Trophy Bluegill pond starting to shape up

Boone25/06

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Pond is starting to produce some nice bulls. 3 years from digging finally caught first bluegill over 11” . Trophy bluegills is the main goal.
 

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Boone25/06

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Do you have some sort of aeration fountain? How does it work?
Yes I have both types of aeration. I have the bottom diffusers that pull bottom water to top with air bubbles as well as a surface thrasher. They both are 3/4hp pumps. They eat 50 pounds of feed every week so aeration is essential to keeping quality water with that much nutrients going in. 2acres 16’ in the deepest and spring fed.
 

Hduke86

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Yes I have both types of aeration. I have the bottom diffusers that pull bottom water to top with air bubbles as well as a surface thrasher. They both are 3/4hp pumps. They eat 50 pounds of feed every week so aeration is essential to keeping quality water with that much nutrients going in. 2acres 16’ in the deepest and spring fed.
Those diffusers are the ticket for sure. Do you have a timed feeder and what kind of feed are you tossing in. I’ve been stocking fathead minnows like a madman a few years but supplement feeding sure would help the fatheads survive longer to spawn for me
 

Boone25/06

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Those diffusers are the ticket for sure. Do you have a timed feeder and what kind of feed are you tossing in. I’ve been stocking fathead minnows like a madman a few years but supplement feeding sure would help the fatheads survive longer to spawn for me
Yes I have a Sweeney auto feeder. It’s set to feed 45min after sunrise then at 12:00 and again at sunset. I feed mostly purina aquamax mvp or optimal fish food. 40%~43% protein. Main thing with bluegill is a quality fish meal based feed. No grain based as they do not convert it as a catfish would. The best thing I did in the beginning is stock Mississippi grass shrimp and fatheads the year before putting any fish in. Literally I stocked 1200 grass shrimp that would barely fill a solo cup up and within a year you could net 50 or more per scoop around pond bank. They gave the fish a huge jump start. It doesn’t hurt the bluegill are coppernose variety. They grow fast and thick but not as long. A 8” coppernose will weight what a 10” northern bluegill will basically.
 

Hduke86

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Yes I have a Sweeney auto feeder. It’s set to feed 45min after sunrise then at 12:00 and again at sunset. I feed mostly purina aquamax mvp or optimal fish food. 40%~43% protein. Main thing with bluegill is a quality fish meal based feed. No grain based as they do not convert it as a catfish would. The best thing I did in the beginning is stock Mississippi grass shrimp and fatheads the year before putting any fish in. Literally I stocked 1200 grass shrimp that would barely fill a solo cup up and within a year you could net 50 or more per scoop around pond bank. They gave the fish a huge jump start. It doesn’t hurt the bluegill are coppernose variety. They grow fast and thick but not as long. A 8” coppernose will weight what a 10” northern bluegill will basically.
I was wondering if they were of the coppernose variety. Never heard of Mississippi grass shrimp so I’ll have to look into that. I usually toss in about 100# fatheads during the whole year but I’m slowly but surely thinning out the catfish for sure.
 

Boone25/06

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I was wondering if they were of the coppernose variety. Never heard of Mississippi grass shrimp so I’ll have to look into that. I usually toss in about 100# fatheads during the whole year but I’m slowly but surely thinning out the catfish for sure.
Plenty of spawning habitat for the fatheads and throwing some feed in will help keep some pressure off them and help the numbers. If you do start feeding thinning the catfish will be a must. The fish meal based feeds are expensive and the catfish will vacuum it up. Feeding is the most effective way to grow bluegill as it only takes 2 pounds of pellets to gain 1 pound of fish. Where it’s close to 10 pounds of minnows to gain 1 pound of weight. The conversion rate is way better with dry pellets than eating minnows or other forage. Less energy expended to eat a pellet than chase a minnow. That said you can never have to much forage in the pond food chain is key.
 

Hduke86

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Plenty of spawning habitat for the fatheads and throwing some feed in will help keep some pressure off them and help the numbers. If you do start feeding thinning the catfish will be a must. The fish meal based feeds are expensive and the catfish will vacuum it up. Feeding is the most effective way to grow bluegill as it only takes 2 pounds of pellets to gain 1 pound of fish. Where it’s close to 10 pounds of minnows to gain 1 pound of weight. The conversion rate is way better with dry pellets than eating minnows or other forage. Less energy expended to eat a pellet than chase a minnow. That said you can never have to much forage in the pond food chain is key.
Yea those ol cats were in it thick not so long ago but been taking out a whole bunch over the last few years. When catfish hit buzzbaits and spinning baits you know they’re in there thick lol
 

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