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#561232 09/08/23 08:40 AM
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I am feeding Optimal Bluegill feed from my TH feeder. It runs 16 seconds twice in the morning and twice in the evening.

The surface of the water boils as long as the feeder is running but they stop as soon as the feeder finishes dispersing.

I thought the rule of thumb was to put out enough feed that would keep them busy for ~ 10 minutes. I don’t think I could make that happen but want to ask the experts here.

Turn up the feed time….to what?

Leave it where it is?

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Tbar - It sounds like you have too many fish pounds per acre. Consider doing some harvesting of appropriate sizes of fish based on your goals. Without close numbers management and harvest,,,, ponds can easily get overcrowded with fish. Do you do fish any type of fish surveys?
What are the pond goals and size of pond.


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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Tbar - It sounds like you have too many fish pounds per acre. Consider doing some harvesting of appropriate sizes of fish based on your goals. Without close numbers management and harvest,,,, ponds can easily get overcrowded with fish. Do you do fish any type of fish surveys?
What are the pond goals and size of pond.

I have not done a survey in 5-6 years.

My goals have been to feed the bass and crappie. I have not taken many Coppernose Bluegill and I have never been able to catch the Tilapia(winters take care of them).

What size bluegill should I take?

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IMO at this stage or condition of the fishery where a 16 sec fish pellet drop is immediately consumed, I would be harvesting all bluegill especially the females at 8"+ at the rate of at least 40 per acre / year until the fish pellets lay on the surface for 30 to 45 seconds. Then re-evaluate the fishery numbers and size distribution structure. Keep a record of the lengths and numbers of all bluegill caught - large and small. If angling catches mostly all BG smaller than 8" then this is a sign too many BG are present and they are likely too crowded with not enough predation and or harvest. Keeping track of BG sizes of all caught is important to evaluate the size structure of the BG population.
When the BG numbers become too overly abundant due to lots of pellet feeding and lack of harvest (mortality/predation),, ponds often get too many bluegill that are not growing well due to not enough food,,, this can easily lead to a weakened overall fishery health and balance due to over crowding.

How big is the pond?
How long does a 40 pound bag of food last?
Have you ever measured or collected how much pellet food is released in a 16 second feeding?

Are your goals to have just lots of bass for a general fishery of mostly all sizes or one more for the LMB to be skewed toward large bass?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/08/23 02:00 PM.

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Also it is possible that tilapia are eating a lot of the fish pellets if there is no or very little filamentous algae or small leaf plant life in the pond. Try making some of the fish pellets soft and use that as fish bait on a hook under a bobber close to feeding times.


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[quote=Bill Cody]

How big is the pond? Just under 5 acres and its getting smaller in this drought.

How long does a 40 pound bag of food last? I don't know for sure. 2-3 weeks maybe.

Have you ever measured or collected how much pellet food is released in a 16 second feeding? No

Are your goals to have just lots of bass for a general fishery of mostly all sizes or one more for the LMB to be skewed toward large bass? The goal is toward the larger size removing everything under 16" but to be honest, we haven't done much fishing this summer due to the heat.

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Actually it is better to not do much fishing when the water is above 85F, except maybe for the CNBG. Real warm water does not have as much DO at 100% saturation compared to water at 70F. 84F=8ppm@100%, 70F=9ppm100% saturation. It is better to have a higher DO concentration in water that is cooler when catching prize trophy fish because higher DOs improves their chance of recuperation and survival after release.

If you are trying to grow large bass and feed less fish food to get "best" utilization of the food to produce ample forage for growing larger sizes of bass, I would be harvesting numerous bluegill greater than 8". The largest bass IMO will not be focusing on eating BG a lot bigger than 8". BG larger than 8" will be eating more pellets compared to BG 3"-6" long who are the target prey sizes for larger bass. I think harvesting 'good' numbers of the 8" long BG will still allow plenty of BG numbers in the 7"-8" sizes for the few or the low number of 9lb - 10+ lb bass that will be present in a 5 ac pond. I think that 9lb-10lb bass are probably eating as many small 8"-11" LMbass as the numbers of BG 8"+ long eaten per year. I don't know if there is any proof of this, it is just my educated opinion.

If you were a big old lazy momma LMB and you had to swallow all your food whole and no shewing possible,,, what would you rather swallow - a 4"BG or a 6" bass, a 5" BG or a 8" bass? or a 6" BG or a 10" bass. All have the same body depth in each category while the bass has more body weight than the BG. Make my meals to be slender bodied bass when they are readily available. More meal size for the same amount of capture effort for a big ol' lazy bass.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/09/23 11:02 AM.

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Will get started harvesting some bluegill.

Thanks for the help.


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