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#473556 - 06/06/17 05:17 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
If it were simply a matter of pouring the food to em', shouldn't we be seeing numbers of two pounders by now? After all these years? Since I've been on the forum, an entire generation of Bluegills have come and gone. With all the folks feeding premium feed, it just seems like there would be photos galore, if feeding was all it took?

Just goes to show how rare a giant BG really is, me thinks. ESPECIALLY, in a 1/2 to 1 acre, multi species pond, like the majority of pond owners manage.
_________________________
"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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#473558 - 06/06/17 05:50 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2028
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Can anyone answer the question-How do the occasional, but very rare 3.5 to 4 lb wild caught BG come to be? Why can't we have these in our ponds, given special and controlled conditions?
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#473566 - 06/06/17 06:30 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: John Fitzgerald]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Originally Posted By: John F
Can anyone answer the question-How do the occasional, but very rare 3.5 to 4 lb wild caught BG come to be? Why can't we have these in our ponds, given special and controlled conditions?


The state record BG for Indiana weighed in at 3.25 lbs, and was caught from public water in 1972. And I do not expect to ever see that record fall. It's just a one in a million chance, where food, genetics, lifespan, water quality, not being thrown in the deep fryer at a younger age, and probably one or two other unknown variables come into play to create a giant fish.

I've seen quite a few photos of 2lb+ BG from Richmond Mill, but the number of three pounders is far less. Just shows how rare those fish are, and how difficult it is to produce them.
_________________________
"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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#473568 - 06/06/17 07:48 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: sprkplug]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2028
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
The Arkansas record BG is also 3 lbs 4 oz, caught in Aug 1998 from a pond. I do expect to see that record fall sometime. We have to eventually beat Alabama at something.
_________________________

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#473593 - 06/07/17 02:53 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Memo Offline


Registered: 06/07/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California (CA)
What kind of small fry is this

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#473594 - 06/07/17 03:03 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Memo Offline


Registered: 06/07/17
Posts: 2
Loc: California (CA)
What kind of small fry is this

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#473631 - 06/07/17 02:20 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: John Fitzgerald]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 776
Loc: Paris, TX
Originally Posted By: John F
Can anyone answer the question-How do the occasional, but very rare 3.5 to 4 lb wild caught BG come to be? Why can't we have these in our ponds, given special and controlled conditions?


I would think it is more genetic, numbers, and DNA thing. To me it would be the same as why we aren't all NBA size/quality? It takes a lot of numbers to get a 3# bluegill, but it also takes a lot of numbers to get a 7' guard that can shoot 3 point shots..
_________________________
1.8 acre pond with FHM(gone), CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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#473639 - 06/07/17 03:03 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: BrianL]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1382
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Originally Posted By: BrianL
Originally Posted By: John F
Can anyone answer the question-How do the occasional, but very rare 3.5 to 4 lb wild caught BG come to be? Why can't we have these in our ponds, given special and controlled conditions?


I would think it is more genetic, numbers, and DNA thing. To me it would be the same as why we aren't all NBA size/quality? It takes a lot of numbers to get a 3# bluegill, but it also takes a lot of numbers to get a 7' guard that can shoot 3 point shots..


Don't mean to boast, but I'm NBA quality. No Basketball Achievements!


Edited by anthropic (06/07/17 03:10 PM)
_________________________
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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#473641 - 06/07/17 03:07 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
That's a good way of putting it Brain. Just like that 10 pound bass they are hard to come by also. I read an article once from In Fishermen I believe that said it takes a fishermen 100,000 fishing hours on average to catch 1 ten pound bass. That's a LOT of hours fishing!!

RC


Edited by RC51 (06/07/17 03:08 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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#473688 - 06/08/17 09:20 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2453
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
From my (going on 3 yrs) experience, it's not Easy or Cheap to try and grow big cnbg or lmb. It has been a learning experience to say the least.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#473690 - 06/08/17 10:55 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19531
Loc: Miss.
It is not complicated. Not easy either.

The first question to ask is "Is this possible ?". Many times us owners are not realistic. The second question is "is it worth the effort ?". Am I willing to pursue that goal to the exclusion of other things I might want?

To grow large fish you need genetics , food , and water quality. A lot goes into each of those items. To get the super sized fish 3-4 lb BG it requires a perfect storm. Genetics , food , location , low stress , water quality , low competition , and each and every one at the right time.


Edited by ewest (06/08/17 10:59 AM)
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#473695 - 06/08/17 11:43 AM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
bassmaster61 Offline


Registered: 06/18/15
Posts: 141
Loc: St. Louis, MO/West Central Ill...
I have had my new TX Hunter feeder (LM135, 70 lb. capacity) set up and ready to go for more than 2 months waiting for the hatchery to deliver my order. I will be using Aquamax MVP to feed LMB, BG & HSB.

