papaperch said:There was a guy in middle Ohio back in the 70's that grew enormous bluegill. They were not as large as these though. sports Afield did an article on him and a year or so later I looked him up. To say he was out in the middle of nowhere is an understatement ( this was the days before GPS ). Only reason I found his farm is I happened to stop at village VFD. They knew his location because their fried fish fund raisers purchased off this guy.
Upon finding his converted dairy farm into fish farm I was immediately impressed. His looooooong driveway went right past the ponds. They were constructed like the rice paddies in the Orient. Three ponds with top one emptying into middle and then middle into the third. Meeting him at the barn ( he had no idea I was coming )
but he treated me like a long lost brother. Told him about article and I was doing research into constructing my own pond.
He even took me out fishing in his pond to fill and order. Even though the gills were huge it was not fun. He had a hand made block that measured the fish under 10-1/2 in back in it went. Over that mark was kept in burlap bag. Reason no fun is heavy duty cane poles were the harvest tool. Lure was some homemade thing made by folding thin aluminum into shape of baby bluegill. We fished around what he called his feeders which was grated mounted on 4 poles. When he cleaned his fish he would put the entrails on top of feeders. Maggots are just loaded with the kind of protein that fish need to grow.
When we returned to his office he showed me the amount of research he had done before he even started.Some of his secrets was never to let ponds fully freeze. He supplemented with purchased feed during colder months. and of course the maggots. He showed me how he made more than when dairy farming and it was a lot less work. He and his wife cleaned and wrapped all the fish in weighed packages.
The reason for the 10 1/2 " limit ( I knew you were dying to know ) according to his records once his gills reached that length it started slowing down its growth rate.
So that was its most efficient time for harvest. He was in his late 60 or early 70's back then. I don't know if I ever met a true genius. But this guy would be who would be the primary candidate. He loved what he was doing and it showed.