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Hey everyone out there who feeds fish I have a question. I have been feeding my fish for about 2 months now. It been going pretty good. I feed for 2 sec. in the morning and 2 in the evening. Has anyone have issues with not being able to catch fish or seems to be harder to catch fish once you start a feeding program?? The last couple times we went we could hardly get a bite with a worm and I have yet to catch another HSB. I would have thought it would be easier to catch them especailly around the feeder? Been using bettle spins and small meps, rapala's but to no avail?? Should I maybe drop down to 1 feeding a day? Are my fish to satisfied now maybe? Do I actually need something that looks like a pellet now to catch my fish?

thanks,


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We've all seen the catch phrase: "Fed fish are big fish", but the unwritten other half of that statement could be "Fed fish can be hard to catch fish"

I absolutely think our fish are harder to catch since implementing a feeding program. It just makes sense to me that they would be. And once you factor in a policy of catch and release combined with the feeding program, the fish get pretty tight-lipped.

Hence the popularity of pellet flies, and Stubby Steve's.


"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 don't know much, but at the Nebraska Pond Boss conference held a couple of weeks ago, Bob Lusk said something to the effect that "You can't feed the instinct out of them". In other words their instinct is to grab food if they see it swimming by.
Now I don't know if that applies the same to a live minnow as it does to a spinner bait.
I hope Bob read this and corrects me if I am wrong.

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Once I began an assertive feeding program I have a very hard time catching anything but BG, RES, and HCP on artificials. My SMB and HSB will still hit jig/crawler, minnow or BG under a float, but it's not steady action. If I shut down the feeder for a couple days, which I rarely do, the action picks up significantly. If I want to tie into my SMB or HSB I resort to the pellet fly presentation and I have no problems catching them.

I have mixed feelings about the whole scenario.

I love the WR and apparent health of my fish that AM pellets render, and a part of me feels good that my fish are so reluctant to hit artificials which may discourage any trespassers. That last one might be a reach...

I miss being able to employ different angling strategies and having to resort to just pellet fly patterns. It doesn't require any skill to cast a AM 600 or LMB pellet out to feeding fish and hold on. So, I miss using plastics, topwaters, jigs, fly rodding with streamers/buggers or poppers.

In my fishery it's a tradeoff [high WR fish/poor angling success] unless I want to shut down the feeders - but it may be different in other ponds. Eager to hear other people's experiences on angling success on well fed pellet fisheries.


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Hey TJ thanks for that bit of info. I wasn't sure if maybe I just forgot how to fish! smile Man there is always a negative with a positive hey! I did think about stopping the feeder also or at least backing off to one feeding per day maybe?? I enjoy watching them eat but I also enjoy catching fish too!!! Here I thought catching my fish would be easier! Hmmmm not sure about that???


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One thing I'm worried about pellet pattern fishing would be unintentionally turning those fish OFF of pellets once catching them. I've read that others use that tactic purposefully to get GC or CC OFF the pellets...could it stand to reason that catching SMB and HSB on pellet pattern could have the same effect and turn them away from pellet feeding? That would be a very undesireable situation!

Tie a 500 or 600 pellet in pantyhose, tie off the top with some mono or thread, and use appropriate size hook and your fly rod and you will have success. If you dont have a fly rod, you can use a float tied 3-4' from your pellet fly to allow your some weight to cast and you'll still hook up.

Are you saying you're not catching any LMB either? Again, buffet line might be so good they are becoming very selective on what to pursue. Live bait on barbless hooks may also be an answer for you, or fishing early AM or late PM.


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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Originally Posted By: RC51
Hey TJ thanks for that bit of info. I wasn't sure if maybe I just forgot how to fish! smile Man there is always a negative with a positive hey! I did think about stopping the feeder also or at least backing off to one feeding per day maybe?? I enjoy watching them eat but I also enjoy catching fish too!!! Here I thought catching my fish would be easier! Hmmmm not sure about that???


Yeah, I've heard similar statements a lot RC. Whenever people find out that I feed our fish, then it's like: "Well that's like shooting fish in a barrel". Not hardly. That barrel can be a whole lot bigger, and deeper, than what they envision. Even with HBG, which supposedly are always easy to catch, hooking up with one can be tough sometimes. I've got one LMB in the HBG pond that will go 3-4 lbs, and it needs to come out.....except I can't catch it. It has taken to feeding on pellets, and I can't trigger a strike. I've had my Bass fishing friends and neighbors over to try and remove it, but no luck. It simply ignores everything except AQ500.

