Several factors contribute to the size of the fish in your bass pond. The size of your pond, the number of bass in your pond, the amount and type of food available, the number of hiding places available, the amount of time available for your bass to grow and genetics all play a role in determining the size of the bass you are able to raise.
Things You'll Need
- Bass pond
- Feeder fish (blue gill, trout, fathead minnows)
- Water testing kit
- Lime (if needed)
Start with a proper-sized pond. Bass ponds less than an acre are more difficult to maintain and will limit your yield of large bass. For an existing pond remove as many carp and green sunfish as possible to reduce competition and allow your bass to grow larger and more quickly. The pond should be no less than 4 feet deep and no deeper than 12 to 14 feet. Shallow areas covered with pea-sized gravel can act as spawning areas.
Test the pond's water for acidity. Water may be tested using inexpensive test kits or by sending it to a lab. Water that is too high in acid will not produce sufficient microscopic food supplies for smaller fish. If this is the case you will need to add crushed lime to your pond in the amount of 1 ton per acre of pond surface area.
Do not stock more than 50 bass per acre. If stocking fingerlings do not stock feeder fish immediately. Fingerlings will feed on microscopic algae and small insects. Once bass reach 4 to 5 inches in length begin stocking fathead minnows (5 pounds per acre) and then small blue gill or trout (8 pounds per acre). Do not thin the bass population for the first two years.
Thin your bass population in the third year. During the third year take up to 35 pounds of 12 inch or smaller bass from the pond. Release any larger than 12 inches. Make sure that the blue gill or trout are spawning enough to feed your growing bass population. Additional 4 to 5 inch blue gill or trout may be added to the pond (8 pounds per acre) as an additional food supply for the now-growing bass.
Thin your bass population by removing 10 pounds of bass up to 16 inches and an additional 20 pounds of bass up to 12 inches in length starting in the fourth year. This will insure a small but steady supply of 20 inch or larger bass beginning in your 5th year.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not allow carp or green sunfish to share your pond with your bass. If your pond is in a position where it can be contaminated with carp or sunfish following heavy rains, make every effort to remove these fish as soon as possible.
- Watch the acidity of your pond. If your pond becomes too acidic add crush lime. Do not allow large water plants to take over your pond; remove when necessary.
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