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#6821172 - 07/12/17 10:25 PM Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup
Exbellicus Offline
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Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 1469
Loc: DFW
So I drew up one idea for my pond based on what I've been reading. The whole property is 35ac. The existing pond is about .3ac for reference...it's the dark green area the creek runs through. I think the end product would be about 3ac total. It looks like ideally you have 10-25% of the pond have a 3' vegetation shelf for plants to grow, provide baitfish cover, and a spawning area for bass. Then it would go in to a sharp drop to 8' where we could drop trees, rocks, PVC structures, etc. This would be primarily where the bass will live. I also added an 8' area in the middle to create a dropoff, again with rocks and trees. The remainder is 16', which evidently is about the max ideal depth for bass. The light blue line is an existing runoff creek that goes through that existing pond.

The dam is on the south end. The duck slough is a 3' deep square pit that I will plant vegetation then using a pump to fill it up from the pond/creek for duck season. The other option would do be to put it in line with the creek, but that may end up putting too much water in it before my annual vegetation can mature.

Any thoughts or suggestions?



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#6821225 - 07/13/17 12:39 AM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
colt.45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 9986
Loc: wondering about the woods
cheers used ta do a lot of duck & goose hunten in 60's... i got cheap posts flag
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#6821236 - 07/13/17 05:16 AM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
P_102 Offline
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Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 978
Loc: Grapevine
Based on my studies (which may not be entirely correct) it could be difficult getting a permit for this, especially since the creek does not originate on your land...that should be checked out.
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#6821332 - 07/13/17 07:52 AM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
EddieWalker Offline
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Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1440
Loc: Tyler, TX
If the creek does not have a name, you can do what you want with it, is how I understand the law. If it is named, then it is under the jurisdiction of whatever major river authority is in your area. Since there is already a pond on the creek, I would find it hard to believe that you couldn't enlarge it.

Do you have the water flow to fill a pond this big?

For your bass pond, I wouldn't mess around with a shelf for vegetation. No matter how steep you make you banks, you will have more vegetation then you want in a short amount of time. Depth is good because of evaporation. Couple of years ago it was 100 degrees or hotter every day for three months. I lost over 8 feet of water during that time. Fortunately I still have 4 to 6 feet left in my deep end and my losses where minimal. Another month or two of that I would have been in real trouble.

Fish love structure. I piled up stumps and what didn't burn from my burn pile in my pond. The uglier you can make it, the happier the fish will be. I wouldn't waste my time with PVC structure, that's just being silly and to post funny picture. Go with full sized trees and brush piles. This will give your fingerlings plenty of places to hide from your predator fish.

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#6821386 - 07/13/17 08:41 AM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
QuitShootinYoungBucks Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 8009
Loc: Lubbock, TX
Is that a house to the north and are you going to be peppering it with shot?
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#6821418 - 07/13/17 09:08 AM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
deewayne2003 Offline


Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 4280
EddieWalker I believe is correct ...... I know people who have 30+ acre lakes on their property by damning up creeks that do not originate on their property; I believe there is a size restriction but I can't tell you want that is - Off the top of my head I think its base on acre size such as "anything over 20ac requires a state licensed engineer".

I'm in the planning process now for improving 3 ponds that are 1ac+/- each, on my place and as someone who does excavation work for a living I can tell you that EddieWalker is right about the vegetative bench as well; the steeper you can make the banks the better it is to control vegetation. If the water gets deep quick then the plants cant root in the ground and get sunlight.

1. If you have a tree that is large and standing where you want a brush pile; the dozer operator should simply push it over, leaving the root ball partially attached to the ground to act as an anchor and then pile the brush on top of it.

2. Sometimes people want MASSIVE brush piles - I prefer multiple smaller ones spread out and at different depths so the fish have retreat zones if the water levels drops extremely low.

3. I would pump it DRY and well before having the work done, it will make the work a lot easier and you can start fresh with good genetics and really raise up a massive baitfish population before ever re-introducing bass.

4. Working / shore area..... If your going to intensively manage the pond then its always nice to have a gravel ramp/working area that extends out of the water on the bank that slopes gently enough to both launch small boats or back a truck up to. Start with having a base of 3x5"(fist size) rock put down as a base then cover with 3/4"

5. SOIL & water tests!- Go on youtube and see how to take the samples and send them off for testing; this will help you get the most out of your pond without throwing money away on things you don't need..... Such as liming- balancing the PH of your pond can yield big dividends for not much money; and its ALOT easier to lime a pond when its newly constructed and dry than when its full. If you need lime, just have it delivered and dumped just before the equipment work is done and have the equipment operators mix it into the ponds soil.

6. Dock & Aeration - Looks like you got a house fairly close, so let me ask you this..... if your going to spend the money to enlarge the pond, then why not run power to it to have a lighted dock and aeration system? If its not in the current budget to build a dock or put in an aeration system that's fine, but it can always be done at a later date - Also the aeration system would keep the pond surface from freezing in winter if it gets that cold ducks will be looking hard for open water to land in. Not to mention keeping your pond from stratifying and allowing the full water column to be utilized and reduce stress on fish during low water conditions.

7. Fertilizing vs. Feeding - If you want to take your pond to the max you could either fertilize it or put a fish feeder out..... BUT NOT BOTH!

Fertilizing if usually overlooked for ponds but it can really make the different and can be quite cost effective compared to having a fish feeder running; check out this video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT3xPD1y6Hg

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#6821563 - 07/13/17 11:28 AM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
huntwest Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 2165
Loc: Albany
You can dam up to 200 acre feet without a permit for personal use on a seasonal creek.
If a year around creek you can dam up to 30 acre feet. Your spillway cannot be higher than the second bank of the creek.

