Turning that little stocked pond near your house into a bona fide honey hole, for whatever species you prefer, is a time consuming task. It’s an ongoing process that is most effective in the long term. With patience and persistence, though, it can definitely be done. The key is to keep close track of a few key variables, and to be willing to employ a hands on management style from time to time. Read on to find out the most effective ways of transforming local ponds into great fishing spots.
For fishermen, this is the easiest and most obvious technique for culling your pond’s fish population. To put it simply, all you have to do is target and get rid of undesirable species. Say, for instance, you have an overabundance of Bluegill, or a recent Grass Carp infestation draining the pond of valuable resources. Take the focus off the game species for awhile, and focus on catching and killing those species that are harmful to the pond’s overarching ecosystem. Unless the species is very invasive and harmful, total eradication isn’t necessary. Avoiding a catch-and-release philosophy with any unwanted species is recommended regardless.
On the opposite end of the species management spectrum is stocking – a technique in which the fisherman introduces desirable species into the pond. There are a couple of things to consider when you stock fish. First, if you don’t own the pond, make sure its owner (whether it be a neighborhood association or the local government) is aware and in support of your stocking efforts. Second, realize that you’ll only be wasting time and money by introducing a species that’s not suited to survive in your pond. Inserting Walleye into a stagnant Southern pond, for instance, probably won’t go over too well.
In farm ponds especially, you can drastically a spot’s fishing production just by toying a bit with the local vegetation. As you likely already know, small vegetation organisms like phytoplankton are the very bottom of the food chain in a closed freshwater ecosystem. The size of this rung, of course, determines how big the upper rungs of that food chain will be (i.e., game fish). To encourage phytoplankton growth to sustainable but productive levels, use fertilizers until you’ve achieved the desired effects. Be careful not to overdo it though, as overproduction of vegetation can lead to changing pH balances and culminate in a big fish kill.
With these three factors in mind, there’s nothing that can stop you from turning a nearby pond into a lunker producing machine this fishing season. Common sense, a little analytics, and a lot of patience can transform that old neighborhood fishing pond right before your eyes.