Jump to content
OCdockskipper

How Fast Do Bass Digest Stuff?

Recommended Posts

This past Saturday, I was out before sunrise and found a small school of bass within the first 30 minutes.  The fourth & final fish I landed from this location had something black just barely emerging from his throat, so I used my forceps to grab it & pull it out.  Turned out it was a complete Havoc Craw Fatty, no hook, line or sinker, just the bait itself.  The back of the bait was slightly torn, it looked like it had been used as a trailer on a jig rather than T-rigged and had been torn off the jig.  This was interesting to me in two ways.  First, I have used Craw Fatty's on this lake with little success, so this fish told me I should reconsider how I am fishing them.  Second, the bait was like new, it still had the sheen that baits out of the package have and there was no signs that any digestive acids had begun their work on it.

 

The second part is what confused me.  As I mentioned, it was before daybreak that I caught the fish and there was no one fishing near this location (or anywhere on the lake for that matter).  It was near a dock on private property and I have never seen anyone fish from that house in the past 5 years.  I am wondering how long this bass could have had this plastic bait in its belly and still have it look new.  If someone nearby hooked her at 8 or 9 at night, then the bait would have been in her for 9 plus hours.  I guess an alternative is someone snagged & broke off the jig the night before and she stumbled upon it in the early morning and sucked the trailer right off the jig prior to eating my bait.  Craw Fatty's float, so I don't know if she sucked it off the surface, but she could have.  Just one of those unique things that happen while fishing...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I attended the old Bassmaster University when it was taken to various cities and Ken Cook, a professional bass fisherman and biologist, presented the following:

 

SPEED OF METABOLISM DIGESTING A MINNOW

40* = 8 days to digest a minnow

50* = 7 days

60* = 2 and a half days

70* = 24 hours

80* = 18 hours

Over 80* = 18 hour

 

73* to 75* is the most efficient metabolism.

 

The bass is a predator on a search and destroy ambush mission or advantage. 10% to 20% of the day they feed and then hide by things and cover for protection and they just hang out waiting for something to present itself as an easy meal or opportunity.

 

Hope this sheds some light on your query.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to consider is the fact that, unlike humans, a bass' digestion doesn't begin in its mouth.  It's doubtful that bait was in the fish's mouth for any length of time as it would have swallowed it completely and given the amount of unsalted plastic in those baits, that could have been fatal.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Sam said:

SPEED OF METABOLISM DIGESTING A MINNOW...

 

60* = 2 and a half days

 

I didn't realize it took that long.  I guess that means she could have chomped it down anytime on Friday and by Saturday morning when I pulled it out, not much digestion had occurred.

 

Thanks for the info.

4 hours ago, papajoe222 said:

Another thing to consider is the fact that, unlike humans, a bass' digestion doesn't begin in its mouth.  It's doubtful that bait was in the fish's mouth for any length of time as it would have swallowed it completely and given the amount of unsalted plastic in those baits, that could have been fatal.

I'm not sure if she was still in the process of swallowing it or if she just trying to regurgitate it as an effort to escape after being hooked.  Only a small portion of the plastic was visible in her throat, I almost didn't see it.  As I pulled it out, it was like that trick that clowns do with scarves, it just kept coming :D.

 

One thing I just realized is that she swallowed this bait claws first (head first).  Every time I have ever seen a crawdad in a bass's mouth, they are swallowed tail first.  I wonder if that means she took this lure to be a fish (which they swallow head first) and not a crawdad?  Or maybe she is just a dingy fish to swallow a lure completely...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or it picked up a discarded plastic off the bottom.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, TOXIC said:

Or it picked up a discarded plastic off the bottom.  

That's what I'm thinking.

 

Is a bass able to digest a soft plastic at all? The plastic could probably make it all the way through the system looking the same as it went in, so I don't think that's any way to determine how long its been there.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bass can't digest plastisol. 

Tom

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, TOXIC said:

Or it picked up a discarded plastic off the bottom.  

 

26 minutes ago, WRB said:

Bass can't digest plastisol. 

Tom

 

This and that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, WRB said:

Bass can't digest plastisol. 

Tom

Do the digestive acids do anything to plastisol during the time the bait is in the bass's stomach or will the worm just pass thru completely unscathed before the acids have had a chance to leave any marks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definately affects the coloration in time but the soft plastic isn't dissolved and can create some real issues like starvation over time if the bass can't rid itself of the soft plastic.

If you see it in the throat it wasn't there very long. I see plastic worms floating all the time and always net them, some anglers just don't bother. A floating soft plastic in wave action looks alive and a easy meal for bass.

Tom

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned, bass can't digest most plastic baits and eating them can be fatal to the fish. This is why very important not to discard baits into the water. This is a very good read regarding the issue.

https://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/skinny-fish.html

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Vilas15 said:

That's what I'm thinking.

 

Is a bass able to digest a soft plastic at all? The plastic could probably make it all the way through the system looking the same as it went in, so I don't think that's any way to determine how long its been there.

I have pulled a plastic worm out of a bass' butt before releasing her. She was in good health.

 

The plastic did not show any wear and tear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing rods

    fishing rods


    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    bass fish

    fishing poles

    Truck Caps

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×