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#189988 - 10/29/09 10:35 PM Growing Some Big Bluegill
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Here are some ideas for improving your bluegill (BG) population. The information generally applies also to coppernose bluegill since their reproduction (fecudity), habits, and behavior are similar to 'northern' and or pure strain BG. Note that CNBG are not cold water tolerant and do not survive well in ponds that get ice cover. This was written for someone with a smaller pond, but the information can be applied to larger ponds. As time allows more items will be added by the other moderators and myself as we find useful information on this topic. You can Private Message any moderator with your big BG ideas to get items added to this Archive topic. Thanks for using Pond Boss Forum.

See below for the two philosophies of stocking bluegills and bass southern vs northern ponds
Stocking bass and bluegill: north vs south:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=413792#Post413792


Several things to do for producing larger BG in the smaller pond. Here is the topic that started this Archive.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=189987#Post189987

1. The pond should be bass heavy with the population dominated by 6"-12" bass. The pond can or will have some 14"-16" bass but not lots of them. At most only a few per acre and whenever you catch one of them remove it. This means harvesting primarily the largest bass caught in the 14"+ range. Harvesting one 16"+ LMB makes room for 3-6 smaller bass that eat more little BG (1"-3") numbers than that one big 16" bass who eats mainly fewer BG and of 3"-6" size range. There are previous posts about why to do this. Larger bass can be caught by fishing with smaller BG (2"-4") under a bobber. Get the bigger bass out to make room for smaller bass who eat more smaller BG.

2. Feed the BG but just don't use generic catfish food or similar food in the 32% protein range common at various stores. NOTE: Purina Gamefish Chow (GFC) is 32% protein containing various sizes of pellets. IMO Use Purina Aquamax Carnivore (blue bag) that has 41% protein. It grows bigger BG faster. Both are good fish food, but the AM Carnivore is better food. Better food grows better animals. Plus they eat it better. For small ponds your size (0.1-0.5ac) and feeding mostly BG, a 50 lb bag should last you one whole summer. Aquamax Carnivore is more expensive than GFC, but what value do you place on having trophy BG? Obviously the bigger the pond, the more pellet feed that will be needed and vice versa. Also if you have other fish eating the pellets, then a lot more pellets will be needed. Catfish and other fish such as gizzard shad, carp, koi, and even bass can consume lots of pellets that should be going to feed BG. IMO Remove catfish from trophy BG ponds. In small ponds, you and another pondowner can share food purchases. Buy a bag of 5D05 (3/16")and a bag of 5D06 (5/32") mix the two and then split it between the two of you. This gives two sizes of high protein pellets; one for smaller BG 3-5" and one for 6-10"ers. Try not to hold or store Aquamax Carnivore pellets longer than one year.
During long term storage the pellets can loose some of the nutrient, vitamin, and flavor qualities.

See what pellet feeding and a high numbers of minnows can do to produce growth of newly stocked bluegill in a new pond habitat. Note his feeding frequency. Growth from 1.5" fingerlings to very nice 7"-8" fish in just 4 months is possible even in northern ponds over the course of one summer. Getting good growth early in the fish's life is important to producing the trophy size bluegill.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=389022#Post389022

Another example of nice BG after just 2 years.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=389057#Post389057

How to manage 2-3 yrs after stocking to get trophy BG?
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=activetopics&range=7&type=t


3.Harvest mainly the female BG to help produce larger BG overall. Release larger male BG. Searching the old topics will produce lots of posts that will teach how to tell males from females and why to do it (see item 6). There might be a topic on this in the old posts or at bigbluegill.com (on the homepage, see on left side under RESOURCES the Heading of "Differentiating between male and female bluegill".

4. Don't overfish the small pond while releasing larger bass. Harvest those larger bass 14"+. Over fishing a small pond causes fish to be hook smart (shy) of the angling method used. A larger pond of 2+ acres can withstand a lot more fishing pressure. For small ponds smaller than 1 ac, spend more time feeding fish, harvesting small fish, and angling for biggest bass and keeping records of lenghts and sizes of fish caught. Trends of growth and size structure of BG & bass will be evident from several years of records.

