Supplier told me they grow fast to 12-14 inches and then it takes several months to gain more length. I am more interested in them putting on weight.
When you say they grow fast, is that length or weight or both? Thanks.
I put in 10-12 inchers in early December, probably averaged 0.8 lb. By mid Feb they were 16-17 inches and were around 2 to 2.25 lb. Then they paused in growth for about a month or so. Finally ended up around 3 to 3.5 lb, 18 to 21 inch max in late April early May. Gone by late May.
I don't aerate, so my thermal refuge is pretty good until anoxia sets in by around mid to late May.
Freedomeagle, I checked Amazon about that Ziegler Finfish G 42-16 5mm sinking feed. Love the idea of frustrating the geese & herons! But price seems really high, $93 for 44 lb sack with shipping, double what I pay for partially sinking Aquamax MVP. Is there a cheaper way to buy the Ziegler sinking chow?
I buy direct, 20 bags at a time. They're only about 3 hours from me so sometimes I go pick it up and sometimes I just have them ship it to the closest LTL terminal, usually Estes and go pick it up. Including shipping, the per lb price is a tad cheaper for me than the AquaMax. Including shipping, my last invoice was 0.91/lb. When I pick up, I pay about 0.68/lb.
Thanks for mentioning trouts desire to leave with flowing water. Never crossed my mind but will be installing wire barriers today. Pond is down about a foot due to weather. However, rain is forecasted for the next week. We will be getting water flow into our overflow pipes. Your post just saved me a lot of trout and kept my reputation for crazy ideas intact!
Thanks again for responding! The knowledge of PB Forum is amazing.
Update on our RT stocking. The catch and harvest lake has been a huge success. It is unbelievable how many people have shown up to trout fish since Nov 20. On that lake I had a feeder going the first week. People were getting frustrated at not catching fish, so I turned the feeder off. Catch rates went right up! Herons are out fishing anglers some days but everyone is having fun.
Our other catch and release pond till Jan 1 has had some fishing pressure as well. I do have a Texas Hunter Feeder going three times per day for 4 secs. Throwing Optimal BG. I have not seen the aggressive feeding behavior others have described on the forum. I called fish supplier and he said don’t worry, they might be feeding on other things in the pond (BG, HBG, and GSF) or taking the food after it sinks. I have not seen any dead trout. Just wondering why no feeding action, besides a few aggressive sunfish.
I definitely hope that trout eat baby bass, as I have way too many in my pond as well. I have a browns living in my pond, which are supposed to eat more fish than rainbows. Interestingly, though, I never found their stomach contents to have any noticeable signs of eating bass. It seemed like my trout were pretty food deprived, actually, and I am now feeding. How big did your trout grow on feed? Mine are in year round and I have some 3lbs fish that just starting being fed and I know are eating, so I'm thinking they will be pretty substantial in a few years.
Our fishing club members and other Property Owners are still enjoying trout fishing. Our weather has finally turned to winter so both ponds have had ice cover over the last several weeks. To help open up our one pond that has been catch and release since stocking, I have installed a horizontal circulation system. Bob Lusk recommended this setup to keep the water moving, open and highly oxygenated for the trout. He addressed my question on his Wednesday night live Facebook.
Circulator is an Ice Eater which is used to keep water open for waterfowl hunting. It is a 1 HP unit on a stand. Placed it in about 3 feet of water. FA has been a problem late this year due to geese, fish density and feeding program for the fish. I can see the water movement has already pushed some of the FA away from the bank.
After running for about 30 minutes, figured the trout might be attracted the moving water. First cast hooked a nice trout. I was so excited, he got off when I was horsing him in. Tomorrow should be a better fishing day. I did turn off the feeder last weekend due to ice. Have fed about 70 lbs of food the last six weeks. Looking forward to catching and surveying a few of the trout to see if they have gained weight.
Fyfer, I can tell you from my own experience that your RBT will definitely feed on your baby bass. For the past several years, we have been stocking RBT in the late fall, early November, and have seen a significant reduction in the YOY LMB. Although we run our feeders 3x/day, we still see a significant number of small bass in the RBT stomach contents along with the feed. Last year, we stocked 10-12" RBT on November 11. The attached pics were what was caught the following May 5th. We always lose any remaining RBT around early June because the water temps rise in the 70's and our BOW is only about 13ft at its deepest point.
As others have mentioned, one of the keys is using the right feed. Make sure you are using a feed where the protein is animal/fish based, not vegetable based.
MO, you might want to consider moving your circulator closer to your feeders. Every winter, I move aerators to in front of my Texas Hunter feeders and the aeration bubble action keeps the surface from freezing over so the fish can still get to the feed.
Freedomeagle, great to hear about your experience and success. You mentioned pics but I did not see any attached. Could you try to post?
Our pond has GSF, HBG and BG. I am hoping the trout reduce some fish density this winter. This pond is used to teach kids And adults how to fish so we have maintained high densities.
I am planning on turning the feeder back on this week. My picture does not show my Texas Hunter Feeder but it is just out of the picture. I did try to locate the circulator to keep the area open in front of the feeder.
Caught three RBT yesterday. Two had already put on several inches and maybe 1/2 lb since stocking three weeks ago. I'm feeding Aquamax MVP but don't see lots of activity. However, it is obvious the trout are eating well. I hope YOY bass are also on their menu, cormorants have been scarce this year.
I hope they do. I've never seen LMB in the stomachs of my trout oddly enough. Although, that might be because I only fish for them when the LMB are long inactive due to the cold.
My pond has been iced over completely since mid December. We've had a warm winter so it's not very thick ice. About 7 inches last time I measured. I've been ice fishing a few times with no luck. I think it's the location in the pond rather than the techniques I'm using, if I could guess. I've been using spoons, jigs, and powerbait. I've just got to try minnows now.
I also tried feeding through the ice for the first time today. What I did was take a bunch of pellets, soak them in water for 30 minutes, and then squish them into a dough. Rolling the pellets to get a bunch of individual airless pellets was too time consuming and it did not work very well with my pellets. The dough was a perfect consistency and I made balls that sunk right down the hole. I hope the trout eat it, but there's no way to know I guess. I'm going to try fishing in that area tomorrow to see if I have any more luck.
Adam, thanks for your comments. I know absolutely nothing about ice fishing so I will defer on others for that. On my lake, my PHW folks use a sinking fly of some sort successfully, the spincast folks use Rooster Tails (1/8 or 1/16oz.) and crotchety old lazy geezers like me do quite well with live minnows.
MOF, one of the PHW folks caught a 15" today but most caught today were in the 13-13.5" category. I am thinking the 15" was probably more like 13.5-14" when we stocked the trout last November.
My sinking trout feeding seemed to work really well. I fed in two holes near each other twice, one yesterday and once this morning, and went out this afternoon to fish those holes. I lost one at the hole on a jig and landed and lost one on the dough I had made, proving that they are eating it. They must have all been in the area since the food was dropped, as the action was very fast. I'm surprised the trout ate the sinking dough, but they must have, because the trout I cleaned had a black guck in the stomach that I think is the dough.
Now that I know feeding through the ice is not a waste of time, I'll do it a couple of times a week.
Also, I hope I haven't hijacked this thread. And, Paul, my favourite lures for open water are also Rooster Tails, as well as small trout magnets and spoons.
A quick question on water circulation and outdoor temps. We are expecting temperatures to drop into single digits for a few nights. I have a water circulator moving water horizontal in the pond. This has been going on for a few weeks.
Should I stop circulating water to avoid sub cooling the entire pond? I think the trout could take the lower water temps but concerned for our BG, RES and GSF. Thanks for any advice.