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BassinBoy

How much potential?

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I am looking for a few opinions about a pond I fish.

This pond is about half the size of a football field, and very shallow. It's about 10 years old. It has one deep hole at about 6 feet and this pond is very weedy. It produces a lot of quality fish (3 pounds) but nothing bigger. Most fish seem to be 1-3 pound category. The biggest bass caught here was a 22 inch, 6 pounder about 4 years ago.

My question is, this pond being quite shallow, does it have the potential to grow anything bigger than these constant 3 pounders?  Nothing more than 20 inches has shown up in about 3 years. A lot of the ponds I fish have one or two abnormally large fish in them, but this one does not seem too.

(Pond's forage base, a good amount of bluegill, frogs, and crayfish)

Thanks everyone

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Over-sized bass are simply rare. Just what "over-sized" actually weighs varies with latitude and individual water. In much of the north, in most waters, 20 inches can be like a wall.

Here's an article that gives a little perspective on this:

http://www.bassresource.com/fishing/giant_trophy_bass.html

This article is about double digit fish -moslty a southern phenomenon, but the perspective and info pertains to bass waters anywhere.

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We have little forest ponds here in the Ocala National Forest (FL) that I love to fish. They are full of little 1-2lber's. Years ago we used to wade around them and I can testify that there are some hog's in those little lakes. I can remember wading and casting a buzzbait. Just walking about knee deep and while I was trying to get in a good position to cast to some lilly's I looked down and I was standing on the edge of a bed with a fish that was at least 8lbs and she was lookin' at my toes. lol. Tried for an hour to catch her finally she got tired of me. Since then I've caught alot of 4-5 out of those little ponds. There about the size of your's but mabye 6-7ft deep..  ;D

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BB, I'm assuming you didn't catch this fish, or see it. I have to say that a 22inch 6lb fish caught 4 years ago in a now 10 year old pond in PA, just doesn't add up.

Don't believe everything you hear. A lot of anglers don't actually weight their fish, happier with subjective weights.

The easiest place I could think of to get one, besides certain trophy fisheries is a small underfished (better, unfished) shallow pond with one small deep spot in it. Likely, if there is such a fish in there, you, or someone else will know soon enough. We aren't talking Loch Ness here, unless you are willing to believe everything you hear.

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BB, I'm assuming you didn't catch this fish, or see it. I have to say that a 22inch 6lb fish caught 4 years ago in a now 10 year old pond in PA, just doesn't add up.

Don't believe everything you hear. A lot of anglers don't actually weight their fish, happier with subjective weights.

The easiest place I could think of to get one, besides certain trophy fisheries is a small underfished (better, unfished) shallow pond with one small deep spot in it. Likely, if there is such a fish in there, you, or someone else will know soon enough. We aren't talking Loch Ness here, unless you are willing to believe everything you hear.

Saw pictures of this fish (caught twice by the mother and son of the family who lived there)

Im sure the 10 years and a 6 pound fish doesn't make sense.  The pond was never stocked with bass fry, the man who lived here brought bass and bluegill back from lakes he caught them at.  This may be the answer to a fish that big in this pond.

But my question was just about whether or not the pond's conditions and features would allow a trophy fish or not.

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Ah, that makes sense.

No way of knowing whether that pond could produce such a fish again. Things rarely stay the same with small waters.

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there is a drainage pond in my inlaws assoc in Florida that was stocked by a resident that seems to have too many big bass for its own good.  Its about 1.5 acres and 12' deep.  He has caught multiple 8lbers and lots of 2lbers.   It was stocked 12 years ago.   The fish are fat but I don't know what they eat to sustain themselves.  He did stock some baitfish.  On a good day you can catch 20 bass in an hour.

He is the only one that fishes there besides me when I visit once a year.  

Can bait reproduce fast enough for the fish to survive any longer?

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Water bodies mature -they change. A healthy pond diverse in habitat and productive in nutrients, without large predators (like bass), will likely develop a healthy diverse food chain. After initial stocking of appropriate numbers, bass growth will likely be very rapid. But things get complicated from there.

Bass change the relative abundance of prey which affects the RA's down the line. And there can be great variation across years in production of and interactions among all the players.

Then there is reproduction. A fishery with lots of large bass has a good balance of mouths to feed. This tends to be rare and should be appreciated. In small not-intensively-managed waters it comes and goes with time. I've fished some ponds long enough to see periods when the bass suddenly break a barrier, a 16" barrier, an 18", 19" ...seems my ponds do not produce fish beyond 20" in anything I could call an intact year class. Although I have seen this on a couple occasions. One was due to age class (some surviving leviathans in an unfished private farm pond), the other is intensively managed. In general, in un-intensively-managed public waters in the north, these are unique fish. And they can and do turn up here and there -needles in their respective haystacks.

I suppose a great opportunity for such a fish might be in the pond you describe. I fished one just as you described -shallow with one deeper hole. The owner put 5 bass in the previous spring he'd caught from a nearby lake. "About a foot long they were," he said. "One was a bit bigger." I saw four ~14-15 inch bass cruising the shoreline. I ran a jig through the dark green hole, and caught an 18". Easy "lunker"! ("Lunker" is relative). I didn't revisit that pond but if that, with so little competition, had the green light to GROW. How big -dunno her genetic make-up, or even sex. Later on, assuming one of the 5 is female, after a good spawn and that pond filed up with competing mouths (and all the associated changes down the line) the chance for rapid growth is likely to be compromised.

Lots of professional mangers are trying to get what you (and we all) want. And it's labor intensive and fraught with complications. Check out Pond Boss website and mag.

Bass over 20" in most northern waters are rare. Appreciate every one you see. If you find such a water, zip your lips and enjoy it while it lasts.

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