5. Initially or whenever small BG appear abundant, manually harvest some of the 3"-5" BG with angling and trapping until the pond becomes bass heavy. You know a pond is bass heavy when you mainly catch bass in the 8"-12" range and very seldom catch a large (16"-19" bass). Small BG that would normally be discarded can be used for hand feeding of them to big bass. I often cut the tails off the small BG and/or some/all of the side fins and toss them back into the pond. These impaired small BG swim abnormally and are easy meals for larger bass or catfish. This also conditions the larger predators so they are easier to catch when using BG as bait.

6. Get and read the 3 back issues of Pond Boss Mag (Mar-Apr, May-Jun, Jul-Aug 2006) of Growing Behemoth BG in Small Ponds by Cody, Condello and Baird. They discuss lots of details for producing trophy BG.

7. Visit the website bigbluegill.com and read some of the good items there about producing large BG.

Discussion of bluegill hybrids (intergrades), RES, and growth of bass and other forms of bluegill.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=432446&page=1

Discussion of Bluegill subspecies.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=279801



Edited by Bill Cody (07/28/17 09:17 PM)
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#190060 - 10/30/09 11:05 AM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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Here are some additional items for improving the quality of BG in a pond.
8. Consider adding new genetic stock that is from BG populations known to grow trophy class BG. The new individuals will enhance your exisiting gene pool.

9. In angling and harvesting BG, take a good look at each fish. You should have a measuring device ALWAYS handy when catching BG. STUDY AND DO HOMEWORK TO LEARN TO RECOGNIZE MALE AND FEMALE BG. Give all larger BG (7+") a second look. Almost always, BG at 8" will be sexually mature. Sometimes in less than optimum conditions, BG are mature at 7" or smaller. In these cases the BG population as a whole needs more management if big BG are the goal. In trophy BG fisheries, maturation of BG especially males is usually delayed until they are about 8" long (=/- 0.5").
A. As mentioned in item 3, Determine if fish is male or female. Harvest primarily females. Just a few (8-20) mature or trophy females per acre can lay enough eggs to produce more than enough BG to repopulate a "normal annual BG harvest".
B. Look at body condition - plump, medium, or thin bodied? Harvest all thin bodied individuals. Pick and choose remaining BG. Return plump individuals as broodstock.
C. Look at general body shape - is it roundish, normal or more slender or streamlined? Release those fish with your concept of the ideal BG shape. For instance a more roundish shape, nice big dark gill flaps, good markings or color compared to others you are catching. You want to release your idea of the best BG present as your brood stock. As you take time to closely look at body shape of each BG you catch, you will gradually over time learn to see and recognize subtile differences in shape, coloration, and markings/patterns. See the following for a more detailed discussion of harveting BG:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=273316#Post273316

Here is a thread why some lakes produce larger BG and ideas about amount of BG that can be harvested in a pond is discussed.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=431662#Post431662


Edited by Bill Cody (12/14/15 09:28 PM)
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#192925 - 11/20/09 10:30 AM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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10. Here is a pond management tip that has several benefits. If you are harvesting small BG in the 2"-5" size range, you can use them as live bass food. 1. It removes small BG, 2. It feeds your bass, 3. It focuses your time away from bass fishing as much and slows the chances of creating hook shy bass, while productively spending your time still fishing and managing your fishery, 4. It is a creative way of using small BG that otherwise usually are discarded. 5. It usually improves the balance or ratio of BG:bass in a pond managed for big BG. 6. It is a way to collect and sort BG, put them in a cage, raise them to maturity and restock males into the pond. 7. It is a way to entertain the kids or keep them occupied as they fish for small BG, 8. It is easy and fun.

