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Author Archives: Walt Foreman

Multiple 2-pounders in One Day

On August 7, we had the pleasure of guiding four bluegill nuts from Kentucky.  They caught several bluegill that weighed 24 ounces, including this northern male: We had scale malfunctions at different junctures (two different scales no less!), so not all of the big ‘uns got weighed – this one likely pushed two pounds: The Read more…

Guide Party from Michigan

On July 17 and 19th, we guided two bluegillers from Michigan. All they did on the 17th was catch two 24-ounce bluegill, one a northern female and one a 12″ coppernose female: Then on the 19th, they caught a 27-ounce hand-painted bluegill from a different pond:

F1s: Beware Armchair Quarterbacks and Dishonest Hatcheries

There’s a website online that presents itself as an authority on pond management. Most of the moderators have never worked on any pond other than the one in their backyard, i.e. are hobbyists, but they don’t mention this. The owner is a pond management professional but rarely posts. One of their moderators recently discounted a Read more…

A Great Bluegill Pond Getting Better

A little over a month ago we took a guide party to our best trophy-bluegill pond. The biggest bluegill always bite best in the hot months, June through August, and this year in particular we had a cold spring, so it was a little early for them. Our party caught six bluegill 1.4 pounds or Read more…

Smallmouth Genetics

We’re big into genetics.  Some biologists will tell you that water quality, food web, etc. are more important than genetics; in our experience, nothing trumps genetics.  Here’s an easy way to think about how important genetics are: a poorly-fed Great Dane is still going to end up several times bigger than a well-fed Dachsund.  Likewise, Read more…

A Couple Hand-painted Bluegill We Seined Today

So we seined one of our hatchery ponds today for hand-painted bluegill.  These days when people ask me which subspecies of bluegill they should stock if their goal is trophy bluegill, I tell them hand-painted.  Here’s why: We didn’t weigh the top fish, but the bottom one weighed 2.1 pounds.  It came from a roughly Read more…

An Average Day on a World-class Pond

I and our new assistant fisheries biologist Greta fished our best trophy-bluegill pond for approximately four hours on July 27. In that time, a three-pound, a four-pound, a four-and-a-half-pound, and a five-pound largemouth were caught, along with a 1.6-pound bluegill. Here are the two largest fish (Greta caught both): This is from a 1.1-acre pond Read more…

The Most Important Consideration When Hiring a Pond Builder

There are several important factors that should be considered when one is hiring an excavation contractor to build a pond. Experience building ponds, the right equipment for compaction, and experience with permitting for ponds are all vitally important; however, all of these pale in comparison to what should be your first two questions for any Read more…

Mystery Solved, Or: Three in Five Months

Up until a few days ago, whenever a new customer asked me which got bigger, coppernose or hand-painted bluegill, I would give them a complicated answer. We’re going to do a study at some point, I would say (we’re hoping to get this done within the next year) and will have hard data; as of Read more…

Fish Pricing for Pond Stocking

There are many purchases for which it simply makes sense to let cost be the deciding factor. Most folks, for example, when exiting the interstate to fuel up their vehicles, will stop at the gas station that has the cheapest fuel, all other things being equal, because they know that generally there won’t be a Read more…

Big Hand-Painted Bluegill

We seined one of our production ponds today to fill a large order going to northern Kentucky.  The hatchery record for hand-paints as of yesterday was 1.8 lbs.; this guy weighed 1.9 lbs.:

Choosing a Lake Management Company in Tennessee: Do They Know Our Waters?

We make a big deal about being the only full-service lake and pond management company working in this state that is owned by a Tennessee native. We have frequently mentioned in other posts the fact that most of our competitors routinely send out biologists just a year or two removed from college to evaluate the Read more…

Grass carp and Their Impact on Bluegill or, How to Have Smaller Bass

Imagine that you were shopping for a new car, and a car dealer told you that he had the perfect car for you: this car has a twelve-year limited warranty, it’s more comfortable and nicer to look at than any car you have ever seen, and you can buy it for $2,000 less than any Read more…

Smallmouth Bass in Alabama Ponds

Many pond owners are under the impression that smallmouth won’t survive in ponds, or at a minimum, won’t thrive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Smallmouth are indeed found all the way to Canada, and some of the best smallmouth lakes anywhere are up north; but the world record came from right here in Read more…

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…