Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pond Harvesting This Week

Prior to this week I had only fished my pond for about 30 minutes before a storm one evening. This is mostly because I've always wanted to take my NuCanoe out instead. Well, this week I decided to fish the pond and harvest some bluegill. I've been craving some fresh fish and I figured that I would end up being out too late if I fished somewhere else and still had to come home and clean fish. Last year I started a selective harvest plan on my pond to try to increase bass growth and I plan to continue that plan this year. I wrote three blogs last year on selective harvests at the pond which explain my plans and results.
Selective Harvest Pond Fishing
Selective Harvest Pond Fishing Part 2
Selective Harvest Pond Fishing Part 3

So Tuesday, Stephanie and I headed to the pond. I used a nightcrawler float set at about 2ft deep and she wanted to use a fly. The bite was slower than I would have liked for bluegill fishing. The bass however were hitting pretty good on our bluegill sized baits. One lap around the pond and about 3 hours later we had caught about 30 bluegill combined and only 14 were in the 5.5-7 inch range that I intended to harvest. Only 3 were over 7 inches. It seems the population of the medium sized gills has gone down somewhat after last years harvest. We also caught 8 largemouth on this first lap around the pond. Halfway around the pond when I started thinking we were not going to get enough bluegill for a good fish fry I decided to also start taking bass. So we kept 3 of the 8 bass which were in the 8-12 inch range that I intended to harvest. At this point it was getting late so I tried some top water baits to try and get a couple more bass. I ended up catching 2 more bass, 1 of which I kept, putting us up to 4 bass harvested.

Since I wanted to harvest 5-6 largemouth like last year, Wednesday I decided to go back to get a couple more before we had a fish fry later that evening. I chose to use a weightless 6inch purple worm. Weightless worms have always been a strong producer for me at ponds. I made one lap around the pond in about 2 hours and caught 7 bass and kept 2 more for the table.

Seeing how it was pretty tough to find any bluegill in my target harvest range and I met my quota of 5-6 largemouth harvested, I don't intend to do anymore harvesting from the pond this year. So far I haven't noticed an increase in the average bass size. Of the bass I caught this week the largest was 13.5 inches and the average was somewhere around 10-11 inches as it has been for the past several years. If I don't see results in the next couple years I will probably up the largemouth harvest to 10 per year.

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