One interesting way to feed surplus small BG to bass is to slightly or significantly impair their swimming ability and toss them into the pond. The bass will quickly learn these fish are "easy pickings". I impair swimming ability of small BG by cutting off portions of their tails and or fins. These fish then swim abnormally. Some fish managers prefer to cut all fins or most of the fins off rather than just one fin. Single or double fin BG (& sometimes small bass) amputees have been found to survive bass predaton despite having lost one or two fins. Removing all fins makes it very difficult for a fish to survive very long with larger predators present. Bass and predators are attracted to odd or abnormal swimming fish who are usually more vulnerable and easier to catch. Bass who typically have to survive by "working hard" to catch fish, take advantage of this wounded preyfish situation. When you harvest a larger number of small BG, you can put a lot of them in a live box or small cage to hold them for several days. This way the live food feeding of the bass can be spread out over a longer period without taking time to harvest more BG.

11. Posted in another thread by ewest source:
http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=197161#Post197161

Because fish growth often is limited by food availability, supplemental feeding is a logical tool to improve the condition of fish in small impoundments as the energy cost for bluegill to feed on pellets is small relative to the high caloric intake, which can be 4-5 times greater than those fed natural foods (Schalles and Wissing 1976).
Some commments about this were:
A. Cody says - Go pellets! It seems that the higher quality pellet food (Aquamax carnivore) is a more logical and wiser choice if one is trying to produce trophy BG.
B. esshup - I wonder if those figures are still accurate due to the age of the study. I wonder if the high protein, easy digestibility food that is on the market today was available back then.
I noticed a marked difference in BG growth switching to AquaMax from 36% floating catfish food in the past year.
C. Ewest says - esshup the difference you noticed I bet was in large part a result of the protein source difference between catfish food vs. AM (plant protein vs. fish meal/oil).

Esshup says: So far I have not read the study just others' analysis of it. I think that the major point is that energetically the BG don't have to expend energy eating pellets while regular foraging uses significant energy. As a result the net energy gain from eating pellets can be 4 to 5 times higher than normal foraging. This is the first time I have seen the difference quantified. Higher/better sources of protein may also make some incremental difference as well. There are of course possible negative aspects to fish relying too much on just pellets.




Edited by Bill Cody (06/08/17 09:03 PM)
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#249719 - 02/27/11 03:44 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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12. Don't allow weeds especially densly growing weeds,to become too abundant or over abundant. Too many weeds provide too many hiding places for small fish. They allow too much BG recruitment. A real high percentage of small fish (2"-5") ties up too much fish biomass (high percentage of the carrying capacity) in small BG vs large BG.

Weeds should definately be a concern when they cover more than 30% of the total pond area. Fewer weeds such as 5%-20% are definately better than 30% for growing big BG. Whenever weeds get near this 22-30% abundance one should begin manual thinning or spot treatments. The type of weed also plays a part here. Weeds that are sparse have more open spaces for bass or predators to hunt through and are better than dense and more compact growing weeds. A greater percentage of sparse weeds can be tolerated compared to densely growing weeds. Examples of densly growing weeds are water milfoil, Elodea, curly leaf pondweed. Examples of sparse weeds are various shoreline emergent weeds, shallow growing weeds and water lilies.


Edited by Bill Cody (02/27/11 03:54 PM)
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#279671 - 02/03/12 11:01 AM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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13. From this thread:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=279613#Post279613

THE CUTTING EDGE – SCIENCE REVIEW
By Eric West

Coppernose Bluegill vs. Regular Bluegill – which one for you?

A question we often get on the Pond Boss Forum is should I stock Regular Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus macrochirus or Coppernose Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus mystacalis also previously classified and referred to as Lepomis m. purpurescens . To answer that question we should look at the traits of both and use the one that will work best for the particular goals for the water in question. As we all know traits come from genetics. So what is the difference in the genetics of Coppernose vs. Regular Bluegill? Well it started a long time ago and it took a long time to get there. Here is the basic story. Millions of years ago peninsular Florida was, like it is today, connected to the mainland. Bluegill were present all over the eastern US. Sea level rose and peninsular Florida was cut off by the sea from the mainland creating two separate populations. Bluegill on both the mainland and on the peninsula continued to evolve separately each influenced by local conditions with a divergence time of roughly 2.3 million years. After a few million years of this separate path sea level fell and the two land masses were connected again. However the two bluegill sub-species were now a little different genetically. The rivers were connected and the two subspecies migrated and integrated in a zone along the deep southeast where the two sub-species mixed. If this sounds familiar it should – it’s the same story as the Florida Largemouth Bass and the Northern Largemouth Bass where the divergence time between Northern (M. salmoides) and Florida (M. floridanus) bass is approximately 2.8 million years. If you know one story you should have a fairly good idea of outcome of the other. Surely as a pond owner you have heard the bass story. Florida Bass get bigger under the proper circumstance and do not due well in cold climates. Yes Bluegill have a similar story.

