Pond Boss
Posted By: NEDOC Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 03/20/18 09:10 PM
Ok, Iím here to pick the brains of pond boss members. Iíve got 10 Tiger Muskie that are 13-16Ē long. Iím planning to divide them into 2 groups of five and put them into 2 different 4í x 4í x 4í cages off my dock. My goal is to train them to feed on cut bait. Iíve got a trout farm up the road where I get fresh frozen trout remains every week. Plenty to feed a few Muskie. My questions are..... 1) will they eat cut bait? And 2) how do I go about feeding it to them?

In my mind I assume they will eat cut bait because Iíve heard of people catching both pike and pure Muskie on cut bait. So that puts me at question #2.... For a few days I plan to just throw the cut bait in and see if theyíll eat it off the bottom. When I began throwing trout remains to catfish, they were smashing it on the surface in days. Can I expect a similar response with Muskie? Or would I be better served to somehow suspend the cut bait in the cage as if I were fishing it under a bobber, but without a hook? And if I choose to suspend the bait for training purposes, does anyone have any ideas how to do such?

Anyway, I wanted to start this thread so I could chronicle my results and share with others that may attempt such a task.
Adventuresome, lofty, aspiring project. Good idea but maybe not achievable. IMO you will need to be quite creative to accomplish this with success. The problem as I see it is, the muskie are not a behaviorally aggressive fish as is LMB or HSB. Muskie do chase food but not to the same type predatory behavior as a bass. Muskie are more of a lie & wait, watchful predator rather than a moving stalker/hunter as is a bass. For your sake and project, I hope I am wrong. IMO Muskie approaches food differently than a bass.

I think I would first get the musky to adapting to live/survive in a cage,,, which will be a big challenge. Their mentality is to first likely to eat the other sibling/partners until they are the sole inhabitant of the cage. No2 - will be to get them to eat and remain healthy before they develop health problems such as fungus. No3 - I would start first by feeding them live fish. Get them eating asap. Then when you see them attacking the added live food as soon as it is added to the cage, the muskie are close to accepting anything that wiggles & sinks into the cage.

I am very interested in your project and give you high marks for thinking of trying it. I hope it works! Keep us updated.
Are your cages built? I would think you'd benefit from having a larger space (6x6x4). The length of your juvenile muskies will likely be approaching 50% of the "run" you're planning fairly soon. Given Bill's advice on getting them to eventually strike what's dropped in their cage, you'll want space to avoid injury from other fish and the cage itself.

Not a perfect comparison, but I can't imagine feeding/growing five young 6" LMB in 20" cube.

I'd love to see you get it to work out so I may someday copy you!
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 03/21/18 12:39 PM
Well, I'm glad you guys brought this up. Some of these objectives have already been tackled, in a sense. Last fall, a certain dentist that used to frequent this board and I bought 24 Tiger Muskie. Since then they have been in a 6' circumference tank in his basement (1000 gallon or so). He only had one casualty due to it getting stuck on the lip of the tank. They've been eating FHM all winter. He is releasing his in his quarry and we are going to attempt feed training mine in cages. Bill was concerned about cannibalism, as were we. But that hasn't seemed to be an issue. Maybe moving them to a square cage will make it an issue. But I'm hoping not. And they do associate food with people now. So a couple of those hurdles have been addressed.

My plan is to throw them in the cages and monitor them. If cannibalism begins I'll either move them to the grow out pond, or release them in my larger pond. Ideally, I'd like to get them trained within a couple months and then move them to my grow out pond for a year or so.

Thanks for responding to this post. All input is appreciated.
Posted By: Shorty Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 03/21/18 01:28 PM
Any possibility of using a large round cage for feed training? My gut feeling is that you would get better results.
It appears from the facebook live video last week that this certain Nebraska dentist already has put some tiger muskie in his quarry! They seem to be growing quite well. Awesome project!
Okay if the muskie are already in a tank environment then adapting them to cage life should be no problem. They are eating and healthy and feeding - so no problem. I would try to see if they will eat small live sunfish. Then experiment with injuring the introduced live fish so they swim like a dead piece of fish to eventually imitate fish guts.

My initial guess is the smaller muskie are males and larger ones females.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 03/21/18 07:25 PM
Originally Posted By: Shorty
Any possibility of using a large round cage for feed training? My gut feeling is that you would get better results.


I would try that, but I'm borrowing the good dentist's cages, and they aren't round. I'm too cheap and lazy to make round ones smile

Yes Bill, I plan to trap some RES and throw them in, in an attempt to hold off cannibalism until they are used to the cage and are willing to attempt cut bait. I believe I'm going to attempt hanging two pieces of cut bait from the lid of the cage, attached to a modified hook that is suspended from a steel leader. I will cut 4" x 4" holes in the lid and hang them from the framing of those holes. This way I can pull them up and monitor feeding activity. I may even leave a couple inches of slack in them so I can attach a float and monitor their feeding activity. If they begin hitting the cut bait as soon as I put it in the cage I'll know I have them trained. I'll be heading to Lincoln tomorrow to get the cages. I'll try to post pictures and videos as I progress.
This will be a very interesting and educational project for all readers. Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Posted By: Sunil Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 03/23/18 05:44 PM
Dentists from Nebraska are all freaks.
Very cool. I would love to one day have a Tiger Muskie or two in my lake.
Fish are going to be flighty when you approach from above that will cut into their interest in feeding.

