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Thread: Fish in neighborhood pond all stunted

  1. #1
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    Default Fish in neighborhood pond all stunted

    My neighborhood in central virginia has 2 decent sized ponds with populations of crappie, bluegill and bass. I've fished them off and on for 20 years and always catch small fish. I primarily catch crappie (because I'm fishing for them) and they are always 6 to 8 inches, thin and bleached out color. They get very little fishing pressure. The few bluegill and bass I catch are also small compared to other ponds I fish.

    One pond is about 2 acres and the other 1 acre. Max depth is 7 to 8 feet. They can get stained quick from rainwater runoff, but at other times somewhat clear during dry spells. They have a good spillway so water level stays pretty consistent.

    I fish other area ponds that are real honey holes and produce quality fish, but not these ponds. A neighbor stocked them once or twice, not sure the quantities or species but he fishes them too and says he's never seen any signs his stocking a few years back did any good.

    I rarely see any minnow type forage species. I assume these fish are eating the fry of each other species along with any insects and maybe some seasonal tadpoles. Should I be thinking about introducing any forage fish? I don't mind putting a little money into improving the fishery if i can create a little honey hole close to home.

  2. #2
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    It might help to cull as many fish as you can catch out of the ponds for a season or 2 then introduce some forage fish and it might help get it to a better balance with bigger fish.
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  3. #3
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    Channel cats would help, but try to only put in one sex, and not both.
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  4. #4
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    Heck, I'd keep and eat them but they are so dang small they aren't worth the effort. And oddly they don't appear to be over-populated because I don't catch them in any great numbers either.
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  5. #5
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    CrappiePappy is offline Super Moderator - 2013 Man Of The Year * Crappie.com Supporter
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    They should never have put Crappie in a pond that small ... even worse if they're White Crappie. I think biologists say nothing under 50 acres for Crappie, and Black Crappie at that.

    They're not getting big because there's not enough predator fish big enough to keep the numbers down, and not enough space for those that do survive getting eaten as fry.

    Personally, I wouldn't sink any $$ into baitfish for the ponds to try and fatten up the fish ... but, that's just me.
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  6. #6
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    I heard that if you take one of those 6 inch crappie and hook it up as live bait under a floater you can catch some whopper bass in a lake like those. Illegal if you're caught but effective. Just heard that somewhere.

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  7. #7
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    Catch some decent sized bass and put in there. Also donít throw anything but bass back.


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  8. #8
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    I had an acre stock pond, bream and bass. It was South La. and stayed the color of chocolate milk. Even the bass, some 8 pounds were very light color because of the murky water.


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  9. #9
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    I had a lake that was 75 acres we fished a lot. Private family farm in KY. We could fill up a 60qt cooler with no water every trip. The problem was they were all 6 to 8 inches. A University of TN biologist asked how many hundreds of people fished the lake. LoL I told him around 10. He said thousand. I said no people LoL. He told me to keep what i wanted and throw the rest on the bank. We started to do it and in a couple of years we got 9 to 10 in fish. We caught one around 4lb. Largest crappie I have ever seen. We put her back. We caught bass over 8lb frequently. We lost access to the lake after my cousins grandfather passed. His oldest son wouldn't allow anyone on the property anymore.

  10. #10
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    Everybody is different...I struggle with the 'throw them on the bank' approach. I used to do it somewhere that was full of annoying, 6" bass eating all my minnows. I will give that more thought though as I fish it more this year.
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