Pond wasn't always just 2.5 acres or we're these fish put in there after being big? Just asking because in a 2.5 acre pond that fish should have been able to eat everything in there in a year or two. Not knocking y'all or the fish.
Good question: Here's the deal......my grandfather and his brother put 5 flats into the pond a number of years earlier. I don't know exactly how many years. I know that 3 of them were caught before they were "too" big, as in 25lbs or less. The 4th one was caught at 48lbs in 1987. The 5th one was this one in 1989. # 4 and 5 were caught on a jug, set with a bluegill with the large flats in mind. I think that was done so that my brother and I would have this story to tell, that's how my grandfather was.
One of the main reasons for putting the flats to begin with was to control the yellow bullheads. He always said there were lots and lots of "mudcats" in the pond, so he and his brother caught the flats in the bayou nearby and put them in the pond.
My grandfather kept the pond stocked, and stocked well. He'd raise fingerling channel cats by the hundreds in floating 4'x4'x4' pvc coated wire cages, using a dipnet to scoop up some to fry or to release them into the pond. Our pond always had lots of fish, he'd feed the catfish, and he'd let anyone bring their kids to come fishing. There were/are 3 water oaks along the pond, and I remember a truck being parked under each one on Saturdays with dad's bringing their kids to catch catfish. Paw paw would let them keep 15-30 catfish each, depending on the person I guess. He wouldn't let them keep bass though, those were for me and my dad. Many of kids caught their first fish here.
The fishing was great, there were a lot of nice bass caught and mounted by family members. Nothing huge at the time, that was before the big "Florida Bass" surge, but I've taken several 8s myself.
My Paw Paw has been gone for 18 years now, and the pond has since gone downhill, due to a leak in the levee because of a tree root. The water level is much lower now, and all of the tires and stumps that catfish used to spawn in are dry. Catfish numbers now are next to nothing, but the bass and bream are doing well. I'm in the process of repairing the levee to return it to its former glory.