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Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #509074 07/18/19 09:32 AM
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This will be my last update on this thread until the next batch of RES get here.

Yesterday I noticed there were four small panfish working at bedding on a gravel patch in about 2' of water. Curious, I thought, since the only panfish in my pond are the 50 RES that I bought and caged last month.

Then the dim bulb got a little brighter. Three days after I put the cage in I had it just sitting on the bottom of the pond. Daughter was out there playing with her Doberman that thinks it's a Lab. Dog blasted off into the pond, ran over the cage, and knocked it over onto its side.

A few days later when I moved the cage I discovered that the ~40 fish in the cage had turned into ~20 fish.

So a few of them escaped when the cage was tipped over.

Anyway, I figured that since the fish that were still in the cage were all now healthy, feeding on pellets with gusto, and taking food from my hand, I might as well turn them loose to join the escapees and maybe pull off a spawn before summer is over. So that's what I did.

It will be interesting to see if I'm able to observe any of them taking pellets now when I feed. There are so many minnows in the pond it looks like a shark attack when food hits the water.

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #510592 08/21/19 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted By: Augie

It will be interesting to see if I'm able to observe any of them taking pellets now when I feed. There are so many minnows in the pond it looks like a shark attack when food hits the water.


I thought a follow-up to this wondering might be worthwhile.

I hand feed morning and evening most days.

At every feeding I see numerous RES taking pellets. They capitalize on the FHM and GSH coming to the feed and maraud those guys with abandon, but after the initial flurry, they stuff themselves with pellets. For the most part they wait until the pellets sink, but they will take a few from the surface as well.

The RES were put in almost 60 days ago, and grown from 1.5"-3" to 3"-6" in size.

Optimal Starter #3 is what I've been giving them, ~1 cup per feeding session.

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #519699 04/21/20 12:39 PM
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So now that winter has come and gone it's time for an update.

The RES that were pellet trained last summer have not forgotten about Augie's Free Soup Kitchen.

They have for the most part moved away from the dock, and have taken up residence in the cedar tangle on the north side of the pond.

Most days they will come out for pellets pretty much doesn't matter what time. They show up the best towards evening when the sun has
moved behind the trees on the west side of the pond, but there's always a couple or three of them that will come out at high noon on a bluebird day.

I don't notice them marauding the minnows like they would last summer. In fact, they've become downright lazy. They just cruise real slow and
gobble pellets like PacMan. Then they stand on their heads and pick the pellets that got by them off of the bottom.

They definitely pulled off a spawn last summer. I'm catching a few inch and under sized ones in the torpedo trap. Those guys get tossed into a 2'x5'
1/2" mesh wire cage that I've tied to the dock. They're getting Optimal Starter #3 and mooshed bugs/worms/fish 2-3 times a day.

I've got half a dozen or so now that are too big to escape through the cage mesh. They have smaller friends that come and go. One day there might
be 20 when I lift the cage to check them, then just the six the next time I look, then ten or a dozen the next time.

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #521903 05/30/20 08:35 AM
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Update...

Still catching small sunfish in the torpedo trap. Built a mini-B using 1/4" mesh this week. Throat opening is 3/4"x4". It is very effective dropped in ~4' water with no bait.

Sorted the fish I'd put in the big cage earlier. Had 14 that were straight up RES. 1.5"-3" sized. Put them back in the big cage for pellet training.

The BG/HBG went into the smaller cage. Those will be turned into food for the RES that are in the big cage.

Caught six more RES overnight and put them in the big cage.

Been catching PK shrimp in the torpedo trap every night. They get released back into the pond.

The RES that were pellet trained last year show up at the dock every evening.
I'm switching them from Optimal Starter #3 to Jr. Been hydrating the Jr. to make some of it sink. They are taking to it slowly, but they don't hoover it like they do the Starter.
There is so much natural forage available I don't think they're terribly hungry, but they will wipe out a pint of earthworms just as fast as I can toss them in.

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #521991 06/01/20 10:02 AM
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I bought a $20 smoothie blender on Saturday. It almost works too well. A short pulse renders half a dozen 1.5"-3" bluegills into a couple tablespoons worth of paste.

I'm mixing that stuff with Starter #3 for the caged RES.

I think this is going to work out pretty well.

The RES that were pellet trained last year are still not crazy about the Jr. formula. Some of them take it with gusto, some of them take it then spit it out.

I mixed some bluegill paste with hydrated Jr. yesterday. No more spitting. So I'm going to do that for a couple weeks and see how it goes.
When all of them have stopped spitting the Jr. I'll start reducing the amount of paste mixed in.

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #521992 06/01/20 10:46 AM
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I have been looking for something hand-operated that would dice or mince culled undesirables, not turn them into a smoothie, but more like 1/4" to 1/2" chunks. I don't know how well a standard hand crank meat grinder would work. It would probably cut it too fine and it might be hard to get whole fish crammed down far enough to allow the grinder to do it's job.

It sounds like your paste is fitting the bill, however!

I have heard several poeple saying, recently, that their fish are spitting the food out. I had fish aquariums for many years and kept some larger cichlids that would take in pellet food and immediately spit it out. This was food that they all ate on regular occasion or die...it was all they had. In some cases the pellet was too big for them to swallow, while other times the pellet was not soft enough for their liking. It was not a mater of them not liking the taste of the food, but more the physical condition. Just some old observations of mine that could apply to pond kept fish. I wonder if your BG paste is not softening up the pellets some making it more palatable? The flavor change could be the big difference too! IDK.

Mostly, I'm just trying to keep you from talking to yourself too much...LOL


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Feeding baby RES
Quarter Acre #521998 06/01/20 03:13 PM
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I've been married for 29 years. I talk to myself a lot. It's safer than saying it out loud where somebody else might hear me. lol

Do a google search for #10 grinder plates. The 1/2" plate does a pretty coarse grind on beef or venison. I expect they would do the same with fish.
Depending on the size of the fish you might need to chunk it up for it to fit the grinder throat.
I've pondered pulling out my #22 electric grinder to grind up some carp for freezing into chum blocks.
The next time a bunch of those crazy silver carp jump into my boat I'll bring some home and try it.

I asked one of the RES why he kept spitting pellets. All he said was glub glub. I don't know what that means.

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #524587 08/11/20 06:56 PM
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Update time.

I'm going to say that mixing pureed bluegill with the Jr. pellets was a success in getting the RES that were trained on Starter #3 last summer transitioned to eating the larger sized Jr. pellets.

I did that for a couple weeks and then spent another two weeks cutting back on the BG paste until I was feeding straight up dry Jr. pellets.

I've fed out the first bag of Jr. and have started on the 2nd bag.

Many of the RES in my pond will readily take pellets from the surface now, even at high noon on a bluebird day, but based purely on observation most of them still prefer to take a pellet that sinks.

I dropped in a little dart head jig with a black rubber thing on it this evening to see if I could pull one out for measurements, and found one that was willing to cooperate.

8.5", 6.70oz Nice, healthy-looking, stocky fish, and not even close to the biggest that I've seen.

Probably could have pulled a few of the better ones with a piece of nightcrawler, but I'm not wanting to make them hook-shy.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

I have another 50 or so that I've trapped caged up and in training now. The first of them to go in the cage earlier in the summer are pushing 4" now, and are shining examples for the yoy that I've been trapping for the last 30 days or so. It doesn't take the little ones long to figure it out when there are a few in there to show them how it's done. I feed the Jr. pellets until the bigger ones start to lose interest, then toss in a pinch or two of the Starter #3 for the little guys.

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #524598 08/11/20 09:49 PM
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Nice looking RES!

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