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TommyBass

stunted fish

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I just recently read the new article on bassresource about bass in ponds.  I got to thinking about my problem and thought I would se if you guys had any suggestions.  I have a 5 acre pond behind the house and I fish it very often, especially when tryin a new techinque or lure (very helpful for that)  But within the last 7 years the fish dont get over 15 inches.  They used to be frequently caught from 3-6 lbs over the course of a year.  Now there are alot of small ones.  Lots of bluegill, some crappie, and lots of pretty nice channel cats.  o ya, and 12 grass carp wich are HUGE.  they mostly feed on fathead minnows and bluegill crappie young, some frogs Pond max depth is around 16 ft, around 1/3 of it is >10 ft, the rest slopes up to some shallows and a couple pooints, some drop offs steeper then others.  It really has good potential, and it once was good.  Moss and this flowery surface viny-grass do grow out to around 10ft off shore, some years we clear it with herbecide stuff some years we dont, not much at all within the last 3yrs or so.  Do yall got any ideas on how to fix my pond so i can get teh big boys growin again?

THANKS FOR ANY SUGGESTIONS

Tommy Bass

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Have you checked out the fish & pond management articles on this site?

http://bassresource.com/fish_biology/about.html#fish

Great stuff.  You'll also learn alot about bass behavior too!   :)

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I have a smaller pond but have the same problem as you. What I'm doing is taking a lot of little fish out of the pond and stocking other people's ponds that I've talked to, or eating them. The pond is over loaded with fish and there's not enough food to support all of them.

Crappie can be a big problem in a pond if not managed right. Crappie's eggs are toxic to other fish which in turn leads to a high hatch ratio. And bass alone can only eat them until they reach a certain size before they become to big. Put some flathead catfish in your pond to help with the crappie because they'll eat them when they're grown. (If the catfish are big enough) Flatheads primarly feed on crappie, and perch, but in lakes also feed on bait fish.

As for the bass, like I say either find some one that has a pond that you can stock bass in out of your pond. (Check with state laws about transporting fish and size limits First) Or take some home and eat them. The goal is to thin out a few of these fish. My pond is loaded with 10 to 14 inch bass. And we're still catching some over 14 inches. I try to keep or stock other ponds with all my little bass.

And if possible and legal in your area catch some bait fish to stock in your pond. Don't over stock the bait fish, but enough to keep the bass with plenty to feed on.

These are some of the things I'm doing and it's starting to show some nice effects. The bass I'm catching still aren't as big as I hope they'll become but are A LOT HEALTHIER, then they were a couple of years ago.

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Not enough forage for the predators. I would imagine the bream are big also. Crappie will ruin a small pond. The Catfish and the crappie will compete with the bass for food. When the bream and crappie bed, and they get to fingerling size 1-4 inches they are eaten by the bass, catfish, bluegill, and crappie.Try stocking more bream and/ or threadfin shad. If you live in the south call American Sportfish 334-281-7703!!

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flippnfish

Do you recommend the Thread fin shad? I perfer the Gizzard shad because they're a little tuffer when the colder months hit. Thread fins seem to be a little weaker and harder to keep alive. Or at least they are this way in Southern Oklahoma!

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Threadfin are a little harder to keep alive when handling them and you will have times when some will die off in cold weather but that will help keep them in balance. If the lake has some depth they should find a comfort zone. I don't know how they react North of Alabama in extreme cold weather. In the south our water temps rarely get below 45 degrees for very long.  The Bad thing about a Gizzard shad is they will grow very large. To big for the average bass to consume. Both are very good forage. If you have someway to keep the adults in balance, gizzards should not be a problem.

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Threadfin are a little harder to keep alive when handling them and you will have times when some will die off in cold weather but that will help keep them in balance. If the lake has some depth they should find a comfort zone. I don't know how they react North of Alabama in extreme cold weather. In the south our water temps rarely get below 45 degrees for very long. The Bad thing about a Gizzard shad is they will grow very large. To big for the average bass to consume. Both are very good forage. If you have someway to keep the adults in balance, gizzards should not be a problem.

Good point on the gizzards! I didn't think about them getting to the sizes they do. But right now I'm just putting small numbers in the pond and trying to keep them from reproducing at this time. Doing this to keep things in check. Thought about importing more crawfish but if I do that crawfish a reek serious havoc on a pond d**n over time!

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Crawfish shouldn't do to much damage. They will make your bass fat. The fish should keep them in check also!

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Crawfish shouldn't do to much damage. They will make your bass fat. The fish should keep them in check also!

Well I talked with the biologist about it and he says that if you place a ton of crawfish in these ponds here (which are primarily a soft dirt) that too many crawfish can burry into the dam causing it to become week over time.

There are however crawfish in the pond naturally.

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If they are already established I would not add to them. They will dig some holes and a sandy soil doesn't hold up very well. Tree's on the dam and Muskrats are a really bad thing also. I would do whatever the fisheries biologist in your area says to do. He would know better than anyone. Our soil around here is a chalky clay. Hard as a brick. Make very good pond dams. Not worth much else!

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