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The Mad Duck

Kayak Fishing

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Last weekend, my buddy Keith and I went to a lake that has been less than productive for us over the past few years. This lake is at a state fish hatchery and is currently involved in a program to grow large panfish. The lake is 20+/- acres and has 9 feeders on it that is feeding hourly and its feeding some hi protein fish food in an attempt to raise some monster fish.

We put the kayaks in the water and paddled towards the first feeder. I paddled around the feeder and marked zero fish. The feeder came on and we sat and watched. Nothing came up to eat the food, and I mean, not a swirl. My buddy had worked for the state at this hatchery and was able to get the sequence of when the feeders went off. We had a few minutes before the next feeder, down the line., went off. I pulled over to the edge of some lily pads and caught a nice Shellcracker on my first cast. No photo of the Shellcracker. As I removed the hook, he flopped over the side.I thought, humm, thats promising though. We fished another 100 yards down the shore to the next feeder. It went off and NOTHING. I was kind of disappointed because I had tied up a few cheater "fish pellet" flies to toss at the feeders hoping that the Bream has gotten really big. We paddled back to the shore and resumed fishing. I caught 2 small Bluegills, then on two consecutive casts, caught two small Pickerel. We paddled to the next feeder, and again...nothing.

I managed a decent Bluegill and a Bass before having to get back to the house. It was a slow day, but, the funny thing was, thats the best day we have EVER had at that lake. I dont know why the fish arent eating around the feeders or anywhere else for that matter.We paddled with the wind all the way down the lake and we saw pellets floating but never saw anything come up to eat anything.

I expect we wont be back to that lake for a good long while

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Nice fish.   Is the water tannic?  The coloration on those fish is really dark compared to the bass and bluegills we catch in the lakes around here.

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Yea, the water is tannin stained. It looks a dark coffee color, but is really clear. This lake is mid/southern part of the state. I fish a lot in the NE part of NC and all of the creeks down there are like that. The Bass are really dark in color and the Bream are dark with very vibrant colors on the belly and nose

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Someone needs to tell the authorities that the pellets are soured or something.  If the fish aren't eating them, they're just adding to the nutrient load.  That might not be a bad thing, but it might be.

Still, doesn't sound like a bad day.  Just fish normally,  😒 rather than trying to cheat at the feeders.  😄

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9 hours ago, mikechell said:

Someone needs to tell the authorities that the pellets are soured or something.  If the fish aren't eating them, they're just adding to the nutrient load.  That might not be a bad thing, but it might be.

Still, doesn't sound like a bad day.  Just fish normally,  😒 rather than trying to cheat at the feeders.  😄

Mike,

We weren't looking to load the boat up with Bream. We wanted to catch a few to see if the fish were actually growing due to this feeding program. My buddy is a fish biologist that used to work this hatchery. They implemented this program the year he retired and he was involved in it. The current manager said he really didn't know about the growth of the fish because the budget to electrofish the lake and survey growth, was cut back last couple of years, and the lake never got surveyed. The cheater flies were just a way to improve our chances of catching a fish to help survey the lake. The only thing we could figure is the fish were eating the pellets once they sunk,but, the flipside to that is, the pellets are water soluble and break down as they sink and may be mush before getting to the bottom. Every lake I have seen with feeders on it, the fish know when these feeders go off and there is a feeding frenzy as soon as they go off.  That's just not happening here. Until they electrofish the lake and survey it, who knows how the fish are growing. There have been a few fishermen that have caught nice Bream,but not enough to indicate that the feeding program is really working,as opposed to just catching a nice Bream occasionally. The Bream in my little sneak away pond are larger,on average, than what we see in that lake, and, they aren't on a feeding program.

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I was being facetious.  I've only hit one lake (Ivanhoe in Orlando) that had feeders, and the fish didn't respond to them, either.  Like you, I caught some nice fish, but nothing around the feeders.

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1 minute ago, mikechell said:

I was being facetious.  I've only hit one lake (Ivanhoe in Orlando) that had feeders, and the fish didn't respond to them, either.  Like you, I caught some nice fish, but nothing around the feeders.

You were being FISH-etious. 😁😊

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15 minutes ago, mikechell said:

🙄  I think that's what they call a "Dad joke". 

And I'm not even a Dad. Just think how good I would be at it if I was a Dad.

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