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Light and very dark SM

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Folks,

This Summer my partner and I have caught some very dark SM amongst very light SM.

As a whole, the lake is very clear, with the exceptions of a few areas that are effected more by weather.

If environment effect color, does this mean that some of the bass more than others?

We have noticed both a few dark among light and visa-versa.

Thanks for your  thoughts 

 

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I have noticed the same thing in smallmouth, largemouth and spots.  I have no official answer but have been told that it is hormonal.  Supposedly fish that are actively feeding will be darker in color while those just hanging around will be lighter.  I have no biological way to support this statement but it kind of makes sense to me since they are sometimes caught at the same depth and in the same area.

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I've caught some really really dark river smallies over the years and these fish generally have come out of areas that were heavy grass and weeds. Bigger fish, older fish, later season. I've gotten nice size smallies off of sandy pea gravel that were a lot lighter in color. Maybe its a surrounding thing going on with coloration.

 

I've caught lighter color Smallies and while they are in the live well they have darkened up to some degree. Maybe related to aggression. Early season prior to spawn some smallies seem to have a gold bronze color and lighter white bellies and side bars that don't show.

 

I've seen a heck of a lot coloration difference in a six mile long stretch of the river I fish on any given day. I believe it has to do with their immediate surroundings and aggression level. 

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Introduced myself to a few of those very black or super dark colored Smallies over the years.

Never seems to be a whole lot of rhyme or reason as to why as fish from the same local caught minutes before or later are closer to the traditional coloring & pattern.

But after just a few minutes in my live well, which is basically a white/translucent colored tub, most every one of those "Old Blackies", turns back into looking like all the rest.

So I've learned that any pictures or video of them need to happen right away if there's any chance to capture it.

5ae3b4103c44d_AntzllongwaycroppedBR.thumb.png.80abc360ee8822eaece1bac1a4e52266.png817060217_07May2018TankBR.png.5ab4a5a9753942550298084044015fae.png88564049_11May20186-3smb1ABR.png.a2639500ad5c1cade82c18693bfbc637.png987648996_15Nov2016smb2(2).thumb.png.6ea10d84446b8c0ef221aab24abe511e.png

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Personally, I've noticed that the bigger they are, the darker they are. 

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My observations are similar to A-Jays.  SMB that I catch in the Adirondacks, particularly in rivers with rocky bottoms, tend to be extremely dark.  Those that I catch in Lake Ontario, especially where the bottom is sandy, tend to be lighter.  I throw them all back, so can't tell you if or when the chameleon effect kicks in.

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1 hour ago, Glaucus said:

Personally, I've noticed that the bigger they are, the darker they are. 

Interesting.

This has not been my experience.

But I refuse to say that size matters.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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6 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Interesting.

This has not been my experience.

But I refuse to say that size matters.

:smiley:

A-Jay

The river I fish for Smallies in is like this. If they're about a pound or less, they are pale and have no stripes. If they are about a pound and a half, they tend to be greener in color with very faint stripes. Once they approach two pounds and more, they're very dark with big beautiful stripes. 

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I've kinda viewed it as how a lion's mane darkens with age. But I didn't realize this was perhaps unusual since I don't really fish for Smallies elsewhere. 

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Most of the SMB I put into the live well come out with beautiful mottling in color.  Regarding active feeding, this spring I encountered a few SMB that were actively feeding on the surfacel, chasing something that was white, small,  and very fast right at the surface  (any idea on what they were chasing?)  in about 8 feet of water in Saginaw bay, and they looked absolutely black to the eye looking down on them.  We only caught one, but it was very black.  Not all that big.

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I always thought that the coloration was a product of their environment/surroundings. Fish tight to the bottom look washed out with little color while suspended fish show vibrant coloration. 

