Sunshine bass from Phase I of pond production were graded into two weight classes, 3 and 5 g, and stocked into experimental earthen ponds at a density of either 8,649/ha or 11,120/ ha in a 2 × 2 factorial design. After stocking, the fish were fed a commercially manufactured feed (43.0-45.5% crude protein) twice daily to satiation for 17 mo. At harvest, mean survival ranged from 67.4 to 84.8% but was highest for the fish stocked at 5g. Average production for ponds stocked at 8,649/ha and 11,120/ha, regardless of stocking weight, was 4,506 kg/ha and 5,550 kg/ha, respectively. Production and percentages of assigned weight classes were not significantly different among treatments as a result of wide variation among replicates. Using size-dependent market prices assigned to the different harvest size groups, an economic analysis revealed gross receipts, variable costs, and total costs for the 11,120/ha 5-g treatment. Net returns were not significantly different among the four treatments due to large variation among replicates per treatment. These results confirm that the traditional phase II of pond production can be eliminated in favor of a direct stocking of phase I fish into a single production phase and economically competes very well with traditional three-phase growout management. The potential reduction in turnover time of production units achieved through the direct stock practice is an efficiency trait that should translate into significantly higher returns and a greater profit over the long term. Further reduction of stocking density combined with a stocking weight greater than 5 g should translate into greater proportion of larger, higher valued fish at harvest and a growout period of 18-20 mo, rather than the 24-30 mo traditionally needed for the combined phase II and phase III of production. © by the World Aquaculture Society 2004.