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benito

Small Pond - Pure Florida strain -Lots of small ones, a few BIG ones - what to use?

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Hey Folks-

I have access to a private pond (in Alabama), about 10 acres, that was stocked over 20 years ago with pure Florida Strain LM Bass. It's pretty shallow (5-8 feet for most of it) with lots of cover along the shore.

It's got tons of small bass, and then a few 6-8 pound bigguns, with not much in between....

They recently hired a company to start managing it, and have introduced Shad (threadfin) as additional forage, and have started pulling some of the tiny ones out....

My question - what should I use to try to catch the Bigguns? I've caught one 7 pounder (green pumpkin trick worm), but other than that they are almost always 1 pound or less....In the past year, I've probably caught 100 bass from there, but only a couple over 1-2 pounds.

Should I try live bait? Blue-gills, shad, or even introducing live shiners (not sure if this is OK or not)?

What about crank-baits or even larger swim baits?

The pond is rarely fished at all, but the big ones sure seem hard to catch....

Thanks-

BEN

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I would say to use larger baits. Maybe some 10-12 inch worms and some medium to large swimbaits. I suppose you wont get as many hits but when you do it should be a nice one. I also tend to catch nicer fish on jigs with a trailer attached by dredging the bottom. That being said, my biggest fish to date, an 8lber from a very small pond was caught on a 5 inch senko! Go figure  ;D

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    I would also try a 5" senko in gold/silver/black flake color.  Senkos are the best thing in fishing since the low-profile baitcasters!!!!!!!!!

    Fish it around the shoreline cover the bass should be spawning good down there.

    Good luck and I hope you catch a good one!!!!!!!!!!

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Big jig, big soft plastics (Brush Hog, 10+ in worm, etc), 5 in+ swimbait

I know this exact feeling.  I fish a buddy's family's pond as well and it's the same thing -- sorting through 30-40 small bass for a picture-worthy fish.  They just recently shocked it to see how the fish population looked.  We now have standing orders to remove anything below 3 lbs.

I accepted this task in the hopes of running into a few of the bigger gals while removing her little buddies :)

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Its not always the exception but I love throwing big baits for big bass. I am not a big jig fisherman but they have produced some of my biggest bass ever. I am also in agreement with throwing big worms, I mean 10 and 12 inchers, they have really produced for me. Then there is always the tried and true spinnerbait, my largest bass ever, came from a stocked pond on a single colorado blade zorro spinnerbait with a uncle josh JUMBO pork frog, the bait and frog is as long as my hand. My advice, go big, fish slow and see what happens. The good news is ,if it doesn't work you have PLENTY of experienced fisherman on this site to make it happen. GOOD LUCK !!!!

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In reading up on the Fla. bass that get stocked, there is a period of time within the first 8-10 years where the fish will bite all sorts of offerings and THEN they become very hard to catch on lures and plastics.  Don't know why, just the way they are.  There is another strain of bass bred in Alabama called Tiger bass. They remain much more aggresive and grow fast.

You say that a management Co. is  going to introduce shad.  You are going to even have a harder time when that is done.  I fish a 50 acre lake in Alabama just like you are describing.  I have caught 10+ pounders, but it is tough going.   I have not tried live bait yet, but that is something that I might resort to.  BIG shiners might be the ticket.

Also you might try the Bill Murphy "stitching" method which is a split shot rig fished so slow that it will drive you crazy.  Some times the slowest method is what it takes to attract a big bass in lakes you are describing.   When the shad start happening wait until you find a school of bass "herding" the shad. Then use the biggest plug you have and bring it back through the shad at or near the bottom.  That is where the big bass are laying just waiting for shad to fall to the bottom when the young buch bass bust through the surface shad.  That works for me on the lake I fish.

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FLMB are genetic wired to feed on larger bait fish like golden shiners.

Since your pond doesn't have large bait fish, the smaller bass and bluegill fill that void. Sooooo....use lures that represent those baitfish or whatever else the bass may have grown up eating. Crawdads and frogs are normal prey for pond bass, so they are another good choice.

I would start with 4", 6", 8"" wake baits; BBZ-1 4" floater, Triplefish floater, Lunker Plunker 6" floater, Huddleston weedless 6" floater, in baby bass color or Matts lure hard bluegill floater. These are all serious big bass swimbaits that should produce any big bass in the pond.

