Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

so the place i fish has 3 ponds and a lake.. next year im going to try to make one of my favorite small ponds a awesome panfish lake.. so if i catch some big gill on the other lakes/ponds and put them in my bg pond could this be beneficial or could this cause any problems????

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Do you own them? I wouldn't recommend tampering with water that you do not own. If you do own them, you really don't have to add bluegill if they are already there. Throw every bass back that you catch so they eat up many of the new fry of the year. Next, harvest the mid and smaller bluegill caught releasing the biggest ones. You are then promoting the genetics of the large bluegill and reducing the competition for food. I fished a lake where the bass completely cleared the new bluegill of the year and the remaining bluegill reached huge sizes.

no i dont own them but i got the run of the place.. i have spoke to him about adding and taking fish and he said to do what i want with the place..

but  the question i am after.. if i catch some big as in 8 in or bigger bluegill in one of the other lakes and i add them to the pond will this be beneficial

will this add some different genetics

 

It could make a positive difference if the bluegill are badly stunted in the pond you're trying to improve; I did this in a pond I've been managing for three years now, about a year after I started managing it, because the average size of the bluegill was 2" and the pond is over eighty years old and has had fish a long time, so I was worried about the stunting being genetically programmed. 

 

But, if this is the same pond you described previously that has some bluegill 8" or better, then the genetics are probably not that bad.  For now I would just load up the pond with predators and get the smaller bluegill thinned out as much as possible.  A year or two down the road, once you've got the predator density higher and the bluegill density a lot lower, if the 'gills still aren't growing like you think they should be, that would be a better time to bring in new genetics because those new fish would not be pouring gasoline on a fire, which they could be right now. 

 

It took me nearly three years, and stocking not only 40 fingerling largemouth (summer 2009 - probably a wash, probably most got eaten), 2 12-14" tiger muskie (Dec. 2009), 22 pound-class and larger largemouth a year later along with ten 12" hybrid stripers (spring 2010),  and four blue catfish between five and ten pounds apiece (this past summer), to get the small bluegill thinned out in the pond I mentioned above.   It's very possible the thinning could have been accomplished sooner had I not stocked roughly 50 7-10" bluegill caught from a couple public lakes in the area; but in that case I felt the need to shake up the genetics. 

 

One last thought - I never would have caught a bluegill over a pound had I not worked with other people's ponds.  Now I get paid (not by thousands of people, but I do have a few clients) to do it; but my first ten years of pond management consisted entirely of spending my own money on other people's ponds, and it resulted in the best bluegill fishing I've ever personally had.  I still don't own a pond of my own, but I spend my own money on a pond that produced 10" or better bluegill more than half the trips I took to it last year, and likely will produce 'gills that size every trip this year, hopefully with a couple 12" or better thrown in.  It's the difference between taking what you get on a public lake, or being able to positively affect the quality of fishing somewhere where you don't have to compete with fifty other boats for the day. 

thats good advice walt... we talked about alot of this on my other thread and i learned alot and have a good gameplan for spring.. my plan is to add more bass and probaly 2 or 3 tiger muskie. im going to throw all the small gills on shore and release any males larger then 5 or 6 in.. but all females i catch are going to be taken out regaurdless.. i know alot of you say i should get my feeder out there but i think i will wait until i get the lil ones thinned out.. the big lake is 27 acres and has a huge bass population a im going to transfer around 25 bass from there to my small pond  any large gills from the other lakes are going into my lil honeyhole also.. hopefully this will work..

I've got a couple of thoughts on this. Moving fish from one body of water to another is not usually recommended, because of the possibility of bringing an undesireable in with the fish.... a parasite, which may exists in the donor water, could find it's way into your pond by hitchiking along with the new fish. In addition, there's always the chance you'll introduce some new, unwanted vegetation when you scoop up water to transfer the fish in. Many types of aquatic plants can propogate themselves from mere pieces, such as Eurasian Water Milfoil. That would be bad. Chances are, the same parasites/vegetation may already exist in both BOW, but do you know for sure??

On the other hand, there's another reason besides genetics to add adult fish from a reputable source. (hatchery). Adding large, adult MALES only, can have a positive effect on the growth of your fish by causing the younger males to delay maturity, until they are able to compete with those bigger boys. Unfortunately, most hatcheries will not sort bluegills by sex, and you do not want anymore females in your ponds. So, this brings up the most important question of all........ How confident are you in your abilities to sex BG's, especially immature ones?

So, you've got the possibility of contamination from another BOW, and a hatchery who probably won't sell you just male fish, so where do you go from here?

1) Feed your fish. I know it costs some money, but it is the most important thing you can do.

2) Remove all smaller BG's, especially females.

3) Feed your fish.

4) Maintain a high population of smaller Bass.

5) Feed your fish.

6) Keep the weeds under control. You don't want any hiding places for small BG.

7) Feed your fish.

8) Return your largest male BG.

9) Have I mentioned feeding your fish?

Sounds like you're putting together a very solid plan, Cal!  I do agree though with Tony's emphasis on the importance of feeding - it makes more difference than you can imagine.  It's not at all uncommon to find some really giant bluegill even in lakes with far from ideal conditions, such as too many bluegill, other species that compete with them for food such as shad or golden shiners, etc., when the bluegill are being fed.  The other side of that coin is, it will take a long time for the bluegill to get big enough even to accurately sex them, or have any sense of whether you're making progress, without feeding. 

 

What size again is this pond?  If I'm remembering correctly that it's three acres, I would shoot for adding 100 or more adult bass, rather than 25.  I'd probably shoot for adding that many even if it was one acre, if you really want to get it in shape quickly.

great advice gentlemen.. the pond i want to manage is only like 1 or 2 acres maybe some where in between not quite sure..

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