Do I think it's impossible to catch it now? No, but I do believe it would've been caught by now had it not taken to artificial feed so readily. I think it might take a live BG to trigger a reflexive hit, or some Stubby Steve's.


"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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Yeah spark you got that right! A lot bigger! Not sure now if it continues the way it is for this year if I want to feed next spring? Going to continue this year for sure and expeirment a little. May drop down to 1 feeding or 2, 1 second feedings?? Not sure. I know they are there and they are growing but if I can't take my kid out there to catch a fish what good is it??? Finding the right equation is the key for sure! Heck maybe this weekend was just a bad weekend to be fishing? Sometimes fish just aren't going to bite when you want them to smile


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I have been feeding my bluegill during warm months for the last four years. Overall weight and relative weights are higher across the board. As are the weights of the largemouth bass. I do not have any trouble catching bluegill basically anywhere in the lake including around the three feeders on my three acre pond. I catch most of the bluegill right off of the dock close to one of the feeders. I just don't think feeding impacts their catchability. And the same is true of the bass. We consisitently catch bass and seldom get skunked.


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Yeah maybe it was just bad timing??? I don't know. Thanks bing for that info makes me feel a little better. I got a lot of time and energy in settting up feeding my fish and the results are looking good, but I still want to be able to catch my BG with a worm and bobber if you will.


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RC51, I get a lot of pleasure just sitting down on the dock and fishing with meal worms for bluegill. Since i've started feeding I now catch them regularly in the one pound range, recent lake
record 1#9oz. Catching a few good ones now and then with the smaller eating size is a great combination.


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Bing, do you practice catch and release with your BG? I wonder if the size of the BOW could impact the equation any? I don't know how large RC's pond is, but my HBG pond is 2/3 acre, and the other three are all between 1/2 and 1 acre in size. I fish these ponds everyday, and I feed once a day in all 4. I can take one or two fish, then nothing....no matter what I throw. I can see the fish, but they show no further interest in my baits.

Throw a handful of AQ500 in there, and it's another story! they will boil the water, but cast into the mix...nothing.

In the early Springtime, shortly after ice-out, they are much more easily caught. I always figured that behavior was driven by hunger, and subsided somewhat once feeding began.


"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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Hey spark that is exactly what is starting to happen in my pond just as you described. My pond is 3/4 to 1 acre. The other day we were out there and the feeder went off fish hitting the food like crazy. Throw a worm and bobber in there and not a bite!! smile Fish jumping all around the bobber I couldn't believe it?? Maybe it does have something to do with size of pond? I don't know I am also using AM 500/600. The fish almost act like they are getting lazy and it's to much trouble to go after your bait!! smile Dang it man. If it's not one thing it's another!! crazy


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RC, I think it comes down to the same idea I've seen discussed here before: Do fish have the capacity to learn?? I tend to believe they do, and I think what I'm seeing in my ponds may be a result of that.

I had to chuckle at your lazy fish comment, as I have wondered that exact same thing myself. Is it too much effort to pursue my bait, now that easy floating targets are distributed freely every evening? Does feeding to satiation in a smaller BOW make the fish less prone to be caught, simply because they're "full" most of the time?

I can't help but think that "Stubby Steve's" exist today because someone saw a need for the product, quite possibly due to experiencing what we are discussing right here.


"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 have always found big LM were easier to catch in other BOW when it's colder-Feb./March. I didn't catch large numbers but the fish were considerably larger. As it warmed May/June the large fish just didn't bite as well. It seems in my pond that the fish have become hook shy, sometimes switching to something different they haven't seen in awhile helps. But I'm also a big believer in moon phase too. If the phase isn't right I just don't catch as many fish, if any at all.


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I think my pond is 180 from you guys experience. I don't have a problem catching BG/LMB/RBT in my pond. Just yesterday I went out with a #4 hook, 6# Fluro and a dzn nightcrawlers. I caught 5 LMB in 7 casts sight fishing. The 2 that I removed from the pond (not tagged and I didn't bring the tape measure/scale to the pond) were 16" 2.68# and 15.5" 2.48#.

My neighbor has been catching LMB (and a couple RBT) on a #4 Mepps spinner with a red/white blade.


