As a recent retiree with more free time on my hands than I have had at any point in my adult life I needed to find things to do. For me, the answer on finding a solution to my quandary was quite simple. I will look to find ways to help my busy working family’s lives easier and hopefully more entertaining.
The family owns a 26-acre lake that is very mature and has never been cultivated for fishing. There is an established population of bass and bluegill, but the fishing is kind of slow. I have 5 grandchildren between the ages of 3 and 9 years old. They have several cousins as well as many friends. They need grandpa to step up to the plate and get the fish growing in the lake! Hopefully in a reasonable amount of time our lake can start producing bluegill like the ones in the next video.
It is early Spring in our area and I needed to get to work on my project. My first thought was these fish need fed! So, I headed down to the local Rural King and to Tractor Supply to purchase some fish food. Fatten these babies up. Man, I hope these fish like commercial fish food and grow like the bluegill in the video below.
I purchased two commercial bags of fish food manufactured by Sportsman’s Choice. The first bag I purchased was Sportsman’s Choice Pond & Catfish Food. This product is a floating fish food designed for larger fish. Sportsman’s Choice Pond & Catfish Food comes in a 40 lbs. bad and retails for about $16 after sales tax give or take a dollar or so.
Fish generally do not eat much until water temperature reaches 60 degrees. The temperature in our lake must be between 45 and 55 degrees so I honestly do not see a lot of activity yet while feeding the fish. Many will think I am just wasting fish food but the purpose in feeding the fish is to start a training process. It takes time and effort to get the fish to eat commercial fish food. Man, I hope I can grow some big bluegill for the grandchildren like the ones below.
As I said earlier the fishing is slow on the lake and it might take a couple of years to improve this situation. My next step was to search out fish hatcheries in my area, so I visited Clear Creek Fisheries. I needed to purchase some fingerlings and minnows.
For a new lake, a person would want to stock 500-1000 bluegills, 100 bass, 100 channel catfish, and about 12-20 pounds of minnows per acre. From what I can tell our lake has about 50 to 75 percent of these numbers of fish however I am not certain this is true. So, I have started slowly on restocking for numerous reasons. The main reason is I tend to overdo a lot of things in life and want to start out conservatively.
While at Clear Creek Fisheries I purchased 200 bluegill, 200 channel catfish, 100 hybrid bluegill, and 6 pounds of fathead minnows. I hope to purchase modest number of fish monthly this year until October. My restocking process might take a couple of years.