I needed to see if our fish were consuming the pellets at the volume I had the feeder set to dispense, so drove out to our place to observe the 8:00 AM feeding this morning. Normally I allow others to catch the fish and I measure and weigh the catch if needed, to determine which to keep and which to release. This morning I decided to catch some fish. Some days we catch and release more and some we keep more than we release. Out of six bluegills I kept four. We still have some of the original stocking of bass feeding on pellets and I've been trying to remove them. Today I got lucky and took one out.
A 16 inch female largemouth weighing 2.75 pounds.
I kept two female BGs that were twins, 8.25 inches, one weighing 8 oz and the other 7 oz.
One male BG from the original stocking that was lagging behind his classmates made the "eating" bucket at 8 inches and 8 ounces.
If you spend enough time messing with fish you will eventually encounter deformed ones. Most don't make it to adulthood but some do. This male has a deformed, shortened spine that produced a crooked and stubby tail. Its body is pretty circular and thick at 8 inches and 13 ounces, but the front end appears to be smaller than it should be. Anyway, its kinda funky and made the "eating" bucket.
The two male BGs caught and released were 9 inches plus and heavy, right at the 15/16 oz mark. If the BG is obviously a release fish, I rarely measure and weigh, except exceptionally large examples, to reduce stress.
So far this year I'm 100% on sexing those that made the "eating" bucket as verified with the fillet knife.
The fish had been on ice for a couple hours before I took these photos, so their colors had faded some and look splotchy.
We use the 6-8 inch slot as a guide on BGs and remove all bass 14 inches and up.