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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530401 02/09/21 05:01 PM
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JohnK - All my stocked perch are pellet trained. I would never buy a YP that was not raised on pellets. Their growth eating pellets is faster and one can raise more large YP per acre if they are eating pellets.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530408 02/09/21 06:39 PM
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Very nice, I was unable to find any very close to me here in the Leavenworth Kansas area.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530417 02/09/21 08:37 PM
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Yellow perch are a bottom oriented fish which makes it hard to get them to learn or be conditioned to rise to the surface for floating pellets. In my experience the older the fish the harder it is to get them to eat floating pellets. I think if you wanted pellet eating perch you should have made the long trip to get them or have them delivered. Sometimes you can convince or 'bribe' the fish farm to meet you for your pick up of perch fairly close to you on one of their deliveries in your region. Having pellet fed perch is a big benefit to them being a really great panfish in a pond. Of course if you have LMB don't ever expect the YP to thrive or prosper long term in a pond with BIGmouth bass. LMB 14" will eat 7"-8" perch.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/10/21 07:31 PM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530517 02/11/21 06:15 PM
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I fished today and yesterday from one hour before dark until dark and did not have any luck on PowerBait, spoons, jigs, salted minnows, worms, and roe bags leftover from Steelhead fishing. These brown trout are definitely picky, but I will keep at it and have some time to do a lot of fishing this weekend.

On another note, if Bill or anyone else could inform me on whether it is possible to catch some of my LMB through the ice that would be much appreciated. I have never caught a bass in the pond past October when the trout start to become very active. Ice fishing all of this time, I have yet to see evidence of any bass. However, as the little ones school up, I think if I could locate them there is the potential for good numbers. The question is, do they eat at all under the ice? Will they be shallow or deep? What happens to them when the water is cold? Are they simply shut down and lethargic? The reason for all of these questions is it would be great to catch some bass to eat during the winter, since I need to cull them anyways and I figure they should taste even better in the cold water.

Here is also I picture of a trout caught a few days ago on PowerBait I forgot to attach in another post. [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Fyfer123; 02/11/21 06:15 PM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530520 02/11/21 09:38 PM
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I think LMB are harder to catch than brown trout while ice fishing. I have caught a few but for me they are few and far between hooks ups. Knowing this I don't think LMB are active and aggressive under the ice, but they do eat and can be caught as shown in these recent posts by Dwight from MN and Brad from Colorado. Brad's post shows he caught several LMB on his day on the ice.

See Jan 19 2021 post
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=40759&Number=529420#Post529420

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=40793&Number=529981#Post529981

If you want more active catches of trout ice fishing you should be adding around 100-120 rainbows this year. But get them large enough that your darn bass don't eat them, probably 8"-10" and feed them well so they grow fast ,,,,well beyond prey size for the LMB.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/11/21 09:49 PM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530539 02/12/21 09:15 AM
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Thanks for the reply, Bill.

I am sure the bass will be very hard to catch through the ice. Browns shouldn't be too hard, but the ones in my pond seem finicky, as Cecil seemed to say was common. On the other hand, bass are extremely rare to catch through the ice (and it is illegal in public waters), so I think it will be a real challenge and it's unlikely to work. It would be nice to get a few bass to eat and cull though, so I will be at it today. I've scoped a few spots, two near underwater ledges where the bass congregate in summer, and one in a deep area just to try. I will try small baits for the lethargic fish.

I will update when I finish. It seems like, especially from Brad, that it is possible to catch some through the ice. We have a cold front moving, and I've heard that doesn't help.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530665 02/15/21 05:20 PM
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Here's an update on the ice fishing and feeding on the pond.

I attempted to target bass at a few underwater overhangs in the pond that they like to hand out under in the summer. I used small jigs with salted minnows, tiny tungsten jigs with pieces of minnow, small spoons and worms with no luck. I don't think there is a good chance of catching one through the ice.

I also tried fishing for trout a couple of days since the last report and got one brown. They are definitely a very finicky fish, and I haven't figured them out yet. I've been feeding pellets, so I hope they're eating.

