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jeff25

How Much Can A Bass Grow In A Year

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in terms of length and weight. how much can a largemouth grow in a years time

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So many different variables to that question that it is almost impossible to answer.

Where does the bass live? Is she in a state where there is a mild winter and the bass can feed all year or are they up north where the lakes freeze and their metabolism slows down for months out of the year and they almost completely stop eating (and growing). Also how big is the bass now? Bass grow really fast in length for the first couple years then slow down. A bass fry can grow 12 inches in the first year if the environment and food supply are all good. But a 12 inch bass may grow 2-5 inches the next year. On the other side of that, a larger bass (10+ pounds) may gain many pounds in weight in a year and barely grow any larger in length. Lets say a bass that averages 17lbs goes on a eating binge and eats 4-5 stocked rainbow trout in a day or 2. That 17lb bass is now a contender as a world record fish and it hasn't grown in length at all.

I have a koi pond that I have put bass in over the years. Some fish just grow a lot faster than others. I don't know if its because they are more dominate and are eating more fish or because they are female vs male bass, or maybe just genetics?? Some fish will literally grow twice as fast as others, which is a huge difference when you think about a 1 year old fish being either 6 inches or 12. Soooo to answer your question, its hard to say, lol.

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It varies alot but from all the research I have done its about a pound a year depending on weather and forage.

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http://www.extension.org/sites/default/files/Largemouth%20Bass%20Biology%20and%20Life%20History.pdf

 

 

quick little 2 page article on the expected growths etc...

 

 

 

Basically it says 5 pounds for routine maintenance and then an additional 10lb for 1lb growth in a bass.  Needless to say, this is a very wide variable depending on location, feeding season, bass strain type and food availability

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On average after reaching 2 years old (12", 1 lb), female LMB with good food source can grow between 1" to 1 1/2" inch and 3/4 to 1 lb per year for about 6 years, then they either die or slow down growth rate. An old female would be 15 years and about 28" long. Northern LMB gain about 50% less weight then Florida strain LMB. Male bass tend to slow down growing at age 4 and top out about 4 lbs, 22" long.

Giant bass are rare and attain exception growth rate the first 2 years (3-4 lb, 15"-16"), this allows the bass to feed on more and larger prey then other juvenile bass. Because these rare bass are larger they feed more and grow faster if the food source is high protein and abundant. Giant bass must have a great food supply early in life and a good food supply to sustain growth.

Tom

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 In the northern edge of there range largemouth grow slow. I have personally reviewed thousand of data points for the new england region. The data was collected from area colleges as well as from biologists. In the first year they grow to around 4-6 inches and then they put on another 4 inches there second year. By then end of there third year they average around 12-14 inches. This is the age that they start actively spawning in the north. After the first three years they average 2 inches per year until they reach 20-22 inches in length. The very few northern bass that have reached that length still grow but more in girth then in length. The oldest fish sampled was estimated at 23 years old. All the data was collected from the new england area and doesnt reflect growth rates for other areas of the country.

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On average after reaching 2 years old (12", 1 lb), female LMB with good food source can grow between 1" to 1 1/2" inch and 3/4 to 1 lb per year for about 6 years, then they either die or slow down growth rate. An old female would be 15 years and about 28" long. Northern LMB gain about 50% less weight then Florida strain LMB. Male bass tend to slow down growing at age 4 and top out about 4 lbs, 22" long.

Giant bass are rare and attain exception growth rate the first 2 years (3-4 lb, 15"-16"), this allows the bass to feed on more and larger prey then other juvenile bass. Because these rare bass are larger they feed more and grow faster if the food source is high protein and abundant. Giant bass must have a great food supply early in life and a good food supply to sustain growth.

Tom

 

Tom, great info. A couple of questions, if I may...

 

Do you mean in the same water, you can find some bass which grow to be 1lbs, and some rare giant bass which grow to be 4 lbs the first 2 years? Or are you talking about between different lakes?

 

How can I tell if a bass is Northern LMB or Florida strain LMB?

 

I did not know male top out at about 4lbs. So when I catch 5lber, that is most likely female. (Is there a way to tell the sex of the fish?)

 

Edit: Never mind about Northern vs LMB. I found your response to other thread.

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grwoing rate also depends on how many days of the year, there are warmer water temps. obviously climates with warmer weather such as southern ca., fl., southern tx., bass have a year round growing season.

bo

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My peronal experience is that Florida strain grows quicker than Northern strain bass.

