Got a question about dirty retention ponds - where did the fish go?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by catman529, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    OK, this scummy retention pond which is pretty much made up of mud and water has puzzled me.

    A couple years ago I caught my biggest bluegill there on a nightcrawler - 9.5 inches long and about half a pound. But the larger bream (6+ inches) are more scarce and I mostly catch a few dinks. I hooked my smallest bream there which only measured 2 inches!

    So would anybody have an idea as to what happened to the population? The pond is approximately 5 or 6 years old.

    One other thing - a couple years ago, back when there were more fish in the pond, I was fishing there when this random "swoosh" in the water erupted. It was only about 3 feet away from the shore but I couldn't see the fish. Maybe a carp?? I have had this desire to find out what big fish could live in that scum puddle.

    So, anybody who knows a lot about ponds - got any ideas? Thanks in advance and tight lines.

    Catman
     
  2. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    Here are some pics of the pond.
     

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  3. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    Sounds like the bluegill population has gotten out of kilter.

    Did you keep that 9.5" 'gill or throw it back?

    Someone else may have come by and killed it too.
    Are the small 'gills really numerous? It may be overpopulation. In that case you can help the population grow bigger by killing off some of the babies. Leaves more food for the rest to grow to a decent size.

    That big swoosh you saw could have been carp, but not likely. Bass or catfish would be more likely. The world record yellow bullhead came from a pond smaller than that last year (almost 6.5#). You might be really surprised at what can be in there. I have seen bass bigger than 5# come from places like that (up to 9.5#). If you catch another 2" 'gill, toss it in as bait and see what hits!
    Heck... That pond looks perfect for bass to me (I would concentrate my fishing on the other side of the pond from the first picture. Bass love those weeds).

    To really get a good idea we need a little more info.

    You already said it is 5 or 6 years old.
    What is the total size of the pond and it's approximate depth?
    What was it originally stocked with (if anything)?
    Have there been any floods that would allow fish from a nearby river or creek into it?
    Does anyone keep fish from the pond? If so, what kind and what size?

    Almost all of my fishing experience comes from ponds. Everything that can effect a large lakes fish population also affects a ponds, but it's a lot easier to see the effects.
     
  4. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    Excellent info.

    The pond was never stocked, but a nearby pond with two fountains was stocked with bass, catfish, grass carp, etc. Then there is an even smaller pond which I suspect people have dumped a few fish in (when they drained the pond there were fish and I caught a couple bream in it.) That smaller pond which has a fountain also has an overflow pump which pumps water directly into the scummy retention pond when it floods.

    As far as the fish boiling the surface, bass was my first guess. But it was the only sign of a larger fish I saw. I have used nightcrawlers, homemade dough and bread and caught bream with all 3 baits. Also the water snails work. But no bass, cats or carp. I guess I will have to set up a few limb lines, since the opposite side which you reccommended has too many trees.

    I don't know much about the depth but it can't be more than a few feet. But I may be wrong. There are no weeds that I know of, except when the pond gets its occasional algae bloom. There are more trees to one side and it is rectangular. It seems like a few years ago there were cattails but now only a couple rotted stems are left over. Don't know what happened to them. Here I attached a satellite pic of the pond.

    Any more ideas of what larger fish are in there? Could you give me a couple tips for catching whatever it is? I haven't had any luck but I may just leave a line in there for half an hour or so and see if anything picks it up.

    Thanks in advance and tight lines.
     

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  5. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    if there are no bass or catfish in it then I would definately say the bluegill are way overpopulated since they don't have any predators. some big bass should then that bluegill population out and allow some to grow bigger.
     
  6. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    With this info, it's anyones guess what kind of fish it was. If it was by itself (not probable, but possible) it may have been a larger fish someone released into the pond.

    It's definately big enough to have some cats and bass in it (bigger than I first thought too). Believe it or not, it's pretty likely that there are some. Nature has ways of stocking ponds. Those trees you mentioned would be the place to try for bass (and from looking at the pics, it may be a little deeper there too). Try using some of those bluegill for bait and you'll probably find out what kind of larger fish are in there. If bluegill doesn't work, dry some stink bait just in case it's a cat that don't like bluegill (don't laugh, I have seen them hit stink bait over live 'gills or shad). If all else fails, call it a carp. I don't know of a carp bait that the 'gills would leave alone.
    Another option would be to try some spinnerbaits for the bass, but I like using 'gills, especially in this case, because you never know what kind of bigger fish will take it.

    The only thing that comes to mind to fix the bluegill problem would be to kill off some of the small 'gills in there. Take some out (a couple dozen at least) and use them for cat bait elsewhere. Do this two or three times and the population will start to repair itself. It'll take a few years, but you'll have your big 'gills in there again.

    Another option would be to introduce a few bass or channels in there. One mating pair should work. They'll start to feed on the 'gills and naturally settle the population problem.
     
  7. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    Again some excellent info. Thanks a lot.

    Next time I am out there I will have night crawlers and I will use the bream I catch for bait.

    Also, I still do catch some more average-sized bream in there (about 6 inches.) It seems like even the tiny fish population has decreased. But after about an hour I could probably catch about 5-10 bream. Thanks for all the help and I will post here when I get results.

    Tight lines