Coppernose Bluegill get bigger under the right circumstance but do not flourish in colder climates. In fact Coppernose are susceptible to poor results and substantial winter kill in northern US regions as are Florida Largemouth Bass. So how do you tell Coppernose and Regular Bluegill apart. Take a look at the pictures included. The Coppernose has a copper band across its head/nose in adult males, has fewer and wider vertical bars, has orangish/red fin margins and tail coloration , 12 anal fin rays and often light/white fin edges most visible when young. The Regular Bluegill has 11 anal fin rays and none of the other traits mentioned.

So how do they compare? Here are some points from a study on the subject titled Performance Comparison between Coppernose and Native Texas Bluegill Populations by John A. Prentice and J. Warren Schlechte in the 2000 Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies , Vol. 54 at pgs 196-206 looking at growth (size at age) , survival and catchability.

Coppernose Bluegill were significantly larger than Native Bluegill in all scenarios tested with the largest observed difference being 19.2 mm total length (.756 inch) and 33.5 grams ( 1.18 ounces) over 2 years. At 3 years there was a 16 mm (.63 inch) difference on average and at 4 years 24 mm (.945 inch). With other fish species present there was no difference in angling vulnerability between the types. Spawning activity of the brooders began at the same time (last week of Feb in 1995 and first week of March in 1997) and produced the same size offspring for tagging at the same time each year ( mid-April) in what appeared to be similar numbers. Survival of young of the year Coppernose was substantially greater than for Native Bluegill.

Before you draw to many conclusions note this was in Texas where the weather is close to that of the Coppernose’s native range. That is a critical key to success with Coppernose. While there is an often cited study titled Cold Tolerance in Two Subspecies of Bluegill by , A. J. Sonski , K. E. Kulzer , and J. A. Prentice, in the 1988 Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies , Vol. 42 at pgs 120-127 , that states Coppernose and Native Bluegill have similar cold tolerances the key is the test was done on bluegill all from the same area (Texas). Its purpose was to determine if Coppernose could survive the Texas climate. There is substantial observed and anecdotal evidence that Coppernose do not do well in cold climates (roughly north of the north line of Arkansas/Tennessee extended) . In the far northern US Coppernose become subject to high winterkill rates. This would be consistent with their similar relationship to Florida Largemouth Bass which have repeatedly been tested to do poorly and die in cold climates. The study first cited above was also in ponds with no supplemental feeding. Reported scientific evidence is substantial that in ponds the most common cause of reduced growth is a shortage of food. It is not known how much, if any, of the early growth difference between the two sub-species was due to limited forage. The two sub species will integrate (inter-breed) with the offspring exhibiting mixed traits and no apparent negatives but there is very little published data on them.

So the answer to the question should I stock Coppernose Bluegill or Regular (native) Bluegill or both is – it depends. Your location (climate) and your goals are key factors. If you are in the Deep South or the Southwest (including Southern California) and not at high elevation (Appalachian, Rocky or Sierra Mountains) Coppernose should be considered. In short is your temperature profile similar to those areas? To some extent management practices and the existing bluegill population, if any, are also possible factors. Whichever type you choose keep in mind that the most important factor to growing nice bluegill is to be sure they have enough food to eat and not to much competition.