You could hold the cut bait with a small alligator clip tied to fishing line and wiggle it in front the musk to get them to take it. At some point you want to be able to simply drop pieces in. Feeding method for the pike family just does not work well with feeding small chunks requiring fish to turn around to eat more pieces in rapid succession.

You might as well be hand feeding them which can be done.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 03/23/18 09:15 PM
Originally Posted By: Sunil
Dentists from Nebraska are all freaks.



There is no doubt about this!! Lol

I like the alligator clip idea. Thanks Jim!
Post up some videos of the process!!
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 03/23/18 10:44 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Post up some videos of the process!!


Thatís the plan.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/02/18 01:53 PM
Just going to update this post to chronicle my efforts, albeit most likely failed efforts. None the less, there may be some things we can all learn from it. I'll start with video of my grow out pond and cages. Then a video of the transfer and some photos. Again, we have taken these from a tank in Bruce Condello's basement where they have been eating FHMs. The second day I had them in the cages (8 TM per cage) I put 11 bullfrog tadpoles in one cage. The next day only 2 remained. So the good news is is that I have them feeding. Now I'd like them to progress to cut bait, or trout from a local commercial trout farm. The plan is to start hanging live tadpoles or sunfish from alligator clips suspended from floats. Then progress to hanging cut bait from the clips. We are only on day 3 now.......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqSx_dy6SHo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18C2l2QDEn8

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
very cool!
Quick question here. I have the photobucket extension 'fix' added to chrome at home so i can see all the old photobucket pictures from old posts. At work I can see in the post above that below the youtube embedded links in NEDOCs post there are some pictures posted too. At home I can't see those pictures.

I also noticed in wbuffetjrs recent posts I can't see the pictures from home but can from work. NEDOC and WBuffet, are you using photobucket for recent image hosting? or is maybe my chrome browser having trouble with another photohosting service?

Crazy that I can see at work but not at home in my chrome browser?
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/03/18 02:20 AM
My most recent pictures are hosted by imgur. Itís not a bad hosting site. Not sure why youíre not seeing it. Anyone else having trouble with the imgur images.
I am using Imgur as well. I can see Nedoc's pics
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/08/18 02:44 AM
I think I made a significant break thru today. After a text conversation with TJ today he suggested using worms. By the time I got to my third worm the musky were trained and hitting it within 20 seconds. Now I can thoroughly get them to associate food with alligator clips or me throwing items in the water. I plan to train them to respond to both having worms on clips and me throwing worms in the water. Then I hope to add a sound such as a bell to feeding time so they will have another sense to associate with food. IÔŅĹll try to convert them to chunks of trout that I have access to over time. No idea how I will introduce the fish to my large pond and keep them on the diet IÔŅĹve trained them on but IÔŅĹll cross that bridge when I get to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3Ast-Up9Ow&feature=youtu.be
Awesome experiment it has been facinating to watch your progress! How cool would it be to have a small group of Tigers come running to the dinner table when you call! How many Tigers do you have they are going to take over your pond like a school of sharks! Lol
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/18/18 01:47 PM
OK, so for the few of you that have been following this, here are some updates. As you saw above I began by training my muskie by putting worms on alligator clips under a float. That worked rather quickly. Then I attempted to progress to having them take it off of an alligator clip while jigging. That got frustrating at times. But yesterday I turned the corner on that..... big time. I went from getting them to hit the worm aggressively and regularly while jigging, to having them hit strips of tilapia and trout while jigging, to hitting strips of tilapia while falling through the water column. So without further ado, here is my video chronicle.....


Hitting worm while jigging...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xfw5xdcweo

My project advisor and top muskie trainer feeding a fillet of tilapia stripped out and jigged/swam.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaqWkyOsrRs

Hitting a strip of trout....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4waNG0HEn8

And what I was hoping to evolve to is having them hit strips of meat as I throw it into their cage. In this case it was a strip of tilapia. And they were only hitting about 50% of the ones I threw in. But 1) they may have been full and 2) it'll take some acclimation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYvrDXct2yI

Ultimately, I'd like to progress to something like this. Keep in mind this is a feeding of my catfish....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL6QoVPyRzM
Posted By: DrLuke Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/18/18 02:16 PM
NEDOC, this is so awesome! Thank you for sharing. I have high hopes they will continue to progress in their feeding. Might get to the point I fella would be nervous about putting his hand too close to the cage! :-)
very awesome!!
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/18/18 02:39 PM
Originally Posted By: DrLuke
NEDOC, this is so awesome! Thank you for sharing. I have high hopes they will continue to progress in their feeding. Might get to the point I fella would be nervous about putting his hand too close to the cage! :-)


Oh when I wash my hands off after handling those worms and such, you better believe I do it outside of the cage. LOL.
Repetition and patience in training is a key part of the process. Very interesting and educational posts. Many thanks from all. One suggestion. When you clip the meat,,, only clip a very thin sliver of the meat so a very light tug from the fish releases the meat. It appears from the video the clip is grabbing too much of a portion of the meat.

