Tennessee Lake Management and Tennessee Pond Management: Biggest Hand-paint Yet

We have been raising hand-painted bluegill commercially since October 2014 when we stocked our first brood stock that we had caught from the Apalachicola River in Florida into a 3/4-acre pond in middle Tennessee that had been dug expressly for them; we had our first hatch of fry the following May. Last October we weighed a male hand-paint that weighed 1.7 lbs.:

Last Wednesday we seined a few hand-paints. The second-biggest one we weighed tipped the scales at 1.65 lbs. This was the biggest one we weighed:

1.75 lbs. If I’m correct that all of the original brood stock have died by now, since they were all 7” or better when we stocked them and therefore likely a few years old already (the average lifespan of bluegill in the south is only six years), then this fish is just under four years old. So he still has two more years to grow.