Here is one out of my main pond that I posted a while back that I think may be a RESxBG or BGxRES.
It does not show well in the picture, but on the opercular tab where there would be a red margin in a RES this fish almost looked like that area was red but covered with a thin layer of balck. The other thing that makes it look like RES genetics is the mottled cheeks under the eye.
To me I think all your identifications are okay except for the last two showing the large (possible BGXRES hybrid). Without seeing the actual fish this looks more like a pure BG to me than a hybrid. What features did this fish have to make you think it was a hybrid; something on the gill flap? Notice on this fish the size of the mouth - it is essentially the same size mouth as a BG. I think any significant amount of GSF or RES genetics will produce a larger mouth. The body coloration also leans more toward BG than a hybrid. However I get cautious using body coloration for fish ID especially since your fish trend toward lighter washed out colors due to turbid conditions.
Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/25/1608:53 AM.
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A few more fish from this forage pond stocked with RES.
First three pictures are of a particularly nice hybrid. Likely RESxGSF.
Next two pictures are of another smaller hybrid RESxGSF that show particularly good markings.
The last two fish are a couple of representative RES that come from this pond. I caught one bigger than the one in the picture tonight but it was all blurry so did not post it. Also caught a 10" hybrid tonight but did not take a picture.
As I catch the hybrids I move them to the main pond. I put the pure RES back for brood stock, although tonight I did move 3 nice ones to my sediment pond that had the fish kill. If I find them floating tomorrow morning, will have to wait a little longer. I think they are going to be ok. There is already a massive population of snails since the fish kill, so if they live they will have plenty to eat.
Thanks, I was happy with them although there was supposed to be no GSF influence in that pond. I was actually wanting some RESxGSF hybrids but was not expecting them to come from this pond.
The initial fish were stocked mid October in 2014 so right at two years ago. I'm pretty happy with them.
The difficulty I have now is deciding how many and what to take out. I have no idea for sure how many large ones there are in this little 1/20th acre pond. I've been taking out all the Golden Shiners I can trap as they are pretty thick and taking out whatever small RES and Hybrids go into the trap. I suspect over this last year I have moved at least a hundred of the offspring. Ideally, if I could I would remove everything except about 3 or4 each of male and female RES, but that will never be possible without draining the pond.
I did stick about 20 2" fingerling RES into this pond yesterday. I got a batch of 100 from Dunn's fish farm truck to repopulate my sediment pond that had the fish kill and decided to put a few in this pond simply for genetic diversity. The Fingerlings I got from Dunn's looked really good this time (unlike the original fish stocked in this pond from them).
If they are like my BG Tracy they will grow really well to about the size I am catching, then they seem to plateau and not have really good growth thereafter. But I think that is because my LMB are not doing their job on keeping the recruitment's thinned out in my big pond. In this pond I have no predators so it is up to me to remove enough fish so they do not stunt. I am pretty sure that at least some of the RES have learned on their own to eat the feed I put in this pond for the minnows. That is how I have learned to catch them. Throw some feed out on one side of the pond and fish while the minnows are eating. Once in a while I can see a bigger swirl near the bank and if I throw my jig in the area I have been able to catch some of them. So I am pretty sure they are coming over to get the feed as it soaks up and sinks. Funny I have tried and tried to fish out in a few feet of water, but nearly all I catch is about a foot from the bank in a foot or less water depth. Seems like they come right up next to shore, I assume because that is where the snails hang out.
I just got in some Optimal and Optimal JR and have started using it for the feed in this pond. Now that I know the RES (at least some of them) are eating it, the rest of this year and next I am going to keep them on Optimal and see how they do.
Couple more RES out of this forage pond from tonight. All together caught 6 RES (moved them to my sediment pond that had the fish kill) from 5" up to the size pictured and several RESxGSF hybrids that went into my main pond.
The GS seem to like the Optimal feed. Of course they like the AM MVP also. I'm pretty sure at least some of the RES are eating the feed because I have caught on that is the way I am catching them. I throw a little feed out in front of me, wait till the activity gets going good on the feeding, then put my small jig in the water a foot or two out from the bank. I think the RES hear the feeding activity and come over in the feeding mood and I catch them.
Definitely. I also use some other of the Gulp baits but just tonight I was using the green waxies. In fact I only had to change the bait once to catch 6 RES and several more RESxGSF hybrids all out of my forage pond.
Using the smallest hook 1/32 oz plain jig head I can find and either one or two of the waxies on the hook. The RES seem to be timid bites. It will be tug, tug, then they take it and I catch them. All about a foot or two out from the bank and in 12-18" of water. Even the 10" ones.
I'm throwing some feed out, then when the GS take to hitting the feed the RES come over and I catch them. I am sure some of the RES are taking feed. I would think they would have to be to be fat and sassy as they are in such a small pond. 10 inchers in two years. Have not weighed any of them, but the biggest one must have been a pound.
I also catch CC on them out of the main pond. Up to 3#. Pretty good fight for a rod set up to catch BG. They definitely pull some drag.
I finally figured out my source of all the RESxGSF hybrids. I figured there must be at least one adult GSF in the pond. Either that or one of the RES had GSF genes and was passing them on. But there seemed like there was just too many of the hybrids. Yet I have never caught a large, full blooded GSF even though I have fished the pond quite a bit lately.
Up to tonight. Tonight I fished around the cover of the pallets I have for FHM spawning substrate. And one right after the other caught the two GSF in pictures two and three. Both were decent size but the first one was a tub. Fat and healthy. Transferred those two over to the main pond and the RES to my sediment pond.
