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So, in about a year and a half I am going to be making a pond on some land that I just bought. The pond will probably be 1/2 to 1 acre. I want to concentrate mainly on sunfish (the bigger the better) and I want everything in the pond to accept feed.

Long story short, if anyone has any experience with Redear Sunfish x Bluegill (RES x BG) hybrids and if they accept feed I would love to hear from you.

My interest in RES x BG hybrids is the size so, if anyone has any other species suggestions for a small trophy sunfish pond that can be fed pellet feed your advice would be appreciated as well.

Thanks,
Dave

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Dave:

I think that if you stock both BG and RES, you will get some natural hybridization in the pond. I know of no source to buy that hybrid.

I think that they might become habituated to pellets in your pond. I have some RES that eat sinking pellets in my pond.


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RES can be feed trained. It is just not as easy as BG. I have some RES in one pond that eat pellets right along with the BG. There are several threads here on both RES X BG and feed training RES.

Last edited by ewest; 02/22/12 09:14 PM.















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Thanks both of you for your fast replies. They were both encouraging.

I had not though about how I would acquire the hybrids too much. I knew it might be hard to find them and that I may have to try and sex RES and BG (only one sec of each type in the pond) to try and force the first generation to become hybrids.

Perhaps stocking 100 of each RES and BG would be a good idea so that the RES could both learn from the BG and have the change to naturally hybridize?

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I have a large number of BG x RES hybrids, and although I have never observed them feeding on the surface, I did have two last year that had stomachs full of pellets, discovered upon filleting. Perhaps they still continue to feed at or near the bottom, in spite of the hybridization.

What other species will be present in the pond, and are you looking for a self-sustaining population?


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I was thinking that I might put a couple of HSB (in favor of LMB since they won't breed) in to keep the population in check without having to worry about keeping the bass population in check. Some (not a ton) baitfish but probably after the sunfish are hungry enough to learn how to eat pellets. I was hoping that with (heavy) pellet supplementation I wouldn't have to worry about maintaining a heavy baitfish population.

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HSB may be hard pressed to control your BG population, as they readily take artificial feed also. Lots on here regarding that very subject, and forage training HSB.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Pretty sure TJ's were scarfing down pellets. He had a small repo pond designated for male BG and female RES only.

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So, HSB prefer pellet feed even when there is an abundance of live food for them? I did not factor in the HSB being too lazy to eat the small sunfish hah.

How difficult do you think it would be to cull the sunfish manually with bait traps? I would prefer to not have to manage too many species in the pond as my real goal is only large sunfish.

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Consider Male only bluegill for this trophy pellet fed pond. Would grow huge sunfish, no worries about trying to get fish to hybridize (or have to wait for them to hybridize) no worries about pellet training RES, etc. Just simply bring in new male bluegill whenever you have easy access to them, sounds like a fun project. Then you could put a handful of hybrid stripers in for variety.


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I have a reproduction pond dedicated to raising BG/RES hybrids the last two years. Year one had minimal success as a female BG slipped in from another pond and I was having a hard time making positive ID on YOY BG and hybrids. Last year I had much more success, but am waiting until Spring to seine because I neglected to stay on top of vegetation issues and it prevented good collection efforts this Fall. I remain hopeful though as during net sampling I was finding hundreds of YOY BG/RES in a few swipes. Not sure if they will have survived the winter or not. I have kept it largely ice free and full of flowing water to hopefully mitigate the mortality rate. I think mortality on fish that size isn't so much about temps, but lack of forage. This year I think my collective experience should prove to yield another strong crop of SMB and finally BG/RES hybrids. If you stock Male BG and Female RES they will hybridize and create one cool fish. I love them.


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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Someone has to mention it......

DMRBG, have you considered Hybrid Bluegills?


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
Someone has to mention it......

DMRBG, have you considered Hybrid Bluegills?


(I assume you mean GSF x BG hybrid) I've seen a lot of hate on the boards and other forums about these guys. I wasn't really considering them because only a hand full of people seem to like them and my understanding is that they do not get as big as the RES x BG hybrid that I've been hoping to breed eventually. I see you have a little something about them in your forum tag so I'm assuming that you like them. Do you work with them often and what would you say their benefits over a RES x BG hybrid would be (I'm guessing availability; is there anything else?)

Thanks,
Dave

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I can see I'm gonna' be late for work this morning.. laugh

HBG have got to be one of the most misused, misrepresented, and misunderstood, (at least by the general public), fish out there. I have one of my ponds dedicated to this fish, and I will share what little I know.

First, the term "large" means different things to different people, and can be relevant to one's location. What is your idea of a large panfish? You might be hard pressed to find a HBG over 2 lbs, while a pure strain BG can exceed that, and a RES obviously can too. A RES x BG hybrid? I don't know what one is capable of topping out at.
I have had mine for almost three years now, and most of my catches weigh over a pound, with a pound and a quarter being my largest thus far. My goal was to get them to a pound and a half, which should be relatively easy to attain. Mine are stocked with LMB, and a few RES.