We have had a crazy year of weather so far in our part of the Midwest with lots of rain and flooding and the hatchery (reputable) has been way behind their intended schedule. The delivery will finally be tomorrow morning....I am getting anxious and excited to say the least. Hard to focus here at the office. This will be the first time we have stocked fish into our 3 BOWs since the early 1950s.

Cody at TH HQ told me my feeder will throw 6 ounces of Purina Gamefish Chow every 4 seconds.....he said Aquamax MVP is very similar in shape and size to GF Chow. He said the factory settings on my feeder will not have to be changed to accommodate MVP....I checked the specs on the feeder and on the MVP bag and verified that.

So hopefully, by midday tomorrow, the fish will be in the ponds. Only the 1.6 acre pond will have a feeder for now. This is an experiment for us at this point and we will see how it goes for a year or two before adding supplemental feeding at the 2 other ponds.

Did I mention that I am having trouble focusing at work today? BM61.


Edited by bassmaster61 (06/09/17 12:34 PM)
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#473701 - 06/08/17 12:41 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: bassmaster61]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1382
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Congratulations! There is something truly special about stocking the fish that you'll hopefully be catching in a year or two! I had my grandkids out to watch, they loved it.


Edited by anthropic (06/08/17 12:44 PM)
_________________________
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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#473732 - 06/08/17 06:46 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: Bill Cody]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3103
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
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.


Wild Bill,
I don't have access to any fish that are fed Optimal fish food. Those images will need to come from elsewhere.

As we do our electrofishing surveys over the next few weeks, I'll ask my guys to collect a few big bluegills (if they come across any) that haven't been fed any fish food...although we don't see any big bluegills which haven't been fed...and I'll personally dissect them and shoot some photos.

Plus, next time I go to Richmond Mill, I'll collect some of those fish, dissect them and take some photos there.

Don't look for those photos soon. It will take some time.

Oh, I didn't make any commments about yellow perch. Not sure the significance of your comment about that. During Dr. Griffin's research, he focused specifically on largemouth bass and bluegills, and how that feed affected livers, as well as growth rates and metabolism.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#473733 - 06/08/17 06:49 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: John Fitzgerald]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3103
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Originally Posted By: John F
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?


Yes, those can be considered freaks of nature. Those rare individuals condition into that specific environment, habitat, and food chain. For a variety of reasons, they thrive.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#473734 - 06/08/17 06:56 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: esshup]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3103
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Originally Posted By: esshup
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!!!!


Scott, Purina's fish food formula has not changed. The process to make it changed for a period. Because the sold an extrusion mill, they had to contract with a private mill to manufacture the product. That mill didn't have the equipment to spray fish oil on the outside of the pellet, so they injected it into the pellet and spray another type of animal fat on the outside of the pellet. The formula was the same...the process to manufacture it changed.
AquaMax Sport Fish products were fine tuned 2006-2007.
See above comments about photos.
I'd challenge anyone on this forum to present some photos, and then we can see a variety of results and livers from fish all over the nation.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#473735 - 06/08/17 07:03 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: sprkplug]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3103
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
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.


The response is based on the population of fish. More fish, better response. Bigger lake, few feeders, better response, because more fish come to the feeder. They hammer the feed to satiation, then stop. My experience suggests that three minutes is plenty of time for the "food hogs" to fill up, and then go home. Those "food hogs" are the ones which seem to grow largest, fastest.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#473736 - 06/08/17 07:26 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: Bill Cody]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3103
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
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.


While there must be carbohydrates in fish food, bluegills can't metabolize carbs. Carbs in fish food designed for carnivores are there to help physically hold the pellets together. While some fish do metabolize carbs, as catfish, carp, and tilapia, carnivores don't need them. Dr. Griffin's research had two primary objectives. First, he studied growth rates. Second, to a lesser degree, he studied livers to determine fat amounts. A lesser objective was to figure out the best vitamin and micronutrient package for carnivores. He did this in 2006-07.

One thing to keep in mind, everyone...even with the best fish foods, feeding your fish is supplemental. There's not a bluegill in a recreational pond anywhere that is solely dependent on fish food. The dynamics of what happens in an aquatic environment precludes that assumption. Bill Cody can feed the "best" fish food he wants, and only some percentage of his fish will eat as much as they can consume for those few minutes. Think about it a little more deeply and we can safely conclude those fish get a meal for about three minutes, maybe three times per day. Depending on the temperature, they'll digest that food within 4-6 hours. Since the food is designed to be digestible, it may happen faster than that. Between feedings, bluegill are still what they are, or why would they bite a bit of night crawler on your hook? They continue to feed, at every opportunity.

Dr. Griffin did not do a complete physiological or biochemical workup. Their research lab is designed to create the best feeds, not make fish run on a treadmill. No feed manufacturer does that, to my knowledge. And, no any proprietary research isn't available to the general public. Heck, even the state where I live, the Parks and Wildlife Department won't share their largemouth bass genetic work, and they are publicly funded.