See this link from the archives done by Bruce and the other mods.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92482#Post92482

14. Some more reading about CNBG:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=78560&page=1

An example of great growth of 2 year old CNBG using Optimal Fish Food.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=483161&#Post483161


Edited by Bill Cody (11/25/17 09:00 PM)
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#286750 - 04/04/12 08:00 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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Here are some thoughts from Bob Lusk about growing big BG. Read and study his words they are insightful.
From the thread:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=286744&page=1

Bob says: Let me chime in here. I've been watching this thread since it started, interested in where it goes. I think this is a valuable one.
It's also interesting to me to hear the opinions of others, especially those "who have done it."
I've been to Bruce's place quite a few times and have been fascinated with the effort he has offered to grow, cull, examine and study bluegills. His facility (which he sold) was set up for research and study and his patience was certainly evident when it comes to growing fish.
I know he's been passionate about bluegills for a long time. "Management" of bluegills, up until just a few years ago, was primarily making sure that there were enough bass in the lake/pond to control bluegill and keep them from overpopulating. If someone really wanted to grow big bluegills, they would overcrowd their bass or focus on growing big bass which would eat all except the largest bluegills. Oh, yes, people might feed the little critters some grain-based feed back then, but a 1.5 pound bluegill was a giant in those not-so-distant days gone by.
8-10 years ago, I'd stand in front of a crowd during a speech and tell them this, "Over my career, I've probably held 5 or 6 bluegills which weighed two pounds. I've probably seen 25 or 30 which weigh between 1.5 and 2 pounds. But, I've seen hundreds and hundreds of bluegills that weigh 1 to 1.25 pounds. You can grow bluegill larger than a pound!"
"Good" management just a few short years ago centered around bass eating bluegills and feeding a cheap feed.
Then, people started targeting bluegill a little bit more.
Bruce focused on genetics. His fish probably grow considerably faster than any pond run fish from the hatcheries. Selective breeding offers a better product, in my opinion.
My first really good, steady customer was Ray Murski. (Read about Ray in March-April Pond Boss) He challenged me to grow some giant bass, so that was our focus.
My thinking, at that time, (1986) was that we needed great genetics to grow great bass. I had also learned by that time that our native bluegills rarely got much larger than 6-8 inches. I was convinced we needed larger bluegills in order to maintain the backbone of the food chain. If those bluegills only grew to 6-8 inches (and it took 3-4 years for them to grow to that size), we'd run out of food. So, I trucked over some pure strain coppernose bluegills from Florida and stocked them in the lake. Then, we fed them catfish food (that's all we had in 1986 for sportfish).
To further hedge our bets, we stocked some threadfin shad and once the bass began to grow large, I gambled and stocked gizzard shad. As the bass population expanded and some of the individuals grew into double-digits, I couldn't help but notice the bluegills were pushing larger than a pound. It was all coppernose, even though the lake had some native bluegill in it from earlier stockings. Those coppernose were genetically superior, in my opinion. A few bluegills grew to 1.5 pounds, but that seemed to be about as big as they grew.
Then, I stocked other lakes in similar fashion and this situation replicated itself to the point I believed coppernose bluegill were genetically superior to our native strains of bluegills.
Then, Harrell Arms, in the early 1990's, got his hands on some bluegill from the Mississippi River drainage area. Those creatures were beasts! Much thicker, they outweighed coppernose bluegill, which seemed to be more slender, side to side. Coppernose were beautiful, much more colorful than their cousins from the river drainage, but those Mississippi River fish were stockier and more muscle-bound. I saw what I suspected were genetic differences.
Then, around 1995, Purina Mills took an interest in designing fish food for different species of sport fish. Game Fish Chow was born. It was much better than the other over-the-counter feeds you could buy at the feed stores, but it is still a grain-based feed, designed for recreational feeding of fish. There were several clients who faithfully fed that product to their fish, primarily to grow bluegill to reproduce to provide a better food chain for bass. The consequences were a few more aggressive fish grew to larger sizes. As I studied these results, it was easy to see fish of the same age, but there were fish within those age classes that definitely dominated the growth curve. Again, I figured it was something genetic, whether those fish had the propensity to grow large or they were simply more aggressive to the feed. Either way, I thought genetics played a significant role.
Then, fast forward to 2005 and Richmond Mill Lake. By that time, Purina Mills was working diligently to develop the best feeds they can and bluegills became a target species for better feed. Dr. Mark Griffin was enamored with those fish and wanted to build a feed to make them grow to giant sizes. So, together, he and I tested some feeds on different fish populations. We really didn't know what to expect. But, Richmond Mill Lake near Laurinburg, North Carolina, has grown some giant bluegills and I have no idea where it will end. Bruce caught two bluegills topping 3 pounds each and there have been hundreds of two pound-plus fish caught and released.
Today, I have several lakes under management which are growing bluegills well beyond two pounds each. The difference? AquaMax 500 & 600.
That feed has taken fish to the next level. So, nutrition is huge in the production of giant bluegills. Are those 3 pound bluegills genetically superior? They HAVE to be. They are the same age as many of the two pound fish which are the same age as more of the one pound fish. There are definitely different size fish of similar ages.
But, here's where I'm going.
I absolutely think the most important aspect of growing anything is habitat. If you don't have the best habitat, you can prop up a fish population with management and genetics only so far. Without great habitat, don't expect to have the best fishery, even if you try to money-whip the rest...food, genetics, fertilization, culling...whatever you choose.
Richmond Mill Lake has, beyond any lake I've ever seen, the best bluegill habitat. Consequently, the genetically superior fish have an advantage, especially as we feed them to satiation. Oh, and yes, there is an amazing natural food chain there, too. Grass shrimp, a variety of insects, small fish such as roaches, shiners, topminnows...a wide variety of fish that are also excellent prey for bluegills.
Here's the way I see it.
1) Habitat is most important. Not many hobos are great athletes. They're too busy trying to figure out where they can sleep and where the next meal comes from.
2) Food chain is second. If you have great habitat, but don't have an adequate, diverse food chain supplemented with whatever you can, don't expect premier fish.
3) Genetics is third. If #1 and #2 are in place, those genetically superior fish have the opportunity to become champions, suited to their propensity.
4) Harvest as a management strategy. If too many bluegill share too little habitat and overeat the food chain, those genetically superior fish are similar to the others...with a handful of lucky exceptions.