We got lots of snow overnight and more is on the way. I re cleared some paths for fishing, but won't be able to try again until Friday. I will update then. As Bill said, I think calling the fish in is very important. I will try dropping a lure down with a lot of action and flash to see if the fish come and then eat the trout dough. I should have tried that more this week.[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Fyfer123; 02/15/21 05:32 PM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530668 02/15/21 07:28 PM
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"Calling the fish" becomes much more successful if one also does this noise making during the open water season. This way the fish get conditioned to recognize the unique noise with food as was very successful in the Pavlov's Dog experiments. aka Pavlonian Response.
https://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/15/21 07:31 PM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530714 02/16/21 09:08 PM
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That is something I will certainly try in the open water season. I'm really hoping to get some solid growth on the trout via feeding once the ice goes out. I am thinking the trout will stop eating in the middle of summer, since they will probably be at the bottom of the pond and less active. The water is not spring fed, so it does warm up. Luckily, we have never seen to have any heat related die offs.

I think April until mid June will be the key growing months, but I do wonder if they will eat during the warmest months.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530833 02/19/21 07:38 PM
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Today, I attempted the "calling in" the fish method. I fished a Vibrato bait (mix between a spoon and a blade bait) as well as another rod with trout food. I was surprised when it seems zero fish came to the area. We have gotten a lot of snow recently, so it's a pain to make too many holes around the ice as there is some slush. I fished this area for more than 2 hours with bait and not much jigging but had no bites.

I measured 14" of ice in that spot, but the slush in other areas makes fishing inconvenient. I will wait for it to harden up where I've shoveled and try there tomorrow. I'm amazed that 2 hours with trout dough did not lead to a bite. The fish are obviously not in that area, but the pond does not have many features, so I'm not sure where they'd be.[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530837 02/19/21 08:57 PM
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I think most of your fish are probably down in the weeds.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Bill Cody #530840 02/19/21 09:23 PM
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I was fishing heavy weed cover. I should have taken a picture of all the weeds I pulled up.

How do I get their attention in all of those weeds? It seems like finding the lure or bait would be impossible.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530887 02/21/21 08:01 PM
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Another update.

I fished yesterday for a couple of hours with zero bites. Not much to say anymore about the fishing, as I've pretty much said it all before.

I did find a new way to make sinking pellets that is very efficient and easy. First, I grinded up the dry pellets in a electric coffee grinder. It worked great. Then, I took the powered pellets and put them in a ziplock back and added enough water to form the dough. I then just rolled it into pellets and froze it outside. This was, for me, much easier and quicker than soaking the pellets and then making the dough.

I have attached some pictures of the contents of the feed. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me how the food is based on that picture.

Thanks.[Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Fyfer123; 02/21/21 08:06 PM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530917 02/22/21 07:39 PM
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Grinding pellets and then adding enough water to form dough is a new way to make softened pellets. Creative. I shape my soft pellets into elliptical shapes thinking the larger elongated pellet is easier to swallow. Plus elongated sinking pellets have a wavy motion as they sink suggesting it is wiggling and alive.

Probably the only way one could get more fish activity and bites in the presence of lots of bottom weed growth (curly leaf) would be to have a lot more fish per acre. If you can significantly reduce weeds going into winter fish catching should be a lot better. With all the weed growth most all the fish don't even know pellets are being dropped into the water. Probably not very many ways to attract fish out of the bottom weeds unless you get them conditioned or trained to a unique noise when you feed them in the open water season.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/22/21 07:42 PM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530951 02/23/21 09:34 PM
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That elongated shape sounds like it is a great idea. It the trout were waiting under the hole like your perch, I'm sure the slow fall would help.

I think you are right about the fish. It's just not possible for them to find my lures with all the weeds. If I can get my lures or bait infront of them I'm sure I could get bit.

On another note, I'm wondering about whether or not I should be feeding/trying to prevent the bass from eating the pellets in the open water season. You might be thinking the bass would not eat the pellets since they are not feed trained, but I think they will. They will literally bite at anything that falls in the water, as they are hungry and very competitive for food. I assume they will learn it's food and frequent that area.

