Is there anything out there safe/helpful that could be fed to Bluegill/Bass/Catfish. I'm a real novice at all this and I am just learning pond management as I go. I've been feeding some bread (white bread) to the fish. Fish food seems expensive. Maybe it's worth the extra money. I've heard pay lakes feed dog food. Any truth to that?
Bluegill and catfish will readily take to commercial pelleted foods. What kind of Bass are you referring too? Largemouth CAN learn to feed on it on their own, but most folks feel it may be easier to buy fish already feed-trained.
As far as the food being expensive, yes it is. But, I am absolutely convinced of it's worth, having seen the results first-hand. How big is your body of water? How many fish are in it? How old is the pond? All of these things, (and any more I've forgotten),can contribute or detract from your bottom line $$$$.
A lot of farm stores sell a store brand of catfish food, most folks in my area feed this. I feel that while this food surely helps to grow larger fish, the protein content, and the source of the protein, can be very important. I am sold on Purina Aquamax 500 for my Bluegill. It's protein content is 40%. There is some debate that perhaps Bluegill don't require this high an amount, and that the less expensive Purina Game fish Chow would work well also.
At any rate, I don't think I would settle for less than 36% protein, and I would want the source of that protein to be FISH based.
Remember also, that feeding, while important, is only part of the equation. A pond's dynamics can change, and not always for the better, one you begin a feeding program. A lot of variables come into play here.