Questions -
How often do you feed the meat pieces?
and how much meat each time?
To how many musky in the cage?
Are you thinking all musky are getting pieces of meat?
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/18/18 03:36 PM
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Repetition and patience in training is a key part of the process. Very interesting and educational posts. Many thanks from all. One suggestion. When you clip the meat,,, only clip a very thin sliver of the meat so a very light tug from the fish releases the meat. It appears from the video the clip is grabbing too much of a portion of the meat.

Questions -
How often do you feed the meat pieces?
and how much meat each time?
To how many musky in the cage?
Are you thinking all musky are getting pieces of meat?


Those are great questions that I largely don't have answers to at this time. Much of this all began taking place just yesterday. I'll do the best I can at answering them now and will come back and update it as I progress.

I try to feed the muskie toward dark, largely because they feed higher in the water column toward dusk so I get better observation. But some days I feed mid day, some days I don't feed at all, and some days I feed multiple times. This is largely due to my erratic schedule. I'm sure I could do better if I was more consistent, but that isn't happening until my boys are old enough to do this themselves, in the mornings. I had been feeding about 10-18 worms each day. As far as sizes of meat, I was varying sizes last night, with no noticeable difference in their interest. Obviously, I'd like them to progress to larger chunks to make the process more efficient for me. But it's a work in progress.

I have 2 cages. 8 TM per cage. The one cage of fish I have put my time and effort toward and chronicled above, the other one has largely gone ignored. Only occasionally putting worms on floats, which they'll eat after I leave the scene. Not sure if I should mix the fish next and hope those learn from the trained ones, or begin the training process on them. Maybe get advice here for the best way to proceed.

I really don't know how many are trained to eat yet. In one of the videos above, you can see 4 separate fish around the meat. So I'm assuming there are at minimum 4 trained. I'm assuming some won't train and will be cannibalized, but will find out as time goes on. I do hope to get 2 more cages from Dr. Condello and go to 4 TM per cage at some point.

Thanks for the dialogue fellas. Always glad to have people pitch in with ideas. And I'm certainly counting on Mr. Cody to share his expertise. Soon, Dr. Condello and I would like to acquire TM fingerlings, and begin this process in his tank at a much earlier stage in life. If these train as well as I'm hoping I'll build a grow out pond for them so we can get a season or two in the grow out pond before releasing.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/19/18 02:29 AM
Just typing this in for future reference in case anyone attempts this in the future, and in response to Bill Cody above... tonight I cut up one tilapia fillet into 30 small, thin, worm shaped pieces. Out of the 30 pieces that I threw in and let free fall through the water column, I observed 27 of them eaten. The other 3 pieces may have been eaten but they had gotten deep enough that I couldnít observe them getting eaten. Now onto training them to eat the trout waste I have access to.
First try using some of the stringy guts very, very lightly held to the clip so it takes very little effort to get it off the clip. You may first need to clip the trout parts and shake them to imitate something live to get the TM accustomed to eating the parts.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/19/18 05:29 PM
Thatís a good idea Bill. I may file down the small teeth on the alligator clips also.

I have had them hit a few belly strips falling through the water column. So I think with repetition I wonít even need to clip them. I could just throw pieces in one or two at a time.

Truth be told, Iím so damn excited that Iíve been dreaming Muskie for 3 nights now. Itís disrupting my parenting. Lol.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/25/18 12:24 PM
Update: They're taking larger strips of tilapia now, and noticeably more aggressive. Soon I'll be shifting to a diet heavier in chunks of trout that I get from nearby commercial fish farm and strips of catfish fillets that I've culled from my larger pond. I really wish video showed it as well as what I can see it through polarized lenses. You can really learn a lot about muskie by going through this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2BG1IMGCZI
NEDOC, many have found that if you put the camera lens on the backside of the polarized glasses lens you can get pictures that match what you see when your sunglasses are on!
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/25/18 01:40 PM
CC, seems like common sense. Not sure why I hadn't done that!! I'll try it for the next video update.
Posted By: DrLuke Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/25/18 04:04 PM
So it appears like they've continued to progress in their willingness to take offered feed, eh? Any cannibalization so far? Have you been checking body condition or relative weights yet? Just curious.

And....really awesome stuff! :-)
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/25/18 04:46 PM
Definitely progressing in their willingness to take feed. In fact thereís generally a noticeable increase with each feeding. There has been no cannibalizism at all. I have done absolutely no studies on relative weights or body condition as Iíve tried to minimize any contact with them. Iím a bit fearful of stressing them any further. This looks to be an annual project so I may look into relative weights and such in future years.
Posted By: DrLuke Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/25/18 04:58 PM
Good point on the stressing, and avoiding it. Wonder if a guy could tare the weight of the cage, and then just lift and weigh the cage with the fish in it for a few seconds. Wouldn't give the individual weights, but could document wt trend overall. But not sure if that would be helpful enough information to bother with.

