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5 Best Tricks for High Protein Fish Feed in Ponds
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5 Best Tricks for High Protein Fish Feed in Ponds

Introduction: Converting to Performance Ponds

Using high protein fish feed to convert backyard and farm ponds into high-performance sportfish ponds is increasing in popularity across the United States, especially here in Oklahoma where quality feed is now available. Today’s pond owners are looking to maximize both quantity and quality of sportfish so they can consistently fight aggressive hard hitting fish and gain the ability to harvest home-grown large fillets that don’t taste like mud.

Of the many tools available to help grow both large and great tasting fish, quality feed is by far the most important. This article provides basic information on how to elevate the performance of a pond using high protein fish feed as a means of growing more large fish that will bite a hook. But feeding high protein feed effectively requires some tricks to maintain balance in your pond and an enjoyable fishing experience. 

What Kind of Food Should I Feed My Fish?

There are many different types of pond fish feeds in the market today, but it is important to know that not all types are suitable for all species, especially predatory sportfish. If you have fish like hybrid striped bass or largemouth bass, then you should feed a high protein feed that has been formulated to help them grow. We use the best stuff available, Cargill’s Triton-a high protein formula that identifies specific species including hybrid striped bass and largemouth bass right on the package. 

Some may be tempted to restock minnows or panfish to increase feed for predators. These forage species are important in a newly stocked pond, but recurring stocking year after year is arcane method that doesn’t help to maximize growth of the sportfish. Moreover a routine restocking of forage fish can contribute to overpopulation problems and depending on the source, restocking may even introduce unwanted disease or parasites to a stable pond. 

The best solution to grow great sportfish is to control the introduction of high protein feed and at specific peek-feeding times that maximize growth. Pro Tips: 

  1. Apply feed when the sun isn’t directly shining on the water 
  2. Feed on a set schedule – every day, morning and evening  
  3. Don’t feed when the weather is cold 
  4. Aim for a 5-10 minute feeding period 
  5. Remember, high protein feed is a supplement 

Most predatory fish are light-adverse; meaning they do not like to eat in direct sunlight. So plan to feed when they are most comfortable eating and you will see better results.

Not only do fish grow more efficiently on a regular cycle, but scheduled smaller quantities provide for a healthier pond-by avoiding large nutrient spikes that contribute to oxygen depletion and algae blooms.

Hybrid Striped Bass and Largemouth Bass grow best in warm water.  Look to maximize growth in warmer water temps (70s and 80s) and don’t bother feeding when water temps are below 50.

Some feed types encourage 20 minutes of continuous feeding. Be conservative, keep the fish hungry to encourage foraging between feedings. Some pond owners prefer to feed as much as possible to grow fish, but remember the ‘The Three F’s’ – ‘Fat Fish don’t Fight’.

In a pond, it’s important to balance the application of high protein feed with natural feeding. Provide only enough feed keep predators growing and vibrant so they will continue to hit a lure and to keep their fillets are firm.

What Is an Ideal Protein Content in Pond Fish Food?

Often, competition for feed is the determining factor in sportfish growth. The higher quality the high protein fish feed, the closer the protein content is to between 43 to 45%, the easier it is to grow monster sportfish in a pond. But there are some general guidelines that can help you decide if your locally available feed will work well for your fish.

Read the labels. Most predatory fish need a quality feed with a minimum protein content of at least 40%. If you feed generic feeds, even those in the 30-36% range, the poorer quality feed won’t help them grow to their potential.  Remember, even bluegill are predators that thrive on higher protein fish feed as well. pond fish food near me

Feed by Hand or With a Feeder?

Feeding sport fish is a great way to provide the nutrients your sportfish need and grow large. But there are two ways to feed, by hand or with a feeder. So, which is better? …It really depends on how often you can attend to your pond and how you will use it. 

We generally recommend hand feeding if a set feed schedule is realistic because hand feeding sportfish offers a great way to enhance the fishing experience. If you plan to entertain guests by fishing consider how the sounds carry under water. You can help by using feeding to associate the sound of voices with food. Believe it or not, this can help to condition your fish if you will talk while you feed.

Many performance pond owners can probably relate to a scenario where when you invite guests over to fish, no one catches a thing.  Many blame feed-dependence, but its more likely your voices are stressing the larger fish that are used to living in silence.

To that point, there is nothing like watching a pond full of giant hybrid striped bass feeding-they are so powerful, there is little doubt everyone who owns them wants to show off their power. So, if you’re like us and you like to impress guests with your monster sportfish, try making some regular noise when you feed.

But what about feeders? Feeders are great for those who can’t maintain a steady feeding schedule.  We use them in ponds that are too far away to manage regularly.  So, if you don’t live near your pond or don’t have the ability to feed on a schedule, an automatic feeder is the great option. Remember, set the feeder to release morning and evening when the sun is not shining direct on the surface of the water.  …And be sure to keep the feeder full so fish are fed on a frequent schedule. 

Most important about feeders, be sure to monitor your pond water to ensure you don’t accidently apply too much feed. Also, its worth mentioning that feeders can be expensive and there are cheaper models available that work just as well, be sure to shop around before picking a feeder.

So, feeders or hand feeding? Pond feeders are more convenient for most people, but they can be expensive and they won’t help control over fish behavior. Hand feeding is a great option for those who have time to feed on a set schedule and to condition their fish to the presence of people.

Conclusion: Use High Protein Fish Feed in Your Pond to Grow Giant Sportfish

This article provides the basics to help you get started using high protein fish feed to grow monster sportfish even in the smallest of ponds. But be sure to follow the tips discussed in this article to minimize waste and maximize growth. And when you begin looking for your new feed options, if you don’t find quality feed (40% or higher protein content) at your local feed store feel free to call Newalla Fish Company for a bulk order of Triton with 45% protein.  We will ship direct anywhere in the Continental US by freight for any order above 10 bags. pond fish food near me



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