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Originally Posted by Snipe
It's purely the moment in itself that they (and I) will remember the rest of our lives...

In the end, the legacy that really matters are memories. Making shared memories worth remembering is one of highest pursuits one can undertake.

On another tack. I would like to address feed quality. It's a challenge to produce feed that meets the nutritional needs of fish and every species has differing nutritional requirements. To be sure, fish feed is not gluten and melamine. Snipe is currently conducting a trial that is demonstrating that fish convert feed very efficiently. The results thus far indicate that feed formulated for centrarchid predators converts comparably to dried fish. It's hard to argue that anything is better for fish to eat than other fish ... so I am not trying to say that fish feed is equivalent to 100% dried fish ... rather ... I am saying that these feeds are pretty darn good at providing nutrition to centrarchid predators.

As always there is a balance with me and just like drinking too much water can kill a person ... too much feed can also kill a pond. One of simpler ways to gain a sense of this nutrient addition is just to equivocate the feed with dried fish. If equivalent, the wet weight of dead fish fed to a typical 1 acre pond (at 50 lbs feed over 5 months) is 1250 lbs wet weight fish. This is three times the standing weight a fertile pond carries. One question that comes to mind is whether one year of feeding in combination with liming can transform a pond of low fertility to one of acceptable or high fertility? Another question is how long can one sustain this level of nutrient addition without causing severe problems such as excessive primary production (vegetative growth), fish kills, etc.? The question is not yet answered but it is one that I am deeply interested in understanding. When I have my pond one day, I want it to be one that my great grandkids could enjoy into their later ages. Far too little concern about the nutrient loading effects of feed prevails ... but like RAH ... I respect the rights of everyone who choses a long term path of nutrient addition and control. Even so, I will follow RAHs lead, example, and approach to pond management with only one exception (I will make a focus of population control). Are you concerned about adding too much feed to your ponds nutrient reservoir? If not, then you might possibly make the mistake of drinking too much water as well.


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As an FYI - My neighbor removes about 60 BG and 10-12 smaller LMB from my 1 acre pond every year (not sure if that is what you mean by population control). I would also like to transplant 10 or so smaller SMB from my 2nd pond to my BG/LMB pond per year, but have not yet done this. Too hot right now, but maybe in fall. Was hoping my neighbor might do this for me as well, but not sure if he will. So far SMB and YP are doing well. No state records but my retired neighbor has fished the local waters for his whole life and never caught bigger of either species than he has from my pond. Biggest LMB was 6.4 lbs. so far. Another older friend caught this fish which is his personal best as well. He also caught a 4.5 lb. LMB which is his 2nd best fish. Still lots of smaller fish to keep the visiting kids happy with catch and release. I fished a lot as a kid in a tributary of the Delaware River where you never knew what you might catch. I seem to be less interested in fishing my own ponds. I still have fond memories of catching a 21" chain pickerel as a kid. It was a trophy for me.

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I didn't mean that there was no population management through harvest in your ponds. What I meant is that I see myself taking population control to the anal extremes in the early going shocked . I'd be cheating nature by disallowing natural recruitment of LMB. I am sure I would eventually tire of that and transition into something around managed recruitment like your ponds are now managed. I can tell one of your focus goals are populations that work together with recruitment. I'd just probably try to see what can be accomplished without reproduction of the apex predator before I transition to that.

Last edited by jpsdad; 07/15/21 09:32 AM.

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My thought: BTW, I’m generally wrong.
I’ve never really thought that we, or at least I, could make much difference by fishing. Compare culling with the number of eggs laid, hatched and fish that escape predation. And, if I really work at it, the fish get hook shy. Natural predation is the most powerful tool at our disposal.


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Someone (sorry that I an 100% sure who) suggested that removing 50-60 BG per acre was a way to favor a sustainable population of eating size BG, and that removing a dozen or so eating size LMB also provided benefit to obtaining larger LMB. It seems that after quite a few years of this practice, my pond has both. I don't have a negative control pond to compare with, but I do not think that it is doing any harm. Its not really about how many eggs or smaller fish there are, but how many make it to the size that is being harvested. Just like managing a deer herd for trophy bucks. Lots of fawns die every year due to predation, but that does not negate the value of removing does to encourage dominant bucks to sire a greater percentage of the young.