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Originally Posted By: esshup
I think my pond is 180 from you guys experience. I don't have a problem catching BG/LMB/RBT in my pond. Just yesterday I went out with a #4 hook, 6# Fluro and a dzn nightcrawlers. I caught 5 LMB in 7 casts sight fishing. The 2 that I removed from the pond (not tagged and I didn't bring the tape measure/scale to the pond) were 16" 2.68# and 15.5" 2.48#.

My neighbor has been catching LMB (and a couple RBT) on a #4 Mepps spinner with a red/white blade.


Esshup,
How often do you feed your fish? Once, twice a day? How many seconds?

thx,


The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!
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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
RC, I think it comes down to the same idea I've seen discussed here before: Do fish have the capacity to learn?? I tend to believe they do, and I think what I'm seeing in my ponds may be a result of that.

I had to chuckle at your lazy fish comment, as I have wondered that exact same thing myself. Is it too much effort to pursue my bait, now that easy floating targets are distributed freely every evening? Does feeding to satiation in a smaller BOW make the fish less prone to be caught, simply because they're "full" most of the time?

I can't help but think that "Stubby Steve's" exist today because someone saw a need for the product, quite possibly due to experiencing what we are discussing right here.


Hey spark sounds like you and I are fishing out of the same pond!! smile


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I can't help but think that "Stubby Steve's" exist today because someone saw a need for the product, quite possibly due to experiencing what we are discussing right here.

This is EXACTLY why Stubby Steve's came to be... Steve fed his fish the best fish food, gave them the most beautiful place to live and thrive, asked nothing more of them but to be caught on a hook every now and then.... and they proved to be stubborn! He did the same thing you guys mentioned... if someone wanted to catch fish at his place he'd stop feeding for a few days!!! Then he decided to accomplish the better option of "matching the hatch" for his own pond. Stubby Steve's. smile

We feel we are a natural partnership with the bigger fish food companies but it's difficult to get them to "think outside the box"... it only makes sense that they are losing money from less food being fed due to less fish being caught due to more finicky fish liking their fish food rather than other food available.... (that was a mouthful!)

This is one of my favorite articles by Bryan Brasher from "The Commercial Appeal".... he seems to be fishing from "the same pond" as many of us! wink


"A couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail from a buddy who said I just had to try one of the great new creations from the fishing tackle industry.
He said it was called "Stubby Steve's Artificial Fish Food Lure," and I knew right away that I had to have some.
I didn't know what it was or even what kind of fish it was designed to catch.
But with a name like that, I knew surely it must be dynamite.
Turns out, Stubby Steve's Artificial Fish Food Lure is a perfect imitation of the same floating fish food that pond owners all over America are using to feed bluegill, catfish and a variety of other privately raised species.
Those of you who own a pond with an automatic feeder must know how valuable a bait like that can be.
You see, when fish are raised in a pond and fed a consistent diet of premium floating pellet food, they sort of lose a taste for primitive fishing baits like crickets and worms.
Wouldn't you?
I mean, if you had your choice between a store-bought delicacy or a dead, waterlogged bug, which one would you eat?
Once those fish develop a taste for the finer things in life, they can be ridiculously difficult to catch -- and trust me, there's nothing more frustrating than getting skunked on a pond that you built, by fish that you've spent hard-earned money fattening up.
Now, Stubby Steve's is the perfect solution for fish that refuse to bite the hand that feeds them.
The folks who made this stuff claim that it "smells more like fish food than fish food" -- and if you leave a bag of it open in your truck overnight, you'll see what they mean.
It looks, smells and floats just like floating pellet food, but it's spongy so it'll fit easily onto any hook. It's such a perfect match that fish simply can't tell the difference.
I've already used it in the pond behind my house to catch bluegill until I was just tired of catching them.
I used it in another private pond to catch channel catfish the other day, and I'm convinced it'll fool any species that was raised in a pond or hatchery.
That means no more frustrating days during the winter trying to catch rainbow trout that simply aren't interested in our hand-tied flies. It means no more watching helplessly as big, fat tilapia eat everything except the bait we're dangling in front of their noses.
I've already talked with some people who think Stubby Steve's is cheating.
One guy said, "That's not fishing, that's just catching."
Some folks think it'll take a lot of the challenge out of the sport.
But honestly, who cares?
I've never heard a bass apologize for biting during practice and then disappearing on tournament day.
I've never heard a crappie say he was sorry for developing lockjaw all because of a simple change in the barometric pressure.
They'll hear no apologies from me either.
I've got a drawer full of Stubby Steve's -- and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it."




We're just proud to be a part of your fishing solution.....

