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​How to Design a Fish Feeding Program

By Bob Lusk, the Pond Boss

Not long ago, feeding fish in your pond or lake was simple. Set up your fish feeder, head to the local feed store, buy whatever fish food they had, fill the feeder, set the timer and let it do what it does.

Today’s world of pond management and fish growth doesn’t quite work that way. Now, you can design a feeding program for your fish. That fish feeding program depends heavily on a handful of concepts, starting with your goals…and your timeline for results.

Want to feed your baitfish to enhance your food chain for largemouth bass? You can do that. Or are you more interested in growing giant bluegill? You can. Are you wanting to grow channel catfish for a summer fish fry? Ditto. Maybe you want to step into the cutting-edge realm of feed-trained largemouth bass so you can increase the numbers of well-fed trophy bass. Or, maybe you’ve heard about those silvery freight-train fish, hybrid striped bass that grow oh-so-fast.

You choose the mission. Texas Hunter has the fish feeders; Purina Mills has created products to guarantee results. Go ahead, be picky. It’s okay.

Here’s the skinny on how to design a fish feeding program. Choose the right fish feeds…that’s job one. The “right” feed is based on your goals. If you have a weekend place and there’s a fish feeder on the dock and your main goal is to attract some fish and growth rates aren’t that important to you, choose one of the grain-based feeds. If you are feeding catfish, they don’t need those high-powered, high protein feeds. They’ll do quite well with the grain-based feeds.

But, if you want to put some weight on bluegill or feed-trained bass, don’t sell them short on their food. They are meat-eaters, athletes of the underwater world. Give them a good, fish meal-based feed. The bottom line. In today’s world, if you have specific goals and fish food plays a role, you have a variety of choices to help you get the results you expect.

If you want to feed catfish or just have a little fun with bluegills around the dock, fill your Texas Hunter Fish Feeder with Purina’s AquaMax Pond Products. These grain-based feeds are specially designed to supplement what nature offers. Channel catfish grow quite well with these products. Bluegill can grow as large as a pound.

If you prefer to feed more carnivorous fish, such as feed-trained largemouth bass or hybrid stripers…or you want to grow your bluegill to monster sizes quickly, use Purina’s AquaMax Sport Fish products. These high quality, fish-meal based feeds have been designed specifically to meet the nutritional requirements of predator fish.

Part of your feeding program is choosing pellet size, too. If you want to target small fish to grow to bigger sizes faster, choose smaller pellets. If you’ve decided to buy adult fish and continue their growth rates from the hatchery, buy bigger nuggets.

Second thing is get a reliable, automatic pond fish feeder. The secret to Texas Hunter’s patented directional fish feeders is in the design and engineering. Texas Hunter Fish Feeders are available in three models or capacities: 70 lbs., 175 lbs. or 250 lbs. of fish feed. Texas Hunter Products has built a reputation in the automatic feeder industry for delivering tough, long-lasting products for over 60 years.

For your pond, feeding the small fish makes sense because they are your up and coming stars, the freshman team, if you will. Feeding the medium size critters sets the table for those fish to be the junior varsity, on their way to the big time. So, in today’s world of fisheries management, you have a number of choices. Feed for fun, feed to grow big fish or design a program to mix it up and feed different sizes of different species of fish to speed up Nature’s process and to grow fish well beyond those sizes you might ordinarily see in a normal pond.

As a general rule, all feed should be consumed by the fish within 5 to 10 minutes of each feed event. If you observe feed floating on the water after this time you should reduce the number of seconds of the feeding. If the fish are consuming all of the feed in just a few minutes, slowly increase the amount of fish feed dispensed for that feed event.

If you don’t already have a Texas Hunter Fish Feeder on your pond or lake, they are available in three capacities with shoreline or dock mounting options. Solar chargers are available to keep the battery fully charged year-round. Watch the videos to get the details or call 800.969.3337 for a full color catalog by mail.

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