Stock Fingerling Bass for a More Productive Fishery and Improved Catch Rates
Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time to stock your lake or pond with a new bass population. Do you know why you should stock fingerling bass and how many you should introduce into your fishery? Have you thought about how bass genetics influence the size and health of your fish? Check out our top three tips to keep in mind when stocking fingerling bass:
Stock in Late May/Early June
The primary reason to stock fingerlings is to introduce bass to new lakes that have never been stocked with a bass population. This refers to lakes that were either renovated during the winter or those that are newly constructed. Bass typically spawn in hatcheries throughout the spring and are ready to stock in most states by early summer. Stocking fingerlings at this time is a crucial first step to developing your dream fishery. Prior to stocking bass fingerlings, make sure forage fish have already been introduced.
Stock to Reach Your Fisheries Management Goals
The key to successful fingerling stocking is formulating accurate stocking rates that will accomplish your fisheries management goals. A fisheries biologist can help you determine whether low or high stocking rates are right for your waterbody. Low stocking rates can help you cultivate trophy bass, while high stocking rates help achieve better catch rates. Knowing what you desire from your fishery will allow your fisheries manager to more effectively create your ideal fishery.
Grow Big Fish with Genetics
Another reason to stock fingerling bass is to ensure you are getting the brood from specific fish, which guarantees you are stocking top-notch genetics. Normally, this means adding Florida Largemouth Bass to existing fisheries with mixed-origin fish. Florida genetics provide a greater opportunity for developing large trophy bass while Northern-strain bass are generally more limited in their growth potential. A pure Northern-strain Largemouth Bass usually tops out at around 8lbs in Texas, with the largest on record weight a bit more than 12lbs. Florida genetics, on the other hand, regularly produce bass that weigh in excess of 10lbs and are responsible for the world record, which weighed in at a little over 22 lbs. Florida fingerlings are stocked by fisheries management professionals to boost bass growth potential and help ensure that your fish are capable of achieving trophy proportions.
Now that spring is here, consider integrating these three tips into your fisheries management plan. Whether your goal is to grow bigger bass or increase your catch rates, these management strategies can help you reach your long-term goals. Are you ready to achieve a trophy fishery? Then let’s get stocking!
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