The advantages of a HBG, as I perceive them:

Predominantly male, greatly reduced chance of overpopulation and stunting.
A large mouth allows them to forage on a greater size of natural prey, INCLUDING, their own offspring... I have witnessed this many times. This reduces competition for the available food sources, while providing an immediate boost to the fish that consumed the offspring... a one two punch.

They grow very quick for the first couple of years, faster than RES or BG. Their growth slows after that time, allowing BG to overtake them, growth wise.

They are tremendous fighters, stronger than a comparably sized BG.

As you stated, they are readily available.

When it comes to RES x BG hybrids, my knowledge is limited to those I catch in my other ponds. And I have caught some large ones, although none that weighed more than my largest hybrids. To be fair, I have only started supplemental feeding those fish last year, so time will tell what can be achieved.

You've probably already seen this but here is more info:

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=256325#Post256325

I'm curious, what are your expectations of a RES x BG hybrid?


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I think they have their place in a pond.

1) for a pond where you will be feeding, and want a good sunfish pond without the problems associated with trying to control BG/CNBG populations.

2) for a pond where kids will be fishing. Easier to get to a larger size in the first few years than BG, easily restocked. Large mouths make for biting on larger baits. larger baits are easier for kids to fish with.

For ponds where you won't be feeding, the fish density won't be as high, and they won't grow as quick as in ponds where they are fed.


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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
I can see I'm gonna' be late for work this morning.. laugh


Yeah, you've got a long commute! wink They calling for snow or rain down your way tonight?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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I hope I didn't make you late for work. Your input has been greatly appreciated. One of my fears for Hybrid GSF x BG is that they will become more like GFS and less like BG after a couple of generations.

My goals/expectations with a RES x BG hybrid pond would be to have a sunfish hybrid where both parent species are (in my opinion) desirable; this way if after generations of breeding RES or BG genetics take over more than the other the resulting fish will still be one that I would like to have. I also expect/hoping the resulting hybrid to grow fast and hopefully attain a final size closer to the RES than a BG can. I am also hoping that if I am feeding the pond heavily with pellet food the fish that will reach breeding size the fastest and most reliably will be the ones that take the food which would hopefully influence the pellet feeding nature of the offspring.

Its probably a crazy experiment in trying to reliably get 2+ lb sunfish that will gorge them selves on feed and grow fast.

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Originally Posted By: esshup
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
I can see I'm gonna' be late for work this morning.. laugh


Yeah, you've got a long commute! wink They calling for snow or rain down your way tonight?


Whew, barely made it. Had to cover that 50 yds at a brisk walk, but I think I'll recover in an hour or two. cool

Rain and snow possible tonight, lows in the mid thirties so shouldn't be too bad...


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Ah, so you are hoping for a reproducing population of potentially trophy panfish, that can complicate things somewhat, but I wouldn't consider it outright impossible.

It would eliminate an all male BG pond, as well as a HBG pond from the running, however. Male BG obviously won't reproduce, and I personally think HBG should be managed in such an environment that what reproduction that does occur is eliminated shortly thereafter. Although, there are a few individuals claiming success with F2's and F3's as viable fish in their own right.

Growing HBG as a self sustaining population is one of the most common reasons for disappointment on the part of the pond owner, in my opinion, and the primary reason for the negativity often encountered where this fish is concerned.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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What is the smallest pond/pool that you think sunfish will breed in? I could make a small breeding pond/pool where I hand select MBG and FRES to breed. Then, seine out the babies or transplant the fertilized eggs after breeding and put them in the larger grow out pond. This would eliminate the problem of availability for the RES x BG hybrids and also create a playground for me to experiment with.

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I know that they'll spawn in a 1/10 ac pond, and probably would spawn in a bathtub if given the right conditions.

I'll bet they'd spawn in a 50 gallon aquarium!


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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Originally Posted By: esshup
I know that they'll spawn in a 1/10 ac pond, and probably would spawn in a bathtub if given the right conditions.

I'll bet they'd spawn in a 50 gallon aquarium!


I agree with Scott. I would also advise against trying to transplant fertilized eggs, I can't imagine that would be successful.

Seining out the young hybrids is your best bet.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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That is encouraging. I'll nix the egg transplanting idea and try to build on the breeding pool idea. Perhaps something like a 12 ft dia 15 inch high kids pool with a sandy/gravel bottom for 3 or 4 of each species. Once hatched, remove the parents (to prevent cannibalism) and feed the babies with brine shrimp until large enough to accept small feed. Then transplant into grow out pond.

Something like a modified version of this; It even says sunfish in the name. grin
http://www.amazon.com/Intex-Sun-Fish-Sna...536&sr=8-81

Last edited by DMRBG; 02/23/12 12:39 PM.
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All males the same species all females the other species.
















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Originally Posted By: ewest
All males the same species all females the other species.


Correct.

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