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TJ - Can you seine the pond?


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+1 on the seine idea.

In the Topias, I can only get the fish to bite if I turn off the feeder for a few days. But ifI throw a hand full of feed, get out of their way!!


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No, too steep and deep and have PVC structure which would prohibit seining. Going to have to try pellet flies I reckon and see what fish I sample. Those should all be 100% verified pellet trained fish - see if their body conditions are improved.


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: snrub
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
At this point I agree with fish n Chips, I think your sampling was biased especially for the YP. Fattest fish are not biting.


Well Fish and Cody - that's definitely a positive spin to put on this scenario and I hope it's part of the issue.

I will fish with only pellets soon and see if my results vary. Will report again soon.


What about sampling using a fish trap instead of fishing? Switch up the sampling method a little?

Also, I was only 95% joking with the "lonely and despondent" reply. Have any studies been done on the growth rate of single sex fish compared to mixed sex? Could this change the fish drive to eat levels? I have no clue. Just asking.

Going to be in your great state of Nebraska next week at "Husker Harvest Days". Big 3 day farm show.


Good questions, but I know Cecil has great success with single sex YP and BG fisheries...trying to follow his example.

You should ping us when you're in NE and we can try to connect if free.


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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Good point on Cecil's success.

Just trying to "think outside the box". Problem is sometimes my thinking is not only outside the box, it is outside the entire warehouse where the box is located. grin

Be staying in Aurora on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Ken's motel. Will send you a PM with my cell phone number and if there is a chance we can make time to meet up that would be great.

Last edited by snrub; 09/04/14 06:19 PM.

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TJ - FYI I usually have poor success catching the large YP during periods of water temps above 75F, even worse is water temps above 80F. Best time to sample them is in spring after spawn; pre 75F, mid-late fall, or during ice fishing.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/04/14 06:52 PM.

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I just read two studies the other day after your post wondering if single sex could adversely affect growth rates - one was tilapia and one was bluegill. Both had better growth rates for single sex. I'll try to find them and post links.

I observed something interesting last night and tonight while feeding that made me think of this. If we throw a bunch of food on the pond the food floats around and they eat and then they stop. If I throw a much smaller amount out, wait for them to eat, then throw another small amount, and repeat - they eat much more food for much longer time period. Again, just noticed this activity and two nights observation doesn't equate to a study.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
TJ - FYI I usually have poor success catching the large YP during periods of water temps above 75F, even worse is water temps above 80F. Best time to sample them is in spring after spawn; pre 75F, mid-late fall, or during ice fishing.


Ditto! I have around 300 over 13 + inch perch in my trophy pond and you would think by the poor feeding response they are all dead. But I went through this last summer and they were all there come spring as fishing was fast and furious and they all looked healthy. I have a hunch the big ones sulk on the bottom in warm temps and may be feeding on snails if anything. There are no forage fish in the pond.

I took Bob O and his granddaughter down to the pond a couple of weeks ago (see other thread) and we only caught a couple smaller ones that I put in this year.


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






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Think of Pavlov's Dogs, the fish are conditioned to eat when pellets hit the surface and forget about the ones that are aleady floating


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
TJ - FYI I usually have poor success catching the large YP during periods of water temps above 75F, even worse is water temps above 80F. Best time to sample them is in spring after spawn; pre 75F, mid-late fall, or during ice fishing.


Bill, why do I foul hook your trophy YP in those temps, plus catch your WE when you say I can't? laugh laugh



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Rainman - you are an out-of-the-box angler.


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Rainman - you are an out-of-the-box angler.


Translation....I suck at fishing! lol



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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Originally Posted By: fish n chips
This might be a "nave" look at it, but could it be that the ones you are catching are the hungriest, thus they are the ones that are the worst WR? Others might be in there that are huge but just to full on natural forage to bother going after your bait? The ones you are catching are not stunted so they still wouldn't want artificial feed but will go after your bait?

Other types of fish surveys available to verify?



Fish, that's good insight. I was catching BG on a mini crankbait for a while, and thought I'd be better served using a pellet imitation for just the reason you offer. I know only pellet trained fish will take a pellet imitation, and those are the fish I really want to sample. It was too windy for pellet fishing, so I went with crawler nub on a #8 barbless baitholder and little shot about 30" up. I think in order to eliminate fish that aren't on pellets I need to fish exclusively with stubby steves or my homemade pellet flies.


Took a couple hours late afternoon with low winds and fished with pellet imitation to help ensure catches of pellet trained fish. Here are the results:

BG 1: 9.25" 11.1 oz WR 106 [Note concave belly]



BG 2: 9" 10.95 oz WR 114



BG 3: 8.75" 11.7 oz WR 146


BG 4: 8.5" 9.35 oz WR 146

BG 5: 9" 11.1 oz WR 115 [Note concave belly area]


BG 1 and BG 5 both exhibit the concave or skinny belly to which I've referred in past posts, but BG 5 still came out at WR 115.

