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#491842 - 06/14/18 02:32 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: BrianL]
jpsdad Offline

Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 31
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: BrianL

I have been struggling with the feeding mysteries.

If I feed more, am I growing bigger CNBG, or just more CNBG???

Brian, its probably not one or the other but both.

Originally Posted By: BrianL

Am I putting too much effort into trying to recruit anything resembling a Shaquille O'Neal or even a Dennis Rodman out of my 1A pond size??? What are the odds???

Feed is but one part of the equation and it is easy to be seduced by the illusion that feed may make up for shortcomings elsewhere. A trophy CNBG pond will by necessity have many, many starving LMB. Unless recruitment is limited by some other means, if your pond doesn't meet this criteria it probably will not produce 2lb BG no matter how much feed you give them. Only maybe 200 BG/Acre/Year can achieve 8" + status if your heart is set on 2lb+ BG. These fish should achieve this length by the end of their second year. Considering every year millions of fry hatch per acre, a major thinning of 0 year BG is an absolute must. The next major thinning are the 1 year olds greater than 6". To have 2lb bluegill requires intense mortality of 0 and 1 year olds. If its not happening, there will never be enough food to go round to make it 2lbs.

I think that feed can help grow 2lb+ BG but it simply cannot on its own. If the predator population structure and fisherman harvest doesn't ensure low numbers of 8"+ 2nd year fish, the feed requirements to grow 2lb+ BG would be unhealthy and unsustainable for your pond.

With regard to feeding, unless big LMB are your goal, I would never feed pellets small enough for a 0 year fish to consume. This is not by experience and it isn't advice. It's just what I would not do if I were paying the bill at my trophy BG pond. O year BG are a trophy BG BOW's worst enemy. You need only a minute portion of them to survive to the gape limit. Every mouth to feed beyond the necessary works against the goal of Monster BG.

A forage pond is recommended for LMB goals. For trophy BG, one may need a "predator pond". Perhaps a pond with LMB and shiners to help maintain the small bass population of the trophy BG pond. If recruitment is limited as suggested and one doesn't feed the 0 year fish directly, it may be possible to grow a few 2 lb BG in a 1 acre pond. The key would be limiting recruitment.

(Edit) You know what? 2lb fish must be extremely difficult to achieve and just may be pipe dream. 200 8+ BG/acre/year might be too much recruitment to prevent overcrowding of big BG. Below is tabulated a 5 year grow out from the 2nd birthday. The assumptions are 20% annual mortality with 2nd year BG numbering 60 per acre at the beginning of the 2nd year. 100 % mortality at the end of 6 years is assumed. .4 lbs gain/fish/year is assumed.


______________________________________GR WGT TOTAL

This distribution of sizes would be a significant portion of the typical fertile pond's BG carrying capacity. The O year offspring of these fish would need to support the predators. This may be a very rosy outlook shocked Perhaps a more realistic picture would be greater yearly mortality or fewer 2nd year fish. I just don't know. It must be exceptionally difficult to restrict reproduction to these levels. Perhaps the only easy way to restrict reproduction to this level is to annually stock 60 7-8" males/acre. In that case the carrying capacity need only be 210 lbs/acre. So even a poor pond with a little feed might be able to do it under a male only scenario provided they live 6 years and grow an average of .4 lbs a year.

Edited by jpsdad (06/14/18 09:30 PM)

#491988 - Yesterday at 04:14 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: BrianL]
snrub Online   content

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4707
Loc: SE Kansas
Brian I have a theory. It is based on absolutely nothing but the turning gears in my head so don't put any faith in it but here it is anyway.

I have always fed around the entire circumference of my pond (except on extra windy days when I do not feed on the side the wind will blow the feed to the bank). I throw it out hand full at a time while driving around the 3 acre pond in my UTV. I feed only once a day. I do not think that is a good way to feed if the goal is to raise some trophy or large BG. (But I do it any way - what is that definition of insanity again......).

My theory is that by dispersing the feed in a wide geographical area with all feed in a single feeding a greater number of fish get fed a small amount. So from an efficiency standpoint of raising the overall poundage of fish in the pond (carrying capacity) I think my method converts the feed pounds to fish pounds well. The problem is I have lots of small and mid size fish with few large BG.

Contrast this to a program where I would feed with 1, 2 or 3 feeders in specific locations around the pond feeding multiple times a day (but with total poundage of fish feed being identical). With the feed being fed in specific locations and fed multiple times a day, the more aggressive "pigs" could more likely dominate the feeding area and get a disproportionate amount of the feed compared to the smaller or more timid fish.

So to my way of thinking to raise big fish it would be an advantage to feed in such a way that a relatively small number of the aggressive fast growing fish get more access to the feed multiple times a day.

I have told myself more than once I just need to stop and feed in three specific locations rather than dispersing the feed so widely and I would grow some bigger BG. But I have formed this habit and feeding the fish the way I am used to is just too enjoyable for me to quit.

Many pet owners think they train their pets. I think sometimes the opposite happens.

Edited by snrub (Yesterday at 04:19 PM)

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#491990 - Yesterday at 04:20 PM Re: Blue Gill and their lifespan [Re: snrub]
anthropic Offline

Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1158
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Good thoughts, John. If catching is the goal, feeding from just a few places has the great advantage of concentrating the fish. The best four spots on my BOW are located around the four feeders. wink
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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