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Black soldier fly larvae - nutritious forage for fish and super fast composters

A little over a year ago I read a thread at the Pond Boss forum about using "rot baskets" as a source of additional forage for pond fish. Basically you suspend a dead animal over your pond in a wire basket and as the resulting maggots mature they drop into the pond and feed the fish. I liked the idea of free protein, but didn't want to deal with disease carrying pests and foul odors near the pond. I started looking for a cleaner type of insect that didn't have those drawbacks.



When I… Continue

Added by GW on July 26, 2008 at 7:30am — 5 Comments

Shrinking Pond

I noticed as my pond shrinks due to the drought, that shallow nesting grounds are now out of the water and the water has receded into steep banks. My question is "do BG stop spawning because of proper nesting areas"?

Added by heybud on June 21, 2008 at 5:51am — 2 Comments

First known photo showing bluegill, bluegill/redear sunfish hybrid and redear sunfish!!!

And by "known" I mean that I personally don't know of any others. ;-)

Added by Bruce Condello on May 17, 2008 at 6:26am — 4 Comments

Progress notes on Dad's trophy bluegill pond.

I don't know if it's the barley straw or the aeration system--or likely both--but right now the pond has secchi readings of over 3 meters. This is unheard of on any of the ponds on my farm. I have some Earthtec ready and available for the beginnings of an algae bloom, but maybe I won't have to use it for awhile. The fish are all basically still tiny. Way too little to provide a fishing experience. Maybe we're close to two years away from having a good fishery.



249 bluegill that are… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on April 28, 2008 at 7:00pm — 32 Comments

Harvest strategies

In most ponds, if you want to support a population of trophy bluegill it will require some sort of harvest strategy. While it is true that vast populations of smaller, lower Wr largemouth bass can prop up a quality bluegill fishery, there are things that you as an angler can do to promote the possibility for the bluegill of a lifetime.



Most experienced bluegill anglers have seen high densities of agressive, nest defending males during the springtime. If you sneak up on these fish you… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on April 25, 2008 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

Pond Boss magazine and forum!

Pond Boss magazine is a terrific resource when it comes to enhancing your pond for growing big bluegill! If you like the cross of science, humor and great photos that you see here on Big Bluegill, then you'll love Pond Boss magazine and it's forum. Starting September of 2008 you can buy Pond Boss magazine right off the magazine rack at Bass Pro Shops throughout the country. Make sure to at least pick it up and thumb through it a little. I am neither the owner, nor the editor of this… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on April 20, 2008 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Fishing for big bluegill.

Well, water temps here are starting to creep up to nearly 50 degrees F. I'm hoping to start my quest to fish a bunch of our local interstate borrow pits. I'll blow up my float tube tonight and try to get all of my stuff ready. Our local Game and Parks Commission releases information on fall sampling of public lakes, so I'll be checking the data for clues that might lead me to a hot bed for big bluegill. My favorite way to catch them is to drift with 1/16 ounce jigs and Mr. Twister tails.… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on April 5, 2008 at 2:08pm — No Comments

Bill Cody and Theo Gallus have a forum discussion in regards to controlling bluegill numbers.

Comment by Theo Gallus



You know, I'd like to run another BG pond someday without LMB, but with darn near every other kind of predator that will live in my climate - SMB, walleyes, HSB, and maybe YP as an in-between-predator-and-forage-base fish. I guess since I likely won't be able to swing it until I'm older, with no kids at home and retirement looming, I could figure on being able to apply lots of angling pressure to help control the BG.



Bruce, can you think of… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on March 25, 2008 at 3:00pm — 15 Comments

Optimal Foraging Theory, and why you should know about it.

Some people believe that in order to grow a big fish, all you have to do is feed it a lot. But it is somewhat more comlex than that. Knowledge of "Optimal Foraging Theory" is important when attempting to grow any gigantic fish.