If they do try and eat the food, will it be good for the pond to have bass being fed? Or is that against my goal of growing bigger trout and having some bass to catch and eat just because they are there? If the bass do eat the food, I wouldn't mind some bigger bass for better eating when they are culled.

I'm fairly confident the bass will eventually eat the pellets, so I'm just wondering if it's a good thing or not.

Thanks again.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #530959 02/24/21 10:43 AM
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If you are agreeable to having bass with trout and the benefits of both then encouraging LMB is okay. The one problem of LMB with trout is the supplementally stocked trout will need to be larger size to minimize bass eating new small trout. I am not aware of a method to selectively catch LMbass and not trout. Others may have some ideas. Probably the thing I would do is when trout numbers are low density and before restocking trout focus on removing as many bass as feasible. The LMB will annually reproduce and be competitive to the trout in the pond. Bass are more MUCH more likely to learn to eat pellets when the pellets are softened and rolled as elongated shapes. Bass eating pellets allows them to have good growth rates when natural foods are lacking or limited.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/24/21 10:45 AM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Bill Cody #531095 02/26/21 04:48 PM
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I don't feel like I have much of an option in terms of removing all of the bass, which seem to reproduce well and rapidly in the pond, so why not have them reach a size worth angling for? I will still remove all bass caught, as they are actually a great eating fish in my pond. We do not stock trout less than 10-12" in size as per the recommendation of the hatchery due to the 20+" class of trout already in the pond being a potential threat to small trout being added. Is a bass capable of eating a 10-12" trout? I should specify that the largest bass in the pond is only a 2lb fish that looks skinny.

I will roll the pellets in the elongated shapes as you recommended to encourage feeding. Does anyone know how much bass can grow in one spring/summer/fall season in a pond? It would be nice to have the bass a good size for culling, although I will be culling all throughout the open water season anyways.

Thanks again for the advice, Bill. I am hoping that feeding is a way to mitigate the forage shortage in the pond given the unwanted bass.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #531103 02/26/21 08:23 PM
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Supplemental stocking of trout at sizes of 10"-12" should be safe from predation of your Canada LMbass. Does your hatchery have rainbow trout? I think you will have a lot more overall success using rainbows rather than browns. If the trout do not reach the soft elongated pellets first the bass should quickly learn to eat them. Let us know how the soft elongated pellets work this spring for training the bass. These soft pellets can even be shaped into elongated big worm shapes which may work even better training the bass than oval pellets especially if you also at the same time mix in some 1/2 to 1/3 long pieces of nightcrawler.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #531113 02/26/21 10:49 PM
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The hatchery does have rainbow trout. I only chose browns because they are supposed to be more tolerant of higher temperatures. Because my pond is not spring fed, I worry about rainbows getting stressed in the warm summer weather. While we don't get extreme heat here, the nights in my area don't get very cool mid summer unlike areas even a hour away, so I worry about water temperatures. I will attach a list of our max and min temperatures in the summer to give everyone an idea of whether or not it would be too warm for rainbows.

The bass always were happy to eat leftover nightcrawlers I threw out last summer, so the elongated pellets should work well.

It does sound like rainbows are a little easier to catch, but hardiness is the main concern. There are also brook and tiger trout at the hatchery. I believe brook trout are more sensitive (they are native in my area as well) and I'm not sure about tigers.

Temperatures in Fahrenheit for the summer months:

June: max: 68 min: 57.74
July: max: 74.7 min: 64.76
August: max: 74.12 min: 64.58
September: max: 68.72 min: 58.46

Last edited by Fyfer123; 02/26/21 11:02 PM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #531134 02/27/21 03:36 PM
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The next time you buy trout I would split the total number with brown, rainbow, and tiger trout; maybe 30%,30% 30%. Don't put "all your eggs in one basket" and see who all survives. Stock them in early fall, with good feeding and by spring they should be nice sizes before July-Aug when air temps are in the warmest period. Do you aerate? One small open water area near shore could allow the trout to feed all winter maximizing their growth rate. Presence of several rainbows might create enough feeding competition to better encourage the browns to bite. Have you ever put some of the softened rolled pellet on a hook and tossed it into the water when you are feeding pellets? I works really well. Keep all those caught and it minimizes hook smart fish.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/27/21 03:37 PM.

