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I caught a fish the other night that's tail was all bloody and damaged looking. I have seen other pictures of bass that look this way. What causes this to happen?

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I'd like to know this too. I caught a hog out of a pond and i did my best to get her back in the water asap. I noticed slight bleeding at the tail and maybe a sliced fin.

I don't know if it's from rocks or what. Possibly the braid slicing it when she tried to turn . 

Whatever the case may be ; I hope she lives to spawn at least once more. 

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Generally you will see bloody tails when the fish are spawning. they can get pretty beat up when they fan the bottom with their tails to make beds. But the spawn is obviously well over with so I'm not sure, was the whole tail bloody or did it look like it was an acute injury like a single cut or bite? 

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@MassYak85 Yea mine looked like a slice on the top fork of the tail fin . 

I assumed it was my braid. I'm not so worried about why it happened but if it'll be alright  . I'm assuming the fish was 10+ years old seen as how it was a northern strain that was just over 24inches long 

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High temperatures can add stress, coupled with the rigors of spawning, can delay the healing tails.  While the males clean out the nests with their tails, there's certainly a bit of tussling and fin nipping during the actual spawning itself, which causes injury.  Fins, when the heal without infection, can regenerate.

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Where I'm at i saw the big momma on her bed in latr April. Caught her in august with a bloody fin. 

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Males sit on beds, females only visit to spawn.  They may actually spawn with several males over the course of the spawn period.

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It wasn't a bed, and I doubt they were spawning in April.  It's usually closer to mid may, at that parallel.  What you're suggesting defies every single scientific observation and documented study about largemouth ecology.  She was probably just sitting in the shallows. There is also the possibility you spooked the male, while she remained, though it's usually the opposite, in my experience.  Females don't visit beds that lack males, they do not defend eggs and fry, and they don't make the beds.

I'm not saying you didn't see what you saw.  I'm saying your assumptions about the activity are probably not correct.  But who knows, maybe she thought she was male.  Nature is weird, lol.

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Nah that probably sounds more like it.. it was late April tho almost may.. and I was on the bank. She was stationary. I tried to get her to bite but no dice. I threw at her for over a half hour. I think my presence was known. 

The reason I'm almost positive it was her was because I caught one earlier this month that was just over 24" and I highly doubt there's a bigger one in there in just a 3 acre pond. 

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Now there's some good observation!  She might have been resting, after spawning.  Immediate post spawn females are notoriously tight lipped. 

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I've seen the exact same thing in smaller ponds, <10 acres.  More frustrating than the cruising females searching for suitable partners.

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This is what it looks like during spawn.

IMG_9552.JPG

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How are you sure she wasn't visiting a bed a male had made ? 

And wouldn't the tail have healed by August if it happened In late April early may 

Mine was different. It was a slice in the top part of the tail . Pretty deep too probably an inch . Like I said I thought it was from my braid 

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I say that because they don't usually do that.  A split is probably from the fight, or just some other natural injury.  In high temperatures, like we've been getting this year, spawn woulds can take a while to heal.  And the pic above shows the sqpawn damage perfectly.

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I guess I should do some more reading.. lol. If she doesn't visit the bed how do her eggs get there ? I understand she doesn't stay on the bed but are you suggesting she never even goes onto it? 

I thought the male made the bed (which you stated ) the female laid the eggs, and then the male guarded the eggs and fry ...  

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Male builds nest. Female visits a bed occupied by a maleThey spawn together.  She leaves, possibly to locate suitable male on a nest. Male defends eggs and eventually fry.  After a week or so, he leaves the fry on their own.

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/3385

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@jleonard91 sorry for jackin your thread. Maybe you learned something about spawning lol . 

And that makes sense to me as well ! Thanks. I'm assuming you said she wasn't on the bed because I said she was alone. I guess I just assumed it was on a bed because she was so shallow and clearly knew I was there throwing everything in my bag at her for 30 mins plus. 

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Its weird that the tail takes that long to heal, I never would have guessed. I highly doubt it was from your braid, it would be obvious if that were the case. Ive seen pass with chunks missing from their tails from pike attacks but im sure thats not the case. Sounds like it just hasnt recovered form the spawn still. 

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Yeajray231 or the OP's fish could also have been previously injured by another catch and release fisherman. 

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I caught a bass in August that was bleeding form places all over it, but especially the fins. It was about 5 lbs and long and skinny. I assumed it was an old male and was just dying from old age and stress that goes with that. But it was still eating.

It was also missing an eye. And my dad asked me if I was gonna have it mounted. YUK!

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I guess it could be a male... but I highly doubt it given the size ! And I'd be pretty ticked if it was from someone else because the pond is on a remote piece of land owned by an old man, and he doesn't fish. It was built by his brother and when he passed the "old man" moved in. No one else fishes it that I know of.. 

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2 minutes ago, Yeajray231 said:

I guess it could be a male... but I highly doubt it given the size ! And I'd be pretty ticked if it was from someone else because the pond is on a remote piece of land owned by an old man, and he doesn't fish. It was built by his brother and when he passed the "old man" moved in. No one else fishes it that I know of.. 

But if it's big (old), it could be suffering from any number of ailments

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