Big Bass in Small Ponds - By Bob Lusk

 A common question asked of pond management professionals revolves around fish populations in small ponds. Most schools of biological thought profess simple stocking of channel catfish with fathead minnows, maybe a few hybrid sunfish in small fishing ponds. After all, it's explained, small fishing pond waters won't grow many bass. 

While this is 1, don't discount bass from a small pond fishery. As long as you know the rules, you can play. Fish stocking doesn’t have to be complicated. Bass will grow in small fishing ponds, but small fishing ponds grow small quantities. A half-acre pond, for example, probably won't grow more than 25 pounds of largemouth bass without a nudge from a fish feeder that’s tossing out Purina’s AquaMax pellets or some other high protein smorgasbord. Since bass are top line predators, focus on forage fish production, if you want bass. Feed the bluegill; diversify the food chain with tilapia and/or threadfin shad in fertile pond water. Bass will thank you. And, from time to time, supplement with crawfish or minnows. It won't be much more than a snack for hungry bass, but you will get a kick while watching bass annihilate your offering.

From time to time, weigh and measure a few bass from your pond. After all, you can completely change a fish population in short order in small fishing ponds, if you need. If bass decline in quality, remove a few, or stock adult bluegill to your fishing pond.

Read your pond, it will tell you the story.

POND BOSS Magazine is the world’s leading resource for fish, pond and fisheries management information including discussions on muddy water, raising trophy fish, fish feeding, building a pond, algae control and more. Check us out at or contact Bob Lusk, the Pond Boss himself, at 903-564-5372. His books, Basic Pond Management, Raising Trophy Bass and Perfect Pond, Want One, may be purchased by calling 800-687-6075 or ordering online at


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