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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #531147 02/27/21 08:44 PM
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Fyfer123 -- Here is some additional very good trout information for you from our emeritus trout expert CecilBaird1.
Can't say how much more warm temperatures brown trout will tolerate compared to rainbows but allegedly a little more. One source says it also depends on the strain of brown trout. As you know there are strains that are native to North Africa all the way to Siberia. The more northern strains would be less tolerant of warmer water right? Browns also have one more thing going for them: According to a paper I read from Australia the females browns are less prone to issues with egg reabsorption if they retain their eggs due to unsuitable spawning conditions. Supposedly reabsorbing eggs is very stressful and can kill trout.

Tiger trout are much easier to catch than brown trout. In league with brook trout which are very easy to catch.

My hatchery source says tiger trout are even hardier than brown trout as does the prof in NY that writes articles for Pond Boss. I'm thinking his name was Mark Cornwell. I haven't seen any data that backs that up though.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #531297 03/01/21 07:10 PM
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Bill and Cecil, thanks for all of the information.

I think a mix of trout is a good idea. Seems like catch rates go up, and it's nice to have variety. I aerate with a fountain all ice free months. The browns were not as difficult to catch during open water season; it's really through the ice that it becomes a problem. I think the weeds are one of the key problems, but a mix of trout also seems like a good idea, and I'll stock a mix of browns, tigers, and maybe bows next time. I like that tigers are hardy.

About the egg absorption, I was told that the trout spit the eggs if they can't spawn. I found roe to be a very effective bait for the browns around the time they would be spawning. I was told by the hatchery that the other fish will eat eggs once the fish spits them. Although, that clearly might not be true. My area is popular for steelhead fishing, and we catch "loose" fish that start spitting eggs once they are brought on shore. I wonder if the trout can prevent this from happening when spawning habitat is not available for long periods of time or if they have to spit the eggs. Either way, I'd like to time my harvest of a few browns for when they have developed eggs, as I use them for steelhead bait.

Thanks again.


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #531315 03/02/21 01:35 AM
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Fish can't "spit" the eggs, 2 different plumbing systems in the fish so to speak. They will reabsorb them. I'll bet the fish start squirting eggs out the other end once on shore, not the mouth.....


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
esshup #531322 03/02/21 07:35 AM
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I see how that was confusing. Steelhead fishermen in my area just use the term "spit" the eggs. They do come out the end you would expect eggs to come out of. This seems to happen when the fish are very close to spawning and have little control over when the eggs come out.

Seems like I was given the wrong information about trout in ponds absorbing eggs instead of getting rid of them if there is no suitable spawning grounds. I wonder why they can't just release the eggs after enough time without good spawning grounds?


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Re: Feeding Trout Under Ice / Trout Eating Off Bottom
Fyfer123 #531542 03/05/21 06:19 PM
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We had somewhat of a melt this week, and the snow on the pond was almost all melted. It got cold again, and the ice conditions were great today. I think without the snow the light penetrates much better.

I fed the fish yesterday and today 2 hours before I went fishing. I started fishing near the shore with trout food with no bites. I decided to switch to orange PowerBait, and the first bite came very quick. I brought in a 14"( male?) brown. I'm surprised they preferred the PowerBait over the trout food. Maybe the bright colour makes it attractive?

The fish looked very well fed to me, and I was amazed at the quantity of those aquatic isopods in its stomach. The stomach was absolutely packed with them. I've attached a few photos of the size of the bugs. Are these a good food source for trout? I was disappointed to see absolutely no trout food in the fish's stomach. This was surprising, since he was right in the area I was feeding and chumming while fishing.[Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Fyfer123; 03/05/21 06:26 PM.

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