Love the videos! Might be cool to try the polarized lens trick like Canyon suggested..
Super cool Corey...I'm a tad worried about our extended forecast and rising water temps stressing the TM - I'm not sure on TM tolerance for water temps. If they stop feeding I'd take this as a sign to release in one of your new cells. Just a thought.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/25/18 08:36 PM
TJ Iíve got that covered. As you know weíve got good access to the aquifer down here. And as you also know my grow out ponds spill into my large pond. So instead of spending money on a traditional aeration system, I went the cheap route and fabricated a horizontal aeration system for my grow out pond that I turn on during warm days. Essentially I use the pressure from my well to Ďpushí the water around my grow out pond creating a lazy river effect. A few advantages to doing so.... 1) less money spent in the short term 2) flush nutrients 3) ability to lower water temps and 4) overflow helps keep my big pond from dropping as much.

PS. They are in one of my Ďnew cellsí in cages. And it appears that our BGxRES experiment may fail. (Sorry snrub). So the TM may end up being released into that pond. Which is 600 sq ft.
Great progress with training the muskie.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/29/18 09:33 PM
Progressing quickly now to larger chunks and more frequent feedings. And cage #2 is beginning to feed well now also. Went through nearly 3/4 lb of trout chunks today. Seems growth is inevitable if that keeps up. So IÔŅĹm planning to add 2 more cages in a couple days and have 4 fish per cage rather than 8. Feeding on larger chunks is a huge advantage to me as I spend a good portion of my time cutting up strips of trout or tilapia. So these recent developments are nice. CanÔŅĹt wait til their gape allows an entire trout head to be consumed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1qVxjF-jwE&feature=youtu.be

Will embed video tomorrow when on computer. Grrr...
Check this out. This was just the first one I pulled up, but they have them for all types of phones these days. May be a little easier, but more expensive, than filming through your sunglasses. It would be really cool to be able to see the fish hitting the chunks!


Polarized lens for iphone
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/30/18 01:36 AM
Thatís cool as heck!! Iíll be able to do it thru my sunglasses. I just had my son filming today. And itís risky enough having a 7 year old filming over water. Asking him to do it over sunglasses would definitely lead to disaster. And Iíve got a bloom going on right now. So Iím not sure how well itíd work anyway.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 06/14/18 04:09 PM
Just a couple updated videos of us playing around. The first one is a tadpole on an alligator clip. You can see they are getting super aggressive. And the second one is feeding tilapia strips. For some odd reason the TM don't feed very well unless the lid of the cage is open. Strange.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH_U8eUc6I8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TzwC47difo
Posted By: DrLuke Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 06/14/18 04:16 PM
Looking really good! How well do they seem to be growing? Coping with the cage and the water temps/summer heat ok?

Thanks for the updates!
Posted By: CMM Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 06/14/18 04:45 PM
Awesome project and videos!
Thanks for the tadpole experiment...cool project too!
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 06/14/18 07:24 PM
Luke, itís kinda hard for me to tell how much theyíre growing as I didnít weigh or measure. The last I picked up the cage they did appear noticeable thicker but not noticeably longer that I could tell. But they hadnít started to feed as aggressively at that time. Now Iím going thru 1/4-1/2 lb of meat per day (16 Muskie total). So Iíve gotta think theyíll be bulking up.

Water temps are fine as when it warms up I add well water thru a horizontal aeration system Iíve designed. It seems to be working well.
Posted By: DrLuke Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 06/14/18 08:29 PM
Originally Posted By: NEDOC
Luke, itís kinda hard for me to tell how much theyíre growing as I didnít weigh or measure. The last I picked up the cage they did appear noticeable thicker but not noticeably longer that I could tell. But they hadnít started to feed as aggressively at that time. Now Iím going thru 1/4-1/2 lb of meat per day (16 Muskie total). So Iíve gotta think theyíll be bulking up.

Water temps are fine as when it warms up I add well water thru a horizontal aeration system Iíve designed. It seems to be working well.


they sure look more aggressive via videos. Do you have a specific end point/release time in mind? When they come out of the cages, I wonder how they'll do regarding localizing to the feeding station. I always seem to find the fridge without too much difficulty..
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 06/14/18 08:40 PM
Iím considering releasing them from cages into my smallest (600 sq ft) grow out pond in late September. Itís about 6 ft deep so I think I could over winter them. If I run a small aquarium air stone off the dock I think I could keep a very small area of water open and continue feeding them thru the winter. Either that or just release them into my 15 acre pond and say good bye. To be honest Iím not sure what my end game is as this project has probably been a bit more successful than anticipated.
Awesome Corey! Will your TM actually eat the BG tadpole? If so, that will be the first time I've ever actually witnessed the event.

Will the TM eat the trout organs? Is TP the most preferred? I have tried many different approaches myself, and ofc their favorite is also the most expensive....TP.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 06/14/18 09:01 PM
They seem to eat trout parts and pieces nearly as well as the tilapia. I just didnít have access to trout parts for a couple weeks due to them taking time off from cleaning them. Will probably resume trout tonight or tomorrow. From what I can tell they eat the tadpoles at times. Other times they kill them and spit them out.

