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Monthly Archives: October 2019

Hand-Painted Bluegill

Hand-painted bluegill are a subspecies of bluegill found in the wild only in the Apalachicola River drainage in the Florida panhandle. They are known for their vivid coloration. Like the coppernose bluegill, they grow faster and reach larger sizes than northern-strain bluegill. They have better cold tolerance than coppernose and grow at a comparable rate.  Read more…

Coppernose Bluegill

Coppernose bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus purpurescens) are a subspecies of bluegill native to Florida and the Atlantic coast up through North Carolina. In southern climates such as ours they grow faster and reach larger sizes than northern-strain bluegill. We just recently introduced the Lake Jackson fish to our brood stock, and are very excited about them: Lake Jackson Read more…

Florida Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a member of the sunfish family and is hands-down the most popular gamefish in the U.S. Largemouth are a voracious predator and will consume anything they can fit into their mouths, ranging from fish to frogs to small birds and mammals. They spawn once a year in the spring when the water Read more…

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass (micropterus dolomieu) are, like largemouth a member of the sunfish family. Many anglers consider them the hardest-fighting of all freshwater fish. There are several hatcheries that raise smallmouth in ponds for the purpose of stocking in private ponds, and these fish can be grown to six pounds or more under ideal conditions. Smallmouth do not Read more…

Redear Sunfish

Redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) are a cousin to the bluegill and are commonly stocked in recreational ponds because they eat pond snails that other species do not. Pond snails are intermediate hosts for common fish parasites, so redear are stocked to limit the snails’ numbers so as to lessen problems with parasites on your gamefish. Our brood Read more…

Mississippi Grass Shrimp

Mississippi grass shrimp (paleomonetes kadiakensis) are a freshwater crustacean found from northeastern Mexico to the Great Lakes. They seldom exceed 1.5″ in size and are a preferred food of bluegill and redear. Their diet includes plankton, detritus, and other invertebrates and they strongly prefer aquatic vegetation as habitat. When stocked into ponds managed for trophy bluegill, they Read more…

Fathead Minnows

Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) are stocked into a new pond to establish a more complete food chain, which in turn results in faster growth for the bluegill and bass. They reduce bass predation pressure on bluegill in a new pond, allowing the bluegill to build up better numbers which in turn sustain better long-term bass growth. Fatheads Read more…

Golden Shiners

Golden shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucas) are another soft-rayed, fusiform prey species that is commonly stocked in trophy largemouth ponds. They fill an important niche in that they grow to large enough sizes, up to 12”, that they provide ideal-sized prey for larger bass, but not large enough that they cause biomass issues like those caused by gizzard shad, Read more…

Tiger Muskellunge

Tiger muskellunge (Esox masquinongy x Esox lucius) are a cross between pure-strain muskellunge and northern pike. They are sterile and cannot reproduce. They are an apex predator and quickly grow to sizes at which they not only can effectively prey on gizzard shad larger than all but the largest largemouth can eat, but also largemouth bigger than Read more…

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) are highly prized as a food fish, and are also valued by many anglers for the sport they provide. They grow rapidly when fed a high-protein, fishmeal-based food, often reaching three pounds within a year of stocking. They are very prone to becoming hook-shy, meaning they learn to avoid angler presentations including live Read more…

Black Crappie

Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) are a popular sportfish among anglers. They can be stocked in ponds under very specific conditions, but are not recommended for bass-bluegill ponds due to their tendency to overpopulate. They spawn in early spring when the water temperature reaches 62 degrees, which allows the resultant young-of-year to reach a size at which they Read more…

Threadfin Shad

Threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense) have been referred to as “bass candy” because of the largemouth’s strong preference for them as a prey fish. Shad are filter feeders, roaming open water to feed on plankton. For this reason they seldom do well in unfertilized ponds. They are very high in protein and are a soft-rayed fish, meaning they Read more…

Crayfish

Crayfish (astacoidea) are a favorite food of both largemouth and smallmouth bass and can aid in growing bass to trophy size. They should be stocked at a rate of forty pounds per acre for establishment in ponds with existing bass populations; an ideal strategy is to stock them simultaneously with other supplemental forage species such as golden Read more…

Pond Stocking Tennessee: The Difference Real Expertise Makes, Part II

We recently made a blog post about a two-acre pond in middle Tennessee that is on track to eventually break the Tennessee state record for bluegill. Some people might think that pond is a fluke, that perhaps we just got lucky. There is of course another pond we have posted about, one which we didn’t Read more…

Pond Stocking Tennessee: The Difference that Real Expertise Makes

We post a lot of photos of big fish on our blog, for the express purpose of demonstrating that our claim to be the best at growing trophy fish in private ponds is more than just a claim. This post won’t feature any photos of giant fish, but rather just a handful of six- to Read more…