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Originally Posted by jpsdad
Originally Posted by Snipe
It's purely the moment in itself that they (and I) will remember the rest of our lives...

In the end, the legacy that really matters are memories. Making shared memories worth remembering is one of highest pursuits one can undertake.

On another tack. I would like to address feed quality. It's a challenge to produce feed that meets the nutritional needs of fish and every species has differing nutritional requirements. To be sure, fish feed is not gluten and melamine. Snipe is currently conducting a trial that is demonstrating that fish convert feed very efficiently. The results thus far indicate that feed formulated for centrarchid predators converts comparably to dried fish. It's hard to argue that anything is better for fish to eat than other fish ... so I am not trying to say that fish feed is equivalent to 100% dried fish ... rather ... I am saying that these feeds are pretty darn good at providing nutrition to centrarchid predators.

As always there is a balance with me and just like drinking too much water can kill a person ... too much feed can also kill a pond. One of simpler ways to gain a sense of this nutrient addition is just to equivocate the feed with dried fish. If equivalent, the wet weight of dead fish fed to a typical 1 acre pond (at 50 lbs feed over 5 months) is 1250 lbs wet weight fish. This is three times the standing weight a fertile pond carries. One question that comes to mind is whether one year of feeding in combination with liming can transform a pond of low fertility to one of acceptable or high fertility? Another question is how long can one sustain this level of nutrient addition without causing severe problems such as excessive primary production (vegetative growth), fish kills, etc.? The question is not yet answered but it is one that I am deeply interested in understanding. When I have my pond one day, I want it to be one that my great grandkids could enjoy into their later ages. Far too little concern about the nutrient loading effects of feed prevails ... but like RAH ... I respect the rights of everyone who choses a long term path of nutrient addition and control. Even so, I will follow RAHs lead, example, and approach to pond management with only one exception (I will make a focus of population control). Are you concerned about adding too much feed to your ponds nutrient reservoir? If not, then you might possibly make the mistake of drinking too much water as well.

Based on my experience in the infertile, acidic soils of east Texas, you can add a LOT of fertilizer & fish food without even getting an acceptable bloom, much less causing excess nutrient loading. The one and only time I've ever had a really good bloom, good enough to make me worry about cyanobacteria risk, was last year after 95 percent of all my plants were killed via herbicide. (That wasn't the intent, but that was the result.) The pond got really deep green for a couple of months, viz about 14 to 16 inches, and I sweated it out until it gradually cleared up.

Richmond Mill Lake's tremendous success, an even more infertile body of water than mine, shows that feeding can work to build a great fishery without overloading nutrients. Maybe that will change in the future, but it hasn't so far.

Last edited by anthropic; 07/15/21 01:59 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 246




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Another question that needs answering: How much of the feed is actually consumed by fish? Geese are a serious problem at times, and even turtles can take a toll. Feed that floats seems especially prone to these issues, as does increasing fish vulnerability to herons when the wind blows pellets toward shallow shore water.

Does night feeding help with this? Would more sinking pellets, which contain less fat & thus may help fish health & longevity, be a good choice? Interesting.

Last edited by anthropic; 07/15/21 02:07 PM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 246




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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
My thought: BTW, I’m generally wrong.
I’ve never really thought that we, or at least I, could make much difference by fishing. Compare culling with the number of eggs laid, hatched and fish that escape predation. And, if I really work at it, the fish get hook shy. Natural predation is the most powerful tool at our disposal.

Well said, and I don't think you're wrong with this one, lol. I think the smaller your pond is, the more you can control the population via fishing. Larger ponds will need to rely more on predation, and focusing on keeping the right sized predators in there to control the size of the prey you want to get munched on.

Growing trophies, and maybe a record someday, does take a lot of work, and more importantly, knowledge. You need the perfect water, perfect predator-prey ratio, the perfect forage, perfect habitat, etc. The odds of an uneducated rookie pondmeister just throwing a bunch of fish in a pond and creating a state record are about zero. My thinking with the White Catfish wasn't necessarily that I'd need to create the perfect habitat to grow a record, it was the fact that its a highly misidentified fish, and in public waters that contain Blue Catfish and Flatheads, the White Cats become nearly extinct, or just can't compete with them for food, so they stay small. The NC state record is only 59% of the weight of the world record (13 vs 22), so I think I could do it.