The two fish at 146 were chunks - it was immediately apparent they were thriving when I handled them, but the other supposedly pellet trained fish still ranged 106-115 which continues to perplex me.

Not sure I learned much new here, but did reinforce previous sampling data which indicates most fish [90%] are hovering at the 107-120 mark. It was promising to sample the couple chunks today - definitely making a living on pellets and available forage.

I also caught a YP at 9.5" and 7.1 oz which is just under WR 100 - not any improvement on the YP thus far but will keep sampling throughout Fall. It still amazes me how YP can remain underweight despite being surrounded by tens of thousands of FHM.


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I like that BG2 at 29". Now that's a monster BG!

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I was happy with the two chunks - hopefully they'll keep growing and demonstrate to their brothers how to feast on pellets more often.


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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Any idea on the age of these BG? Keep in mind a pure BG in cooler waters can live to be 12-15 years old. Slow and steady may be the key to that elusive 2 or even 3 pound BG.

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I would do reverse thinking and fish with FHM and see if the RW is better in those that are caught.

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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Any idea on the age of these BG? Keep in mind a pure BG in cooler waters can live to be 12-15 years old. Slow and steady may be the key to that elusive 2 or even 3 pound BG.


YP are age 2 so should have 4-5+ more years of growth.

I estimate most BG are age 2-3. Again, should have a few more years there, too.

Goals are 10" 1-1.5# BG. When I have cages full of feed trained Males that approach 7" I will likely start culling under performing BG and restocking with better fish this Fall.


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Originally Posted By: fish n chips
I would do reverse thinking and fish with FHM and see if the RW is better in those that are caught.


I'm eager to increase YP catch rates this Fall - a fat male FHM/jig crawled on the bottom should be the ticket.


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I wonder if some of your male BG have spent time bedding this summer waiting for a non-existent female BG to show up, this might explain the concave bellies and lower WRs.



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I'm not ruling anything out, Steve - that's a plausible theory. The main thing I've learned is there exist many factors which contribute/determine fish growth/success. Water quality, DO levels, and varied and abundant preferred forage base is apparently not enough to override some other [currently unknown] factors. It's those details I'm trying to identify so I can address and hopefully resolve with your help.

It may simply be lower quality individual fish or maybe some didn't like the jump from cage environment to the pond. I know Aaron Matos relentlessly culled his BG with Condello in order to maintain a fishery with the most thriving specimens. We've all seen his remarkable BG - they are truly amazing. Could be I'm just early in the trophy fishery process here and need to begin an aggressive culling/supplemental stocking program with fish I discern [with Condellos help] show the best potential. Likely will be an ongoing process but at least it's enjoyable!

At any rate, it's been educational. Formerly I figured all one needed to do is take care of the water and provide plenty of forage and they would all more or less succeed at the same pace. I was wrong!


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I tossed that possibility out there simply because I watched the 4 male RES in my aquarium really curtail eating as the days got longer this spring and the urge to spawn got closer. My lone female in the aquarium actually picked up the pace as she became gravid.

I seined a male RES in full spawning colors off a bed at the end of June whose belly was very concave. I am pretty sure that he had spent great amount of time in the last month defending his bed rather than foraging for food. IMO the urge to reproduce can at times override the urge to eat. In my pond there are very few potential spawning areas and only a few of my RES actually get to spawn, or they have to take turns on a small number of beds. I had very low water levels at ice out this year and could only find eight old RES beds from last year in the entire pond.

Last edited by Shorty; 09/17/14 01:34 PM.


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Thanks for the feedback Steve - good to hear someone else witness the pinch belly syndrome. I like your spawning bed defense theory because it provides a ray of hope. I have noticed feedings are somewhat more assertive following our cool down the past several days - but still no appearance of YP feeding which perplexes me.


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TJ, I got time to fish for a little while yesterday, and I had the same pinched bellies on my 6-8" CNBG. They were all very healthy, but the belly looked just like yours. The big bulls seemed to have left the feeder, so maybe this is a seasonal thing.


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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Thanks for the feedback Steve - good to hear someone else witness the pinch belly syndrome. I like your spawning bed defense theory because it provides a ray of hope. I have noticed feedings are somewhat more assertive following our cool down the past several days - but still no appearance of YP feeding which perplexes me.


TJ,

Other than the "pinched bellies" the fish look robust to me for the most part. Could it be a genetic thing?

I'm worrying a little myself with my trophy pond. Big perch have yet to come up for feed after shutting down for summer. I do have 3 mort perch I need to remove. The water is very dark and most of the sago has died off. My diffusers have been running 24/7 and I don't believe I have oxygen issues as the bluegill that are feeding don't seem bothered.


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






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