Fished this 1/20th acre forage pond for a while yesterday. LOTS of hybrids (RESxGSF) 5-6" long. Moved all of those I caught, about 15, to the main pond. Caught several nice RES and a few smaller ones. The hybrids are much more aggressive so it is pretty easy to catch them. Throw out a little feed in one area and the fish are soon concentrated there and easy to catch. I want to move all the hybrids out I can catch as well as all the smaller RES, to make sure the biomass level does not get too heavy. I return all the large good looking RES I catch to spawn and create more.
Descriptions along with the pictures.
Edit: See pictures in post directly above for the parental GSF stock creating the hybrids. Also compare to the hybrid picture below.
I'm enjoying your thread. I have a question about your catching methods. Keep in mind, I'm asking not judging. I've been wanting to start netting, weighing and measuring my fish. I kinda would like to do this ever 30 to 45 days. I thought about throwing the feed out and netting them, but I was afraid I would spook them and then maybe they wouldn't come up to feed. Do you think it makes a difference or should I try to catch them at other times rather than at feeding times.
Others can probably give you better advice. But from what I have read it is not really recommended fishing where you feed as it will tend to make the fish avoid the food or get hook shy. If that is the case I suspect casting a net would be even more disruptive, but I do not know that as a fact.
In my case with this pond, the brood stock RES I really don't care if they get hook shy. In fact I would just as soon not catch them generally, although I do like to hook into one once in a while to see what size they and how they are doing. But if they get hook shy, it is probably best for both them and me.
Most of the other fish I move to another pond anyway. So they get caught once and moved to another environment. That is the real purpose of this pond, raise RES to populate my main pond. That and golden shiners (used to be FHM but between the RES and a couple GSF, the FHM got extirpated). I trap and move small fish with minnow traps and larger ones by hook and line.
Another thing is I don't really fish this pond all that often. So the fish might get fed 30 times for every one time I feed and fish.
Sorry I can't really give you a good answer, but in my case I am not too worried about putting the fish off feed by luring them in with feed. The times I have done it, I throw out some more feed and they are right back to the trough.
I think what I am mostly feeding are the RESxGSF hybrids and golden shiners. And to a much lesser degree some of the RES.
I like some hybrid sunfish in my pond. I've only been doing this 4 years, so another 4 years down the road I might have a completely different attitude. But for now I like some hybrids mixed in with my regular BG. Why? Because when nothing else wants to bite a hook, I can nearly always get a GSF or a HBG to bite. They are just a lot more aggressive by nature. So I like to catch them.
The GRES (GSFxRES)? Time will tell. Most fish farms sell HBG as BG male x GSF female cross. I have wondered if a RES male x GSF female would not be as good if better cross from a growth standpoint. RES can get a little bigger than BG. So I have wanted to try some. The few HBG that I originally had in my main pond were a few that were accidentally mixed in with my originally stocked BG. They were not supposed to be there, but I found that I liked catching them.
Fast forward to my forage pond. Was supposed to be only RES and FHM in the pond (and later I put a dozen GS). Well somehow at least two GSF got in there. Either by stocking mistake, swimming up the overflow, or who knows how. But they got there because if you look further up this thread I believe I posted pictures of two that are about 7" long that I caught and removed. There may be more, but I hope I have got them all fished out. GSF tend to be easy to catch in a pond full of RES because the RES are hard to catch and the GSF relatively easy.
So those two GSF (of which I am hoping they were both either male or female and not one of each ) created a lot of baby GRES hybrids. So I got my wish of having some GSFxRES hybrids quite by accident. To date I have not trapped or caught any YOY of what I thought were pure GSF. So maybe I got lucky and the two GSF were of the same, likely female. The reason I say female is because a male GSF x female RES is an unlikely cross in nature (at least that is what I have read - can be done in a lab though) while the opposite RES male x GSF female is very easy and readily happens in the absence of the GSF female finding a suitable GSF male.
But I digress, giving you a long winded explanation while not answering your question. Why do I like GRES? I don't know. I just do. Same way with RES. Somehow from the time I first learned they exist, I have been fascinated with them.
Some more pictures of GRES caught yesterday. I know they are GRES hybrids (RESxGSF)and not HBG (BGxGSF) because in this particular forage pond there are none and never have been any BG.
Most people find it very hard to catch RES from their pond. My personal theory on that subject is it is because there are probably a thousand hungry BG trying to get to the hook before the one in a thousand RES which tends to be a persnickety biter. Just numbers alone put odds against catching them, then add their behavior and more persnickety diet and the average pond owner rarely catches one. But get them in a pond by themselves, they are catch-able.
I'm posting lots of GRES hybrids because they are a more unusual cross than a HBG and the pictures might help others identify RESxGSF (GRES) hybrids from their ponds.
Snrub, Are you still using the Chartreuse "Gulp Alive" waxies on the jigs?
BTW, I have caught three nice eater channel cats on them.
John, I was using the Gulp Waxies yesterday and the fish were kind of slow to bite. Not catching as often as I usually do. Switched to a Gulp cricket and started catching fish. Could have been the bait change, or could have been the fish just started biting, but when I changed to the Gulp cricket started catching fish one right after the other in the big pond and caught a couple RES in the forage pond.
I have settled on Stubby Steves as my BG bait on a # 6 circle hook with a bobber and haven't used them for years. I've been doing it while feeding. The smaller fish can't take it and I haven't had but one that was deep hooked. They are relatively expensive but nothing I do at my ponds is affordable. Sooner or later they will probably figure out that the red and white bobber can be dangerous so I'll probably have to go to a fly rod with the Stubby.
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
Dave the reason I went to jig type hooks over regular ones is the fish don't seem to swallow them nearly as bad.
Seems like the circle hooks are hard to find in small sizes and I have a lot better luck catching BG with small baits and small hooks. Of course that could be the reason I don't catch many big fish too.
But I like action and if I am not catching anything find something else to do.