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Joined: Dec 2022
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Knobber Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2022
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My trout were actively taking pellets on the surface right up to ice cover. My usual feeding spot is now iced-over, but the shoreline is open on the other side of the pond where the shallow water winter airstation is running. I tried feeding from that open water location for a few days, but the trout were not rising to the pellets. I assume that I confused the fish by changing the feeding location they had become accustomed to. So, a few questions.

The pellets eventually sink. Are the trout eating them below surface, or are the pellets just accumulating as detritus on the bottom?

If I keep feeding in the open water will the trout eventually find the new spot and start surface feeding again?

I would like to grow the trout for fun/harvest in the spring/summer. Is winter trout feeding worth the cost/time/effort, or will natural feeding suffice, and I can resume pellet feeding in the spring?

Thanks!

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I'd only throw out literally a single handful of pellets in the new area at the same time of day, every day until you see trout feeding in the new area. I have the feeder in my pond set over where the winter aerator is so I don't have that problem.

Once the water gets cold and ice forms, the feeding response in my pond slows WAY down. This year I only have a few trout in there so I won't be feeding during the winter. Even one second will throw more food than they can consume.

The only way to know if they are consuming sinking feed is to get a camera down there and see.


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1 member likes this: Knobber
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Knobber Offline OP
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Update to this thread. The trout learned the new winter feeding spot. However, they seem to be very conditioned to the time of day and prefer the aerator to be not running (I turn it off from 3pm-7pm, which are the peak electricity rates). If I feed an hour or two before the "usual" time, they don't come to the pellets.

Some days are hit or miss, though. A warm, sunny day doesn't necessarily guarantee a feeding response, whereas a cold day can have a feeding frenzy. I am feeding every couple of days.

It takes a few minutes for a scout to find the food, and then a few more minutes for the rest of the trout join in. Some of the rises sound like big fish!

It put in 8-9" rainbows and 6-8" brook trout back in October. The rainbows seem to be more aggressive and growing faster. I caught a 13" rainbow about a month ago.

Last edited by Knobber; 02/20/24 08:51 AM.

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