 

You are sitting with the following defining criteria :

 

a.) Water temp through out the year...

b.) Genetics

c.) Forrage

d.) Strain

e.) Predation

f.) Cover

e.) Water Body Size

g.) Human intervention (i.e pollution, culling and re-stocking as well as breeding programmes)

 

Down in South Africa we are sitting with the following situation, should all of the above criteria be met in the perfect balance you can potentially sit with a 2.2 lb's a year average especially closer to the Komati basin and having a majority population of Florida strain bass...we are in a very warm side of the world with bass hardly ever living past the age of 7 years, although their are exeptions giving  potential 14lb + bass. Also taking into consideration time of the year ( are they stocking up on food reserves and/or are they full of eggs ) this would obviously affect the weight of the fish.

 

A freak acciden't that no-one can quite explain is the relatively young Letsibogo Dam craze in Botswana producing 200 fish plus a day catches with a average of 7.7lb a fish, numerous 10lb + fish and a dam record of 18.2lb's. Some say it's the African version of El Salto with days that literally make your hands bleed from lipping the monsters and handling gloves being recommended. This was when the dam was relatively clear, but of late it has recieved an extreme amounts of rain hiding loads of visible structure and making fishing much more challenging with very off-colour water.

 

Some people say the quality of fish is because of government intervention. Being a main water supply to the region, no large craft or outboards are allowed on this body of water. In past only Botswana citizens were allowed to fish this body of water, only lately with the government promoting tourism have lodges been granted permits to take clients out on the water from other countries.

 

This again comes down to water management. If you manage the fishery properly and premote catch and release you can hardly ever go wrong.

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In SoCal and other deep structured lakes have cool water and good food supplies like Japan's lakes. The initial introduction of pure Florida strain LMB into a lake with excellent cover and year around growing for the young of the year bass, tend to have the best production of LMB over 15 lbs, with occasional bass over 18 lbs. We call this the boom period and followed by the bust period when the giant bass population crashes. Exactly why this pattern occurs or reoccurs is up to speculation. One factor is the first generation of FLMB grow very fast the first years, then target larger pelagic bait the resident NLMB avoided. The FLMB then spawn with northern resisdent bass creating a new strain like F1, followed by more generations of FLMB mixed with NLMB, the gene pool of pure FLMB gets diluted, the giants become fewer.

When FLMB are introduced into a new reservoir when the lake in filling, the conditions are ideal to promote growth.and that is a one time event for only a few generations of bass..

We talked in averages, there are always exceptions; largest male bass that I have caught was 7 lb and 28" long, from San Vincente in 1971. The bass was examined by Larry Bottroff a biologist. The bass was a spawner leaking white milt, one reason the fish was examined and it had a big head with skinny body.

Tom

PS; emjaysmit your response was excellent. Good to hear form bass anglers around the world and didn't know you are getting 18+ lb bass in South Africa.

We had a SA forum on TBH, that site has gone to the dogs. aka, Oldschool

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Hi their WRB, it's actually the all African Tackle Record and it was caught in Botswana which was declared a country on their own inside our country...Lesotho is also a country inside our country as well as Swaziland. So us South Africans see this as our own Countries. Zimbabwe is also on our Continent although the big fish in these areas cannot be registered as official South African records and get registered as African records. Zim's record is in the region of  17.6lb's and in South Africa it is an official 14lb something bass although numerous  15.5lb bass have come out, down side is that these anglers did not belong to a club and so cannot register it as official records...

 

Since the introduction of Pure Strain Florida, SOuth Africa has had huge amounts of angling success with competition bags on good days averaging 26lb's...

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 down side is that these anglers did not belong to a club and so cannot register it as official records...

Only members of a club can enter a record? Isn't the biggest verified bass the record? Or is it that the clubs hold the only certified scales?

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Do not mean to hi-jack this thread; Certified scales are a problem in SoCal! Our lakes during the big bass period of the 80's and 90's didn't have any ceritfied scales at the lakes, you had to illegally* transport the bass to the closest market that had certified scales to sell produce and meat to get a authentic certification of weight and have a witness. A tournament caught bass may have a certified scale and lots of witnesses.

Now it's easier to have a personal scale ceritfied by local Weights & Measures or send the scale to the IGFA each year. A witness is still a problem when fishing alone and in CA we also need a biologist to examine the bass for state records or world record applications. For that reason I released a lot of big bass because they need to die to get authenicated properly! No need kill a big bass if you know it isn't a record.

* we can not transport live fish way from the lake in a livewell in CA.

Tom

PS; the South African post reminded me how much our sport owes Orville Ball, the man who came up with the plan back in 1959 to transport pure Florida strain LMB to San Diego CA city lakes to improve the size of bass for the general fishing population.

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It Depends on state/country strain of bass forage i wouldn't know where to start lol

One can start with their state fisheries folks. They are usually pretty willing to help. They love to talk shop like just about everyone.

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