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LP-Fishman

Stunted Bass?

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I'be had access to fish a private quarry here in northern Illinois for the past few years. There's only one other guy that fishes it and all he does is panfish. This spot is loaded with bass and I usually have a 100 plus day everytime I'm out. The quarry is 25 ft at the deepest spot (i know this through ice fishing and doin extensive search with a vexilar.) I have a theory and wanna know what you guys think about it.

My biggest fish was a 6 pound female I caught on a bed this spring but other than that every fish I catch is almost identical weighing 2-2.5 lbs. I've used 10 in. Worms, swimbaits etc... But no matter what I just end up with the ol average bass. I came to the conclusion that because this lake is so abundent with bass that they have possibly become stunted. The bass outnumber the panfish 10-1 and there are no baitfish in these waters. Also there really isn't an abundance of vegetation either. I've caught 15 pound blue cats and 30 inch northern out here but only one bass over 5lbs. This is an 80 acre lake. Sorry to rant I'm just frustrated.

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I read a good article on lake management in the fishing articles forum at the top of the page about the need to harvest some of those fish. It stated that you need to remove 10 to 30 pounds of fish per acre per year. If you catch and release all you fish there will become to much compatition for the baitfish. Start keeping some of the bass, they make very good filets, have a fish fry. If you can take 1 buddy at a time with you you can have alot of fun and introduce more people to fishing. My brother has access to a quarry where the fishing is also great, and he has to invite whomever he want to fish with. We all respect the rules set down by the owner and enjoy the few time we can go. It is so good a spot that none of us wants to ruin a good thing. Just be selective as to who you take.And by all means the the land owner for the privlage.

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I’ve fished farm ponds in Georgia that resembled the cannibal jungle you described, and I doubt that lure selection will solve your problem. The best thing you can do is practice Catch-and-Keep. By the way, that 6-pounder may have been the Pond Matriarch, that’s a mighty Big bass for your latitude.

Roger

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You could look at this either way. I have had a couple of experience of which you have described. Rolo and Hiram have both provided some good helpful advice.

If it's true about the ratio of Blue Guill to bass (10:1) and There are other species of large Game fish like: Catfish, Northern; It's no wonder that there seems to be a lack of growth and forage. Especially, The Northerns aren't good in an unbalanced fish community.

The big thing to look for with these 2-2.5 pound fish is: The size of the head, in comparison, to their body. IF the head is thicker, than the thickest part of the fish's body, It shows theirs a lack of forage.

Being that it's a decent size lake, You could just be not in the right location or offering the correct presentation. It's hard to tell without having a history of the water, In which you are referring to or seeing the layout of the water.

I have fished waters where they had been recently stocked and some people just thrown some big ones in there and they have grown 3-4x times ahead of thee other bass members in there. So, It gives the appearance that the pond is worst of then what it is or better than what is actually is.

I have also fished bodies of water that have been overed Fished or have a high population of trash fish that compete for food.

Also, Have fished very old bodies of water that have had a good rep but the water is dieing off due to lack of forage, Oxygen, Fish kill, etc..

Here is some advice:

1. See if you can dig up some history of that paticular body of water. Try to find or seek out some older members who have worked the quarry or live in the surrounding community who have fished or know some who have. Information Like: Fish kill, restocking, draining and refilling etc are very helpful information in this regard.

2. Second, Post a picture of the water (without showing the surround standing area) To give an idea of what exactly there is for structure and cover overall of this body of water.

3. Keep a log of what you have fished and the results you have been getting, in accordance, to the time of the year phase.

4. Fish with big "Shiners". It'll not only have a better chance of enticing bigger members of the bass community but give you an idea of the activity amount of the other species of fish aswell.

5. Talk to the local owners and the Wildlife agency (DNR or whatever agency) about shocking the water for population assessment.

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You're in Northern Illinois? I thought you said you were near Nashville??

What's the story?

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Glenn, I'm a rambler! Haha. I'm somewhat involved in the country music scene in Nashville so I'm back and forth from month to month. I live in Illinois with my ma but when I have a show it writing to go to, I stay with my family down there too. I'll eventually be livin down there for good in the next 2 years.

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Alot of the quarries here in N.Il aren't managed properly. What you've found is a common reality. Small #'s of huge pike and cats and lots of 15" bass. The bass' main forage is going to be bass. Is the one you fish still a working quarry? If so, that would explain alot.

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No the quarry has been shut down for the last 10 years. Id love to take some time to manage it but they won't let me put a boat in so honestly all I use it for is lure testing at this point. Even though that doesn't really do me any good cuz the bass are so hungry they'll eat anything.

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