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Delaware Valley Tackle

Bass Fry As Baitfish?

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How prominently does bass fry figure into an adult bass' diet? Is there any instinct against cannibalism in fish?

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Not really sure but Baby Bass is one of my top producing colors for cranks & swimbaits.

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I have read that once the maternal/paternal instincts stop, they are fair game. I would think the amount of other forage would play a role into their survival

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The Maryland DNR conducted research to make comparisons of the diets of largemouth bass and the northern snakehead in order to gauge whether they are competing for food. As it turns out, neither fish's diet consists much of juvenile bass/fry (at least in this region.)

 

Link to the study: PDF file

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baby bass are very alert,aggressive .hard to catch they are safe till they get 5 inches or more

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I once caught a baby bass in a neighborhood pond. It was probably the size of my pinky. When i tossed it into the water a large mouth swallowed it whole. To be honest im not sure it even made it to the water.

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I see bass EVERY time I go to a certain pond attacking bass fry right up against the bank. It could be freshly spawned bluegill though, as they all hang out together in the shallows.

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A lot of the smaller lakes and ponds here see bass cannibalism a lot. There is not much for food as there are no shad and few species of minnows around this time of year. Bugs/insects and a few smaller toads/frogs, but not much else for the bass in the 6-10" range when they are too small to take a bluegill. Crappie, bluegill, and bass will all take the bass fry once they leave the moss/weeds. 

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Once fry leave the nest, they are fair game.  By percentage, there are far more panfish and other species fry in any body of water, so those are going to represent a larger portion of their diet.  Still, there's a reason "baby bass" is an available color in just about every lure imaginable.

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Once fry leave the nest, they are fair game.  By percentage, there are far more panfish and other species fry in any body of water, so those are going to represent a larger portion of their diet.  Still, there's a reason "baby bass" is an available color in just about every lure imaginable.

While I know for a fact that bass are opportunistic feeders; and that they will practice cannibalism, I'm not convinced that bass see a 'baby bass' colored lure as a baby bass. Many baby bass colored lures (especially soft plastics) tend to be a generic fishy color that resembles the coloration of a bass. They could just as easily resemble a killifish, a darter, or any number of other forage species. That's just my 2¢. I'm definitely not contesting the effectiveness of baby bass colored lures... they catch fish.

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Sorry... I didn't mean to say that bass prefer or seek out their own.  I simply meant that, once fry leave the nests, bass show no inclination toward loyalty to other bass fry.  They're simply opportunistic predators.  If it looks like it might be food (size, shape, color, behavior) they'll eat it.  

 

I agree with you that "baby bass" is a good color specifically because it (along with other colors like green pumpkin, for example) generically look like 'prey'.

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