Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rodger's Smallmouth Pond

I met with Rodger Tuesday, and it was windy, cold, and rainy. He has a 5 acre pond stocked with Smallmouth Bass, Hybrid Bluegill, Bluegill, and Redear Sunfish. The smallmouth bass have been growing up to about 3 lbs which is very typical for ponds around central Illinois, but we have a plan set up to help turn those smallies into plumb footballs.

Smallmouth wont typically grow much larger than 3 lbs on a diet of bluegills, because their mouths do not allow them to eat big enough bluegills to grow any bigger. They can hunt down and eat fathead minnows, and 3 inch bluegills all day long, but will not be able to gain weight unless they eat bigger meals and dont have to excercise as much. If you had to run a mile every time you wanted to eat a small meal, you wouldnt gain much weight either.

Also I think the smallmouths in his pond are reproducing too fast and they are all competing for what limited food is available. Our plan is to tag and relocate all of the skinny smallmouths regardless of their lengths to make room and more available food for the big mommas! We are also going to be adding more appropriately sized forage for the smallies to eat. Golden Shiners and Yellow Perch are longer and more slender than bluegills, and are much easier for them to eat! We have some Jumbo Perch Broodstock coming in just a couple weeks!

Here is a pic of an average male smallie from the pond. It is a very nice fish, but could be much fatter!

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