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#505543 - 05/09/19 08:32 AM Zero activity when feeder goes off??
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Came up yesterday to check on things. Was at the pond late yesterday when the feeder went off. I noticed very low feeding activity, so I dialed back the number of seconds the feeder would run. I went back down this morning and watched it go off. Absolutely zero fish coming to feed? Iíve got the battery disconnected for now. Lots of things doing on here. Hopefully someone can shed some light on the situation.
#1 itís cool (56 degrees) east wind, and sprinkling. It was sprinkling last night also. Iíve been told YP donít feed if it is raining, but zero activity?
#2 I killed out all the FA last week. I put copper sulfate crystals in a burlap bag and rowed it around the edge of the pond. I put out about 12 lbs in a 1 ac pond. Mostly within 20í of the bank.
#3 I was out of Optima when I came up last week. I feed a mix of blue gill and bass formulas. I didnít think I had any left, but found one bag in my storage bin. It was the blue gill formula. Manufactured in May of 2018. It had spent most of last summer and all winter in the locker. It is totally dry, and smells normal. Thatís all thatís coming out now. Iíve got new bags of BG and LMB Optima feeds on hand now.

FYI, the fish were feeding very aggressively a few weeks ago. Larger fish than Iíve ever noticed before, plus the usual suspects. Lots of smaller fry pushing pellets around also.
I donít think Iíve had any other fishermen in, or otters.

Suggestions? More info needed? I forgot my thermometer this morning, so I donít have water temp, but I can get it easily enough. Water is cold though. Very clear right now, and NO FA, itís gone. I did see some fish come out of the weeds near the bank as I walked along. Just weird, could be weather related, but itís the first time Iíve put out feed without the water boiling. (In 4 years).
Thx
Jeff
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#505545 - 05/09/19 08:47 AM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5492
Loc: SE Kansas
I hand feed around the pond nearly every day (although now I have a feeder newly installed).

I would notice around the time of a storm or change in weather pattern there would be some days the fish just did not seem much interested. I would throw out a little feed but maybe only a fourth as much. Usually the next day or two they would back to being ravenous.

I think fish (and most wild animals for that matter) are used to going from feast to famine, depending on the availability of the food at the time. Of course we want them to keep growing so want them to eat. But I think they are adapted to having lots then little. Maybe just part of their instinctual eating patterns????
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

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#505547 - 05/09/19 08:52 AM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Hope thatís all it is John. I think Iíll pull the old food out, and go with the fresher food. Plus the mixture of BG and LMB feeds. Itís just weird to see the feeder shoot all that feed out there, and then,,, nothing..
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#505549 - 05/09/19 09:35 AM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
roundy Offline


Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 242
Loc: Beardstown, Illinois
I use a weather underground station to view the weather near my pond and to monitor the rainfall. This is a network of privately owned stations anyone can access. The thing I like best is the ability to view data by day, week, or month that the station has been operating.
For instance over the past few days we have had a substantial drop in atmospheric pressure, this could influence fish feeding if in your area also. Here is link to one in my area, you can use search function to find a local one.
weather underground

article on pressure and fish feeding


Edited by roundy (05/09/19 10:24 AM)
_________________________
2 acres - FHM, GSH, PSC, RES, HBG, BG, LMB and YP
1 acre - filling with FMH, GSH, and PSC till fall 2020, then SMB and YP
I subscribe to PBM

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#505552 - 05/09/19 10:10 AM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
Flame Offline


Registered: 09/12/14
Posts: 1228
Loc: Deep East Texas
Setter, are your feeding TIMES still the same as before? I know nothing about YP but your bluegill should be doing something.My pond is about the same age as yours and the only times (other than winter) have I seen no activity at all was after I either had a otter or a water turkey show up. Even after I solved the problem it seems each time it took about 2-3 days for them to get "back" to their regular feeding frenzy. Hope for sure that's not the problem you have. I'm sure if you give them a day or two whatever has them "turned off" they will be back. Best of luck to you.
_________________________
Dear Alcohol, We had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter, and a better dancer... I saw the video... We need to talk.

