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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    North Carolina
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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
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Sapulpa, OK
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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
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Borger, Texas
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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
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    North Carolina
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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
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Nunica Mi U S A
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    2,131

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    No one is making more water. Use what we have wisely.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Conyers, Georgia USA
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    It is my understanding that Crappie also are somewhat limited in the prey that they can eat because their mouth isn't wide enough to easily swallow a 3-4 inch sunfish. Therefore, they need to be limited to large bodies of water where shiners thrive and act as a food supply for the crappie. Otherwise, the crappie end up targeting small bass that are long and thin enough to fit into their mouths. I live on a beautiful 50 acre lake where well intentioned people have release crappie but there numbers are not too bad. That said this evening I was fishing and my neighbor down the lake informed me that they just stocked the lake with black crappie and Georgia Giant hybrid bream. The person in charge of "managing" the lake is not a fisherman and has no fisheries biology background so I'm guessing he just went on someone's opinion; perhaps the guy selling him the fish. I'm very unhappy about the crappie and I have mixed feelings about the hybrid bream. This lake is already a terrific bream fishery where I can catch 11-13 inch bream on any given spring or summer evening. Looks like I'll have to start targeting crappie and thin them out as fast as I can. Jim Smith

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    NE Gwinnett Co., GA
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    James, There is a private lake, probably 25 acres or so, back in north MS the owner allowed most of us who asked to fish the lake and several friend left boats on the bank for convenience. The crappie in the lake were stunted, several friends began a campaign removing every crappie they caught. Over a couple of years they had improved the "herd" to where the primary catch was good sized fish. The lake still held good bream and monster bass. That was probably where I caught my first fish on a flyrod.

    If I were stocking a lake, first I would talk to my county agent and find out what worked best for the area. I would want to know about coppernose bluegill and F-1 bass. This is a Coppernose Bluegill, the guy holding it sell fish to stock ponds. If you can make the total photo 15" wide it will be about life size.
    Coppernose Bream 23 oz001.jpg
    It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain

  9. #9

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    Gills and bass is the route I would go.
    The Green Hornet strikes again!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Broussard, Louisiana
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    618

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    Crappie compete with bass and will overpopulate.
    Bass and bluegill are the way to go.
    "So many people are out there doing things they call environmentalism, but only because it's politically correct or has a lot of cache."

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