After those four fundamental principles, you can choose whatever management strategy best suits your region. Fertilize, or not. Fluctuate water levels, or not. Feed, or not. Selective harvest, or not. The management strategy you choose has the potential to afford your genetically superior fish (and even those that maybe not quite genetically superior) to excel...if you have the right habitat and food chain in place.

I've seen this over and over...and have done it.



Edited by Bill Cody (04/04/12 08:01 PM)
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#286872 - 04/05/12 08:45 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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For some information about recognizing the difference between male and female BG, read, study and learn from this thread:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=286856&page=1

Many times the BG needs to be a full 7" or 8" long to usually detrermine the sex.
Keep in mind that the overall body hue or darkness of colors can vary widely from pond to pond due to water color and bottom composition. BG tend to have most vidid body colors and markings tend to darkest during spawning season. Gill flap or ear lob does not change shape during the seasons. Thus the gill flap will be the same size and shape in winter as summer. As the BG gets larger the gill plap increses in size proportional to an increase in body size. I can almost always recognize a male BG by the size & shape of the gill flap and the dark tiped scales of the nape (forehead). Sometimes these dark tipped scales extend back and down across the male's body as in the 1st picture by B.Condello in the link above. Compare the dark tipped scale pattern of fish in the 1st and last BG picture in the thread. Sometimes the overall body hue of the male with be so dark that the dark tipped scales are not readily apparent. This usually occurs in clear, brown or tannin stained water.



Edited by Bill Cody (11/17/14 09:36 PM)
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#331998 - 04/24/13 09:29 AM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
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Here are some information items about some morphological features of coppernose bluegill to help recognize them:

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=331997#Post331997

Here is some information about different fish foods and amount of bluegill growth.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=372826#Post372826


Edited by Bill Cody (04/17/14 09:14 PM)
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#374802 - 05/01/14 07:15 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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Here is a thread that discusses how to recognize a "bull" bluegill that belong in the category of those 11"-12"+ long. When you can grow them this big you have mastered the art and science of growing truly trophy class bluegill.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=374801&page=1

This Thread describes how to build some nesting structures for sunfishes.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=375694#Post375694

Bluegill spawning areas and adjacent cover discussion
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=462052#Post462052

Here is a thread discussing the Condello strain of bluegill.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=378985#Post378985



