The Titan Bass
Pond owners who want to create a productive recreational largemouth bass fishery usually have two main goals in mind. They want the pond to be full of healthy, trophy-size largemouth bass and they want to be able to catch those bass. While they enjoy the sport of fishing, they want to be rewarded with their efforts. What fun is it to have a pond full of trophy bass if you’re never able to land one of them for the perfect photo opportunity?
So when it comes to largemouth bass genetics, “catchability” is almost as important as the genetic characteristics that allow a bass to reach trophy size. And while “catchability” may be hard to define, bass breeders are developing ways to create strains of fish that are heavy feeders and more likely to bite that lure you put in front of them. When trophy size and aggressive feeding are coupled, that makes the perfect combination.
Bass breeding has progressed significantly in the last few years with the development of the “Titan Bass.” The folks at Red Hills Fishery in Boston, GA have created a state-of-the-art bass breeding facility that they hope will eventually produce the world record largemouth bass. In doing so, their goal is to create genetic lines of largemouth bass that grow faster and bite better.
They use genetic markers to identify characteristics in “families” of brood stock. This technique is said to be more reliable than selective breeding of individual fish to produce a desired result. While an individual bass may look like the perfect breeding stock, there’s no guarantee that those characteristics will be passed to the offspring. But by identifying desirable traits in bass “families,” they’re able to more effectively breed for faster growth, larger end size, and aggressive feeding behavior.
Our Experiences with Stocking Titan Bass
Over the last several years, we’ve been stocking Titan Bass in ponds and lakes across north Florida and South Georgia. Ideally we prefer to stock 10-12″ fish that are likely to spawn within the first year of introduction. But in some cases we will stock 4-5″ fish that will need a year or two of growth before spawning.
These 10-12″ fish don’t look much different than the largemouth bass you’re used to catching in local ponds and lakes, but their growth and feeding behavior can be noticeably different. In a pond with a healthy bluegill population, we’ve noticed growth rates of 2-3 lbs per year in some cases. This means that you could have trophy size bass in a new pond in just a few years!
The caveat here is that you must have a quality, established bluegill population before introducing these fish. They are heavy feeders and will quickly compromise a substandard bluegill population. As such, we don’t recommend stocking them until we can ensure that the bluegill population can withstand the additional predation pressure that they create.
Have you ever heard the theory that a largemouth bass won’t ever bite the same lure twice? While there may some merit to that statement, we haven’t found it to be true with the Titan Bass. These fish will aggressively bite almost any artificial lure you put in front of them. This makes them a great fish to stock for ponds with fishermen of all skill levels.
Our Titan Bass Stocking Process
Because the Titan Bass are more costly than standard largemouth bass strains, we take special care when stocking them in a pond. We start by transporting the fish to the customer’s pond in a large tank. We then use a water additive that acts as a calming agent for the fish. This keeps the fish from injuring one another during the stocking process and ensures a high, if not 100%, survival rate while stocking.
We then drain some of the water from the stock tank and replace it with water from the pond that will be stocked. This helps to acclimate the fish to their new surroundings, once again ensuring a high survival rate. After a 30 minute acclimation period, we slowly introduce the Titan Bass, a few fish at the time, into the pond. This process is tedious and time-consuming, but it works and our customers appreciate the care we take to ensure these fish get a great start in their new pond or lake.
We often also recommend that our Titan Bass customers have a fish feeder and use a high quality fish feed after stocking. This will provide the nutrition these fish need until they are large enough to eat bluegill and other fish species. The bass will quickly become “feed trained,” which helps them grow fast. Once they are large enough to eat fish, they’ll usually stop eating as much food and enjoy a diet of mostly fish.
Let Up Help Improve Your Pond!
If you’re in the south GA or north FL areas, let us know if you’d like Titan Bass stocked in your pond. Just complete this form and we’ll contact you to schedule a time to meet. We look forward to turning your pond into a productive fishery for years to come!