Originally Posted by Snipe
Steve, to answer your question about filling out the paperwork for the state record YP, No, I haven't. The reason is I want it to be a friends kid or somebody that doesn't really fish a lot-or doesn't GET to fish much.
I've been blessed with the ability to fish some great waters, where known large specimens swim, and I've held 2 state records myself. I've caught 5 of the 6 YP that bested the record, some by a few ounces, the last by a pound, but our KS state record is only 1.06lbs and 14.25". I think it would be a priceless gift to have a kid get that document and title, I am sure the kids wouldn't care that the YP got bigger because there was some supplemental feeding happening. It's purely the moment in itself that they (and I) will remember the rest of our lives.
Feed on peeps, Feed on..

Hey, I can respect that. I guess with me being relatively young (38), I'd selfishly want the record books to have my name in it lol. But if my son got it, I'd be just as happy. Does Kansas split up their state records between pond and public waters?

Last edited by Steve_; 07/15/21 04:03 PM.

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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
My thought: BTW, I’m generally wrong.
I’ve never really thought that we, or at least I, could make much difference by fishing. Compare culling with the number of eggs laid, hatched and fish that escape predation. And, if I really work at it, the fish get hook shy. Natural predation is the most powerful tool at our disposal.

My first thought after reading this was..."What about trapping as a culling technique?". But, then I remembered the efforts that I have put into trapping crawdads from my 1/4 acre pond and have little to no evidence that I am making a difference. Surely I am, but if anything, a combination of fishing, trapping, & seining could make a difference in a small BOW, but I have to agree that natural predation is the key factor with my limited experience. It was obvious that my initial stocking selections and numbers were not going to yield a balanced BOW and I have since added CC to help with the high populations of the smaller critters.


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Steve, I seen that your state has a new Blue Catfish record!


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Originally Posted by Bobbss
Steve, I seen that your state has a new Blue Catfish record!

Yes sir, 127 pounds! A fish of a lifetime, that's for sure. Caught out of the Roanoke River, which flows out of Lake Gaston and Lake Kerr, which were the locations of the previous records. Definitely some good genetics in there somewhere.

Last edited by Steve_; 07/15/21 06:07 PM.

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Originally Posted by anthropic
Based on my experience in the infertile, acidic soils of east Texas, you can add a LOT of fertilizer & fish food without even getting an acceptable bloom, much less causing excess nutrient loading. The one and only time I've ever had a really good bloom, good enough to make me worry about cyanobacteria risk, was last year after 95 percent of all my plants were killed via herbicide. (That wasn't the intent, but that was the result.) The pond got really deep green for a couple of months, viz about 14 to 16 inches, and I sweated it out until it gradually cleared up.

Am I missing something here? Maybe so ... but it seems like you had a very ugly bloom of Southern Naiad that you could not live with at all. Killing it killed most of the rest of vegetation you wanted and caused a super intense phyto-plankton bloom that according to your own measurements falls within the trophic state of hyper-eutrophic and according to the passage above made you "sweat" with worry until it subsided.

Actually, this is precisely what I am talking about. The water originally needed liming and nutrient addition but now its accumulated nutrients to the point where your pond produces too much vegetation and you've elected to resort to the feed/herbicide cycle. I respect that this is your path and that you seem to be very comfortable doing it with intentions of continuing. It's just this isn't a path I could follow myself.

Quote
Richmond Mill Lake's tremendous success, an even more infertile body of water than mine, shows that feeding can work to build a great fishery without overloading nutrients. Maybe that will change in the future, but it hasn't so far.

But it isn't just the feed. The LMB and BG are supplement stocked because they don't successfully recruit. They can control the population of LMB and BG. The water is too acid to support a good food chain so feed is only way fish can be grown acceptably in the water. Also, I wouldn't go so far as to say nutrients are not are not loading. Some nutrients remain in the lake itself without appropriate biodegradation. The rest goes downstream with the ongoing outflux of water just waiting to be mixed with other waters where it might be a problem for those downstream. Not saying the situation isn't forgiving to RML but nutrients are going in and what doesn't flow over the dam is accumulating.

I would prefer myself to have borderline mesotrophic/eutrophic water where the sun grows the food. Not saying I wouldn't use feed but I would use feed in the cells below my main BOW and use the waste water for irrigating crops.


