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rocknfish9001

fishing TINY ponds

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There is a pond my neighbor has in hi backyard. We put about 8 bass in it, one walleye, a ton of bluegill and more minnows almost once a week, it has an 8 lb flathead and a 26 inch pike. The biggest bass is one i put in there a tad over 5 lbs. the smallest i also put in there came out of a nearby creek (also in his yard) , probably about 5 inches. We might fish it once a week or less. How much time would you spend on this pond trying to catch a fish, it is less than 1 acre, probably close to 1/2 an acre. That fish was 5 lbs. exactly when i put it in, it has almost been a year. They eat good in there, once we put 3lb. fish in there that grew almost a pound in about 6 months.

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I kinda doubt an 8lb. cat ate a 5lb. bass though. Either he's dead, maybe from disease or age, or he's just a really smart one :)

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Catfish eat bass? I never knew that.. That would have to be a big catfish because Bass arent some little girly fish if you know what I mean. I mean there no pike, muskie, or steel head.. but I find it vary hard to believe a cat fish could eat a bass thats even half its weight. Theres one of three ponds in my apartment that has a lot of catfish in it and lmbass, Ive caught baby bass that have grown up a few years and been caught again. There is tons of baby largemouth bass in this pond I mean (or if you ever) go to lakes or ponds that arent frequented often or where lots of kids etc throw in bread to the water to see a swarm of bluegills come eat it up. Thats how many baby lmbass are in this one pond by me yet ive only caught one lmbass out of it and it was 6 1/2 lbs. Catfish and Bass are the primary species in this pond im talking about. I could see maybe the occasional meal but nothing that would destroy a avg level bass population. Thats just crazy.. who knows though maybe someones saw a pond or w.e get the bass population leveled by catfish i just find it hard to believe.

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GAMEOVER, big cats actually do eat bass. When flathead catfish were introduced into the james river they destroyed the smallmouth population, and we're talking big 70-80lb. catfish sucking down 3 and 4lb. smallmouth like nothing!!!!!! However, as I said before I doubt an 8lb. cat ate a 5lb. bass.

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My neighbor and I have the same kind of scenario, except there's a lake, not a stream, on the other side of the yard.  In the past 2 years we've put about 50 bass from the lake into the pond.  Generally speaking the bass in the lake range from 1 1/2 to 2 lbs, but the bass in the pond have grown to 3 1/2 lbs over the last 2 seasons (We attribute this to more forage and less competition).  The problem that can arise, though, is that the fish can become "lure shy" after being caught.  Sometimes they don't.  I know there's a big fish in the pond, I've seen him under the lilly pads, but this fish will not take a bait, not a worm, crank, topwater, or even a spinner.  I think this bass just got smart from being caught, and I think that you may have a similar problem with your big bass.  Give it some time and maybe both our large basses will forget how the hook felt in their mouth and come back to be caught again.  Or maybe not...

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Almost all the ponds I fish in are an acre or less. Try to cast something like a topwater or senko around cover, and try to locate submerged timber and lillypads. These areas always hold fish, or they have for me. Also, look for drains. It seems as if I always pull out one or two fish from a drain with a soft plastic. ;)

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Never ever stick a flathead catfish in a pond. Channel cats are ok but my dad did this number of years back. Put a 12lb. flathead in our pond and ended up with only two grass carp left. The flathead died and looked like it swallowed a volleyball. Meanwhile the 40 bluegill, 40 crappie, and 40 bass up to 2 lbs. were all gone. Had a blue heron hanging around but I imagine he only got a few fish. Think about what you would use to go for flatheads. You would use fish. Fish eat fish.

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pikes and walleye also don't help the bass population in a pond and won't allow the bass to grow much bigger because they have to compete with very predatory and aggresive fish. Also PIKE eat BASS, I tell everyone who fishes the pond in my nieghborhood to please not put in any fish with teeth. I was lucky enough to put in 300 shad and shiners thanks to a friend of the family who runs a baitshop and these actually spawned and produced more shad so now there is a constant forage of bluegill and shad. I don't know how the bass didn't get to those things in no time but they managed a succesful spawn and I was so siked.  If you want catfish in the pond throw some bullhead in there I think there is about 10 in my pond and they are very easy to catch. I caught one 2 and a half pound smallmouth a while ago in there and have not seen it since. Don't know how it got caught but a buddy of mien told me he caught it a couple weeks ago. My point is in order to maintain a stable and healthy environment for bass, they need less competition for food so they can gorge down all the forage and grow to be alot bigger. Believe me you will notice the difference if you take those walleye,flathead, and pike out of there.

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The walleye, pike, and catfish were put in last year, and have not effected the fishing at all. Putting bullhead in would be a bad idea. Those guys will spawn and choke out the pond. There are plenty of bait for everyone, and the majority of the bass are close to 2-3 lbs. and the pike is probably also about 2-3 lbs. and the walleye is about 1.5. The catfish has not even put a dent in the fish population. Besides the catfish, the bass are bigger then everything else.

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I think I would have to agree with everyone else's general concensus here. I would get that flathead, walleye, and pike out. If you want the ponds to be good BASS producers, then make it to where the bass don't have ANY competition for food with the flathead, walleye, and pike. The most balanced pond stocking system that I have seen is Largemouth, Bluegill, and Channel cats. That's what the state of MO will do if you have built a new pond and want it stocked. Letting them stock it with bluntnose minnows a year before they stock the bass, bluegill, and catfish is a good idea too.

Now all that being said...back on topic. I have good luck on small ponds with shallow cranks. Mostly in firetiger and bluegill for me. Manns 1-, Rapala DT-4, and Baby Bombers (dives to 1-6 ft.) make up my crankbait attack on small ponds like that. With the weather in my area starting to change to a more fall like feel the bass are getting more aggresive shallow.

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I've just bought a 14 acre property with a 2 acre lake.  It was a rock quarry, before they struck 12 springs and it filled up.  The lake has bass and carp.  My questions are:

1. How do I get rid of the carp?

2. How do I develope the water into a top flight fish factory?

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