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#505568 - 05/09/19 12:52 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Sure hope so. I have a GBH that visits, but heís been around since day one. (Along with a couple green herons and a few kingfishers).
I hope itís not an otter, but Iíve seen zero evidence of one being around.
Maybe roundy is on the nose. Big pressure drop. Iíll look into it. Itís about 15 degrees cooler today than yesterday.

I havenít changed feeding times, but the feeder was empty for a few days.

Fishing was pretty slow last weekend. We caught 10 YP, 5-6 HBG, 3 RES, and several GS. Grandkids all fishing with worms. No SMB, which is unusual, and of course, no HSB, I havenít seen one in four years. We usually have double those numbers.


Edited by SetterGuy (05/09/19 12:54 PM)
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

Top
#505577 - 05/09/19 01:24 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
Sunil Offline
Moderator
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 11672
Loc: Somerset, PA
I believe the fish have to show up and 'try' the feed before they know the feed is good or bad, so I don't think the age of your feed has to do with the no-shows.

It's certainly odd, but then you did say that you've seen fish, so no reason to believe they're not still in there.
_________________________
Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


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#505585 - 05/09/19 01:56 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Exactly. No evidence of dead ones, or trespassers. Just a fluke, I guess,, I hope!
Found a dead crawdad and a dead tadpole after the copper sulfate went in. It says on the package it doesnít harm fish.. Hopefully theyíll get back to eating.
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

Top
#505592 - 05/09/19 02:42 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8200
Loc: Lincoln, NE
In Spring I turn off my feeder depending on weather conditions - feeding can vary during cold fronts which leads to significant uneaten pellets/pending water quality issues and I shut down during nasty North winds 15 MPH+ which blows a lot of feed to shore. Missing a day here or there doesn't impact fish growth IMO, based on the compensatory feeding theory.

I feed multiple 1 second throws during Spring until weather stabilizes, then I might pump up to 2 seconds - I feed 15 minutes apart. I suspect my fish density is significantly higher than yours due to very high predator population to manage my BG, I'm wondering if you are feeding too much. Lusk says feed only what fish can clean up in 10 minutes...I use a 5 minute rule myself in order to watch the feed bill and potential water quality issues due to wasted shore blown pellets. Also, I want all my apex predators to be encouraged to hammer my BG population...feed is SUPPLEMENTAL after all, not the sole source of forage/nutrition.

With all that in mind, consider shutting down the feeder during adverse feeding conditions and monitor your feeding activity. You could be feeding too much. Try 1 second throws 15 min apart...

_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#505595 - 05/09/19 02:54 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: roundy]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8200
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: roundy
I use a weather underground station to view the weather near my pond and to monitor the rainfall. This is a network of privately owned stations anyone can access. The thing I like best is the ability to view data by day, week, or month that the station has been operating.
For instance over the past few days we have had a substantial drop in atmospheric pressure, this could influence fish feeding if in your area also. Here is link to one in my area, you can use search function to find a local one.
weather underground

article on pressure and fish feeding


Roundy - good post thank you. I've always wanted the ability to remotely change my feeding based on variable weather conditions - too bad that technology doesn't exist. This would be huge for absentee land owners...in addition to a feeder cam to monitor activity...
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#505604 - 05/09/19 04:05 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1599
Loc: West Central Missouri
I have had two instances this year with NO feeding activity (HBG). One of the times I had measured water temps a couple of days before, then a 4.5" cool rain came in and the fish showed no interest for two days. The water temp dropped 6 degrees from the rain event (66 degrees back down to 60). My pond has some excess watershed which seems to amplify the cool rain effects. Combine the temperature drop with some added muddy water, change in barometric pressure and no one was interested in the feed. They started back up rather slow, but within a few days they were back to it like I would expect.

The other no-feed event was not as well documented, but corresponded with a cool rain event as well.


