Interview source: Greg Lutz, Professor of Aquaculture, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
Fishing success isn’t possible without paying attention to the main food source. Bass feed on bluegill and sunfish – also called bream. Greg Lutz is an aquaculture professor at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. He says your pond needs to maintain the right balance between predator and prey, and the easiest way to monitor what's going
"If most of the bream are small, maybe 5" or 3", and you don't have very many small bass, then your pond is probably overpopulated with bream," says Lutz. "You're going to have to harvest more bream. Now, if only a few large bream are out there, and you've got lots of little bass, then probably your bass are overpopulated."
To maintain a good balance, Lutz recommends taking out 5-to-10 pounds of bream for every pound of bass. When harvesting bass, he says a reasonable amount is 15-to-20-pounds-per-acre. However, spread this out over a year. Lutz says you can't let Cousin Bubba come over one afternoon and take all 20-pounds of bass.
"The reason is because when you catch a bream, and remove it from the pond, another bream will grow up to take its spot within a few months," says Lutz. "But when you catch a bass and remove it from the pond, it's going to take about one-year for a younger bass to move up and take its place."
He says if you don't spread your bass harvest out, you can put yourself in a situation where suddenly there's not enough pressure on the bream population.
Learn more about bass management
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