You up for putting one of these in your pond TJ? I understand if you donít for obvious reasons. But thought you could try it for a bit and abort if there are negative consequences.
I'm trying to get my YP population back to robust numbers, but I could sure give one a try. If I need to remove Condello can cast once and catch it.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 06/19/18 03:18 AM
Just wanted to archive this link in here for future reference regarding tiger Muskie controlling trash fish and discussing stocking densities. Discussions of stocking rates anywhere from 4-30 TM per acre.

http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/download...-Brief-2014.pdf

Iíll continue to add for archives sake as I continue to study. But hereís another one...

http://www.ndow.org/uploadedFiles/ndow.o...32315_final.pdf
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/23/18 02:26 AM
I apologize in advance for not chronicling this better, but the way Iíve designed my cages with feed windows itís difficult to get video or pictures of the fish. I will say theyíre doing incredibly well. All 16 are still alive, have tremendous coloring and are incredibly thick. Iím guessing theyíve tripled their weight (the largest ones) since I began this project this spring. Iíve continued to feed chunks of tilapia off of alligator clips and they average 20-30oz (maybe more) of consumption per week between all of them.

So that brings me to my update... curiousity got the best of me and I was wondering if I could convert them to a prepared feed. I had an idea that I quit feeding tilapia for a few days and begin throwing worms in again then progress from there. Last Friday was my last feeding of tilapia. Sunday thru Tuesday I fed them 2 dozen worms (6 per feeding and 4 different feedings). I had a couple hits out of those 24, but nothing terribly exciting. Well tonight curiousity got the best of me... I took some hydrated Optimal Grower #2 and formed it into earthworm like shapes. To my amazement the first 2 I threw in were smashed by the Muskie. I made 9 pieces total and I observed 5 of them get taken. The others may have gotten taken but had dropped out of sight. Not sure if the taste of it will leave them craving more or scare them off. But I was very excited about this development! Hopefully more exciting updates to come. Thanks for listening.
Thanks for the update!

Do you think a GoPro on a stick stuck underwater could get good footage? That would be very cool!!
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/23/18 01:52 PM
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Thanks for the update!

Do you think a GoPro on a stick stuck underwater could get good footage? That would be very cool!!


I think it would after they were acclimated to it. But I don't have a GoPro!!

After thinking it over for a night, I think I'm going to further this experiment and have one of the cages fed hydrated food only, another cage tilapia only and then the third cage I will mix the two types of feed. That way if anyone is ever dumb enough to try this again, they may know which method is better. That is assuming one of the methods is significantly better.
This has to be getting $$$.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/23/18 03:13 PM
Itís costing me about $6-7 per week. Cheaper than any of my other hobbies LOL.
Heck, that's not bad. I spend more than that daily shooting.
NEDOC - Excellent work and progress so far! Keep us updated.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 09/26/18 03:03 PM
So I had one tiger muskie die, and another not looking well so I thought it may be time to release them. I'm suspecting I may have had some nitrate issues in my grow out pond. Not sure how I plan to remedy that going forward. But that's for a different discussion. Anyway, I did get to weigh and measure one that I felt was average. It was 17-17.5" long and 1-8. Which from what I've read is right where they should be at this stage of development. So here's the official end of my first year of raising tiger muskie on tilapia. Hopefully my next photo is of someone catching one next spring. And we do have more on order for next year. So I hope to continue this next year. Thanks for all of the input fellow pondbossers.

PS If someone can find a cooler freshwater predator than a Tiger Muskie, let me know. Just an incredibly beautiful fish. And pretty bad @ss.











Posted By: snrub Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 09/26/18 03:13 PM
Those are some really cool fish. Congrats on a job well done.

I'm amazed that you could raise that many of that size fish in the size grow out pond you have.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/30/19 01:00 PM
So this year I made it a goal to release some of my tiger muskie from their cages, into my grow out pond and get them back on feed. Before I released them I began feeding with the alligator clip under a large slip bobber. I thought this was another way of training them to associate food with not only the alligator clip, but a large bobber. It took a couple weeks, but at least one has begun feeding on tilapia strips again. If this continues to improve I plan release all of my tiger muskie (30) into the grow out pond and try to winter them. Right now I only have 6 out there roaming the pond.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI8SkS66UHw
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/30/19 01:04 PM
One of the challenges at this point is getting the tilapia strip cut to just the right size and then having it put on the alligator clip well enough that I can flip it out there, yet lightly enough that the muskie can rip it off and eat it. That's much easier when lowering into a cage rather than casting a piece into the water. Here you can see I struggle to get things right. The piece is probably a bit too large and on the alligator clip too well.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCI2rNl9mp4
Posted By: Sunil Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/30/19 06:13 PM
It's like tug-o-war with your pet dog!!!
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/15/19 02:26 PM
Tiger Muskie can be a bit crazy!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY0kKuQ3tW8
Posted By: snrub Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/15/19 04:14 PM
LOL

Not feeding them by hand? No guts no glory? They wouldn't bite the hand that feeds them, would they?

Really cool NEDOC.
That is so cool!!
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/15/19 08:08 PM
Originally Posted By: snrub
LOL

Not feeding them by hand? No guts no glory? They wouldn't bite the hand that feeds them, would they?

Really cool NEDOC.


