Some people believe that in order to grow a big fish, all you have to do is feed it a lot. But it is somewhat more comlex than that. Knowledge of "Optimal Foraging Theory" is important when attempting to grow any gigantic fish.
OFT, or optimal foraging theory. Simply stated, E is the amount of energy (calories) from a prey item. h is the handling time which includes capture, killing, eating and digesting. h starts once the prey has been spotted. E/h is therefore the profitability of the prey item. MacArthur and Pianka are credited with the creating the original construct in 1966. When using pelleted feed to grow fish you essentially lowering “h” to a point that the profitability to the organism, in this case a bluegill, is huge.
In simpler terms--provide food for your fish, but don't make them work too hard for it. This is why pelleted feeds can be so valuable in growing big bluegill. Pellets aren't known for running away, so bluegill energy expenditure is nominal.
Now if you like stuff like this, you will see that an article coming up in the next issue of Pond Boss magazine will greatly expound on this subject. Don't miss it 'cause it's gonna be good!