Learn how to optimize your fish feeding to produce trophy-winning fish!
In past years, feeding fish was a past-time. Folks were entertained by the novelty of finny critters chasing floating food pellets on the surface. They had not been informed about the benefits. What a difference a few years and fisheries science has made for today’s off-the chart results for–feeding fish.
High protein formulas grow bluegill so big you can’t grip them with your hand. You must lip them like a bass. Fish food provides a supplemental diet that now let’s you stock feed-trained largemouth bass in pond’s smaller than one-acre. Before fish food, bass relied on natural forage. Small ponds just couldn’t produce necessary volumes of baitfish to meet nutritional requirements for normal growth. Bass would stunt. Not any more. Ever dream you could experience the drag squealing tug of a hybrid striper in your pond? Watch the video at the close of this newsletter. We can fulfill that dream!
Feeding fish not only accelerates fish growth and family fun, it greatly improves fish health. Bigger, healthier bluegill produce more eggs. Greater reproduction builds the food chain for sportfish like bass. Remember, a largemouth bass MUST consume approximately 10-pounds of baitfish to grow one, single pound. If your goal is growing trophy bass, it takes hundreds of pounds of bluegill.
In a recent electrofishing survey, we sampled native bass and feed-trained bass from a three-acre pond. When conducting such surveys, we weigh and measure each fish. Feed-trained bass averaged one, plus pound more than their cousins of the same length. Need more proof to the benefits of feeding?
Fish food products come in multiple options to meet management goals. There’s Catchfish 32 for catfish lovers. Purina AquaMax Sportfish 500 for bluegill. Sportfish 600 for mature bluegill and feed-trained bass. You can mix them, or get the new Purina MVP brand containing 500, 600, and a small sinking pellet to serve small fish crowded out by aggressive competition for floating pellets. For serious, bass managers, there’s AquaMax Largemouth. About six to eight largemouth protein nuggets is comparable to nutrition in a one-pound rainbow trout.
Fish will tell you how much to feed. The amount of food you dispense is contingent on the fish population. Only offer as much as they can consume in 10 to 15-minutes. If your goal is growing saucer-size bluegill feed at 8 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. until water temps warm around June 1. Cut back to morning and evening times during hot, summer months. About October 1, resume three offerings until early December. At spring start-up, set the feeding timer at three seconds. Gradually increase to five-seconds as water warms and fish become more active. The primary rule, ensure there are no leftover food pellets on the surface after fish get full and stop eating. If you see uneaten pellets, reduce the time slightly until you find the perfect balance.
Don’t miss another day of valuable benefits from a feeding program. Feeding season only lasts from mid-March through fall. When water temperatures cool in December, fish appetites decline. What’s your preference, big bluegill, bass, or hybrid striper?