Not really thinking about it the other night I put my hand on the wire mesh of the cage for some reason and as I was lifting it one hit the lid right under my hand. Whoa.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/19/19 02:32 PM
Welp, here it is. A buddy of mine (with a few beers in him) hand feeding my tiger muskie. LOL.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLuzO7Zo72g
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 09/16/19 02:15 PM
Just a couple notes for myself, or anyone who may try this in the future.........

1) Even though my fish seemed to feed a bit more aggressively this year, I believe I lost the feeding of about 25% of my TM in the feed training process because I started feeding too large of pieces of tilapia too soon in the process. I pulled up the cage the other day and 25% obviously had horrible body condition and hadn't eaten in a very long time. I released them into my yard pond that is overloaded with FHM in hopes that they can survive. So that may lead to a learning experience of how large numbers of TM do in a small 2/3 acre pond.

2) Earlier this year I released 6 TM into my 1100 sq ft. grow out pond just to see what type of response I'd get. As far as I can tell, I believe I have one left. The one that is left has remained filet trained on tilapia strips. The other five disappeared without a trace BUT my suspicion is that they have succumb to avian predators. Small TM seem to like to hover at or near the surface in low light conditions. And with a lined pond I have very little vegetative growth to protect them. So if I go about a similar process in the future I may try to remedy that by getting a decent amount of water hyacinth around the edge or submerging structure.

Just a few notes to help myself or anyone else that attempts this in the future.
Very good update - thanks.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/20/20 01:26 PM
Saturday was a warm, overcast, calm day. For whatever reason my Tiger Muskie were showing themselves all day. They were laying in wait of prey just inches under water over the top of weed beds. The light conditions were such that we could observe them for the first time since stocking them last summer. Up until this point I had not observed them at all. Here is a picture of a 21" chunk of a fish. This would be 2018 hatch and one of them that I raised in a cage last spring and early summer then released. We saw a minimum of 4 different TM in my small 2/3 acre pond. We hope to move them to a different pond at some point. This one was caught in a fyke net.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Posted By: ewest Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/20/20 02:14 PM
WOW - nice work NEDOC !! Have they spawned in the pond ?
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/20/20 03:10 PM
These are Tiger Muskie. A true muskellunge crossed with a northern pike. To my knowledge they can't reproduce or are very unlikely to.
Pretty fish. We should start a thread for the archives about Musky & Pike. Keep us up dated about your adventures with tiger musky so we have enough information for our Archive thread. Question - can you get them to eat a wounded fish for cut fish once they have been free ranging in the pond for several months?

Maybe ewest will do a little journal search home work and write an article in PBoss magazine about the topic? We need more information of what the size group of 3 ft - 4ft musky eat.
Posted By: Shorty Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/20/20 07:29 PM
Looks like they should do fine in you 2/3 acre pond.
Great pics! I love TM, wish I had them in my Texas BOW to keep smaller LMB numbers under control. Maybe someday when nanobubble tech makes cool water fish doable here.
Posted By: snrub Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/21/20 02:51 AM
Beautiful fish Corey.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/21/20 03:52 AM
Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Question - can you get them to eat a wounded fish for cut fish once they have been free ranging in the pond for several months?

.

I had one that I kept in my grow out pond and he continued to feed on filet chunks. I also had a friend catch one on a tilapia chunk after stocking one of my trainee fish.

Snipe has some friends interested in working with some TM. I’m hoping to get with him and maybe come up with a project we may all learn from.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 05/21/20 03:53 AM
Originally Posted by Shorty
Looks like they should do fine in you 2/3 acre pond.

It looks like they end up doing TOO well and I may have to move them next year.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/19/20 02:19 PM
Well we haven't caught one via rod n reel yet, but put the fyke net out and caught one within a few days. So for anyone wanting to evaluate their pike or musky population I think a fyke net is the way to go. This is a tiger muskie from a 2018 hatch. It was stocked a little over a year ago at 14-15" after being in a grow out pond, caught this spring (see above) at 21" an is now roughly 28-29" and 6 lbs. As far as I can tell there are at least 4 of these in my .65 acre pond that is 15 ft deep. And as of now I'm not noticing a huge impact on my other game fish.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnRvyXrOoyw
NEDOC, any way you can go back to the first page of this thread and restore the videos that were embedded of you feeding them? I'd love to keep those videos as part of thread going forward! I wanted to share this thread with a friend but those links are missing.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/19/20 04:00 PM
Originally Posted by canyoncreek
NEDOC, any way you can go back to the first page of this thread and restore the videos that were embedded of you feeding them? I'd love to keep those videos as part of thread going forward! I wanted to share this thread with a friend but those links are missing.


I just noticed the youtube I loaded today wasn't included. How do I go about restoring these videos?
Great example of what this fish is capable of doing in a small pond. By all means keep us updated as to their progress and growth rate in the small pond habitat. Also monitor the bass numbers and sizes of catch per angler hour. I suspect you will see fewer and fewer of the 8"-12" LMB. Very interesting project. Thanks for doing it and posting the results.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/19/20 05:15 PM
Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Great example of what this fish is capable of doing in a small pond. By all means keep us updated as to their progress and growth rate in the small pond habitat. Also monitor the bass numbers and sizes of catch per angler hour. I suspect you will see fewer and fewer of the 8"-12" LMB. Very interesting project. Thanks for doing it and posting the results.


