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4CornersPuddle, anthropic, Billy Bates, FishinRod, jpsdad, SherWood
Total Likes: 12
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#547286 05/02/2022 9:29 AM
by Billy Bates
Billy Bates
I have been feeding both Aquamax and Optimal regularly now for 2 full seasons. I’m located in southern Maryland and my bluegill that I’m feeding are probably 90% northerns and 10% CNBG. One thing I started noticing this year through hand feeding, is how much better the bluegill will feed(actual consumption) when the pellet is good and hydrated. Specifically, I have watched bluegill consistently spit non hydrated pellets regularly, some will spit and move on, others spit it and grab it again, sometimes multiple times before consuming it and some will just eat a dry pellet no problem. This is with AM 400,500,600 and anything in between that mvp has in it as well. Also, with Optimal regular bluegill and bluegill jr. feed.

I know this may not be possible for everyone but I have at least once a day, usually in the evenings, that I’m able to hand feed, the other 2 feedings are usually done earlier with my Texas hunter. When I hand feed I really watch the behaviors of feeding. Here is what I have found in my personal experience.

1. Hydrated feed is consumed much better than non
2. If not hydrated, smaller pellets get consumed better (spit less and swallowed more readily)
3. Optimal breaks up less than Aquamax once fully hydrated
4. Sinking feed pellets get destroyed (fully and aggressively eaten) usually within a foot depth of the water column with a handful of hydrated feed when they’re good and hungry
5. Some of my biggest bluegill rarely take feed off the top water. The largest one I saw would hang deep and dart up to around 12” below the surface and get the lowest sinking feed, but would never come take the few that still floated on the top water. So this is a plug for feeding at least a partial sinking feed
6. Bluegill, like people, have their own preferences and when it comes to feeding, they are not all exactly the same
7.Feeding bluegills is fun

For me, based on what I am seeing, I’m going to start filling my Texas Hunter with AM 400 and Optimal BG jr only. And then use the regular Optimal bluegill feed in my big feeding in the evening where I spin the feeder for a few seconds but then also have a large bowl of already hydrated Optimal regular bluegill ready to go.
Liked Replies
#547289 May 2nd a 11:59 AM
by Sunil
I was just having a conversation with one of our longer-term experts on feed regarding floating vs. non-floating feed, and the hydrating of feed.

He says that on a one-to-one bases, floating feed is less 'healthy' than non-floating feed due to the ingredient (carbs) put into floating feed to make it feed.

He also considered the fish's individual preference of texture and feel of the feed in relation to getting that fish onto feed, and keeping that fish on feed. His point here is that a mushy, hydrated pellet is much more akin to what fish are used to eating.

He felt that, in general, most any fish is more prone to hit a sinking feed than a floating feed. He used a ratio of about 6 or 7 out of 10 bluegill will come to surface floating feed while the remaining 3-4 will NOT ever get on floating feed.

I've always used floating feed, and at one time for Aquamax Largemouth or Optimal Hand Throw, I used to soak those pellets before feeding, which was his advice. Over time, I stopped doing that, and noted that eventually the majority of my bigger largemouth lost interest. Certainly, that could be due to many factors, but I'm going back to soaking them now.
2 members like this
#547610 May 8th a 07:42 AM
by Snipe
Bald Eagle decoy on a 6' post does amazing things for me. I've been told to use 2 Heron decoys, one at each end and the Herons won't land... Not sure if I will bite on that but the bald eagle gets respect.
2 members like this
#547414 May 4th a 02:45 AM
by Pat Williamson
Pat Williamson
Overtons in buffalo has it . Since I live only 20 miles from them it’s the closest place to get good feed. None of the feed stores carry anything decent so…… the bg really go ape for it . Funny thing is no catfish come to feed since they were stocked in 2014…. Guess in 6 acres they don’t need it….
1 member likes this
#547434 May 4th a 09:04 PM
by FireIsHot
Frank, Pat's correct about BG going after Triton, and my feed trained LMB are doing the same. It leaves a fish oil circle on top of the water and draws fish to it. If Cargill had distribution like Purina, Triton would jump right up there with Optimal and Purina. We're lucky to have it available down here.
1 member likes this
#547570 May 7th a 10:19 AM
by Billy Bates
Billy Bates
Originally Posted by anthropic
Billy, do you have issues with birds eating the feed or maybe your fish at feeding time? I've had geese doing the former and herons doing the latter.
Never, frequently both birds are in the pond at times and no birds interfere with my feedings. Two nesting ospreys thought they were gonna come pick off feeding bluegills recently, but I banged around and clapped at them enough to make them head to the other side of the pond. It’s 5 acres so…
1 member likes this
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