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everythingthatswims

Bass Migration

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   Today my little brother caught a 2lb largemouth in the small river/stream near our house, signaling the beginning of the "spawning run" that they make up the river each spring. What really caught my attention was the fact that this fish was one that we put in the river last summer when we were taking some fish out of a pond that is located a couple hundred yards from the river, my brother knows this because he clipped the tail slightly so that we could tell it apart from the others in the river. I was just stunned to see this fish returning to the same area we put her in nearly a year later, and was wondering if the fish somehow has an instinct to come back? My best guess would be that the fish could recognize the smell of the pond, since the creek that feeds out of the pond meets the river about 50-60 yards upstream from where he caught this fish. And I know for a fact that the fish didn't winter over in the river, because I fish a lot in this river in the winter and the only fish that stay are fallfish (a type of creek chub), everything else heads at least 10-12 miles down river to where this fork meets the main river which is much larger. The max depth of this river is about 5 feet in the summer, right now probably 6 or 7 feet, and in terms of water flow, it looks like more of a home for the smallmouth we catch, (lots of fast moving water), but we have seen a steady increase in largemouth populations over the last couple of years. 

    Does anyone have an answer as to why this fish came back? And does anyone else experience similar fish migrations in the spring?

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Tracking studies have shown that Bass are mostly home bodies and stay within their range most of the year. Read up on some of John Hope's studies, very good stuff in there.

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   Today my little brother caught a 2lb largemouth in the small river/stream near our house, signaling the beginning of the "spawning run" that they make up the river each spring. What really caught my attention was the fact that this fish was one that we put in the river last summer when we were taking some fish out of a pond that is located a couple hundred yards from the river, my brother knows this because he clipped the tail slightly so that we could tell it apart from the others in the river. I was just stunned to see this fish returning to the same area we put her in nearly a year later, and was wondering if the fish somehow has an instinct to come back? My best guess would be that the fish could recognize the smell of the pond, since the creek that feeds out of the pond meets the river about 50-60 yards upstream from where he caught this fish. And I know for a fact that the fish didn't winter over in the river, because I fish a lot in this river in the winter and the only fish that stay are fallfish (a type of creek chub), everything else heads at least 10-12 miles down river to where this fork meets the main river which is much larger. The max depth of this river is about 5 feet in the summer, right now probably 6 or 7 feet, and in terms of water flow, it looks like more of a home for the smallmouth we catch, (lots of fast moving water and plenty of rocky bottom), but we have seen a steady increase in largemouth populations over the last couple of years. 

    Does anyone have an answer as to why this fish came back? And does anyone else experience similar fish migrations in the spring?

 

How do you know he went anywhere? LMBs won't travel far unless the habitat becomes lacking in some way. And " the population has been increasing", after "we put them in there" is priceless....

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It maybe possible for the LMB to go back into the pond and return to the stream if the stream water is warmer this time of year. 10 mile migration for a LMB isn't impossible, not common.

Yes LMB tend to use the same spawning locations each year.

Tom

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Four or five years ago two bass weighing over ten pounds each were caught on the south end if Toledo Bend. Both bass were taken some 12-15 miles as the crow flies to Toledo Tackle, weighed, photographed, DNA test done, and released.

Within two weeks both bass were caught again within a 50 yards if the orginal catch sites.

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How do you know he went anywhere? LMBs won't travel far unless the habitat becomes lacking in some way. And " the population has been increasing", after "we put them in there" is priceless....

Haha I have absolutely nothing to do with the population, we just use the river as a way to get rid of any stunted fish from the pond. But the largemouth that are naturally there have been increasing in numbers over the past few years, mainly due to decreased competition from smallies since the river has become very silted in. Unless a 2lb largemouth can successfully survive on nymphs smaller than a dime from late november-late march, I think he left this winter. My little brother said the fish was in superb condition when he caught it

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It maybe possible for the LMB to go back into the pond and return to the stream if the stream water is warmer this time of year. 10 mile migration for a LMB isn't impossible, not common.

Yes LMB tend to use the same spawning locations each year.

Tom

It would be impossible for the fish to get through the drain pipes from the creek into the pond, otherwise that would have been my conclusion. 

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i believe that bass really do not travel far unless necessary because of food or water quality.  we here stories all the time about how fish will travel back to where they were caught.  well, if that were true, then all the bass that are caught on the upper end of table rock and are hauled down to the dam area to be weighed in would travel all the way back to the upper end, and we would still have a great bass population on the upper end.  but, that just does not happen.

 

another case in point is the fact that over a four or five year period, a buddy of mine and i caught and transported keepers size small mouth from the lower end of table rock and released them around the big m area of the lake, where there just was never any small mouth caught.  now, it is common place to catch small mouth in this area.  pretty good chance that all those brownies that we brought back to the upper end stayed, and that is why there a brownie population on the upper end now.

 

bo

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