Common Bluegill
SUTTLE FISH FARM
16 SHORTY SMITH ROAD
LAUREL, MS 39443
601-425-4480
sales@suttlefish.com
Coppernose Bluegill Caught At Suttle Fish Farm

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 Trophy Coppernose!
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
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