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By Lochow Ranch

Fish feeders are a common sight at many private lakes and ponds. But if your goal is to grow trophy bass, is your feeding strategy tuned to maximize growth?

That was one of the points our president, John Jones, made in his recent interview with Bassmaster Radio.

Bassmaster Radio with Lochow Ranch Pond and Lake Management

Host Thom Abraham asked John about his advice for feeding options for pond and lake owners who are looking to maximize growth of gamefish and panfish.

“First off, of course, in the well-balanced pond or lake, you do not need to stock fish repetitively,” John said. 

“There’s an amount of growth that a body of water can sustain that’s based on water quality inputs, fertilizer, generally the health of the water, because that’s the base of the food chain,” he said. 

In the interview, Thom and John discussed a range of lake management and fishery management tips, stemming from our work with Bassmaster on the Lake Y Project. They explored a topic that many people ask about, supplemental feeding and other steps to spur fish growth.

Bassmaster project with Lochow Ranch12

John explained that supplemental feeding is sometimes accompanied by pond or lake fertilization, which can nourish the whole lake food chain. “If you want to supplement what that natural process will grow – and a lot of times in a private lake, that’s somewhere between 40 and 300 pounds of total fish per acre – you can move to fertilization, which can raise the total poundage of fish 500 or maybe even 1,000 pounds per acre. But really, probably 500 would be a max with a really heavy fertilization program.” 

He continued, “But a safer way to do that is to use a pelleted fish food. Pelleted fish food is how commercial farms grow fish. It’s the cheapest way to grow fish safely.

“And generally speaking, depending on the quality of the feed, if you use a good quality feed you’re going to grow about a pound of bait fish for every 2 pounds of feed.”

Fish feeders pond lake 080 scaled

John said a lot of people feed their fish but use low-quality feed that is less expensive. It’s a case of you get what you pay for, and he recommended buying the best quality feed you can afford. 

“And just know that if you buy the highest quality feed, for every 50-pound bag of fish food you put in, you grew 25 pounds of bait. You can skip that step and move directly to stocking bait. But buying bait, you’re cheating time and it costs a lot more money.”

John concluded, “It roughly takes about 10 pounds of bait to grow 1 pound of bass. So you could see, it could add up pretty quickly. I recommend people to stick with a good pelleted feeding program if they want to supplement the natural processes.”

feedhands

Along with supplying fish feeders and feed, Lochow Ranch can provide feeding guidance to maximize the productivity of your fishery. 

We teamed with Bassmaster to take an anonymous 56-acre lake in Alabama and turn it into a thriving bass fishery.

Bassmaster pond management 01

Bassmaster pond management 01

Check out the latest article on the Lake Y project from Bassmaster Magazine editor James Hall and don’t miss the latest video in the series.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see the progress in the Lake Y project in coming months.

Why Choose Lochow Ranch for Pond & Lake Management

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, Lochow Ranch Pond & Lake Management proudly puts more than two decades of experience to work for you. Our team includes biologists, technicians and other professionals with deep expertise in pond and lake management services.

Check us out if you are considering building a lake, looking for pond stocking services, to buy fish for a pond, or getting professional pond management and maintenance or fishery management. Our services include lake design, pond construction, pond renovation, pond water testing, electrofishing, pond stocking, control of pond weeds, and pond liming and fertilizing.

Let us help you build your dream pond that will delight your family and friends for generations to come.

Click here to get in touch to get started today.

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