Edited by Bill Cody (01/15/17 12:20 PM)
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#385576 - 08/20/14 05:40 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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Here is some interesting discussion and dandy bluegill pictures by several members about weight of bluegill and coppernose bluegill.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=385574#Post385574
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#389060 - 10/06/14 02:30 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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Here is some information about types of sunfish and aging of fish using scales and otoliths .
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=389054#Post389054


Edited by Bill Cody (10/06/14 02:31 PM)
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#392795 - 11/17/14 09:37 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
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This is an article by one of our mentors Dr. David Willis about: The Secret Sex Life of Bluegill. It was reprinted from Pond Boss Magazine.
http://www.sdstate.edu/nrm/outreach/pond/upload/The-Secret-Life-of-Bluegill-Jul-Aug-2005.pdf

Timing of stocking of bluegill and bass; south vs north.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=413792#Post413792

General infornation about growing and production of BG from Missouri Extension Service.
http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G9473

Good Forum Discussion about behavior and growth of BG - GSF - HBG
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=478569#Post478569





Edited by Bill Cody (08/18/17 11:46 AM)
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#431669 - 12/14/15 09:30 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
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Examples of optimum growth of southern copper nose bluegill - CNBG
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=431614#Post431614
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#431719 - 12/15/15 02:53 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
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From my presentation at PB IV – Fish Nutrition – Applied Science to Small Waters


natural food is better for fish over the long term

pellets (the right type) are 4 + times more efficient than natural food because the fish does not have to expend energy to catch it

lack of food is the single biggest limiting factor in fish growth and condition


Bioenergetics is the subject of a field of biochemistry that concerns energy flow and transformation through living systems.

Growth, development and metabolism are some of the central phenomena in the study of biological organisms. The role of energy is fundamental to such biological processes. The ability to harness energy from a variety of metabolic pathways is a property of all living organisms. Life is dependent on energy transformations; living organisms survive because of exchange of energy within and without.

Living organisms obtain energy from organic and inorganic materials. For example, lithotrophs can oxidize minerals . In photosynthesis, autotrophs can produce ATP using light energy. Heterotrophs (including fish) must consume organic compounds. These are mostly carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The amount of energy actually obtained by the organism is lower than the amount present in the food; there are losses in digestion, metabolism, and thermogenesis.

Energy Budget ---- Inputs = Outputs + Growth


Because fish growth often is limited by food availability, supplemental feeding is a logical tool to improve the condition of fish in small impoundments as the energy cost for bluegill to feed on pellets is small relative to the high caloric intake, which can be 4-5 times greater than those fed natural foods (Schalles and Wissing 1976). Substantial increases in the standing stock of bluegill in ponds that receive pellet feed have been recorded (Schmittou 1969) and, in lakes, pellet feeding has been found to increase the number of large bluegills (Nail and Powell 1975).

These results indicate that total fish production and production of bluegill were each increased approximately 75 to 80% by supplemental feeding in 19 months after stocking (Schmittou 1967)

Previous studies demonstrated that feed in excess of 10 pounds per acre per day in bluegill ponds was not utilized. Some accumulated and decomposed, thus depleting the supply of dissolved oxygen which resulted in fish kills (Schmittou 1967) .

the rate of growth of sunfish can be increased by short-circuiting the food cycle, thereby producing harvestable size sunfish in a shorter period of time than would occur under natural conditions (Carnes 1966).

The pellet size should be approximately 20-30% of the size of the fish species mouth gape. Feeding too small a pellet results in inefficient feeding because more energy is used in finding and eating more pellets. Conversely, pellets that are too large will depress feeding and, in the extreme, cause choking. Select the largest sized feed the fish will actively eat. Addition of supplemental pelleted feed did not contribute to the rate of growth of young shad, but did increase the growth and spawning frequency of adults.
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#473745 - 06/08/17 09:06 PM Re: Growing Some Big Bluegill [Re: Bill Cody]
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Discussion - pellet feeding when done properly of high quality 40% protein food produces more 2 pound plus bluegill.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=473739&page=1


Edited by Bill Cody (06/08/17 09:07 PM)
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