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Thread: Crappie v/s bluegill in a farm pond?

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  1. #1
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    Default Crappie v/s bluegill in a farm pond?

    I have fished farm ponds that are either overrun with crappie or bluegill.
    They both seem to be stunted to some extent when either of the two species predominate the pond population of fishes.

    My question is, if you were stocking a 2 to 3 acre pond with either bluegills or crappies and largemouth bass, which
    sunfish would you stock (that is if the crappie is indeed a sunfish)?

    My inclination and desire is to go with only bluegill and largemouth bass.

    Just looking for thoughts and suggestions. I would prefer to catch a 1 pound bluegill any day v/s a crappie!
    I have fished several ponds and caught crappie one after the other that looked like clones of the first one I caught...little fellers!
    Likewise, I have fished ponds where almost all the bluegills were little guys. The occasional larger (not bragging size) one.
    When you can arrange your affairs to go fishing, forget all the signs, homilies, advice and folklore. JUST GO.

  2. #2

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    Both Bluegills and Crappies are in the sunfish family, as are Largemouth Bass.
    I guess its really a matter of personal preference. Rick Z here is the primary "fish manager" of a good number of farm ponds in his area. In case I'm incorrect in any of the following (or preceding) statements, I hope Rick will chime in to correct me.
    I believe Rick has ponds that have large bluegills AND large crappies, along with the bass. The key seems to be actively regulated harvest...as the harvesting helps ensure there is plenty of natural food available for the remaining fish, which then display excellent growth rates and large average/maximum size.
    David Merical
    Ankeny, Iowa

  3. #3
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    I've read a lot of accounts that all say, "never stock Crappie in a pond. They will take over". I've had an ODWC biologist say the same thing.

    You need some good predators to take out Crappie when they're over-populated. My "home lake" is full of stunted Crappie. 4 - 5 y.o. fish that are about 6" long. By the thousands. LMB's will eat the fry, as will Hybrid Striped Bass (stocked in the lake, but to many go over the spillway), Flathead Catfish, and Saugeyes. We're trying to get ODWC to stock some Saugeyes in that lake, but they are waiting on a long-term project to be completed. Flatheads, unfortunately, while voracious, are actively targeted by fishermen, and they rarely do catch-and-release on those monsters.

    The best predators for over-stocked, stunted, Crappie are people! Just do the cut-and-gut routine, then cook the bodies whole. I just wish my wife would eat them. She will only eat fish fillets, and I'm not filleting fish that small. I've heard the small fish also make great fertilizer for a garden.

  4. #4
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    Hi All,

    I've heard similar comments, no crappies in anything but huge ponds or lakes. However, I too am looking forward to Rick chiming in on the keys to good pond management.

    Thanks and regards,

    Gandolf

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the comments so far...appreciated.

    I'm of the school "never stock crappie in a small pond, they will take over".
    Just from the fishing experiences I have had in this regard.
    It is no fun catching crappie after crappie that run about 8 to 10 inches.

    It would also seem that the largemouth are stunted to some small length when this is the case?
    When you can arrange your affairs to go fishing, forget all the signs, homilies, advice and folklore. JUST GO.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2004
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    Nunica Mi U S A
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    No one is making more water. Use what we have wisely.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyg View Post
    Thanks for the comments so far...appreciated.

    I'm of the school "never stock crappie in a small pond, they will take over".
    Just from the fishing experiences I have had in this regard.
    It is no fun catching crappie after crappie that run about 8 to 10 inches.

    It would also seem that the largemouth are stunted to some small length when this is the case?

    Stocking crappie in a farm pond is risky business. They are terrible about raiding bass spawns and overstock easily. I would not hesitate stocking bluegill or redear. Even though bluegill will also do their fair share of raiding bass nests, they seem to be much more compatible with bass.

  8. #8
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    Hot seasoned skillet with a lot of un-salted better over a camp fire. There isn't a better way to eat fish.
    There are three ways to complete a project. The right way, the wrong way or the Boss' way. You'd best learn the Boss' way.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyg View Post
    ... if you were stocking a 2 to 3 acre pond with either bluegills or crappies and largemouth bass, which
    sunfish would you stock (that is if the crappie is indeed a sunfish)?
    Way too small for crappie, IMO. Stick with bass and bream.

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