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#22008 08/06/05 05:38 PM
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Did something for the first time today and want to know how the rest of you handle it: fishing at a feeding station.

I spent a half-hour pulling out the fattest bursting belly little Bluegills I have ever seen at and near where they have (finally) begun feeding regularly. On one hand, it was valuable to see their condition up close and personal since taking feed regularly for a month. On the other hand, it was WAY too easy. I'm hoping I didn't put any of them off feed for long from the shock of non-easy eating there.

I think I will hold off on doing this again for some time, and am wondering how big an exclusion zone would be appropriate to safeguard feeding behavior in a 1 acre pond. I also understand why Meadowlark has the anti-poacher bear traps on the docks leading to his feeders.

What are your thoughts and feeding area restrictions/practices?


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#22009 08/06/05 06:24 PM
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Theo,

Except for guests (and those I want to impress \:\) ), I do not fish the feeding stations. I'd say the no fish zone I use is about a 60 foot circle around the station. I do this not only because its too easy to catch those fish, but I also don't want to discourage fish feeding action.

The recent poaching event I wrote of....these guys were no fools. They set up operation on the deep water pier where the HSB hang out and BG also. One guy actually climbed over the pier gate I showed pictures off with a big "Keep Out" sign. He must have good reactions also because he avoided the steel traps...bird house camera was not in operation, unfortunately. Son-in-law observed this fine specimen hauling out a 4 pound HSB. In his haste to exit, he did have the presence of mind to carry out the HSB. Something which I will bring up if and when they ever come forward. I digress.

#22010 08/06/05 07:21 PM
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Back I the good ole days – yeah, I mean really way back – I hunted quail and pheasant every chance I got.

Grew up hunting bob white quail in East Texas, and later in life, blues in west Texas, and pheasant every year in Kansas and Nebraska.
Had a chance to pass on the sport to others, and my saying was “if you wanted to be a good upland bird shot – you have to be in birds……!

Same thing with fly fishing – you gotta be in fish….!

So far in our relatively new pond, my wife only fishes with a fly rod, my grandson has caught the bug (pun intended), and I have taught 2 adult friends and one teenager.

If you are teaching or introducing others to fishing, fish the feeders…. You gotta be in fish to learn…..!

George Glazener

#22011 08/06/05 08:27 PM
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Theo :

Our feeders are at isolated locations and we never fish around them for the reasons stated in the posts above. Also our feeding is truly just supp. feeding as with only one feeder on each pond only a few fish as a % make use of the feeders. If I were going to fish near by I would not get closer than 2x the feeder throw range from the edge of the pattern {120 ft. from our feeders}. Just a guess. ewest
















#22012 08/06/05 08:43 PM
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Theo: I don't personally fish around the feeders but if I have a special guest, such as my father, I'm more than happy to catch a few quickies before moving on to greater challenges. I've often thought about the possibility of negative reinforcement to feeding behavior by hooking/catching fish at the feeder but my gut tells me that there's too much positive reinforcement to undo with one capture. My wife would have to lose at the slot machines several times before she begins to forget about that time she won. ;\) I've got 540 male bluegill now in my 1.25 acre pond and have only purposely hooked about 25 at the feeder, so I think all in all I'm not really hurting anything.


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#22013 08/06/05 10:04 PM
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I fished the feeder until they quit biting anything. However, they still eagerly consume the feed.

#22014 08/06/05 10:54 PM
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I can only tell you my experience with largemouth bass. After catching them and releasing some of them around the area where I feed, the larger onces get impossible to catch. The smaller ones also feed farther away from the pier after some fishing is done. The water is so clear that if I walk out to the pier any time of day with a fishing rod in hand the larger ones totally disappear. If I walk out without the fishing rod they stay around.

I absolutely do not allow any catch and release fishing of bass in the pond anymore and none in the area where I feed. It has caused me to come up short in requests for fish orders at times.

I see myself getting a shocker boat at some point in the future to make fish harvesting consistent.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






#22015 08/07/05 12:08 PM
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I have just recently begun to feed my trout in my 1/2 acre pond. My son has also just recently caught on to flyfishing and i wanted him to be able to catch a few trout easily, so i made a couple pellet flies according to the members on this forum and he caught and released several 14" to 16" rainbow trout.

However, I began to think after reading this topic that i may be putting off the fish that he hooked to the feed. Do you think these rainbows will eat the feed again? Or will the be wary and not eat the pellets, causing them to not have as good growth rates?

This is a very interesting topic as i have heard of people catching the same fish with a hurt fin or some other recognizable trait more than once on the same lure.

- Jighead

#22016 08/07/05 02:26 PM
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Cecil,

I wouldn't pretend to give you advise but just wondering if for those bass you have to catch for someone, have you tried some 3 to 4 inch live BG? Around my feeders, if I ever really want to catch one of those impossible to catch bass, I just throw out a live BG sit and wait. Always works....and I only use that on special occasions. No other way for me to reliably catch a LMB.

#22017 08/07/05 04:22 PM
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jighead it does not slow down my clients trout fishing around feeder. I have them really fish hard come May b/c they will die by July. I also sell feeders for the purpose of easier fishing for kids/novice. Although they do catch fish this way it does not seem to decrease cathability when they catch and relase fish around the feeder.


Greg Grimes
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#22018 08/07/05 06:44 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Meadowlark:
Cecil,

I wouldn't pretend to give you advise but just wondering if for those bass you have to catch for someone, have you tried some 3 to 4 inch live BG? Around my feeders, if I ever really want to catch one of those impossible to catch bass, I just throw out a live BG sit and wait. Always works....and I only use that on special occasions. No other way for me to reliably catch a LMB.
Absolutely a good idea Meadowlark. I've used other live bait to snare the bigger bass in the past too. However part of my problem is I have 300 feed trained smaller bass 11 to 14 inches that beat them to the live bait most of the time. I used to be able to sight fish for the larger bass by dropping a nite crawler in front of their noses, but now they leave the area when they see rod in hand due to catch and release.

BTW on another note I had 4 or 5 eight to ten inch smallmouth swim upstream about 200 feet up an overflow 6 inch pipe to the trout pond. I never would have thought they would do that. I just caught three of them and moved them back to the pond they swam up from. I've now learned my lesson. Both overflow pipes have been pulled up above the water's surface at least 6 inches where they flow into the pond with the smallmouth bass. Shouldn't see any more illegal immigrants from now on. The smallmouth in the trout pond scare me as tape worms are very common in smallmouth bass. I have observed tape worms in one of my bluegills and a largemouth in the bass pond.

Catching them was easy as they stayed near the surface in the trout pond where the water is slightly warmer. I sight cast to them with a redworm as the fly rod spooked them. One or two more to go.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






#22019 08/07/05 08:05 PM
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Theo,

Here's one of those exceptions I was referring to. No better way to teach grandson to love fishing than to start him out at the feeder. This one was caught this evening just before the feeders went off. Happy Grandson!



#22020 08/08/05 01:35 PM
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Meadowlark,

Congrats on the great looking bluegill and the even greater looking grandson. Nothin wrong with fishin at the feeder to introduce a youngster to fishing \:\) . And hopefully your introducing a future pondmeister also \:D .



- Jighead


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