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smallfry419

Bass Swimming Belly-Up

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Hey everyone, I'm new here. even though i been reading topics for almost a year on this forum. Most of my questions have been answered by searching the foums.

however i went fishing earlier today at a local pond. the first thing i noticed was what looked like a grass carp swimming on the surface. I'm a curious person an never actually seen one up close so i decided to throw a lure at it an see if i could catch it. i figured id spook it but the first 3 casts i came close to the fish and 2 of the cast my lure actually touched it. well neither of the casts spooked the fish so i tied a hedon spook on so it gave me 3 treble hooks so i could snag the fish (not humane but i was very curious). anyways the first cast with the spook i actually snagged the fish, it didnt fight at all, i just reeled it in. well i got it on the bank and it suprised me that it was a 4 lb largemouth bass, the bass was actually swimming belly up in a 5 diameter circle, so i unhooked it and threw him back. well when i released him he went belly up again, this time not moving his gills or anything. i felt bad and grabbed him again inspecting him even further, what i found was a 9 inch perch in his throat, half digested. i went ahead pulled the fish out and tried releasing him again. he still looked dead, so i threw him on the stringer hoping maybe the fish gods would give him some life but nothing. i went ahead took him home to fillet him so at least he wasnt just thrown back to the pond to decay. so my question is what would have caused him being belly up swimming in circles? my lures hitting the water within inches of him didnt even spook him. i would like to think i witnessed a bass dying of old age and just enjoyed a big meal before he knew his time was up...

also only one hook hooked him in the stomach and the barb wasnt even through his stomach so i dont think i actaully pierced his scales so much to actaully harm him. nothing else seemed to be out of the ordinary.

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Perhaps his swim-bladder was full of air, and when someone caught him from deeper water, they didn't fizz him, and his air kept him belly up.

Very strange.

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Not strange at all. The bass was choking on the perch: too big to swallow, fins stuck in the throat/ mouth so

the perch could not be expelled. Last winter a buddy and I saved ~5 lb smallmouth in this exact situation. To

remove the bluegill took the two of us, knives and pliers. Basically we had to cut the breem to pieces in order

to remove it from the bass. Surprisingly, the smallmouth survived!

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i would say it has something to do with the perch stuck in his throat. it could be just age, illness, like bassclary said swim bladder. just to many possibilites. at least u know what the bigger ones are eating now! lol

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i doubt a typical pond is deep enough for it to be the swim bladder. i most definately think the bass was choking on the perch. it may have been too late for you to save it, sometimes thats just how it is.

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when you cleaned it was it male or female. 4lbs is around max for a male so it could have been old/sick and simply ate something that required so much energy it finished him off.

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thank you very much guys. i was thinking about the swim bladder but i got to thinking about it i dont think was a problem because this pond is maybe 14ft deep and to be honest i live about hour and half north from kansas city in a hick town and no one even here release the bass. when i mention i catch and release i actually get mocked for it.

when you cleaned it was it male or female. 4lbs is around max for a male so it could have been old/sick and simply ate something that required so much energy it finished him off.

thats a good point. it was a male

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LMB roll over from being over stressed, it's part of the dieing process. Look at the bass; it's mass is above the lateral line, solid meat, the body cavity is hollow with internal organs. When the bass is unable to maintain equlibrium, they go belly up, not from over inflated air bladder, unless forced to the surface from water over 40 deep and that is uncommon during the warm water period due to thermoclines.

Your bass was dieing from trying to eat a fish it couldn't swallow or reject....nothing else.

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I don't now about you guys but I would never eat a dying fish. You are eating a fish that can be infected with some toxins or some kind of disease that could put your health at risk. In the lake the dead fish also serves a purpose and feeds other kinds of wildlife.

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WRB is 100% correct on this one - How did you determine if it was male or female? Even a trained biologist can't tell just by looking at it.

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Small fry do not let them get to you, catch and release is nothing to be mocked. Keep it up.

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If the fish looked healthy and was just swimming on it's back I don't see any reason why you couldn't eat it. Sounds to me like you did the right thing in trying to save it but it was probably just to the point of no return by the time you found it. I wouldn't personally have a problem with keeping it if I ate bass. I found a walleye with a large bullhead stuck in it's throat swimming the surface once and kept it when it didn't swim away after I removed the bullhead and it tasted fine.

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when guys make fun of me for catch and release i ask them what species they are eating. then ask if they read the little book you get when you buy ur fishing license. it dangerous to eat most species more than twice a month. they stop laughing and turn a special shade of green

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Why is it clacker?

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How did you determine if it was male or female?

Easy: When you first hook it, if HE hits the lure its a male; if SHE hits it its a female.

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thank you very much guys. i was thinking about the swim bladder but i got to thinking about it i dont think was a problem because this pond is maybe 14ft deep and to be honest i live about hour and half north from kansas city in a hick town and no one even here release the bass. when i mention i catch and release i actually get mocked for it.

thats a good point. it was a male

That's funny. I live about 2 and a half hours east of K.C. and I get funny looks when I throw a fish back in the lake. I guess people around here just look at them as food, and nothing else, and they can't fathom the idea of throwing food in a lake. To each his own I guess.

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