Hey Tom, Just checking out that Brutal Group of Northerns you got on your pics page--My God!! What did you do to get those--hit'em over the head with your tackle box --and a shovel!!!! (LOL!!!!) Those are awesome fish, Bro!!! I've been like you this Summer--BUSY!!!! We were 2 people down at where I work when I took the job almost 2 years ago and now for the last 4 weeks or so we've had 2-3 coworkers out every day due to Summer Vacations, etc. and it's been BRUTAL as I must help do their jobs too!!!! Many evenings, I get home and just too tired to go fishing...or too lazy, can't figure out which one...Weekends, the wife wants to go out and do things, you know the usual, so we go out and do them but I just need to suck it up and get out there and go get the BIG ONE!!! Still waiting on the house in Virginia to sell--Market continues to be down in that particular area at present.. I keep hoping and dreaming and when the time comes (and thankfully the wife is on board on this too) we're going to jump on it and purchase that dream piece of property with the dream pond or put in our own dream ponds, just like you suggested!!!! Can't wait!!! I don't believe I'll be able to make it to the forum next month if we're still down at work because of the manpower shortage at my job!!! Keep me posted though cause I'm still very interested and would love to go if I can get away!!! Take care and talk at me when you get the chance!!!
Hey Tom, Haven't started on the Ponds yet as we have 2 houses that we are trying to get ready for the Market--one's been on the market for several months down in VA but is not moving even though we've lowered the askin price considerably and the other one we're trying to get ready to get on the market for the future!!! We will have to sell at least one of them to have the immediate finances to purchase a nice piece of land to put the ponds on (just like you recommended--several small nursery ponds and a large central main pond)...It won't be that long in the future, it's just the housing market down in SW Virginia sucks right now and the house (which belonged to my parents is in a dead economic housing zone, although a beautiful location!! Like many small towns, businesses closing and moving away taking away people and jobs....You know the old familiar tune :-(
Tight lines and I'll keep you posted on everything up here in NY!!!
Hey Tom, How's your Summer goin!!?? I've been very busy working most everyday except for a week at Lake Champlain around the end of June!! Wife and I had fun--we both caught a couple trophy Lake Trout and the wife caught a RockBass 1 lbs 10 oz (it was 5 ozs shy of the NY state record :-( Definitely check 'em out on my Gallery!!! Hope all your ponds and fish (and of course your whole family :-) are doin good and having a great Summer!!! Take care and keep me posted on what you're up to!!!!
Hey Tom, that sounds great as I'll definitely mark my calendar and try to make it!!! I've always heard alot of great things about Branson but in my many travels have not made it there...Thanks for the info and will plan ahead for this one!!!
Hey Tom, would love to grab a bite with you guys!!! When's the Conference and where's the location?! Definitely sounds like some good fun!! I'll give you a buzz in the future and we can talk fishing and/or anything else!! Pond Boss is a terrific forum--tons of great practical info--Awesome website!!! Tight lines!!
Hi Tom, that is a large Chain Pickerel (you're absolutely right--4-5 lbs is considered trophy size). That one was caught just before Winter ice in upstate NY in early November 2008. They are mainly "East Coast" fish I guess and they were prolific where I used to live down in Virginia as well as NY but I don't know why they would'nt thrive where you live as well. They love shallow (or deep) weedy areas in most ponds or lakes.
Hi Tom, I thinks that's great advice to only have relatively few female largemouth (would you place them in as babies or as larger juvenile fish?) in order not to outcompete the Smallmouth. Also maybe would do the same for the Chain Pickerel as they are voracious predators like the Largemouth (think about a mini musky in a small pond--very soon no more small baitfish left). However, if not a breeding population of Pickerel (much like your largemouth) just a few female or male but not both; then you have a shot at breeding a new state record (would have to check to see if female or male pickerel get larger) and not run the risk of them depleting your pond as you would with a breeding population. Due to all the major predator species present (breeding pop. of small to medium Smallmouth, few adult female Largemouth, few adult male or female--not both, Pickerel) you're going to naturally select for the largest Sunfish/Crappie in the system. This is very similar to the ponds I used to fish in Virginia--only exception is the major breeding population was small to medium largemouth as the predator species. This allowed for a major population of very large sunfish/crappie mix and due to the prolific reproduction of the sunfish and the voracious appetite of the largemouth the pond always had plentiful forage for all the different major species. What do you think?
Thanks for the welcome. My ponds are old and in need of restoration that I'll never be able to afford. The winterkill in my lower pond is a combination of everspreading dollar pads, siltation, low flow last 6 months and a huge amount of woodland organics that were washed in, in last June's floods(10 inch rain event-lucky levies held) and the normal yearly deposits of a woodland setting. You might say that I'm an observer rather than a manager. Looks like you are an accomplished multi specie guy. I fish for them all myself. The last few years I have pursued hybrid striped bass the most. To round out my top 5 in no particular order-----steelhead--smallmouth--muskie and anything that is hitting.
Thanks Tom for the great advice as I will definitely take you up on it!! I will definitely contact Bruce when I'm finally able to put the wheels in motion for establishing my own ponds (it won't be that far away, but the economy has set me back a bit financially as it has most everyone)!! I really like your ideas for the separate species ponds with superior water quality...I'd love to have a main pond with lots of small to medium size Largemouth, Smallmouth, Chain Pickerel as major predator species which would select for giant sunfish such as Crappie, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, and Redear. Would then have several 0.1 acre ponds for breeding trophy quality crappie, bluegill, redear and Pumpkinseeds!! Thanks again for the inspiration!!
The 2 redear measured 12.5 and 12.4 and weighed 1lb. 13 and 1lb. 11oz. First time I had ever caught a SC and had fished this water for crappie for 30 yrs. I am definitley hooked on these and Big Bluegill.
Hi Tom (sorry for not getting back to you sooner), thanks for the inspiration!!! I think that would be a great idea to do several small ponds with maybe one large central pond (small ponds for selective breeding of trophy size bluegill with good genetic potential, large pond with lots of small to mid size predator fish to help with the selection process and prevent stunting of small gills or crappie which may overpopulate. Does this sound like the right way to go...I'm not an expert on this stuff by any means?
Hi Tom, I can't wait as this has been my dream since a young kid!!! My father passed in September 2008 (am an only child) so my elderly mother has been living with my wife and I. This has caused me to put my dreams on hold for now until we can take care of their estate (get 2 houses on the market, estate sale, etc., etc.) but once this is finished I will continue to follow my dream of having my own pond (2-3 acre size or smaller) and raising trophy bluegills!!