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Interesting post, as usual. A few thoughts...

You're right that my BOW has become a lot more fertile when it comes to plant biomass. First couple of years I had almost no plants or even algae whatsoever, not good for YOY. FHM were quickly wiped by BG & TP before LMP even stocked, which resulted in a stumbling start to my dreams of lunkers. I even paid to have stuff like Am pondweed & duck potato planted, which did fairly well on year three. Cattails started on their own, as did some chara, at that time. Due to low alkalinity despite liming, chara eventually got outcompeted by southern naiad.

But the fertility seems to have helped plants, especially the naiad, far more than the planktonic bloom. Even with periodic liming & fertilization, my average visibility is probably around four feet. Three feet is unusually good. That bothers me since it means newly hatched fry have little to eat, and plants can get sunlight in much of the lake. Heavy downpours only create murk for a few days, it never gets really muddy even in flood conditions.

Last edited by anthropic; 07/16/21 01:53 AM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 246




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I'd like to add more fertilizer right now, but am afraid it might make the naiad worse. Yes, it has come back, not as bad as last year but still substantial. Don't want to kill it if I can avoid doing that, as I do need cover, but also don't want to get a lawn in sub 5 feet waters. Grass carp may be next, as I prefer a more natural approach. Also, they reduce visibility, as I know from lakes which stocked them in Ohio. Fishing suffered short term, but benefitted over the long haul. I'm willing to make that trade-off.

Bob's recent video has encouraged me to try a different approach to fertilization: Selective treatment. Relatively small amount of fertilizer, well mixed with pond water, deployed only in deepest, weed free areas of the pond. Naiad gets less, plankton hopefully gets more. And no fertilizer treatment whatsoever in shallower areas that already have weeds. Worth a try, hopefully this minimizes risk of runaway plants or cyanobacteria. My longsuffering threadfin shad could sure use a boost!

Last edited by anthropic; 07/16/21 02:08 AM.

8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 246




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I have a small (<0.5 acres) pond that is very infertile. So much so that my lotus is struggling to survive and no longer even exists where it was originally planted (keeps migrating). Even the emergent plants are colonizing very slowly. I have no submerged plants at all. There is some water color due to algae and I have stocked only FHM and lake chubsuckers. Some leaves blow in in fall from trees back maybe 40 feet to the south. It is almost completely spring fed. My plan is to let the pond develop slowly on its own. I have done the same for my previous 2 ponds and multiple wetlands. I do transplant in a few marginal and emergent plants, but then let things develop on there own, with some management like cattail and willow control. For me, this is part of the fun, but my goal is to produce wildlife habitat that requires minimal maintenance. I also want good fishing for kids and a few trophy fish to entertain adult guests. Still watching the SMB grow in my 2nd pond and it will be fun to see how big they get. There were 10 stockers each from 2 different hatcheries which hopefully instilled some hybrid vigor, but they could be of similar genetics.

Last edited by RAH; 07/16/21 10:08 AM.
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But the fertility seems to have helped plants, especially the naiad, far more than the planktonic bloom. Even with periodic liming & fertilization, my average visibility is probably around four feet. Three feet is unusually good.

Three to four feet is perfectly OK in my way of thinking. To be sure, it won't grow as much lettuce and the standing weight will likely be less as a result but probably not as much as you might think ... (more on that later). But as long as the reason for that clarity isn't an excessive stand of submerged veggies ... you would be in the sweet spot at that level secchi depth. There are benefits to high secchi readings, among which are better water quality, greater night time DO, enhance visibility of prey, etc. Fish grow well and live long under such conditions.

Think a bit about why the bloom was so intense after killing the naiad. The naiad had starved out the zooplankton that utilize micro-algae to point their population was very low. When the naiad died, the phytoplankton could respond more quickly than the zooplankton. So it got ahead of the zooplankton which likely later caught up with it.

Frank, a person cannot really tell how productive water is by secchi alone. There are a number of proposed reasons for this but among them are two worth noting.

1. Community structure may be such that phytoplankton consumption is very high that it is efficiently grazed. The production of phytoplankton can be very good even while the standing weight of phytoplankton is very modest. Think a pasture with cows. The height of the grass isn't really an effective indicator of how much grass was grown ... the reliable indicator is a combination of what weight of cows were carried and how much they gained.

