what do bass need to survive in a pond

What Do Bass Need To Survive In A Pond?

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One of the coolest things that you can possibly have in your backyard is a pond, and even better than just a pond is one that is stocked full of cool fish. One type of fish that you may want to put in a pond is a bass, specifically largemouth bass. Fish are not overly hard to keep alive in a pond, but they do need to have certain conditions. So, what do bass need to survive in a pond?

To stock bass in your pond you will need to have a good water filter, protein skimmer, and air pump. You also need to provide your bass with lots of cover as well as plenty of vegetation. Water quality and temperature is very important too for bass survival, the ideal temperature being between 87 degrees and 92 degrees Fahrenheit.


bass pond

How Do You Keep Bass Alive In A Pond?

What we want to do right now is to provide you with all of the directions you need, as well as all of the factors that you need to take into account when it comes to keeping bass alive in a pond.

Water Quality & Filtration

The first thing that you need to think about here is overall water quality. Bass are pretty hardy fish, and they’re used to living in relatively dirty waters, at least in some parts of the world.

This means that while your pond does not need to feature completely immaculate water, it does need to be fairly clean.

Furthermore, this means that ammonia and nitrite levels need to be kept at a minimum, which means that fish waste and uneaten food needs to be regularly removed, which thus in turn means that you need to have a decent filter.

Therefore, you need to do a bit of research in terms of pond filters and go get yourself one that will be ideal or at the size of pond as well as the amount of fish that you plan on stocking it with.

Remember, if your water is not clean, particularly if it has a lot of ammonia, your fish may very well die, or at the least get very sick.

A Protein Skimmer Comes in Handy

Something else that you may want to consider getting for your pond, at least if it is a relatively small pond, is a protein skimmer. Protein skimmers remove all sorts of proteins from the water.

A protein skimmer removes organic compounds such as fish waste and uneaten food from the water, thus producing even cleaner water than if you were to just use a pond filter alone.

Now, using a protein skimmer may not be 100% necessary, but if you plan on your pond having clean and clear water, and if you want those bass to be as healthy as possible, then a protein skimmer can come in handy.

large outdoor pond

An Air Pump Could be Useful

Something that you need to keep in mind is that in order for bass to survive, they need to have at least six parts per million of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Generally speaking, if you have a well stocked pond with lots of vegetation in it, aeration and oxygenation should not be much of a problem.

However, if you have a lot of bass and other fish in the water, combined with the relatively low amount of vegetation, then you will want to have an air pump to provide your fish with an increased amount of oxygen.

An air pump can come in especially useful during the winter. This is because the water surface may freeze, in which case the water below needs to contain enough dissolved oxygen for the bass to survive.

Even without the water having direct contact with the air. Therefore, an airstone and an air pump can come in very handy for those cold months.

Water Temperature

One of the most important things that you need to consider when it comes to keeping bass alive in a pond is that they can survive in waters between 65 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with the ideal temperature range being between 87 degrees and 92 degrees Fahrenheit.

Just keep in mind that any temperatures over 95 degrees Fahrenheit can kill bass. With that being said, bass can survive near freezing temperatures, which is why they do fine in ponds during the winter.

So having a water heater is not all that important, except for in the winter. However, what you may need is a cooling system for the very hot summer months.

As our world becomes hotter and hotter, chances that the water temperature goes above 95 degrees become greater by the year.

Whatever the case, maybe you need to find a way to maintain the temperature range in that pond so that bass can survive.

Cover & Vegetation

Another very important thing that bass in ponds need to survive is a whole lot of cover and vegetation.

For one, this means having a lot of trees and bushes around the pond to provide cover from animals above and around the pond.

Second, it means having a lot of pond plants submerged in the water and floating on the pond.

You also want to have plenty of bushes, stumps, and underwater rocks. Anything and everything that can recreate the natural habitat of the bass, especially when it comes to cover from predators, is very important to their survival.

Plenty of Food

Of course, the other thing that bass will need to survive in a pond is food.

If you have a very small pond, you may choose to just give them fish food, but with that being said, bass are hunters and they prefer live food. Some small panfish are definitely called for in this case.

How Deep Does A Pond Need To Be For Bass?

The absolute minimum depth for a bass pond is at least three or four feet, but with that being said, this is the absolute minimum.

Generally speaking, a good depth for a bass pond is going to be between 8 and 10 feet. Having a pond that is between 8 and 10 feet deep is also more than enough to keep your bass alive during the winter.

You do of course need to consider that up to two feet of the surface. Water may freeze during very cold winter months.

Bass can survive freezing waters, but obviously they cannot survive being frozen solid inside of a block of ice.

Therefore, to ensure that your bass do not freeze and to account for those two top feet that may very well freeze, especially during January and February, you want the pond to be at least four feet deep.

Once again, we recommend going for a pond that is about 8 feet deep. This way you can also put plenty of vegetation in the water which will help provide your bass with cover.

Can Bass Survive in Small Ponds?

When it comes to the warmer months, bass can definitely survive in shallow ponds, although they usually don’t like water that is any less than 1.5 or two feet deep.

Folks, let’s keep in mind that surviving and thriving are not the same things. You might be able to stay alive in a cardboard box, but how comfortable are you going to be inside of it?

Fish like to have room to maneuver as well. Therefore, if you want a bass pond and you have the money to spend, there is really no good reason why you would make it extremely shallow.

If you do have a pond that is extremely shallow and you would like to put fish in it, you should consider fish other than bass.

What Do You Feed Bass In A Pond?

What you need to know about bass is that they are not picky eaters, not in the least.

Bass will eat nearly everything including insects, crayfish, snakes, smaller fish, lizards, small birds, and anything that else that could fit in their mouths.

Now, if you have a very small pond, you could always resort to just providing them with basic fish food, but that is going to become very expensive and tedious.

The best thing that you can do is to stock your pond with feeder fish so the bass can hunt for their own food. The best fish to put in a pond so bats can feed themselves include bluegills, shad, crappies, and herring.

To ensure that your bass have enough to eat, but also so that the feeder fish don’t overtake the pond, you should have a ratio of three to one, or in other words, for every one bass you have, you should have three smaller feeder fish.

What is the Best Bait for Bass in a Pond?

largemouth bass pond fishing

The number one best bait to use for catching bass in a pond, particularly as the water starts to warm up in the spring, is a spinnerbait.

Spinnerbaits just really seemed to make bass want to bite them. if you have a pond that has slightly dirty water and has deep cover then you should try using a larger spinnerbait.

Of course, bass do also love live bait such as minnows and worms, so those are always fantastic options to consider as well.

How Much Does It Cost To Stock A Pond With Bass?

Depending on where you live and who you buy the bass from, expect to spend anywhere from $1.50 to $3.50 per bass fish.

How Many Bass can I stock in a 1 Acre Pond?

If you have a very well balanced pond, that means having both bass and smaller prey fish for them to eat, such as fathead minnows and bluegill as well as a whole lot of vegetation, then a one acre pond could support between 50 and 100 bass.

With that being said, if you want them to be very comfortable, we would not exceed 80 bass per acre. Let’s keep in mind that 80 fish is a whole lot. That is no small number.



There you have it people, all of the basics that you need to know about keeping bass alive in a pond.

It may sound like a lot of work and money spent, but once the initial setup has been completed, along with minimal maintenance, things should more or less take care of themselves.