Here at Milligan’s Gander Hill Farm we have learned the hard way to try and work with mother nature instead trying to work against her. Take for instance our pond. We have tried to have our pond be clear and full of bass, crappie, blue gill, and channel cat fish, but that hasn’t worked out. Mother nature thinks we should have a Bullhead catfish pond, so thats what we are going to go along with because just like with my wife, mother nature usually gets her way anyway no matter how hard you try otherwise.
With the flooding that brings in the Bullheads to our pond and the river otters eating our other game fish, we come the the conclusion its a waste of time and money trying to keep our pond stocked with the other game fish.
After careful thought I think our pond is better suited for the catfish. It is only about 8ft deep at its deepest and the bullhead can live with less oxygen when the pond freezes in the winter. They also breed easily in a farm pond and you can always catch bullheads anytime of day or night. Even though the bullhead doesn’t have a very good reputation with most game fisherman they are very good to eat especially in the spring and fall when water temperatures are cooler.
Bullheads eat just about anything, insects, tad poles, vegetation, snails, minnows, dead fish, marshmallows, pieces of hot dogs, worms, chicken livers, shrimp and catfish stink baits. We use night crawlers to catch ours. Right now there are so many bullheads in our pond, you can cast out a line and catch one in just a few minutes so it’s a very good fish to introduce fishing to new comers to the sport. The only trouble is there are so many fish that they have eaten up most of the natural food in the pond and are not very big because of it. Our solution is to start feeding the bullheads with a commercial floating game fish food that some catfish farmers use.
We have also just stocked our pond with 5 pounds of fathead minnows. The bullheads and other game fish will eat these too.
Like most things here on our farm we don’t have any experience with this and are learning as we go. I would like to hear from others who have had similar experiences with their farm pond. If any body would like to catch a mess of catfish, come on down, ya hear!