Edited by Quarter Acre (05/09/19 04:18 PM)
Edit Reason: Added (HBG)
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#505606 - 05/09/19 04:22 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
Flame Offline


Registered: 09/12/14
Posts: 1228
Loc: Deep East Texas
You stated the feeder was empty a few days and I assume you were talking in a row. That would certainly throw my fish off and would take them a couple of days to realize the buffet was back open. I really doubt you have anything to worry about. Keep us in the loop how they progress!!
_________________________
Dear Alcohol, We had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter, and a better dancer... I saw the video... We need to talk.

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#505608 - 05/09/19 04:43 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Thanks TJ, Iíve always followed your 5 min rule in the past. I was feeding at dawn and dusk 8 seconds each. A
Iím also sure your fish density is a lot higher than mine.
I canít come up and manage the feeder based on weather conditions. Just not feasible at this time. So I have to set it and let it run, but I run low run times. Twice a day.
I really think I found the problem. The empty bag I looked at was not the one I found in storage. That bag was still in the back of the utv. Looking closely at that bag I found a date of 5/14 on it. Optima must have just been getting started. I took that very old feed out of the feeder. It had almost no odor at all. The new feed has a much stronger fish smell. In fact as I was removing it, I spilled some, and my Setter wasnít interested. Tells me a lot right there.
Iím hoping the old feed didnít hurt the fish. I did a 2 second test run with the new feed and had some results. Not super strong, but the larger swirls were coming back.
I left it at 10 seconds a day (5 seconds at dawn and 5 at dusk). Hopefully that isnít enough to cause water quality issues, if they arenít hitting it all in 5 minutes.
Iíll not use old feed again..
Jeff
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

Top
#505610 - 05/09/19 04:55 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8200
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Unless the feed is moldy, you're not hurting fish with old feed, but they are likely not deriving much benefit from it, either...just creating lots of fish waste. I'd use all feed within 6-12 months of manufacture date, sooner if possible. Buy fewer bags at a time - this helps you keep it fresh.

You know your fish feeding habits, but 8 seconds seems like a long time when you're just feeding YP and HBG. Are you verifying pellets are all cleaned within 10 min? Checking all the banks? Be sure to watch how long it takes for them to clean that up, and check the shoreline for wasted pellets. Again I feed 1-2 seconds max every 15 min and this ensures all pellets are consumed...Right now I'm using 1 second throws at 7:50 PM and in 15 minute increments until 8:50 [five feedings]. When fish start to clean it up in 3 minutes I will increase to 2 seconds to keep within that five minute range.

Obviously do what works for you, just sharing my method to help eliminate excessive waste and reduce the food budget.
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#505622 - 05/09/19 08:18 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Thanks TJ. Before this the food was getting eaten up in just a few minutes. I donít know if the SMB are feed trained or not. Plus the infamous, invisible HSB may be getting some too. But the feed has been gone in a couple of minutes. I actually thought I was feeding on the low side.
I somehow had forgotten about that one bag of feed. It sat in the locker for a few years. I order direct form Optima one BG and one LMB it takes a while to use that much feed.

Thanks again.
Jeff
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

Top
#505625 - 05/09/19 10:17 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 160
Loc: Wisconsin
I would guess, your application of copper sulfate crystals caused algal die-off, thus oxygen depletion as the dead algae decay.
_________________________
2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry

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#505655 - 05/10/19 10:57 AM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: Joey Quarry]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Originally Posted By: Joey Quarry
I would guess, your application of copper sulfate crystals caused algal die-off, thus oxygen depletion as the dead algae decay.


Joey, would that just cause a slow down on feeding? Hopefully not fatal to the fish. No fish floating, but Iíve never had many floaters. Seems like the colder water I have makes them sink.
Iíll be back there Monday and see how they are feeding. I didnít have that much FA at least compared to other ponds in the area. My banks are fairly steep. The FA was all fairly close to the bank.
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

Top
#505657 - 05/10/19 12:14 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8200
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Jeff your water temps are low enough in mid to upper 60s I guess...imagine your DO levels were just fine provided you didn't treat significant areas of the pond with copper. Try to relax, back off the feeding during major weather shifts, [anticipate low feeding at those times], and resume when the weather stabilizes. You worry too much, amigo...enjoy your pond!
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#505658 - 05/10/19 12:53 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
bassmaster61 Offline


Registered: 06/18/15
Posts: 178
Loc: St. Louis, MO/West Central Ill...
SG....Our place is just east of Jerseyville, Illinois (west central IL) and the fish have been very slow to come to the feeder so far this year. Last weekend the water was about 60 on Friday and Saturday and only a handful of fish came to feed when the TX Hunter went off at 8:30 am and 5:15 pm.