Well, I don't have any LMB. Fortunately, my SMB pulled off a HUGE spawn, and the only one I've ever noticed last year and my pond is full of 5" SMB. I'm afraid that is what the TM are preying on. So next spring I'm hoping to move these TM to another pond.

On a side note, I'm wanting to make a post about pellet training SMB. I've had SMB for most of 18 years in this pond and rarely do I see one take a pellet. I recently started horizontally aerating, or circulating my pond. Immediately it seemed my SMB gained a feeding advantage and were hammering FHM at all times. That was understandable. But I added to that. I put a belt feeder over the top of my circulator so that it would push pellets with the current. Within 18 hours I had HUNDREDS of 5" SMB feeding aggressively on pellets. I want to observe for a while longer before I make a detailed post. BC, do you have any experience with such feeding techniques? And are there any observations in particular that you'd like for me to make?
Posted By: Shorty Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 02:00 AM
In the past when I have feed train RES or SMB in my aquaculture tanks I have always set the tanks up with a circular movement going around the tank. Pellets slowly moving around on the surface does seem to help.

Are you using a Kasco horizontal aerator?
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 02:11 AM
Shorty, yes I am. So far I am very very pleased. My filamentous algae issues are nearly completely eliminated.
Posted By: Shorty Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 02:32 AM
Just curious, has has the horizontal aerator bumped up your electric bill much? Or is it pretty economical to run?
The use of horizontal aeration is of interest to me. We have a five acre pond that is SMB/RES. We started this about 18 months ago. I was wondering if you could provide the size of your horizontal aeration system. I would be interested in feeding the SMB in the current. We have had successful spawns the last two summers.
Posted By: TGW1 Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 12:32 PM
Have you run any test on the DO before and after adding the horizontal system?
NEDOC always doing such cool stuff!!
Posted By: Sunil Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 12:42 PM
I've never had any issues getting SMB onto feed, not to go off topic.

They go right to it.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 01:26 PM
Shorty, I have so much stuff going on with my two ponds right now that I can't really tell how much its impacting my electrical compared to using my standard aeration system. I got tired of rebuilding my standard aeration unit and had a 1hp Kasco given to me that we couldn't figure out how to get running. While working on that, I ordered a 1/2 hp Kasco because I'm an impulse buyer!! In the meantime I got the 1hp running. So I have them in different locations. Now that I have my FA taken care of, which is the reason I experimented with horizontal aeration, I alternate which one I'm using.

MOfisherman, I'll try to take the time to make a more detailed post tomorrow in its own thread. Have you had any difficulty getting SMB on pellets? From Sunil's response it doesn't appear it's that difficult (which is awesome to hear!!) but I have seldom witnessed it. Maybe there are other variables that got mine started. But the current seemed to be the turning point.

TGW1, I haven't done DO readings simply because I don't have a DO meter. But it seems impossible for my DO to not be in good shape as much water as I'm moving. One thing I have noticed is that I have absolutely no spots where there is a noticeable difference in water temp. Whether its horizontal or vertical, the entire body of water feels to be the same temp. At first I was concerned about warming the water on hot days, but that certainly doesn't seem to be the case. In fact, the entire body of water is noticeably cooler when swimming. Also, there is a significant decrease in bottom muck anywhere within 30 ft of the Kasco circulator.

wbuffetjr, I'll fix your statement for you......... NEDOC always doing stupid and expensive stuff!! But occasionally he posts something interesting that evolves from his stupidity!! LOL

What really needs to be invented by one of the pond boss geniuses is a circulator that roams your pond like a Roomba. LOL
Posted By: Bocomo Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 03:50 PM
Originally Posted by NEDOC
Originally Posted by canyoncreek
NEDOC, any way you can go back to the first page of this thread and restore the videos that were embedded of you feeding them? I'd love to keep those videos as part of thread going forward! I wanted to share this thread with a friend but those links are missing.


I just noticed the youtube I loaded today wasn't included. How do I go about restoring these videos?

Hey Doc,

It's just the embedding encoding for the links that is broken. If you click edit on your own post, you should be able to see the link and fix it. We'll just have to click on them:


Originally Posted by NEDOC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4waNG0HEn8

And what I was hoping to evolve to is having them hit strips of meat as I throw it into their cage. In this case it was a strip of tilapia. And they were only hitting about 50% of the ones I threw in. But 1) they may have been full and 2) it'll take some acclimation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYvrDXct2yI

Ultimately, I'd like to progress to something like this. Keep in mind this is a feeding of my catfish....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL6QoVPyRzM
Posted By: Bocomo Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 03:55 PM
Removed embedding:

Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 07:29 PM
I think I got them all fixed bocomo. When did the embed tool quit working?
Posted By: Bocomo Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/20/20 10:29 PM
Originally Posted by NEDOC
I think I got them all fixed bocomo. When did the embed tool quit working?


