RAISING TROPHY BLUEGILL
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There are two types of bluegill that
have good potential to be trophy fish. Those are the Hybrid Bluegill or the
Coppernose Bluegill. Let set the record straight, I am very prejudiced.
I don’t like the Hybrid Bluegill. I raise the Coppernose because it’s
a better fish for pond or lake stocking. The Hybrid has to be and should
be fed like hogs. If you stop the feeding, they will not grow. Also the Hybrid
will reproduce back to a trash fish called the Green Sunfish. Another disadvantage
to stocking the Hybrid is that when you fish out the Hybrid you will have
to kill out the pond and start all over again. You will have to restock with
more Hybrid and start that hog feeding program again to get to the size that
is decent to catch. I don’t know about you but that seems like a loss of
valuable fishing time and a lot of work to me! In five years of raising
Hybrid, you only have two years of fishing time with Hybrid. I don’t like
the idea of building a pond and only fishing the pond two years out of every
five years that’s a lot of feed, time, and money lost to me. Dr. Marty
Brunson has conducted extensive research concerning the Hybrid Bluegill from
Mississippi State University, an expert in the field. He is the author of
a paper on the Hybrid Bluegill titled “Managing Hybrid Sunfish in
Mississippi Farm Ponds”. I ask you to read his article and make your
own mind up on which Bluegill you want to stock in your pond. This is only
fair to both sides that you look at all the facts first--then decide before
investing your money and time.
So the first question on the road to
raising trophy bluegill—which type of bluegill?
Now let’s change the title of this page—Raising
Stock at a rate of 1000 coppernose to one
surface acre of your pond in the winter or when the water temp is below 60
degrees. Add 175 Florida Largemouth Bass the following late May or early June.
This time frame will give your bream a chance to reproduce. Notice the deviation
from the stocking rate from the usual recommendation of maintaining a one
to ten ratio of bluegill to bass? This is very important because these extra
bass will consume more reproduction and you will have fewer bream in the
pond. The less bream you have in the pond, the more feed you have for those
remaining bream so guess what, more feed equals bigger fish. You should start
a good feeding program of small pellet floating fingerling catfish feed.
You should not feed more than 20 pounds per dayor as munch as they will commuse
in 15 to 30 min.. This feeding program will accelerate the growth rate for
the remaining bream. True your bass will not grow as large because they are
only consuming the reproduction of the bream. With that ratio of bream to
bass you will have enough survival to replenish what you fish out. So you
will not be feeding all the reproduction. You will only be feeding the ones
that you will be catching. This will eliminate the need to restock every
three years. You can fish some of your bass out but you need your bass in
the pond to keep the bream reproduction down thus increasing the food for
the possibility of raising trophy bluegill. Follow the standard fertilizing
program as I have previously described on my “Fertilizing” web page. There
are only two problems that can be created by adding this extra number of
bass. One is that you overfish your bream and two is that you underfish
your bream. Both of these problems are easy to correct. Problem #1, fish
out more bass. This will give you more bream reproduction & survival
so you will have more fish to replenish the ones you take out. Problem #2,
reduce the amount you are feeding the bream. This maintains their weight
until you have more time to fish more bream out.
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Developed By: Linda & Dan Suttle
Last Update: 08-04-2001