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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
Bing, do you practice catch and release with your BG?



Yes, I practice some degree of catch and release. I put back the very small and very large bluegill. The small ones to feed the bass and perhaps the larger bluegill, and the large ones, generally over eight inches. I keep the mid sized bluegill for dinner. I have caught many bluegill that showed obvious signs of being caught before.

Although I do not think that feeding materially changes the catchability of bluegill, sometimes when I have a lot of kids coming to the pond to fish I turn the feeder off for a day before they fish. The reason is, although I don't think feeding overall reduces the ability to catch them, I also believe that a hungry bluegill is more apt to bite than one which had been feeding recently.


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RC51, I feed 2x day, and a 50# bag might last a month. Feeder times won't do much good because of different feeders throwing different rates. I've got mine set at 2 sec each feed cycle, for 4 sec/day total. (AM600)


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Fish condition to people to survive just like wildlife does and we are generally too dumb to catch on. Have you ever walked up to a goose and got really close to it while strolling along normally. or maybe tried chasing it off and got really close to it! On the flip side, Have you ever tried stalking that same goose kind of like a predator or a hunter? I bet you didnt get nearly as close to it this time before it took off.

Ok its late so that anology may not have gone over so well, but my point is this. Fed fish typically learn about humans pretty quickly. They interact closely with them much more than unfed fish do. Humans come tromping along up to the pond or to the dock and the fish know you are there before you get there. Then you are watching them and they are watching you.

When an unfed fish knows you are there it will either leave or close its mouth as well- unless it is very hungry and has no choice. When a fish or animal is very hungry it simply has no choice but to eat. Come on deer hunters, hungry deer are much easier to hunt.

You want to catch fed fish consistently you need to not let them know you are there. In a smaller body of water its alot harder to stay concealed for a long amount of time, especially when a couple fish do get caught.

The larger the body of water, the easier it is to catch fed fish and I believe its a combination of all the theories discussed in this thread. I think RC if you get creative with this one you will be able to figure out a system that gives you the best of both worlds for your body of water.

In situations such as yours, I have also found it very beneficial to have several feed stations to spread the fish back out around the pond.

There is alot more going on here than what I have time to write about tonight, very interesting topic that I have spent much time studying and experimenting with on lots of lakes and ponds!


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"Fed fish typically learn about humans pretty quickly" I don't wish to remove Nate's statement from its proper context, but there's that word.....learn. Fish learn. I personally believe this to be true.

Fascinating subject. Could it be that there exists a potential downside, albeit small, to feeding in a small BOW where a reasonably high, perhaps even average, catchability rate is desired?


"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 find that my fish are pretty well conditioned to me. When I drive my 4 wheeler to the pond and toss in food they are already there. When I sneak up on the pond I can catch fish for awhile. I can catch BG on just about anything for a short time. Then they realize that a piece of night crawler, a stubby steve or a fly has strings attached and lockjaw sets in. Yeah, they've learned.

Lighter line pays off but I do a pretty poor job of tying 2 or 4 pound line.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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Here is another one for you sparkplug- I believe catch rates overall are actually higher in smaller fed bodies of water, compared to smaller unfed bodies of water. The kicker that makes this fuzzy is that expectations are much higher as well. Especially when you can see the fish feeding and not eating your offering.

Who out there is going to argue that fish don't learn? A fish that has never been caught before is very easy to catch. The second time its a bit harder and the third time even harder yet.

Also why do people think it has to be all or nothing with a supplemental feed program?

Some tips that I use for successful feed programs in smaller bodies of water to increase catch rates are: (this doesnt mean you have to do all of these, just the ones that apply to your situation, the key is to get creative to get the most for you from your pond and fish)

-Harvest Fish!

-Stock a few fish each year!

-Don't feed all year long.

-Feed a mid day feeding only certain times of the year.

-Spread the fish out by spreading out more feeders than recommended. (doesnt mean you need to increase the amount of feed)

-Once your fish are to your acceptable size feed less often.

-Make sure to focus on feeding your smallest of fish. longterm this is very important for many reasons

-****Give your fish good habitat around the whole pond so they have a reason to be elsewhere**** this one is key

-Don't educate all your fish all on the same day (sometimes you can sit in a spot and catch 50 fish when they are young and do that repeatedly and then they are all educated much quicker- especially with HSB I have seen them caught so many times when they are young and dumb and they get old and smart real quick).

Im sure others have more advice for what they do or have found to work for them


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