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Eddles

Spring is in the air

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In the heat of the day (around 37°C) I had to go past my pond so Rastus & I hit a shot left.

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I retract everything I said about the pond being pilfered over Christmas – considering the heat, sun & very high water temp, the amount of fish I saw was absolutely amazing.

All the size classes were present, from this year’s fingerlings to a snorter of a fish 50cm+ and I guess not far from 2.7 – 3.0kg! Most fish were in the open, in packs and associating with other species and others from different age classes.

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I swear I also saw 2 BIG bluegill which would have clipped Leon Goodman’s SA record of 1.1kg something – please correct me if I’m wrong?
This is not to say that they weren’t on the drop-offs, under the water lilies and in the shade, they were there as well. Obviously on the cleaner of the two ponds (they are linked by a channel) they were easily visible and were not spooked even when Rastus went for a swim and put up more fish from inside the bulrushes and sedges.

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One decent size fish exploded in water less than 150mm deep in the weeds and sounded like that meteor strike in Russia last week. Rastus went in to look and flushed the bugger out into deeper water but he came back again and staged on the end of the rushes to go back in.

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Where was the rod………….where it should have been (unfortunately) otherwise guess how much work would have been done. It was actually too hot to sit in the sun anyway.

Needless to say, the crabs and baitfish, etc. were all stuck away as it seemed the bass were on the feed but the fish are looking fit, fat and flourishing and I’m happy to report all is good during summer!
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BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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BFSA
Well done rippie looks awesome!
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Very nice progress there Riprap. You be very proud of what you have achieved here.
Regards
Robert Jacobs
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How's this for a genetic boost of pure Northern strain decent fish:

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For the story of where they came from see:
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[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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SPRING must be in the air as we even had some thunder over the mountains this afternoon however the dam next to this tree didn't yield up any fish, yet, but after the fire got going and some meat got burnt it would appear that this wattle tree developed some fruits for spring.........Roll on spring and the weightless bite!

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[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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So winter is in full swing albeit we haven’t had snow yet but the water is cold and the fish are properly stuck away in our neck of the woods, the odd nibble at best. Herewith some pics from todays “shot left” and specifically to show those youngsters down in the Cape which variety of water lilies remains active during winter. The other type (as discussed in the vegetation thread) is lying dormant at the bottom awaiting spring.

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[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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BFSA
Winter might be a bit a bit warmer and definitely drier but my boet passed the pond yesterday and had three throws with a buzzbait and caught a 1.5 kilo (FAT) fish so naturally I popped in when I went past to see what’s going on in the pond.
Well, besides the damn rats ringbarking my willow trees, there doesn’t appear to be any life except a cormorant which survived two shots from the 30.06!

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The storm system from the Cape arrived and all it brought was fires and no rain……….!

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BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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So, the cold fronts have come and gone and our warming waters have gone back to ice cold and so have the fish. Went to water all the trees we planted around our pond so we took a few rods for just in case but didn’t catch any fish, never even saw any but a pond is not just about catching fish but there is a dynamic ecosystem continuously at work which enables those fish to grow and flourish. Seeing as its Spring day today, herewith a few pics of some of the changes which are happening:

The other type of lily is awakening, so too are the rushes and papyrus. Water is a bit clear but I have yet to fertilize this season, needing temps to climb a bit first.

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Wait, what fish is this feeding on the bottom and stirring things up…………oh, it’s only a triple tail minnow which didn’t see any action.

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A short way away from the pond, we have a quarry that often fills with water only to drain away through the drain made by the old roads council when they excavated there. Well, quite a bit of work has gone into a dam wall and we will be diverting some runoff into this new lunker hideaway pond come summer rains. This one will be done properly, build the food source first and then our predatory fish……maybe it will be a smallie dam with all the gravel and sorts……mmnnnnn!?

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[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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Beautiful place you've got there.
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Matt, Rastus & I went there last night to release excess male blue kurper from his tank which are bullying the females into submission and thus affecting the breeding.

You never get to see it all in the day so with a good torch we patrolled the perimeter and were quite surprised. Nearly every opening in the weed had a male sitting in it with females not too far away not forgetting that they don't really have staging and highway areas in this pond. Some big crabs are out and many juvenile bluegill in the shallows outnumbering young bass 10:1 so I must assume that bass are easier for bigger bass to catch.........

