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#473432 - 06/05/17 03:40 PM Blue Gill and their lifespan
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Ok so I am hearing more and more that the BG down south wont usually last past 6 to 7 years. Well I put all my originals in my pond in 2010 and 2011. So they all must be getting close to going to the great fish heaven in the sky...

So should I be keeping my 10 plus inch BG at this point? Are they gonna just die soon anyway... Ugh that's hard to take... frown

RC

P.S. So in order to get a gill to 12 inches you really better be putting the food down for them I guess? I've done everything right except a heavy feeding program and still don't have a 12 inch 2 pound BG. Course I know there not a dime a dozen either..


Edited by RC51 (06/05/17 03:42 PM)
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The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#473435 - 06/05/17 04:16 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 766
Loc: Paris, TX
While the 10"+ is likely your original stockers, they could very will be their offspring the that next year, or a good 4 year old.

I will let the old bulls die naturally in my pond, and enjoy getting to catch them every once in a while.


Edited by BrianL (06/05/17 04:17 PM)
_________________________
1.8 acre pond with FHM(gone), CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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#473436 - 06/05/17 04:29 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1301
Loc: Louisiana, USA
My understanding is that feeding will definitely improve BG growth. However, if BG get fatty liver, this will shorten their life, so ultimate size might not improve as much as you'd think.

That's why I feed Optimal, as people I trust have said that it is formulated to avoid shortening lifespan, despite improving BG growth. Better chance of a 6 or 7 year old BG hitting 12" than a 5 year old, feed or no feed.

Of course, my oldest BG are only 2 years old, so we'll see!
_________________________
7 acre pond in east Texas, full pool reached March 2016. CNBG, RES, FHM stocked Nov 15; TP May 16; LSL bass 30 June 16. Added 100 12 inch N LMB and 1,000 shiners Oct 17, 150# TP and 70 HSB May 18




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#473437 - 06/05/17 05:05 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5586
Loc: Boone County Illinois
If your goal is to grow a 2 pounder, I would not harvest your big BG. My reasoning....whenever I read about BG life expectancy I seem to always see statements like "average life span" and "typical lifespan." My take away from that is it's not unusual for some to live longer. I remember one article that said they can live to 11.
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#473438 - 06/05/17 05:09 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13486
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Just thinking. I'm 74 and my best years are behind me. But, I'm not ready to be filleted and fried.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#473439 - 06/05/17 05:11 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: Dave Davidson1]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 766
Loc: Paris, TX
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Just thinking. I'm 74 and my best years are behind me. But, I'm not ready to be filleted and fried.


Best way to avoid that, is don't get caught in another man's pond! grin


Edited by BrianL (06/05/17 05:12 PM)
_________________________
1.8 acre pond with FHM(gone), CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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#473445 - 06/05/17 05:42 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Matzilla Online   content


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 331
Loc: Iowa
at 10+" they're doing something right, they've got life figured out pretty well - might as well pass that on lol
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#473446 - 06/05/17 05:42 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
There are other " returns" on our pond/fish investments, than just dinner. I don't harvest my big, older bluegills. If they die naturally and sink to the bottom, then they still provided me years of enjoyment. I don't feel like I'm owed anything.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#473458 - 06/05/17 06:46 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: sprkplug]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1301
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
There are other " returns" on our pond/fish investments, than just dinner. I don't harvest my big, older bluegills. If they die naturally and sink to the bottom, then they still provided me years of enjoyment. I don't feel like I'm owed anything.


Obviously my BOW isn't at that stage yet, but I agree. Giant BG are just as rare as giant LMB and should be treated with equal respect. Besides, their superior genetics should be passed on!
_________________________
7 acre pond in east Texas, full pool reached March 2016. CNBG, RES, FHM stocked Nov 15; TP May 16; LSL bass 30 June 16. Added 100 12 inch N LMB and 1,000 shiners Oct 17, 150# TP and 70 HSB May 18




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#473460 - 06/05/17 07:10 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3100
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Offering my two cents here...In order to have very many huge bluegill, a heavy feeding program is a must.
I'm hearing lots of good things about Optimal, and those folks have offered to send some food so I can learn about it, but haven't received or used any, yet.
I've been able to raise many, many (several thousand) two-pound plus bluegills in a variety of pond and lake situations, using Purina's AquaMax 500...and some 600. I'm confident in that feed, as well. We've grown our biggest bluegills, in good numbers, by feeding small bursts three times per day, feeding enough that fish clean it up within 3 minutes.
One thing I like about the new AquaMax MVP is that it has 9 particle sizes and the smallest sizes sink, allowing smaller fish the opportunity to feed beneath the most aggressive fish.
Also, to dispel a rumor, AquaMax Sport Fish feeds do not cause fatty livers. Not sure where that rumor came from, but Dr. Mark Griffin did the research and several of the Pond Boss family participated in the program. The fish foods which can cause fat livers in bluegill or feed-trained bass are those designed for salmonids.
Whichever feed you choose, be sure it has more than 40% digestible protein.
Yes, you can grow bluegills beyond two pounds...as long as they are fed well.
Regarding whether to keep the older ones, or not, that's a personal choice. As long as you have good control of reproduction with a thoughtful predator population, you can expect recruitment to add to the population to grow some giants.
Also, plan to come to the Pond Boss VII Conference and Expo. There are experts who have done some amazing things growing big bluegills (and other fish) that don't regularly come onto this forum.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#473464 - 06/05/17 07:35 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: Dave Davidson1]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5680
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Just thinking. I'm 74 and my best years are behind me. But, I'm not ready to be filleted and fried.