2. Alternate primary forage is produced. So when clarity is high, the sun penetrates to greater depths and support communities of periphyton that contribute to the primary and secondary trophic production that support higher organisms.

Consider this excerpt on fish standing weights where trophic status was determined by available nitrogen.

Quote
Lastly, in the case of the22 lakes studied by Kautz (1980), his plot of sport fish biomass versus trophic state as determined by total nitrogen content did indicate a downward trend for hyper-eutrophic lakes. However ,when he grouped the lakes by trophic state he found that the standing crops of sport fishes for oligotrophic, mesotrophic/eutrophic, and hyper-eutrophic lakes were 52, 89, and 65 kg⋅ha–1, respectively, but these values were not statistically different from each other.

So what does this tell us? Sport-fish can be grown to comparable biomass density in Oligotrophic water. What a lot of people don't get is that the standing weight of prey fish is primarily composed of adults that are relatively safe from predators. The apex predators benefit only marginally when eutrophic conditions prevail ... certainly not proportionately to the increase in primary production.

Just some food for thought.


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Steve, TX has 4 options for state records which I think is very fair. Conventional tackle records, and fly fishing records for both public and private waters. Just an observation, but the vast majority of records come from public waters, In fact, last time I checked, there was maybe 1 or 2 fish that bested the public water records, and they were south TX tilapia where temps normally don't hit a critical point for them. There are very few rules for public/private conventional tackle records. Fly fishing requirements are more detailed, and fair play is primary. No minnows hooked to a fly, scents are allowed, actual factual tied flies and fly rods, etc.

I have 3 species targeted for TX private water fly rod records, and have bested the state records on 2 of the 3, with neither claimed. I'm 1# short on LMB, but I do have them roaming around the big pond, so I just need to spend more time and effort late next winter and early spring. So having been targeting these fish for a while, I would rate HSB as the easiest record to break, with LMB second, and CNBG being the hardest. None of the fish I caught were at weights that I felt warranted a state record. 10#,2#,10# are my personal goals, so I'll keep trying until my pond records meet my expectations. At that point, I'd claim a state record. If not, I'm ok with that also.

Finally, TPWD has been dealing with both public and private ponds for years, and are well aware of what pond owners invest in their ponds. They're certainly not naive, so they fully expect pond owners to throw $$$ at their fish. Regulating that would be impossible, so few restrictions exist. Having said that, few pond owners that have contracted biologists, spend inordinate amounts of money, or are wanting to keep their successes private, DO NOT claim state records. Esshup has a friend that lives a few miles from me, and his fly rod LMB pond record is 3# more than the current state record. I've fished an unmanaged 35 acre pond south of me that's pulls multiple 10# LMB every year, with 16# being the record. Also pics on my phone of 2.5# CNBG(not mine). You can hear crickets chirping when their ponds are talked about.

Steve, go for it.


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Al, that particular pond fly rod record is now 14.5# grin


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Check your state's regs. Cant speak for any place other than Indiana, but here in the Hoosier state fish taken from water on artificial feeding programs are ineligible for record status.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
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Originally Posted by sprkplug
Check your state's regs. Cant speak for any place other than Indiana, but here in the Hoosier state fish taken from water on artificial feeding programs are ineligible for record status.

That's two things those Hoosiers have done right. Boiler up!

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I have fed bluegill hundreds of dollars worth of feed, usually every day, for 5-1/2 years. I haven't raised one yet over nine inches. I guess feeding isn't the only answer. I have some bass in the two pound range to keep the small BG population down also, so overcrowding isn't it. Maybe simply poor genetics.

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Originally Posted by John Fitzgerald
I have fed bluegill hundreds of dollars worth of feed, usually every day, for 5-1/2 years. I haven't raised one yet over nine inches. I guess feeding isn't the only answer. I have some bass in the two pound range to keep the small BG population down also, so overcrowding isn't it. Maybe simply poor genetics.

Wow, John. Have you had any fish kills -- maybe there is some issue with the water?


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 246




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Originally Posted by John Fitzgerald
I have fed bluegill hundreds of dollars worth of feed, usually every day, for 5-1/2 years. I haven't raised one yet over nine inches. I guess feeding isn't the only answer. I have some bass in the two pound range to keep the small BG population down also, so overcrowding isn't it. Maybe simply poor genetics.

