We hear stories about fishermen calling buddies to report they have a live well full of big bass and want to put them in the friend’s pond. Has a neighbor talked about an over population of bass in his lake and wanted to share them with you?
Both well-intended gestures can lead to complications for the beneficiary of the fish. Your pond may not have sufficient baitfish to support existing bass populations, much less more mature sizes. Such deeds could quickly tilt the forage base in a negative direction. Compare it to your snack table if five or six friends with big appetites show up unexpectedly to watch a football game?
If your pond is near its carrying capacity, adding more fish may create stunting among future populations. Existing fish may already be under developed and never reach their potential. We know folks who want to stock new lakes with mature fish because they don’t want to wait three or four years for them to grow. Mother Nature has a proven plan. It requires “patience”. Stock lots of fatheads and bluegill up front to jumpstart accelerated growth rates. It will pay off!
The “proven plan” is stocking baitfish first and letting them spawn multiple times to establish a strong forage base. Then add fingerling bass. With proper food chain planning, fertilization, and harvest, fish develop in a balanced environment and you’ll soon catch quality fish among all species, even bluegill.