass makes it hard for a medium size bass to grow into a big one. A pit I fish, is only 90 acres and doesn't see much pressure. The owners didn't keep many bass at all until about 7 years ago when we caught a lot of bass that were 14-17 inches long and as thin as paper. We started keeping 50-75 bass a year 12-16 inches and our quantity of quality fish has sky rocketed. Used to a 20lb bag on 5 fish was a great day, but it did happen fairly frequently. Now a 20lb bag is almost expected on a 10hr trip. I would say with the quarry being very deep and decently sized there are good places for giants to hide, but they are probably few and far between because of all the medium sized ones over populating the reachable fishing area.

How long did it take to see the change?

On 4/11/2018 at 5:17 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

What a pond is capable of producing depends on a lot of different factors. If they have the right combinations, they could have lots of big fish, but if a pond doesn't have the right water quality and food to grow them, then the fish aren't going to get big. 

 

On 4/11/2018 at 8:26 AM, bagofdonuts said:

some of those old deep quarries are not very fertile. may not have enough prey.

This place is fertile. Tons of fresh inflow. Gills and craws abundant. 

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On 4/11/2018 at 2:02 PM, AggieBassin10 said:

Another thing to consider is that a body of water can only hold a certain poundage of total fish. All fish (crappie, carp, catfish, bluegill, shad, bass, etc.) are included in this. Once a pond hits its max one of two things happen: a.) fish start to die or b.) fish size suffers. Usually it's a combination of both with more fish losing weight than dying off. This is why ponds often get an over abundance of small fish- they've hit their weight max.

 

This max is determined by a number of factors including water quality, vegetation, and space. 

 

The ideal big bass pond would be stocked with only bass and bluegill. The pond may have shad if it's very big but bluegill can support a bass population by themselves. The pond would also harvest fish in the 10-14 inch range annually in order to reduce some of the poundage in the pond and give the other fish some room to grow (kinda like letting the air out of a balloon).

 

I would check and see if there's any other species in the pond because they are contributing to the ponds weight.

 

If you're serious about turning it in to a bass haven, I would consider doing some more research and instituting a harvest plan (these are based on acerage so that's why I suggest the research) and maybe consider removing excess fish species such as crappie, catfish, carp, etc.

 

Hope this helps! 

 

 

Thanks. I think that’s the issue. Carrying capacity just maxed out a bit larger than average pond bass since it’s such a good habitat.  I wish I could manage it but it’s not mine. I just pop in and act friendly. Yet to be kicked out. 

On 4/13/2018 at 10:52 PM, frosty said:

The part that gives me pause is the 100’ deep. Where’s the thermocline at? Will such a depth deter them and keep them closer to shallow water? If they can’t relate to the bottom given the depth, maybe there really aren’t that many bass? Of course I’m probably way off course on this but Id love to hear everyone’s thoughts on that. 

Thermocline usually around 45 ft. There’s tons of bass. More than I’ve ever seen in one place at once. They suspend on shelves 30ft down or just in open water. There’s shelves every 10ft or so. 

 

What i I don’t know, and have wondered about, is if it ever turns over. I don’t know if the depths ever warm enough to do so. 

23 hours ago, MIbassyaker said:

Where do you live? In my area, a 5lb bass might be 10 years old, and maybe older in waters with a lower-quality environment. In small public waters of the kind I fish, which are typically a few dozen acres, it's a tall order for a catchable bass to live that long without being harvested by somebody eventually (or killed from improper handling at some point).  There actually may not be more than one or two bass over 5lb in some of my haunts, and I am lucky if I catch more bass over 4lb in a summer than I can count on one hand.

Maryland. I’ve caught some over 6-7 lb bass from other spots nearby 

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We've got an abundance of quarries and ponds near Rockwood Michigan....one particularly is overflowing with bluegill and crawfish. Before the water was opened to the public, we would consistently catch 4 and 5lb Largemouth on every trip. The city bought the site (which I think was an abandoned quarry project) took down the barbed wire fence and built a paved recreational walkway around it, and now it's heavily pressured and legally and illegally harvested. I haven't caught a 5lb bass there in 10 years. But I know the system can still support these bigger fish, based on its forage. So Im thinking sometimes fishing pressure factors more heavily into the equation on these smaller ecosystems.

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 i have a place like this. its a kettle pond, 30 feet deep. lot of small fish but if i use big swimbaits i catch the big fish. i dont catch 3-5lb fish. its under 3lbs or over 5lbs.

so try fishing bigger baits? or maybe your pond is stunted, maybe there isnt enough food

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Pressure can definitely affect things. Many good spots have been totally fished out around here. Even in managed parks. 

 

This quarry has no pressure tho. It's out of the way and private. 

8 hours ago, Mr. Aquarium said:

 i have a place like this. its a kettle pond, 30 feet deep. lot of small fish but if i use big swimbaits i catch the big fish. i dont catch 3-5lb fish. its under 3lbs or over 5lbs.

so try fishing bigger baits? or maybe your pond is stunted, maybe there isnt enough food

Worth a shot. I wouldn't know how to even work a big Swimbait in most spots because it's so deep. I'll try it on the roadway in tho. 

It's definitely not lacking in food. Maybe otters came through or something. 

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get some storm shads, they are cheap big and get bit. slow roll them down deep.  get a big topwater then id get a glide bait. savage gear makes good baits for a good price

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On 4/18/2018 at 8:31 AM, Mr. Aquarium said:

get some storm shads, they are cheap big and get bit. slow roll them down deep.  get a big topwater then id get a glide bait. savage gear makes good baits for a good price

Check, check, check. Lol

Got 8” storms, s-waver 168-200 and just too many big topwater baits to List. 9 whopper ploppers alone, up to the 190 size. Haven’t figured out when to use that one yet. Lol

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On 4/18/2018 at 8:31 AM, Mr. Aquarium said:

get some storm shads, they are cheap big and get bit. slow roll them down deep.  get a big topwater then id get a glide bait. savage gear makes good baits for a good price

...are glidebaits effective in the pre-spawn to spawn?

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yea most people fish them in the colder water, almost like a big jerkbait

23 hours ago, Joshua Vandamm said:

Check, check, check. Lol

Got 8” storms, s-waver 168-200 and just too many big topwater baits to List. 9 whopper ploppers alone, up to the 190 size. Haven’t figured out when to use that one yet. Lol

i LOVE big topwaters!!!! 

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