My guess is that Google stopped allowing hotlinking.
Posted By: Shorty Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/21/20 12:42 AM
I looked up the 1/2 hp Kasco circulator, 5.7 amps, by comparison a 1/2 hp rocking piston is right around 3.7 amps.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/21/20 02:27 AM
What’s the difference in electrical cost 24/7 per month?
Originally Posted by NEDOC
wbuffetjr, I'll fix your statement for you......... NEDOC always doing stupid and expensive stuff!! But occasionally he posts something interesting that evolves from his stupidity!! LOL

That's how I see myself, not you! We must be kindred spirits! Lol
Moving food is always better and has an advantage for success when feed training predatory fish.
Posted By: Shorty Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 08/22/20 01:29 PM
Originally Posted by NEDOC
What’s the difference in electrical cost 24/7 per month?

I wish I knew how to figure it, probably not a much.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/23/21 02:41 PM
Here's a quick little update. This is my second batch of Tigers... so coming up on their third birthday. At this point they are roughly 8lbs. I believe I have roughly 4-6 survivors of 10 stockers in a 2/3 acre pond without any noticeable negative impact at this point. But as their gape increases I believe that will change. We have caught a few via rod n reel but it seems if you do stock a pond and want to remove them, a fyke net (trap net) is the best way to go about it.

Now to explain this video, I have a couple Kasco ice eaters placed horizontally to create a lazy river effect around my pond. Its my preferred aeration method at this point. Anyway, the TM love to come up in the current, partially exposed and just sit there. On occasion I'll see them hit a moving pellet. But mostly they just like to stare me down and freak me out. LOL Here is one hanging out on my swimming beach, oddly he showed up while my kids were in the water swimming.

PS A circulator is a great way to keep a beach clear of FA.





PS Again: Is this video not showing for anyone else?

Here's a link to hit until I figure out the embed... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdNz496qR68
Posted By: Sunil Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/23/21 02:47 PM
I can't see any video..
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/23/21 03:18 PM
Argh........ any suggestions as to what I can change? It's simply a youtube video.
Posted By: Sunil Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/23/21 07:19 PM
I see the link now, and it works.

Reminds of an old episode of "Rod-n-Reel Streamside with Don Meissner" which was a low budget fishing show from 20-30 years ago. They hook into a musky and fight it for the entire 30 minute show, and it breaks the line at the last minute, and the show ends. Then, during the credits, it cuts back to the show and Don says "...we saw the musky sunning itself in some weeks and we could see the streamer lure in it's mouth.." The video shows them creeping up to the musky with a net. They lunge at it, get it in the net and lift it out of the water, and the musky somehow cuts the net and falls out.

EDIT: The show may be from 40-50 years ago.
Posted By: NEDOC Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/23/21 07:47 PM
My TM love to 'sun' themselves. At first I thought they were unhealthy fish. Now I realized it's just a trait of theirs.
Posted By: Steve_ Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/23/21 07:51 PM
I don't think you can embed a video into a forum post, but it would be cool if you could. Best you can do is post a link to it. There is an extension they can download for the PHP forum software that this site uses, that will basically allow you to add [youtube]URL here[/youtube] brackets before and after the URL and that will embed the video right into a post. There's also HTML coding to do it, but HTML is disabled for obvious reasons.
At the bottom of the "Use Full Editor " option for adding posts, there is an dropdown for "Post Options". Try "HTML and UBBCode", and that has worked for me.
Posted By: Steve_ Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/23/21 09:20 PM
Under post options, it says:

HTML is disabled.
UBBCode is enabled.

Maybe you have different options because you're a moderator? I tried doing the [video:youtube] tags and it just shows a blank space where the video would be.
Can the mods please look into why the button is there to embed youtube video and why it doesn't work? It seems to only recently have failed to work, perhaps with the upgrade?
Originally Posted by Steve_
Under post options, it says:

HTML is disabled.
UBBCode is enabled.

Maybe you have different options because you're a moderator? I tried doing the [video:youtube] tags and it just shows a blank space where the video would be.

Maybe so. Weird deal is we can't post pics or videos on our mod thread.

I'll check on the videos. We had it, then it went away.

OK, I looked at the html. The difference in the UBB default and the html/UBB option, is that the html/UBB option creates an iFrame to size the video, and it embeds it in that iframe instead of just displaying the youtube video on the page somewhere within the youtube tags, so the path to the video is broken. I'll send this to the PB office.
Posted By: esshup Re: Crazy idea - pen raised tiger muskie.... - 07/24/21 03:06 AM
Originally Posted by FireIsHot
Originally Posted by Steve_
Under post options, it says:

HTML is disabled.
UBBCode is enabled.

Maybe you have different options because you're a moderator? I tried doing the [video:youtube] tags and it just shows a blank space where the video would be.

Maybe so. Weird deal is we can't post pics or videos on our mod thread.

I'll check on the videos. We had it, then it went away.

OK, I looked at the html. The difference in the UBB default and the html/UBB option, is that the html/UBB option creates an iFrame to size the video, and it embeds it in that iframe instead of just displaying the youtube video on the page somewhere within the youtube tags, so the path to the video is broken. I'll send this to the PB office.

Bob was supposed to have LeighAnn look at it but that was weeks ago. It doesn't look like she had any success at fixing it.
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