If these are too expensive, then get yourself some big live night crawlers and fly line them using a size 2 weedless Gammy finesse wide gap hook. Every bass in the pond will eat that crawler, so you will need to be patient to get a big bass. Big plastic worms, 10" to 12" will work. Fish the big worms with a 1/8 oz bullet weight the same color as the worms; cinnamon brown with neon blue strip or black grape with neon blue stripe work good.

Keep low profile, like you are hunting a trophy buck, big pond bass are wary. Try to fish at dawn or dusk.

WRB

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You guys make it sound like the LM from down here in Fl are some special breed that is harder to catch than fish from other areas. Now I may be ignorant on this ( Probably am) but the fish down here hit the same things ANY LM would hit.

That said, I have fished a few farm ponds down here and they hit Senkos and Zoom trick worms just fine but they also like to hit on a DOA shrimp T-rigged tail first. Give it a try, it might be just the ticket for ya.  8-)

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interesting , this just came to me...

of alllll the bass i cought down here in south florida , i have landed very very very few LMB's. they are almost all peacocks. im not arguing since they do put up a heck of a fight and are a hardy fish , but id like to see more LM's hanging on my hook as well.

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interesting , this just came to me...

of alllll the bass i cought down here in south florida , i have landed very very very few LMB's. they are almost all peacocks. im not arguing since they do put up a heck of a fight and are a hardy fish , but id like to see more LM's hanging on my hook as well.

LOL... At least half of the people on here dream about catching peacocks... ;D

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wait till it is the spawn, so that way she will be shallow. Next go close to dark and throw a popper until your arm falls off.

                -gk

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interesting , this just came to me...

of alllll the bass i cought down here in south florida , i have landed very very very few LMB's. they are almost all peacocks. im not arguing since they do put up a heck of a fight and are a hardy fish , but id like to see more LM's hanging on my hook as well.

Come over to the west coast (of Fl) that is all I catch during the week. Also as far as I know the Peacocks you have are somewhat of a fluke because they are ONLY in your neck of the woods.

Here is some info from WIKI

In 1984, Florida officials deliberately introduced butterfly peacock bass and speckled peacock bass to the southern region of that state.[1] There they prey on other non-native and invasive species such as the oscar, Midas cichlid, and the spotted tilapia. Also, their introduction now provides additional sport fishing opportunities for local anglers along with the common snook, largemouth bass and bluegill. While the butterfly peacock bass has flourished there, the speckled peacock bass has not. Therefore, it is now illegal to kill or possess speckled peacock bass in Florida.

Because of their tropical origins, peacock bass cannot tolerate low water temperatures. This has prevented them from becoming abundant outside of Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties within the state of Florida.

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Come over to the west coast (of Fl) that is all I catch during the week. Also as far as I know the Peacocks you have are somewhat of a fluke because they are ONLY in your neck of the woods.

nah , theyre all over here. ive fished quite a few lakes from south dade on up to broward and all ive really cought were peacocks with the exception of the few LMB's.

im thinking the warmer climate down here really gets em going since they seem to be more aggressive than the LM's. they are native to south/central america so it makes sense to me.

im really going to miss the peacocks when i move to NC. :(

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A large live bluegill.  That should pretty much do the trick.

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Peacocks are very slow in Palm Beach County, too much winter kill this year, haven't caught one up here in months, I've caught a few in Broward.

but they also like to hit on a DOA shrimp T-rigged tail first

Great bait in some canals for those freshie snook & tarpon

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As far as catching the Berthas in your pond, I would have to agree with BassnBlvd, a nice large Bluegill, clip his dorsal a bit and a pectoral fin to make him struggle and look like easy pickings for Bertha.  

I hate to say it, but its true "big" live bait catches more big Florida bass, I have caught my share of big ones, but I am an all artificial all the time type guy.  My neighbor, an expert tree catcher, has many more trophy bass in his memory banks than I do cause of his methodical use of live bait,.......cheater!  That being said a big swimbait, think Matt Lures, would be a close second.  The poster who mentioned a 5" Senko must live up north cause, I catch DINKS with 5" down here.

I would ask the management company about stocking Shiners in addition to the Shad.  Also, I am not sure if you do, but fish feeders will help fatten up your bass by keeping the forage fat and happy, as well as removing smaller bass for less competition, and fertilzing your waters to keep the food chain at its best.  Also, make sure you don't have catfish in there.

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