[THREAD HIJACK]

Dave -- I'm sure that your comment brings indigestion and very scary thoughts to any poor cannibal who might see your post ... cry

[END THREAD HIJACK//]
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#473467 - 06/05/17 07:52 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13486
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Mostly gristle and fat. And, according to some, pretty well saturated with BS.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#473480 - 06/05/17 08:55 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12412
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Pond Boss Lusk - take one of your large 3 times a day fed BG and clean it. Take a good picture of its liver. Do the same thing with a fairly large wild BG one that has not eaten pellets or one that has been feed Optimal fish food for the summer. Post all the pictures on the forum or in the magazine of their livers. Then repeat the comments in your above post. Your comment does not hold true for yellow perch. Let's see how true it is for bluegill.


Edited by Bill Cody (06/05/17 08:58 PM)
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Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

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#473481 - 06/05/17 09:04 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
scott69 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 1015
Loc: Chambers county(Valley), alaba...
every animal i know of that is larger than normal (including us humans) eats more than the rest of the population. i believe food is the most important part of the big bg equation. my res in the pond are not in the class of the bg and i think it is because they don't take pellets.
also i think fish feeding time is important. right now i am feeding 1 time in the morning and twice evening. i believe feeding them right before dark is helpful. it puts them to bed on a full stomach. kinda like us eating milk and cookies right before we got to bed.
if you are wanting fish to eat, maybe you could eat the 9 inch ones and let the 10 inch ones alone to see what happens.
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#473485 - 06/05/17 10:25 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1992
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
What about the occasional 3.5 to 4 pound BG that is wild caught every so often? Rare, but it happens. Are these freaks of nature or is it attainable in a typical southern pond with the right feeding program?
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#473493 - 06/06/17 01:10 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: Bob Lusk]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1301
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Originally Posted By: Bob Lusk
.
I've been able to raise many, many (several thousand) two-pound plus bluegills in a variety of pond and lake situations, using Purina's AquaMax 500...and some 600. I'm confident in that feed, as well. We've grown our biggest bluegills, in good numbers, by feeding small bursts three times per day, feeding enough that fish clean it up within 3 minutes.
One thing I like about the new AquaMax MVP is that it has 9 particle sizes and the smallest sizes sink, allowing smaller fish the opportunity to feed beneath the most aggressive fish.
Also, to dispel a rumor, AquaMax Sport Fish feeds do not cause fatty livers. Not sure where that rumor came from, but Dr. Mark Griffin did the research and several of the Pond Boss family participated in the program. The fish foods which can cause fat livers in bluegill or feed-trained bass are those designed for salmonids.
Whichever feed you choose, be sure it has more than 40% digestible protein.
Yes, you can grow bluegills beyond two pounds...as long as they are fed well.
Regarding whether to keep the older ones, or not, that's a personal choice. As long as you have good control of reproduction with a thoughtful predator population, you can expect recruitment to add to the population to grow some giants.
Also, plan to come to the Pond Boss VII Conference and Expo. There are experts who have done some amazing things growing big bluegills (and other fish) that don't regularly come onto this forum.


Bob, as I know from personal experience, your two cents are worth a lot more than pennies! I'm glad to hear AquaMax grows 2 pound BG. Truth is, I've never caught a BG exceeding a pound in my life.

My comment about fatty liver was not directed at AquaMax. However, I have seen images of fatty liver problems caused by other feeds, and heard testimony about such issues shortening BG life.

I wish Optimal had a mixture of sinking feed, like AM MVP. Perhaps due to my infertile water, BG recruitment is an issue and my surviving YOY have been few, unlike the LMB. This despite loads of beds, mostly in the pebble areas you planned.

Thanks for doing a great job with Pond Boss. Looking forward to attending the Forum and learning more!


Edited by anthropic (06/06/17 01:14 AM)
_________________________
7 acre pond in east Texas, full pool reached March 2016. CNBG, RES, FHM stocked Nov 15; TP May 16; LSL bass 30 June 16. Added 100 12 inch N LMB and 1,000 shiners Oct 17, 150# TP and 70 HSB May 18




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#473494 - 06/06/17 01:24 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: Bob Lusk]
esshup Offline
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24028
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Bob Lusk
(snip)
One thing I like about the new AquaMax MVP is that it has 9 particle sizes and the smallest sizes sink, allowing smaller fish the opportunity to feed beneath the most aggressive fish.
Also, to dispel a rumor, AquaMax Sport Fish feeds do not cause fatty livers. Not sure where that rumor came from, but Dr. Mark Griffin did the research and several of the Pond Boss family participated in the program. (snip)


Bob, I have two questions regarding the research that Dr. Griffin did for Purina, and the food that he developed.