Did you know that a bass' eye glows in a light whilst a bluegill doesn't? Sorry no pics but my trusty old point and shoot finally gave up the ghost after about 6 yrs and my waterproof camera doesn't do low light pics!

Some fronts and cold coming through next week with rain (finally some Spring rain) and then time to fertilize for the microflaura but I have a dilemma this year. There is too much weed from enjoying previous fertilizing and this will just get worse with more but our pond is reverting back to a more sterile environment. The kurper will eat the grass but not enough so maybe it's time for a few sterile grass carp or we will have to climb in and throw some anchor to remove the excess.
My neighbours new batch of 80 000 trout eggs and fry are doing well, if only I can get some lekka fat ones rich in fat and protein as a fodder boost............ :blue-rolleyes:
[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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We have had 5” of rain in the last week and the drought is so to say…….broken & my pond has luckily got a bit of water for a change. Popped round there today and to say that there is an explosion of life would be an understatement. Man…… it’s absolutely crazy; I’ve never seen it like this before.
Just the singing from the bullfrogs was deafening whilst the numbers of swallows which gathered to “scoop” up a drink almost sounded like a chopper in the distance. Yellow billed ducks, Spurwings, Cormorants, shoals of big bass and bluegill, all age classes…….I think I’m overstocked!!

The rushes around the pond were shaking with the amount of frogs scrambling for mates the whole dam is covered in floating frogs with a mating orgy on the go.[ATTACHMENT NOT FOUND]

As usual, dead frogs abound with head wounds but the live ones outnumber them 3 dozen to 1.[ATTACHMENT NOT FOUND]

Bass fry must have just hatched and there are millions of them being guarded by males whilst big bluegills shoot in for a quick mouthful.[ATTACHMENT NOT FOUND]

Well, as we all know, bass sometimes just die from old age, disease, wounds and other – that’s life but a dead ol’ nearly 3 kilo odd found in the shallows provides a feast for the crabs and recycles nutrients in the system.[ATTACHMENT NOT FOUND]

Some nests had up to 7 males vying for a female hovering close by with her “mudguts” belly.[ATTACHMENT NOT FOUND]

Why I love this place…………………..[ATTACHMENT NOT FOUND]

Looks like we are in for a bumper season of fun and fishing here shortly but first we leave them alone to breed in peace and for entertainment.
[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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BFSA
Spawn is basically over and it's just fish and food everywhere. Swear I saw at least 5 bluegill over a kilo. Couldn't find the kurper but the water has stained again a bit more fertile so no pics. I don't have a UV lens thingie or whatever it's called. Time to do a cull of some smaller fish....there are too many, it's like an aquarium at the moment.

Our new Lunker pond (closeby) is starting to fill and it's time to add the kurper & minnows. next year this time we will add selected fish for our trophy dam.

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BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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We went to feed the crabs this afternoon and it would seem that the bluegill haven't finished breeding yet and we could have tickled this female on her nest but left her to her thing. Been wondering why we haven't seen as many bluegill fingerlings vs all the bass young.
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The place is teeming with life and we didn't even take a rod with...........
[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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We are in a very dry spell, again....grrrrr, and my pond is in two! The deep side is full of shoals of bass up to and over 2 kilos which are looking for spawning ground and teasing each other. The shallow side is getting shallower by the day and I'm considering pumping this water across and removing or moving what I can from this side. It's full of pint sized bass even though we removed lots of them in Autumn.....where do they come from.

Larvae, flies, moths, midges etc are thick on the deep side but the smaller fish are klapping them on the shallow side due to hunger.
Either this or an ethical question. It is said that if you feed the small fish, they prosper and feed the big fish. But what if you feed the small fish to the bigger fish?? There are too many anyway and most get chowed before they reach a size where their parents battle to catch them.

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[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]
BIG FISH EAT LITTLE FISH....
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Wow, Rip. I just caught up on the whole post, what an amazing project. Beautiful aswell. Are you planning to ever fish there or to keep it just as a lekker ecosystem and to learn more about bass. Goodluck with the dry spell.
All my report backs and fishing stories also available on:
http://bassfishingthewesterncape.blogspot.co.za/
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