John, I don't believe its poor genetics. In Alabama, the lake that produced the world record BG (two of them) was determined to host run of the mill BG. Yes, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, they could determine was special about them. That small private lake, BTW, didn't grow those big bluegill by feeding either.

Your story isn't any different than many others. Feeding is no guarantee that BG are going to grow larger than a 1 lb. How big BG get is strictly a function of (how much food the water makes + feed), the number of BG, and finally how long the BG live. Obviously, the longer they live means that there must be fewer of them spread across the different year classes to limit the total number to some arbitrarily limited population. That's all there is to it. You don't need feed to do that. The largest BG I have ever caught (just under 12") came from a very poor pond that had hardly any weeds and crystal clear water. That example of a BG has been my holy grail ever since. The pond it came from also had strong (skinny) LMB population under 12" inches. So many lean bass is a good recipe for growing a population dominated by large BG.

We have members who grow large lepomis using feed. Probably the best example is Theo. His Fx BG/RES reproduce less than pure strain BG. Plus he harvests >= 400 intermediate sized Fx Hybrids every year from (I think) a 3/4 acre pond. Without this removal ... however ... it would not be possible to grow his brutes. Imagine five years of no harvest and his pond supporting 2000 more BG than he currently tries to maintain. With so many mouths . . . something would certainly give and his trophy pond would be shadow of its past and present. Not for lack of feed, however.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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Steve_ Offline OP
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Originally Posted by FireIsHot
Steve, TX has 4 options for state records which I think is very fair. Conventional tackle records, and fly fishing records for both public and private waters. Just an observation, but the vast majority of records come from public waters, In fact, last time I checked, there was maybe 1 or 2 fish that bested the public water records, and they were south TX tilapia where temps normally don't hit a critical point for them. There are very few rules for public/private conventional tackle records. Fly fishing requirements are more detailed, and fair play is primary. No minnows hooked to a fly, scents are allowed, actual factual tied flies and fly rods, etc.

I have 3 species targeted for TX private water fly rod records, and have bested the state records on 2 of the 3, with neither claimed. I'm 1# short on LMB, but I do have them roaming around the big pond, so I just need to spend more time and effort late next winter and early spring. So having been targeting these fish for a while, I would rate HSB as the easiest record to break, with LMB second, and CNBG being the hardest. None of the fish I caught were at weights that I felt warranted a state record. 10#,2#,10# are my personal goals, so I'll keep trying until my pond records meet my expectations. At that point, I'd claim a state record. If not, I'm ok with that also.

Finally, TPWD has been dealing with both public and private ponds for years, and are well aware of what pond owners invest in their ponds. They're certainly not naive, so they fully expect pond owners to throw $$$ at their fish. Regulating that would be impossible, so few restrictions exist. Having said that, few pond owners that have contracted biologists, spend inordinate amounts of money, or are wanting to keep their successes private, DO NOT claim state records. Esshup has a friend that lives a few miles from me, and his fly rod LMB pond record is 3# more than the current state record. I've fished an unmanaged 35 acre pond south of me that's pulls multiple 10# LMB every year, with 16# being the record. Also pics on my phone of 2.5# CNBG(not mine). You can hear crickets chirping when their ponds are talked about.

Steve, go for it.

That's interesting. In NC, public and private are all combined into one category. I'm amazed that people don't want their names in the record books, just to keep their successes private. It's not like the record books are going to give GPS coordinates to the pond it was caught from. In NC, most of them just say "Private Pond, County Name" under the location tab. I had no idea people don't want to turn in their record fish.

Originally Posted by sprkplug
Check your state's regs. Cant speak for any place other than Indiana, but here in the Hoosier state fish taken from water on artificial feeding programs are ineligible for record status.

How would they determine that? Gut the fish and check for pellets? Are ponds in general eligible?


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Originally Posted by Steve_
Originally Posted by sprkplug
Check your state's regs. Cant speak for any place other than Indiana, but here in the Hoosier state fish taken from water on artificial feeding programs are ineligible for record status.

How would they determine that? Gut the fish and check for pellets? Are ponds in general eligible?

They ask on the application form.


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