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I have about a 7 acre farm pond at the farm that is perfect for bass. You used to be able to catch a bass every other cat but now I usually only catch one or two Bass the whole weekend. The thing is they are huge! The ones I do Catch are either really small or biggg. I think the big ones are eating te small ones. Ive been keeping the big ones so the small ones can grow. Is this the right thing to do? Thanks a lot Dylan
 

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The big ones will definitely eat the small ones.Fishing a private lake.
a couple of days ago had a 10" or so bass on bringing him to the boat.
a 6 or 7 lber tried to eat it right at the boat. If you have a good perch population
they will tend to eat the perch. Keeping all the large ones will hurt your spawn.
May need to add some brush so the little guys have a place to hide.
 

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When I was younger I fished stock ponds a lot in east Texas. The guy that owned them told me to keep all the bass and catfish I caught over 3 lbs. He said anything bigger would eat all the breeding blue gills. Keep in mind most these ponds were about two acres or so. He also told me when he drained one of those ponds that was about an acre there was one fish in it, it was a 6lb bass and it looked sick, maybe a freak thing but it was info I remembered. TPWL has a stocking program that would probably be happy to talk shop.
 

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I forgot to mention I believe a bass will eat anything that won't eat it first. There's a story I believe in field and stream from California where the super bass grow that one was caught but under debate about the wieght because it ate a 2-3 lb boat anchor or wieght of some kind. There's also that nature movie about 10 years ago that starts off showing eating a small swimming duck. So I don't see how they breed unless they're pretty close in size, like the black widow thing.
 

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Redfish you need to add bluegill and perch to the tank. In order to make it a big bass pond you will need to keep smaller fish. Little guys and gals eat a lot to grow and from how I understand it they actually eat more than larger ones. Like kids I guess, a bottomless pit for food. Your catch quantity will go down but their size quality will go up. If you just want to catch a bunch of fish start weeding out some of the larger fish.

The main thing is to add in the feeder fish though. Crappie would make a good addition as well if it stays deep enough with enough structure for them.

If you need some helping getting some fish out just shoot me a pm. My wife and young son love to eat bass for dinner, had some tuesday :)
 

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Yes, bass eat bass. In fact, bass eat any fish they can get in their mouths...which in some cases means large fish.

I've managed ponds for many years and seen the symptoms you described many times. There are several common causes the most likely ones being either 1) insufficient forage and 2) conditioning the fish to artificials.

It takes 10 pounds of forage to add one pound of weight to a bass. That's a lot of forage. We can usually determine what is going on in your pond by examining the bluegill population. Do you have numerous bluegill distributed all across the size profile? Or, do you have very few small bluegill and a few really huge bluegill? Or some other situation?

You can add bluegill to increase your forage , but unless they are relatively large, you are just wasting your money...they will be immediately consumed by the bass. So, whats the answer to increasing your forage?

A couple of options...1) reduce the bass population 2) stock Tilapia in the spring and 3) add 7-8 inch bluegill this winter.

Take out every bass under 14 inches...15 inches if you wish. If you can't eat them, throw them on the bank....something will eat them.

Tilapia not only provide tremendous forage (higher protein than bluegills, perfect shape) but most importantly they will take the predation pressure off your bluegill allowing them to re-populate in good numbers.

Finding a source for large bluegill to stock is difficult...but believe me if you stock the 3 inch size, they will be eaten before the next day.

No offense to the crappie recommendation above, but crappie are a real **** shoot in a pond. Most times, probably 90% of the time, they overpopulate and stunt and cause all kinds of problems which are VERY difficult to recover from. Most biologists now don't recommend crappie in anything less than 15 to 20 acres of water. My recommendation is do not stock crappie...try one or all of the suggestions above and I think you will be very happy with the results.

p.s. Also, try this to determine the condition of your fish. Catch bass, measure length and weight, and record this data. Then determine the "relative weight" a national standard . See the link at http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1193/ANR-1193.pdf
for more detail on how to do it and what the results mean. Post your data here and we can discuss further.
 

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ML

I figured the crappie would populate well and give him an easy species to catch large quanties for fun and food. But you know tons more about it than I do so I would listen to you over myself any day on this subject.
 

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Meadowlark knows the pond business for sure. Listen to him.
One other solution is the nuclear option. In every small ponds life there comes a time when it is simpler to hit reset. Kill it out and start over.
Not always possible due to the pond being used for other purposes but it is one way to get it back in balance and create a great fishing hole. I did three nice ponds like that in OK in the 90's. Fretted over it for a year, Finally did it and never regetted the move.
 
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