I have had the feeder running just 8 seconds twice each day for about 2 weeks. Fish are just not moving much and the water is staying cooler than normal so far this year. This weekend won't help as the highs near St. Louis are only going to be in the mid-to-upper 50s.

I was concerned at first but with all the crazy, cold spring weather we have had it makes sense that LMB and BG are moving a little slower so far this season. A week of 75 degree weather will get them on the pellets. In our experience, a copper sulfate treatment made absolutely no difference in feeding patterns. BM61.


Edited by bassmaster61 (05/10/19 12:56 PM)
_________________________

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#505659 - 05/10/19 01:03 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: teehjaeh57]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Jeff your water temps are low enough in mid to upper 60s I guess...imagine your DO levels were just fine provided you didn't treat significant areas of the pond with copper. Try to relax, back off the feeding during major weather shifts, [anticipate low feeding at those times], and resume when the weather stabilizes. You worry too much, amigo...enjoy your pond!


Thanks TJ. Every year itís something different. I guess Iím still just a little inexperienced at all this. Five years seems like a long time, but itís always something new..

BM61, yep my pond by Mark Twain Lake is straight west of you. Good news about the Copper Sulfate, and non-effects on feeding. Amazing weather this spring. I always swim by Memorial Day. Maybe not this year..
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

Top
#505670 - 05/10/19 04:49 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 160
Loc: Wisconsin
I agree with TJ. Since your water temps were lower, your starting DO was high and the decrease in DO from decaying vegetation won't kill the fish. It is just mother nature's reaction to decreasing DO levels.

In all honesty, my DO Meter is the best pond investment I ever made.
_________________________
2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry

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#505674 - 05/10/19 05:32 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
Funky Offline


Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 102
Loc: Midland, Michigan
I have had the same problem of feeding and no fish come to the table! The weather here in Michigan has been up and down really bad this spring, with lots of rain, warm day followed by a cool to nearly cold and our temps are dropping into the 30s again, and it is MAY! But, even though they are not feeding they will hit a hook and worm, so I guess we just need warmer weather and time to adjust to mother nature's idea of spring/summer.
_________________________
half-acre pond, LMB, HBG, BG, GSH and CC ....goal is to
have fun fishing. And I subscribe!

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#505855 - 05/14/19 06:56 PM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Was back at the pond this morning. Wanted to see if anything had changed. Good news, everything appears to be back to normal. Feed was cleaned up in a couple of minutes. Caught several, and released HBG and YP. All looked very healthy.
I may have had my first encounter with a HSB. I put out the trap and caught 20+ 1-3Ē HBG. I threw out a couple under bobbers in the middle of the pond. One went under, and I had a pretty nice fish on for a short while. He tossed the hook though, unseen.
Since it was near the middle of the pond I suspect HSB vs a SMB.
No other fish in the trap besides HBG. I was hoping for some small YP..
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

Top
#505873 - 05/15/19 05:01 AM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
Clay N' Pray Offline


Registered: 12/03/17
Posts: 263
Loc: Caswell co NC
Possible hookup with the elusive HSB....now you have my attention.
This requires further research.

I'll bring the beer and lawnchairs.

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#505889 - 05/15/19 08:21 AM Re: Zero activity when feeder goes off?? [Re: SetterGuy]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: NE Missouri
Ha! I wonder where the best place is to run the hook through the small HBG? I ran it through the highest point below the dorsal fin. I would have thought I had him hooked well enough. Definitely going to try it again though.
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

Top
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