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In case any of you wonder how Shorty gets RES to hit pellets on top of the water, this likely is the explanation. A great thread on pellet training RES.

Pellet training RES


John

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Likely female from tonight, another pellet fish.






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Shorty, been wondering. How do you impale a pellet with a hook?


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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No impaling involved, just wedging the pellet into the bend of the hook on a micro jig.



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I would never have thought of that.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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I miss a lot of fish and have the pellet stolen frequently, my GSH instantly start pecking on the pellet when it hits the water. My hook up ratio is pretty low as the pellet covers the point on the hook and acts like a circle hook, but when I do catch a fish they are almost hooked in the upper lip.



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Some RES will learn/adapt/condition to eat pellets.
















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I have a lot of RES eating non-hydrated pellets off the surface this year. I caught three of them last night on pellets, all likely females. I also have quite a few 14-16" SMB eating pellets too.



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Sure is a lot of sex in this thread!

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 08/21/15 09:35 AM.

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






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laugh




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Originally Posted By: Shorty
laugh



So you wedge the pellet between the barb end and the shank?


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






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Yep, the jig makes it sink too, I am fishing it on a slip bobber rig.



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Likely male from tonight.






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Likely female from Thursday evening.





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Likely male from earlier this week.




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The following two fish are 16 months old.

REDEAR MALE

REDEAR FEMALE

Last edited by Bruce Condello; 08/30/15 08:31 AM.

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That's very interesting Bruce. I had always thought the ear tab would be bright red on a male unless that's a Bruce Jenner fish (Caitlin). LOL

Sure glad I don't have to sort Redears, but other than the light ear tab on that one, the darker color of that fish showing sexual dimorphism is pretty obvious. How often do you see the orange vs. red ear tab on males?

I just put 100 6 to 8 inch fish in a holding pond until next spring as I didn't want to take a chance on being wrong as I plant only males in the trophy pond! They came out of an outdoor recirculating tank and were very pale. I'm hoping next spring they will be easier to sex! They are only 1 year + fish which may be part of the problem too.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 08/30/15 08:38 AM.

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






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For some reason all of my fish went back into reproductive mode a couple of weeks ago. I can see the males guarding nests, and the females are all popping with eggs again. The top fish was nest-guarding and I tossed a little wet fly his way. I think the reason the eartab isn't more pronounced is the fact that this fish is only age-1. The bottom fish is obviously gravid. My personal experience with my fish is that the males are almost always dusky on the breast, and the females are almost always pale yellow.

Last edited by Bruce Condello; 08/30/15 08:42 AM.

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Water temps here have recently dropped quite a bit to more favorable spawning temps. I wouldn't be surprised if this is what is triggering your RES to resume spawning or spawn for the first time. Surface temps were in the upper 80s a few weeks ago, yesterday my pond was 72 degrees in the morning, then 76 degrees at dusk. Water temps have dropped that much.

With the drop in water temps I have started looking for newly hatched GSH fry to show up, so far I haven't seen anything yet.

Nice RES Bruce! Pellet trained?

Last edited by Shorty; 08/30/15 09:43 AM.


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Yes, those fish get over half of their nutrition from pellets. The rest is from fatheads and grasshoppers!


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
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Tell us more about the FHMs your RES are eating, any size preferences?

Likely female from tonight.





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Likely male from last night.





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My redear sunfish are cohabitating with a reproducing population of fathead minnows. I have observed, at dusk, with the green monster backlighting, the redears gorging on tiny fathead fry. My guess is that this comprises about 10% of their caloric uptake at best, but perhaps a greater percentage of their essential vitamins and minerals.

Last edited by Bruce Condello; 09/07/15 01:38 PM.

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When my aquarium fish were 6-1/2" - 7" they preferred FHM 1-1/4" or smaller, they would eat them up to 1-3/4" but the larger ones were usually the last to get eaten. As the RES got larger they would eat them up to 2-1/4" but still preferred the smaller FHM. Length seemed to the the issue, RES like to be able to close their mouth and pop their jaw a few times once they inhale a FHM. If the FHM was too long with the tail sticking out the mouth then they would frequently spit the FHM out.

I do know that the RES in my pond became difficult to catch once my GSH started spawning this year.



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The RES will catch minnows much easier and eat larger ones in an aquarium setting compared to the open pond habitat.


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