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Should I Feed Fish During Winter Months?  

Are you wondering when to stop feeding fish this fall?  The most accurate source for answering that question is—the fish.

when to stop feeding fish this fall

Most folks stop feeding in early December. If your goal is growing trophy bluegill, set the timer to feed 1-second at 3 p.m. until March. Resume normal feeding around March 15.

Fish are cold-blooded.  As water temperatures drop, body temperatures and metabolism respond to climate cycles.  During summer months, they should consume a five-second-feeder spin in 10 minutes.  By early November, that same amount may take 15 or 20 minutes.  Darting, swirling flashes soon appear in slow motion.  Near Thanksgiving, you may notice leftover pellets on the surface when fish stop eating.  That’s your sign!  They may randomly nibble a few bites after successive, warm days, but it will be short-lived.  Let the feeder empty by early December and place leftover food in a sealed container so rodents don’t scavenge it over winter.  Clear programmed feeding times on the timer to prevent 3-months wear and tear on the spinner while the feeder is empty. Keep the solar charger connected to batteries so they remain charged during the winter.  If your goal is growing big bluegill, from December 1 to March 15, program the feeder to spin 1-second at 3 p.m. On warm days, they will respond.  Although limited, you’ll get an extended growing period.  Resume normal feeding around March 15.

Take this time to evaluate feeder operation.

  • Are motors spinning efficiently?
  • Should inside seams and corners of the feeder cabinet be siliconed to prevent rain leaks from damaging feed and clogging distribution tubes?
  • Are shoreline feeders at risk of flooding?  Mount them on a small deck that also provides a good fishing platform.
  • Should the feeder be fenced to prevent livestock or wild pig damage?
  • Is the solar charger maintaining a strong battery?
  • Are you providing proper nutrition?  We recommend one feeder per 3-surface acres.

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