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Joined: Aug 2012
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I have been feeding my LMB more this summer than in the past. I have noticed in the feeding area (and other places around the pond) fairly large numbers of baby bluegill and bass that I have not seen in those numbers in the past. The bass,1-4 lbs, seem to have little interest in pursuing these fish. So my question is - can heavily feeding the LMB result in the forage base not being trimmed down adequately and I end up with way too many extra bass and bluegill as adults because of reduced predation ?

The pond is 1/2 acre.


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Yes, however, there could be other causes too, or at least 'ripple effects.'

For example, some of your bluegill are eating that feed too, most likely, and if so, then those bluegill may pull off more abundant spawns, thus recruiting more Young Of the Year (YOY) bluegill. Some of those YOY may grow beyond easy predation by some of the LMB population.

Simply put, if you didn't feed the LMB, they would probably eat more young bluegill and bass.

On the flip side, you could probably achieve more growth in all species of fish by using feed vs. not using feed.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Let us know in the Spring if the forage base is still as populated as it is now. I bet the bass will put on the feed bag all winter long since you probably won't be feeding commercial fish food during the winter.

I bet the LMB growth rates are pretty good!!


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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To my surprise I fed the bass all winter long last year in water that ranged from low to mid 40's. I thought they would shut down when temps dipped into the 50's .......................?? so if I continue to feed, they may ignore the small BG I presume.

and yes, the growth on the LMB and BG has been quite good.


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There's no clear way to know how much the overall bass population is feeding on pellets vs. other fish, at least to a high degree of accuracy.

You could gut a given fish and see what it has in it's gut, but that's going to vary from fish to fish.

If your bass eat feed all year, then I would feed them in the winter too.

Just a note though....when a bass eats feed, I don't think they necessarily stop eating other fish, they probably just don't eat as much other fish. Plus, the other fish may grow out of predation size as they too will be eating feed.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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If a bass that was eating commercial fish food would ONLY eat said commercial fish food, then there would be no way that you could catch them on an artificial lure, unless they struck at the lure because they were peed off at it.


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By Sunil;
Just a note though....when a bass eats feed, I don't think they necessarily stop eating other fish, they probably just don't eat as much other fish. Plus, the other fish may grow out of predation size as they too will be eating feed
.

I believe Bass (and other fish) are programmed with certain behaviors.. I believe there are parts of the programming that can be altered slightly, but those behaviors/traits still remain in-tact. Fish that survive from hatch to year 1 have (in my opinion) retained/refined most of the genetic programming they were born with, but I also believe the fish taking the first pellet started with a built-in reaction, enjoyed the reward (taste) and becomes an altered trait in response to repetitive rewards. I believe the born-with instincts never really "go away"..
I have a 3lb SMB in a tank that figured out in about 5-6 days when my ugly mug looks over the side of the tank, he/she is going to get a 4" shiner. Day 6 or 7, it came to the side of tank right under my nose-and just sit there 6" under the surface and will almost take my hand off while holding the shiner.
As stated by Sunil, I also believe they only eat slightly less fish, I don't believe they are ever reprogrammed and as long as the feed is high quality, the forage and predator only gain from this.
My 2 cents...

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Feeding activity is very closely tied to temperature (metabolism). LMB eating mostly pellets can develop liver issues. Catch a few LMB and do a stomach lavage to see what was for dinner.
















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Our LMB absolutely hammer the shad all winter long. Low 40's water temps and a sunny day and the schooling action is incredible.


Ross Canant

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