Here's my bottom line about this subject. I rarely saw two-pound plus bluegills until Purina developed their AquaMax line of fish foods and improved the formulation in 2006-07. By 2010, I was seeing many, many two pound plus fish. I directly attribute that fish food to boosting the nutrition of fish in the lakes where it's been fed. Not only did bluegills grow because of it, I've also noted an increase in aquatic insects, invertebrates, and other foodstuffs which bluegill eat. I attribute that, to some degree, to nature utilizing fish waste, uneaten feed, and a change in population dynamics of fish.

Lastly, I can't address any change in lifespan due to a fish food. In my opinion, I think many fish's lifespans have been increased due to feeding pelleted fish food. That's partly due to better overall nutrition available, but just as much because those parcel of the population didn't get eaten themselves because of an overall boost in the food chain.

One other comment...there is only some percentage, I think it's less than 20% of bluegill which survive long enough, that CAN grow into giant sizes. I think there's a propensity, if genetics and behavior allow it, for a fraction of fish to be able to grow to those sizes. All the fish food does is give them the opportunity.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#473737 - 06/08/17 07:33 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: sprkplug]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3103
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
If it were simply a matter of pouring the food to em', shouldn't we be seeing numbers of two pounders by now? After all these years? Since I've been on the forum, an entire generation of Bluegills have come and gone. With all the folks feeding premium feed, it just seems like there would be photos galore, if feeding was all it took?

Just goes to show how rare a giant BG really is, me thinks. ESPECIALLY, in a 1/2 to 1 acre, multi species pond, like the majority of pond owners manage.


Sparky, I think you are right on! It's way more than "just" fish food. It's habitat, it's population dynamics, it's the predator population, not just fish food. I personally believe habitat plays a giant role in producing huge fish of any species...not just bluegills. With that said, I totally believe good fish food gives the boost that those special fish need to be able to top out at huge sizes.

We'll have a speaker at Pond Boss VII who addresses that topic. Some of his successes with growing big fish make me shake my head as I wonder about the commitment to it.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#473738 - 06/08/17 08:01 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2028
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Maybe feeding bluegill to rapidly get them from fry to a pound plus, then releasing into a fairly large lake with the right habitat might result in a few three pounders?
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#473739 - 06/08/17 08:26 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3103
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
I definitely think that could give an advantage. Our good friend, Bruce Condello, when he had his farm, would hand pick the "best of the best" of his bluegills for a handful of characteristics as body condition, growth rate, and size and would keep those fish for further growth studies. Then, the "best of the best" of that original group would be kept for broodfish. Over years of genetic selection, he named them the "Condello" strain. People for miles wanted young of the year of those fish.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#473744 - 06/08/17 09:04 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5606
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I think of it a little different I guess. Is a 120 pound 1st grader healthy or is he obese and unhealthy. Does the doc call the parents raising that child with concerns? The vet will tell you your obese cat is unhealthy and needs a diet..... Seems in the "fish world" the obese fish brings praise to the pondmeister but are they really healthy or doomed to a short life and thus never reach that 3 to 4 pounds? Seems I never hear someone say "that fish is too fat!"

IMVHO fish that are 95 to 110 % Rw are healthy fish and what I shoot to achieve in my pond. Fish with 130% or higher might be obese. (Caveat here is that the ladies are allowed to be high Rw when gravid...I know my bride was! smile )


Edited by Bill D. (06/08/17 09:13 PM)
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You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#473747 - 06/08/17 09:12 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3103
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
With respect, I don't agree with obese fish, either. Personally, I'm bothered by obese fish. But, when I see a fish that is the equivalent size perspective of a Shaquille O'Neal or similar, I have to smile and think about the good things of it. Just think, if Shaq had lived in an environment where he wasn't fed properly, AND didn't have the opportunity to excel, would he? I'd suggest he wouldn't have.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#473748 - 06/08/17 09:19 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5606
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I agree with that. He is pretty tall. I wonder what his Rw is considering his weight? My concern comes when fish length is disproportionate to their weight. What if Shaq weighed the same he does now and was only 6 feet tall. That's why I think Rw is a valuable tool with respect to fish health, and bigger numbers might not necessarily be better if you are looking for a fish that grows at a more natural rate and will live long enough to be a trophy.

Edit: Hey! BTW I am not saying fish should not be fed pellets! I feed Optimal BG and Skretting 3 mm. I'm saying that maybe the right amount to supplemental feed is what keeps the fish on target for an appropriate Rw, not how much you can get them to eat.


Edited by Bill D. (06/08/17 09:43 PM)
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#473750 - 06/08/17 09:42 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: RC51]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
I'm totally down with high Wr numbers. When I hold a BG or HBG with the math hovering around 160%, I get giddy. And yes, those fish are wide across the stomach. And the chest. And the back. And they're tall also. I guess what I'm trying to say is, a high Wr doesn't have to equate to obesity.
_________________________
"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.

Top
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