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#6822092 - 07/13/17 08:38 PM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: deewayne2003]
TTUhunter4 Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 700
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: deewayne2003
7. Fertilizing vs. Feeding - If you want to take your pond to the max you could either fertilize it or put a fish feeder out..... BUT NOT BOTH!

Fertilizing if usually overlooked for ponds but it can really make the different and can be quite cost effective compared to having a fish feeder running; check out this video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT3xPD1y6Hg


I agree that you should spend money on pond fertilizer before any other form of management. However, I have to ask, why do you say you do not want to both fertilize and feed? IMO this is bad advice. If you can afford it, you should definitely fertilize and feed. If you run the feeder the correct amount, you are looking at about $750 of feed per feeder per year. Most people who own land and a pond can afford that. On a small pond like this, one feeder would make a big difference.

Even more important that fertilizer and feeding, though, is harvesting small bass. Starting the third year after the initial stocking, you should take out 20 pounds per acre of bass 14" and under. Continue to harvest every year going forward. If you stock the pond correctly (I would recommend 1,500 Coppernose Bluegill, 500 Redear sunfish, and 50 bass per acre) harvest the proper amount each year (20 lbs per acre), fertilize and feed, you will grow some good ones!
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#6822766 - 07/14/17 02:52 PM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
deewayne2003 Offline


Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 4280
TTUhunter4.... Doing both feeding and fertilizing especially in a small pond can result fish kills from oxygen depletion.

"I would recommend 1,500 Coppernose Bluegill, 500 Redear sunfish, and 50 bass per acre"..... and those are extremely high stocking rates.

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#6822880 - 07/14/17 05:30 PM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: deewayne2003]
TTUhunter4 Online   content
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Registered: 07/03/10
Posts: 700
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: deewayne2003
TTUhunter4.... Doing both feeding and fertilizing especially in a small pond can result fish kills from oxygen depletion.

"I would recommend 1,500 Coppernose Bluegill, 500 Redear sunfish, and 50 bass per acre"..... and those are extremely high stocking rates.


Fertilizing too heavily can lead to an oxygen depletion, but adding feeding to the equation does not increase the risk of a dissolved oxygen event at all.

The numbers I quoted are not "extremely high." The BG/RE numbers are higher than what generic "fish truck" companies recommend for stocking, but are right in line with what respectable lake management companies recommend for a trophy bass lake. If you notice, the recommended number of bass per acre is also half of what your generic fish truck recommendation would be.

The OP said he wants the ultimate bass pond. To achieve this, he would be well served to stock at the rates I recommended. This method has proven time and time again to produce increased growth rates of your bass. I'm talking an average of 2.5 lbs per year for the first 3 years instead of the standard 1.5 lbs per year you get from the stocking rates you are probably referring to.

I studied wildlife biology in college, and I have worked for a professional lake management company for the last 4 years...I'm not just pulling these numbers out of a hat.

There are other things you (deewayne) said in your initial post that I disagree with, but I did not comment on them because they are subjective. However, claiming that you should not fertilize and feed your bluegill is simply incorrect. I felt that I had to say something so the OP can help his pond reach its maximum potential.
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#6823253 - 07/15/17 06:52 AM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: EddieWalker]
colt45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 7329
Loc: bastrop county
Originally Posted By: EddieWalker
If the creek does not have a name, you can do what you want with it, is how I understand the law. If it is named, then it is under the jurisdiction of whatever major river authority is in your area. Since there is already a pond on the creek, I would find it hard to believe that you couldn't enlarge it.

Do you have the water flow to fill a pond this big?

For your bass pond, I wouldn't mess around with a shelf for vegetation. No matter how steep you make you banks, you will have more vegetation then you want in a short amount of time. Depth is good because of evaporation. Couple of years ago it was 100 degrees or hotter every day for three months. I lost over 8 feet of water during that time. Fortunately I still have 4 to 6 feet left in my deep end and my losses where minimal. Another month or two of that I would have been in real trouble.

Fish love structure. I piled up stumps and what didn't burn from my burn pile in my pond. The uglier you can make it, the happier the fish will be. I wouldn't waste my time with PVC structure, that's just being silly and to post funny picture. Go with full sized trees and brush piles. This will give your fingerlings plenty of places to hide from your predator fish.



your original plan is great, use the pvc, it works and won't rot away the more structure the better, like said above if its not named go ahead, we lost most of our water due to a land owner putting a huge tank above us.


Edited by colt45 (07/15/17 06:52 AM)
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#6823859 - 07/15/17 09:35 PM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
erathar Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 3216
Loc: C.C., TX
I recently built the ultimate you talk about. I don't photobucket, so I can't post pics. Someone feel free to PM me and I'll get them to you.

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#6824113 - 07/16/17 10:30 AM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
TEXASLEFTY Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/26/07
Posts: 8734
Loc: The Island Cres






There you go.
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#6824819 - 07/17/17 08:15 AM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
EddieWalker Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1440
Loc: Tyler, TX
Those pictures show some beautiful dirt work. Nice and smooth all around. It's perfect for a swimming hole. Not so much for fish. A good fishing pond needs irregular shapes, drop offs, ledges, holes and most of all, structure. Fingerlings need to be able to hide. Feeder fish need to be able to live long enough to grow. Large Mouth bass will only grow when they can eat bigger feeder fish. If your feeder fish never mature, you will never have big bass.

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#6825468 - 07/17/17 05:54 PM Re: Ultimate Bass Pond/Duck Setup [Re: Exbellicus]
erathar Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 3216
Loc: C.C., TX
The large square portion is not meant for fish. The other pond has everything you speak up. This pond was built with one of, if not the most reputable fish farm in South Texas. He is very knowledgeable in raising great fish populations. I'd put his knowledge up against any.

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