Do you love big bluegill?
so i am thinking about starting to feed a spot i fish on a regular basis, i have heard fish chow, dog food even corn. any one have any thoughts or knowledge on feeding fish in a creek fed pond. its mostly blue gill green sun fish and cat fish. also this years seems to be tons of hybrids. a few small mouth bass. whats the best thing to put out for the money? the pond has enough room for them to get larger and plenty of fish but they all seem very average to small. so i thought maybe giving a little extra food may help.
thanks for all the input guys, after thinking it over i have come to realize im not really in a position to manage a pond and do it correctly right now. in the future it sounds like something that would be awesome. i hope i can have my own little pond in the future to set up and grow. i can already tell part of the problem is over population of blue gill and now hybrids. in three years of trying that spot at least monthly some times a few times a week ive only pulled out one bass and seen a handful of others.the catfish seem to be second in command behind the gill/sunfish. ive got a couple really nice green sunfish out of it, maybe the green sunfish are eating up the bass.
Mark, if I had not been willing to put time and money into other people's ponds, I never would have caught a bluegill over a pound. As it is, I've caught hundreds, and the largest was a recent two-pounder. If you're willing to stick with it over three or four years, you can create a better fishing hole than you'll ever encounter in public water (or most private water). And even on my worst days on ponds that I've been managing for two or more years, I still catch more and larger bluegill than all but a handful of trips I ever had on public water.
As Jason noted, feeding regularly is the key to a good response from the fish. If you had any fish at all coming up to the food the first time you threw some out, that's a great response; most likely within a week of feeding them daily they would be going at the food ravenously if you feed a good high-protein food such as Aquamax or Melick.
One key if you are wanting to grow big bluegill in the pond you mentioned - before you do anything else, you should try to stock forty or fifty largemouth at least 6" long. If there are no bass in the pond presently, the bluegill will not grow well even with regular feeding because they're almost certainly overpopulated, and need their numbers thinned so there's more food, both natural and pellets, for each fish.
If you want to have a way to positively, drastically impact the quality of your fishing rather than just settling for what you get, managing a private pond, even if it belongs to someone else as in this case, is by far the best thing you can do short of having your own pond. I wrote an article on this subject on my blog - here's the link if it helps:
There is a difference between feeding to satiation, and supplemental feeding. Both require patience and persistence on your part however. You need to evaluate your goals, and your willingness to commit (both time and money), before deciding which direction to go. Feeding does pay dividends, but there's more to it than tossing in a handful now and then.
Have you been over to the PondBoss forum? Lots of friendly folks, and great advice. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php
i may just use the rest of the bag as chum when im about to fish, feeding them may be more pain that its worth
dick you raised a good point, i want them to get bigger but not slow do the natural feeding and biting. guess its like a dog feed it every day and after a while dog has no idea where to get food but from the bowl. i tossed about a pound of purina fish chow in today just to see how it worked. only a few fish were takers. the turtles seemed to love it. im not feeding those rats they get half my bait as it is. its a private pond and the owners a friend so i can do whatever as long as the water is still present for cows he dont mind. is it possible to increase the foods they already eat? plants other fish etc?
Hey Sgt. Hulka, feeding them dog chow might make the fish bark. Then you will have what is called barking bluegills!
boom chaka laka laka, boom chaka laka laka
If you want to experiment, I would try Game Fish Chow by Purina.......it contains a few different sized pellets, for fish of varying sizes. If you decide to get really serious, you can concentrate on a different feed, one more closely tailored to your goals.
I guess to first step is is it private or public. Then you have to see if its legal on public waters and if it's private have to get permission from the land owner. I'll tell you and there are more educated people on this subject than me feeding will increase there growth if its done routinely. It has its faults the fish are larger but harder to catch because they are looking forward to feed. I still have a hard time in my pond catching any big gills using artificial. I can catch small to mid sized with live bait but for some reason the larger fish are reluctant to bite. Will catch a larger gill on occasion. Catfish if you catch 1 or 2 they have a way of warning other to get out of dodge and they disappear. So feeding will congregate them make them larger which is a plus but don't mean your going to catch a large # of large fish. This is my experience here anyway but I'm sure there will be some more input on this subject. Plus the price of good fish food isn't cheep when you check into it you will see what I'm talking about. So you may change your mind about feeding fish in someone elses pond or public lake It could be a money pit with not much reward.
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