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mbj4ksu Offline OP
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Hello all, first post in a long time. Little children consume my world. Finally got a feeder. I am simply feeding bluegill to help try to grow big bass. Feeding Purina GFC now. I have read all the good things about optimal. Is it worth the extra cost if my goal is big bass and not big bluegill? Thanks!

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That is a really good question. The optimal is supposed to be balanced to make BG live more healthy and longer. But if their lot in life is to be eaten before adulthood, does that really matter? I will be interested in the replies you get as much as you.

I feed a little bit of Optimal and currently have BG and jr feeds. But I mostly feed Aquamax MVP.

Wow! Registered in 2008 and only 25 posts. You have either been lurking a lot or been absent a lot. At any rate welcome back from one Kansas resident to another.

Last edited by snrub; 05/01/17 10:14 PM.

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Hi snrub, yea, I lurk plenty and usually get most of my questions answered without posting. Might get a little more active now. My pond is an hour from home and with little ones it's been tough to find time. My first born (boy) is almost 7 and getting into fishing so I'm figuring on plenty of father/son trips to the pond this year.

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mbj4ksu, I would chase the gape. If your goal is larger LMB, then I would only feed enough to keep the BG at a size best suited to the vertical gape of your existing LMB population. My experience here has been that LMB will most often target a BG slightly smaller than their gape. If you want to keep your BG at a size best suited as forage, then accessing the LMB would be the first thing I would do.

This will be the first year I've fed Optimal in a controlled environment, so I can't comment on that other than to say that feeding a lower volume of a higher quality food would always be my first choice.


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MBJ I too thought the same thing when I started feeding my bluegill. As I had the same goals in mind big bass... Well I been feeding AM since 2010 and we all know that's stuff isn't cheap... Here are my pros and cons to it.

Pros. 1. Promotes good health in fish which is then trickled down to the bass that eat the healthier BG.

2. BG if given the better food I believe will be more active and spawn even more for you in the long run which will give you even more baby BG. Remember like it or not you have to have some breeder BG or they WILL NOT keep up with your bass chowing down on them all the time and bass can chow down!!! So the more they spawn the better.

3. And I know this is not your goal but you can end up with some sweet fun fighting 10 inch BG. Trust me I too have 2 boys. And they get impatient fast trying to catch bass that just sometimes wont bite, but they will have a blast catching them big BG on a 4 foot rod when the bass bite is slow.

Cons:
1. Food is more pricey of course and that's about the only con I can think of.

Trust me you can have the best of both worlds. I have 10 inch plus BG and I have 3 to 5 pound LMB and 6 pound HSB. Now if you want 7, 8 pound plus LMB you may have to add extra fish in the pond anyway as it takes a TON of bait fish / large BG / Shad to get LMB in the 8 plus pound range.

Anyway just some food for thought... ha no pun intended... smile

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I think feeding your BG is worth it as the will work it's way up the food chain to your bass. I like to think of it this way, fatter, healthier BG will produce more offspring which will provide more food for your bass. Whether or not Optimal is worth the extra costs is really a judgement call.



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Feeding and producing larger BG will provide your children more enjoyment because they will catch them more often than the bass if for no other reason than there are many more BG present than LMB. The bigger the BG are the bigger the smiles will be on the kids faces. Doing excessive fishing for bass will make the bass harder to catch so fishing for BG esp bigger BG creates more fishing fun and excitement. Start now for creating a population of larger BG because it takes several years to get it done.

FYI ewest has a very good article in an upcoming PBoss magazine about dealing with hook smart bass - if you don't subscribe to the magazine, do it. The article is worth the subscription money.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/02/17 09:20 AM.

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Originally Posted By: mbj4ksu
Hello all, first post in a long time. Little children consume my world. Finally got a feeder. I am simply feeding bluegill to help try to grow big bass. Feeding Purina GFC now. I have read all the good things about optimal. Is it worth the extra cost if my goal is big bass and not big bluegill? Thanks!


In addition to some of the excellent points already made here, I'd add that Optimal claims that it is more efficiently digested by the BG than competing brands. That means less fish waste in the water, which means less risk of fertility-driven algae/oxygen issues.

Optimal really is more expensive, of course. You may wish to consider joining in some of the periodic group buys of a whole or half pallet at a reduced rate of $36-38 a bag, rather than $50.

Last edited by anthropic; 05/02/17 01:11 PM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 -7




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Two things I've learned by trial and error with my ponds..... 1) It's worth the extra money to buy a Texas Hunter feeder and 2) its worth the extra money to buy Optimal bluegill food.


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Thanks for all the good responses guys! I imagine ultimately I will reach for my wallet with my hand shaking a little bit and spring for some optimal.

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Check your PM's, I sent you one on 5-2.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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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great post and info - my BG are still pretty small but lots of them. I am feeding optimal - my plan is to feed them well until the size increases and then decide from there.

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Originally Posted By: NEDOC
Two things I've learned by trial and error with my ponds..... 1) It's worth the extra money to buy a Texas Hunter feeder and 2) its worth the extra money to buy Optimal bluegill food.


Um, what he said...+100


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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