Trophy Pond specializes in pond and fish stocking for private ponds and lakes in a wide region including Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Please call 931-374-0536 for current pricing and availability.
Why Should You Have Us Stock Your Pond?
There are lots of hatcheries in the South that sell fish. There are several that do fish trucks on a weekly basis every spring and fall, at hundreds of farm stores across the southeast. There are also several companies that deliver fish to landowners and will stock them into the pond for you.
So what’s the difference between fish stocking with us and them? Our chief biologist Walt Foreman has been stocking and managing private ponds since 1987, longer than any other private biologist working in this region, and that experience translates to bigger fish in your pond. If you buy your fish from us, you can call us anytime with questions and we’ll always take the time to be there for you. The fish trucks don’t even offer management services, and none of our competitors that deliver fish have our breadth of experience, and therefore make mistakes that we don’t.
Those few minutes when your new or renovated pond is being stocked for the first time are the most crucial few minutes in the history of your pond: they can make or break your fishery. Something as simple as stocking the wrong species for your goals, such as channel catfish if your goal is trophy largemouth or trophy bluegill, or a species that isn’t recommended for ponds such as black crappie, can set your pond on a trajectory that can’t be changed short of rotenoning the pond and starting over. Even the simple mistake of stocking the wrong numbers of the right species can put your pond out of balance for your goals.
Beware companies that offer fish stocking packages. These are more about making money for the hatchery than they are the health of your pond. No two ponds are alike, just as no two pond owners are; any company that is worth buying your fish from should take the time to ask you about your goals for the pond, while also asking you about the pond itself: its size, depth, and water quality, along with how intensively or casually it will be managed. The same fish numbers can be good and disastrous in two different ponds of the same size if one of them is managed and one is not. Most every state that has any literature about fish stocking, if said literature mentions hybrid bluegill, notes specifically that hybrid bluegill should never be stocked with pure bluegill because doing so will cause genetic issues; TWRA’s pond booklet, for example, has this caution. And yet one hatchery that advertises extensively in this state includes both northern and hybrid bluegill in all of its stocking packages. Because packages are about their profit and not your quality of fishing.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a fish stocking company to stock your pond is where the fish are originating. We raise some of the fish we stock for our customers; we also get some of our fish from other fish farms. All of the largemouth bass and bluegill we stock come from fish farms in southern climates; all of the largemouth and bluegill that we raise on our farm are subspecies native to Florida. This is important because these fish will grow much faster and get much larger than northern largemouth and northern bluegill. The Tennessee state record largemouth came from a lake that TWRA has been stocking with pure Florida largemouth since 2001, Lake Chickamauga. We recently made a blog post about a coppernose bluegill that was caught in August from a pond we stocked as a new pond in March 2016; that bluegill was not weighed but may have been a new state record – at four years old.
Trophy Pond is the only fish stocking hatchery in the world that sells hand-painted bluegill. We have traveled to the Apalachicola River in the Florida panhandle several times to capture brood stock of these beautiful fish. Like coppernose bluegill, these fish grow faster and get larger in warm climates than northern bluegill, and they make even coppernose look tame when it comes to their coloration. We typically sell out of these fish every season, so call us early in the fall or the spring if you want some for your pond or lake.
We also raise our own strain of coppernose, from brood stock we caught ourselves from the St. Johns River in central Florida, and Lake Jackson in the Florida panhandle. We just recently introduced the Lake Jackson fish to our brood stock, and are very excited about them: Lake Jackson is known for producing some of the largest bluegill of any public lake in the country, as two-pound bluegill are regularly caught from the lake, a rarity these days on public water.
We are the only hatchery in Tennessee that raises pure Florida largemouth. Our brood stock came from two hatcheries in Texas that selectively breed their Floridas for aggressiveness. We should have our first crop of fingerlings sometime in late May or early June 2020.
We also raise fathead minnows, redear sunfish, and freshwater grass shrimp for your fish stocking needs. We will be adding more species to our farm in the next year. Species that we do not raise ourselves but can get for you include smallmouth bass, tiger and pure muskie, channel catfish, and black crappie.