Since Purina has changed where and who produces the Aquamax and Sportfish feed for them, and since Dr. Griffin is no longer with the company, have the fish food formula and ingredients (including vitamins and oils) changed in any way since he developed the food? What year was it when he developed the food?

I agree with Bill Cody, I'd love to see pictures!!!!
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#473503 - 06/06/17 09:26 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Hey everyone thanks for the responses. I don't keep my largest fish to eat I usually keep that 7 to 9 inch range for the skillet, but I was just wondering how true the statement was about a 6 to 7 year lifespan. I just cant seem to keep them big ones and have to let them go in hopes they may reach 12 inches. I only feed twice a day though so I may up that to 3 times but small bursts like Bob says. Course I am not sure I don't have a 12 incher just haven't caught him yet... smile It all just got me thinking as all my big BG's are now 6 to 7 years old so just a little worried there all gonna start to bite it...

Would love to come to the PBC! But that's opening weekend of Muzzle Loader here and can't miss that. If you can though post some good video would love to watch some of it if possible.

RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#473509 - 06/06/17 10:46 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Notice the difference in feeding amounts...Bob sees best growth feeding smaller bursts three times a day, with cleanup times of three minutes. Not the ten minute cleanup that's recommended often.

Wonder how the feeding response is, using Bob's method? At the three minute interval, are the fish still hammering the feed or has response slowed/stopped? What about pond size? I've been thinking lately that I've underestimated that variable in terms of importance.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#473516 - 06/06/17 11:18 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Yes right now I feed at 8 am for 2 seconds and once at 7pm for 1 second.

The 2 second burst I would say is close to 2 mins worth maybe a little less. I think if I did. 3, 3 second bursts I would be real close to the 3 minute mark for me. I need to actually time it once I guess.


I never was a fan of throwing so much food out there it takes 10 or 15 minutes to clear up not that it wrong but... thats a LOT of food!! IMO. And like I said I am only supplement feeding also. I want my fish to live off the pond as much as they live off the food I am giving them.

RC


Edited by RC51 (06/06/17 11:18 AM)
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

Top
#473518 - 06/06/17 12:05 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: sprkplug]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 766
Loc: Paris, TX
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
Notice the difference in feeding amounts...Bob sees best growth feeding smaller bursts three times a day, with cleanup times of three minutes. Not the ten minute cleanup that's recommended often.

Wonder how the feeding response is, using Bob's method? At the three minute interval, are the fish still hammering the feed or has response slowed/stopped? What about pond size? I've been thinking lately that I've underestimated that variable in terms of importance.


I feed in shorter burst. I normally feed 3 times a day three burst pre feeding. I feed 3-9 seconds per spin and food is usually gone in 30-40 seconds.


Edited by BrianL (06/06/17 12:09 PM)
_________________________
1.8 acre pond with FHM(gone), CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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#473524 - 06/06/17 12:20 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
RC51 Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
9 seconds? I guess some of this depends maybe on feeder type. I have a make shift deer feeder which I believe throws more food. I would have food everywhere if I threw food for 9 seconds at a time.... Yikes.. bob said short bursts I wish he would have given a time on it. Short bursts can mean a lot of things to other folks... lol

RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

Top
#473525 - 06/06/17 12:26 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12412
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Another item - Shorter life span may not actually be due to fatty livers but some other unhealthy items in the food that shortens the life span; maybe too many carbohydrates?. How many carbohydrates and excess fats do wild BG have in their diet????? Research by Dr. Griffin is likely dated and maybe not a complete biochemical, physiological workup of the fish was performed. Maybe the study was primarily a growth study comparison. Are the research methods for that study available for reading? I doubt very much the longevity of the fish was considered when Dr.Griffin conducted his study. Plus I doubt other food manufactures consider life span when developing food formulae.


Edited by Bill Cody (06/06/17 12:28 PM)
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

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#473529 - 06/06/17 12:46 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 766
Loc: Paris, TX
Originally Posted By: RC51
9 seconds? I guess some of this depends maybe on feeder type. I have a make shift deer feeder which I believe throws more food. I would have food everywhere if I threw food for 9 seconds at a time.... Yikes.. bob said short bursts I wish he would have given a time on it. Short bursts can mean a lot of things to other folks... lol

RC


Mine throws 1/2 pound every 6 seconds. I agree, time would be an inaccurate way of comparing how much each different type feeder feeds. Your feeder could throw more in two seconds than mine does in 20 seconds.


Edited by BrianL (06/06/17 12:47 PM)
_________________________
1.8 acre pond with FHM(gone), CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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#473536 - 06/06/17 02:19 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
RC51 Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Yeah I have never put a bag around it either and tested it as to how much 2 or 3 or 4 seconds puts in the bag. Guess I need to do a little more testing...

RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

Top
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