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Joined: Jul 2005
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Are you thinking I should try pellet feeding under a light after the sun goes down? I know artificial light loses intensity rather quickly as a function of distance so a solar light shouldn't bother the RES. I had a pair of 60 waft bulbs on fhe ceiling out in the shop that sat 10 feet away from the tank, those lights didn't bother them at all when feeding but the light near the surface did.



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I am thinking a low intensity light near surface that will promote feeding even after sun goes down. It would allow you to see a little and keep fish in feeding mode. The light could even be turned on a few minutes before you approach to provide signal eats will be coming shortly so fish can stack up and be ready.

I am doing some tinkering in the lab with some really small sunfish where they spend most of the time foraging in a large tank with some actual insect forage. First I walk tank to they can see me, then I come back 5 minutes later and put feed in at a particular spot. They are already there jockeying for position to get most food when it is applied. They eat all applied then promptly disperse to forage again until process repeated. Setup is like when mother rings dinner bell so even kids back in woods come running to table in kitchen and grab a seat.

Even the 1" fish are a lot more capable of learning than I originally thought possible.


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Originally Posted By: Shorty

I did get them to feed off the surface while the light was on but their feeding behavior was very different than when the light was off. When the light was on they would dart to surface from the bottom of the tank one at time, hit a pellet very hard, then turn around and head straight back to the bottom of the tank. They would frequntly splash water 5 or 6 feet and I occasionally got spashed in the face standing away from the tank. In contrast, when the bright light was off most of them would be near the surface taking turns sipping pellets off the surface.


I noticed a similar response with my redear also, both the ones in the cage and the ones that were in the pond. They would pop up to the surface, grab a pellet and dive back down. The bluegill I had in the cage next to the redear would line up at the surface waiting to be fed. They would follow me back and forth on the pier as I was feeding the rest of the fish in the other cages and the pond with their backs out of the water.


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I have a working hypothesis that RES are much more light sensitve and dark adapted than other sunfish, so far it seems to have worked well with pellet training them. Prior to my winterkill I had good numbers of RES eating floating pellets off the surface in my pond in the evening in the shaded area of the pond.

One of the things I did this summer was to have an automatic feeder dump small amounts of non-hydrated floating feed in the tank evey hour during the day while the bright light was on while I was away at work. I also would feed hydrated pellets after cleaning the tank when I got home while the bright light was still on, they would eat everything but my best feeding responses always came when the bright light was off.



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I had never heard/thought about RES just not being light tolerant. fascinating.


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Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
I had never heard/thought about RES just not being light tolerant. fascinating.
Ditto.

Shorty, very cool observation.


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I have been brim fishing Caddo Lake(Cypress tree forest lake) for years each May for big blue gill and for Goggle eye and for res. And have been lucky every once in awhile catching some nice res. But after reading this post I think I am going to change my tactics when it comes to res fishing. I'm going to look for deeper darker places to fish. And in my fishing I have learned to use red wiggler worms over crickets and such for the res. They prefer the worms. And I will do the same at the pond. So thanks for your posted up inforamtion here guys.


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Here is Shorty's recomendations on catching RES from a past thread.

Low and slow - catching RES, by Shorty

And if you have lots of time on your hands on a cold nasty day this thread has some really interesting links. I know you have seen it before, but I like to remind everyone who is interested in RES that it still exists once in a while. The above link came from there.

RES information and lots of links to other threads on RES


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Originally Posted By: Shorty
I got two of my tank raised RES with the seine net tonight, they are still very blanched in color. grin



Shorty I thought of your blanched out RES tonight when I caught this one. Caught it out of my main pond after sunset tonight when it was almost getting too dark to see.

Kind of had to do a double take to make sure it was a RES.

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Last edited by snrub; 10/31/17 10:38 PM.

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