OFT, or optimal foraging theory. Simply stated, E is the amount of energy (calories) from a prey item. h is the handling time which includes capture, killing, eating and digesting. h starts once the prey has been spotted. E/h… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on March 24, 2008 at 10:30am — 10 Comments

Daryl Bauer speaks about big bluegill--where they are in the Midwest and how to catch them...

The following is an excerpt from Daryl Bauers commentary on big bluegill. Daryl is the Lakes and Reservoirs Program Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.



The best Nebraska waters for a really big bluegill on the fly-rod might be private ponds, maybe some private pits. Some of those have excellent water quality and habitat and do not have excessive fishing pressure. So, if you can gain access to some of those waters, that might be your best bet for your… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on March 24, 2008 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Thoughts on smallmouth predation to keep bluegill numbers in check.

I spoke with my Dad yesterday, and he's very much on board with the idea of acquiring smallmouth bass as a predator to keep bluegill numbers under control in his pond. Conventional wisdom says that smallmouth, with their smaller mouth gape, and smaller general size will have trouble keeping up with reproduction. I believe this to be true, but in my Dad's pond we will be able to run a seine at least once, and maybe twice a year to cull out slower growing bluegill and to thin their numbers. I've… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on March 23, 2008 at 9:00am — 16 Comments

<b>Sometimes all the planets align...</b>

In the early to mid 1990's an interesting phenomenon occurred in South Carolina. In the Santee Cooper Diversion canal, it was deemed necessary to spray an area for aquatic vegetation. Evidently the resulting bare substrate allowed for proliferation of certain Asiatic mussels. An existing population of redear sunfish suddenly had a virtually unlimited food resource for several years. The result was nothing short of spectacular as no fewer than three… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on March 22, 2008 at 1:30pm — No Comments

A quick overview of state record bluegill.

State Weight Length Location Angler Date

Alabama, 4 lbs 12 oz , Ketona Lakes by Birmingham T.S. Hudson 4/9/1950

Arizona, 3 lbs 15.68 oz, 15.75" ,Goldwater Lake Christopher Ray Mapes 5/2/2004

Arkansas, 3 lbs 4 oz , N/A Albert Sharp 8/7/1998

California, 3 lbs 8 oz, Lower Otay Reservoir Davis Buckhanan 7/10/1991

Colorado, 2 lbs 4 oz, 11.5" Hollenbeck Reservoir Nicholas Toczek 1988

Connecticut , 2 lbs 4 oz , private pond Daniel Gesner 1996

Delaware, 2 lbs 10 oz,… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on March 22, 2008 at 1:19pm — 7 Comments

What does it really take to grow a huge bluegill?

Let's look at this in recipe form...



The first important step in creation of a big bluegill is to start with a fish that has the right genetics. By genetics, I mean that the fish should come from a strain that's well adapted to your particular region and climate. Don't use coppernose bluegill in Minnesota; Dont import bluegill from Arkansas for your Oregon pond. Get healthy fish from a reputable source, and if you're stocking a pond that doesn't currently have bluegill (or any other… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on March 22, 2008 at 11:00am — No Comments

Re-tooling my Dad's pond

My Dad wants to have a trophy bluegill pond. And I WANT him to have a trophy bluegill pond. Last year the pond experienced some moderate water quality problems and I was forced to evacuate most of the fish. There are now trophy bluegill living in my pond that came from my Dad's pond. I also had to evacuate several master-angler sized yellow perch. My goals for management of his pond this year are as follows:



1. High quality aeration system--designed and purchased from Ted Lea at… Continue

Added by Bruce Condello on March 22, 2008 at 10:48am — 7 Comments

Bluegill Genetics

Bluegill genetics is just now beginning to get more attention from the scientific community. Worldwide emphasis on aquaculture, and the world's growing demand for healthy protein sources has prompted new research on bluegill genetics and the bluegill's potential in aquaculture. I'm in the ninth year of a program to select bluegill broodstock for fast growth and feed conversion. These efforts are being documented on the Pond Boss discussion forum known as "Ask the Boss". Feel free to browse the… Continue

Added by Bluegill on March 20, 2008 at 7:00pm — No Comments

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