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Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #509074 07/18/19 08:32 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 08:08 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 11:39 AM
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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 07:35 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 09:02 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 09:46 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 02:13 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 05:56 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 08:49 PM
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Nice looking RES!

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527106 10/26/20 11:37 AM
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Didn't have the scale handy for this one, but it looks to be in decent condition.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527110 10/26/20 01:20 PM
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Nice fatty!

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527136 10/27/20 10:46 AM
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At least decent.


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
Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527137 10/27/20 10:54 AM
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Nice fish !!
















Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527145 10/27/20 08:05 PM
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Very nice.

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527590 11/14/20 09:40 AM
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Why do you want only RES and 0 Bluegill?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: Feeding baby RES
CityDad #527608 11/14/20 05:05 PM
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I can't answer for him but RES do not have near the propensity to over populate like bluegill do. So in certain situations they can provide forage for a predator species than might not fit will with BG

For example, I have one pond that I only keep SMB and RES in. I have not had a problem with the RES over populating. If I had BG in that pond by now they likely would be so thick the SMB would not be able to reproduce and I would have way too many small and stunted BG. The SMB with their smaller mouth and less aggressive piscivore predators would not be able to keep the BG population in check like LMB can.

So certain situations RES without the usual BG compliment work well.

Last edited by snrub; 11/14/20 05:06 PM.

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Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527612 11/14/20 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Augie
Didn't have the scale handy for this one, but it looks to be in decent condition.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]


Augie,

It this one of those you are feeding in the cage? I want to call those boards 2x6s. Am I close? Dandy fish.


Snrub,

I am curious as to how your RES finished growing out in your forage pond. What length did they get to?

Re: Feeding baby RES
jpsdad #527618 11/15/20 09:30 AM
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They had a spawn and I have removed a few hundred fingerlings. The ones I have caught with a cast net a month ago were about 5". They looked healthy.

I need to get a bunch of the HSB out of there. But have been a combination of busy with other stuff this fall and lazy and have not removed any in the last month. They are up to about 10" now with some smaller ones. I have not been feeding them lately except when it warms up and sunny. When we had a cold rain with a lot of runoff they were off feed for a week. Kind of gave up feeding them. Then I fed them late afternoon yesterday and they tore it up. So it is sunny outside right now so will see if they eat today.

I would think the RES would be suffering in there with all the competition.


John

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Re: Feeding baby RES
CityDad #527663 11/16/20 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
Why do you want only RES and 0 Bluegill?

My pond is SMB/YP/HSB/RES. I have no LMB to control BG numbers.

We like to swim in the pond. BG are swimmer-nipping savages.


Originally Posted by jpsdad
It this one of those you are feeding in the cage? I want to call those boards 2x6s. Am I close?

Yes, yes and yes. 5.75" nominal with ~.3875" gaps between boards.

That RES was stocked late June of '19 at ~2" in size. I think I had them caged for a month or so to get them started on pellets.
Once they figure it out there's no need to keep them locked up.

Originally Posted by snrub
When we had a cold rain with a lot of runoff they were off feed for a week. Kind of gave up feeding them. Then I fed them late afternoon yesterday and they tore it up. So it is sunny outside right now so will see if they eat today.

My HSB did the same thing after that cold snap that came through a few weeks back. They were in a funk for about a week, but have been eating well since.
I chopped up a bit of deer liver on Saturday and tossed it in mixed with a few pellets. It didn't last long at all.

Re: Feeding baby RES
snrub #527750 11/18/20 10:14 PM
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Snrub - if you need help culling some HSB, please reach out as I would love to help. I have been wanting to get 25-50 for a personal aquaculture project I am working on. Maybe we could work up a deal...or I could just drive down and help. I'm fully willing and capable, and can throw a cast net correctly 50% of the time where the net opens 50%!

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527751 11/18/20 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Augie
Didn't have the scale handy for this one, but it looks to be in decent condition.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

Augie,

Though you didn't weigh ... it I think it weighs ~ 1.2 lbs and maybe a bit more. Using the image pixel proportion of the fish and boards, I estimate the length of the that fish @ 9.8". At standard weight, that would be a 1.06 lb fish. But it just looks plumper than standard to me. I say 115 RW or greater, ergo, that fish weighs at least 1.2 lbs and a handsome fish it is.

Re: Feeding baby RES
jpsdad #527764 11/19/20 09:00 AM
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2D images don't do justice to 3D objects. Plump is an understatement when describing this fish. Obese is closer to it.

I've got all of the stuff I need to do proper weights and measures. I just need to get it set up and organized in a way that makes it handy to use at the pond.

I really want to put a few of these toads in the skillet, but for now I'm having so much fun sizing them up I can't bring myself to kill any of them.

My pond has turned into a giant aquarium full of pet fish. lol

Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527766 11/19/20 09:15 AM
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For Crying Out LOUD...that's a fat fish! Nicely done.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Feeding baby RES
Augie #527769 11/19/20 09:57 AM
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Now I am worried you took offense of my use of the word "plumper". To be sure I was conflicted with how much to increase its RW. RES are such robust fish to begin with and appear heavier to me in all waters I catch them relative to BG of the same lengths. This is also corroborated by the standard weights. At 10" the standard RES weighs 1.13 lbs where the standard BG weighs .91 lbs. So an RES is 24% plumper than BG even when standard. So this is where my experience falters ... I really don't know how to gauge RW from a photo other than that fish appears a good deal fatter than any RES I have ever caught. Also, I am not certain whether the RES I have caught were at or above standard weight so please don't take a offense if I underestimated the weight.

Last edited by jpsdad; 11/19/20 10:23 AM.
Re: Feeding baby RES
jpsdad #527771 11/19/20 10:54 AM
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Offense? Heavens no. I do wish I had taken a top-down pic of this fish. I've never held a sunfish that was as thick from side to side as this one. It was built like a sumo wrestler. lol

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