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My experience with this is predominately with spotted bass. When I catch a washed out (white) spot and put it in the live well, it takes about 10 minutes for all the color to come back. This leads me to believe that when I caught the fish, it had just moved up from deeper water and it hadn't been in the area very long or it's color would have come back. Having the color come back after a short time in the live well supports my theory. When I catch several washed out fish, I move out to deeper water and I get more bites. I have caught spots in shallow and deep water that had all their color and this tells me they have been at that depth for a while. Again, just my thoughts and I have nothing to support my claims

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I'm not convinced that where they are in the water has anything to do with it. I'm fishing a river that averages 4 feet deep and has been inches to 2-3 feet deep throughout for much of the summer. It's fairly clear water too. Complete rock bottom. Coloration varies all the same with the pattern of smaller = pale and larger = darker.

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7 minutes ago, Glaucus said:

I'm not convinced that where they are in the water has anything to do with it. I'm fishing a river that averages 4 feet deep and has been inches to 2-3 feet deep throughout for much of the summer. It's fairly clear water too. Complete rock bottom. Coloration varies all the same with the pattern of smaller = pale and larger = darker.

Perhaps getting behind a rock in the shadow could darken one up.

A-Jay

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26 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Perhaps getting behind a rock in the shadow could darken one up.

A-Jay

Whatever the reasons and factors behind it, it's all fascinating. 

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7 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Introduced myself to a few of those very black or super dark colored Smallies over the years.

Never seems to be a whole lot of rhyme or reason as to why as fish from the same local caught minutes before or later are closer to the traditional coloring & pattern.

But after just a few minutes in my live well, which is basically a white/translucent colored tub, most every one of those "Old Blackies", turns back into looking like all the rest.

So I've learned that any pictures or video of them need to happen right away if there's any chance to capture it.

5ae3b4103c44d_AntzllongwaycroppedBR.thumb.png.80abc360ee8822eaece1bac1a4e52266.png817060217_07May2018TankBR.png.5ab4a5a9753942550298084044015fae.png88564049_11May20186-3smb1ABR.png.a2639500ad5c1cade82c18693bfbc637.png987648996_15Nov2016smb2(2).thumb.png.6ea10d84446b8c0ef221aab24abe511e.png

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

Great post. It has me thinking about my black live well tub. My dark smallies remain dark possibly get darker and a lighter smallies tend to get darker. Some nice fish guy. I'm gonna try to post a few. I'm talking real dark.

 

And you guys up north, more north than I, your smallies have a bit different coloration than the ones I catch in general. I see some of those Ontario Canada smallie pics and they are neat.

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2 minutes ago, Spankey said:

Great post. It has me thinking about my black live well tub. My dark smallies remain dark possibly get darker and a lighter smallies tend to get darker. Some nice fish guy. I'm gonna try to post a few. I'm talking real dark.

 

And you guys up north, more north than I, your smallies have a bit different coloration than the ones I catch in general. I see some of those Ontario Canada smallie pics and they are neat.

Makes sense to me. 

And the colors & patterning on these northern Michigan Smallies always blows me away !

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor, water and nature

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I don’t know what makes them change colours as much as they do, but up here on Georgian Bay, there’s almost like another sub species of smallies that you only see sometimes around the outside edge of the islands on the big water ( and yes, I know they aren’t actually a different species 😏). They are often massive specimens, usually travel by themselves, and they darn near look black compared to the usual brown fish. 

Also, in some of the inland lakes around here, the water is stained a sort of tea colour from the tannins in the pine trees. In those lakes, the smallies are the most beautiful copper colour, real dark and fight like crazy. 

Here’s one I got a few weeks ago that’s fairly dark, next time I get some real copper coloured ones from a stained lake I’ll post some pics, they are some of the coolest looking bass I’ve ever seen. 

6DFC3A03-D002-4149-8112-7D0023FBB071.jpeg

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We get a bunch of black ones. In the Niagara video that some one posted recently you could see a few dark ones mixed in 

C8F9A232-7585-4702-B0EA-64E744178BA3.jpeg

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On 8/18/2018 at 9:22 AM, A-Jay said:

 

5ae3b4103c44d_AntzllongwaycroppedBR.thumb.png.80abc360ee8822eaece1bac1a4e52266.png:smiley:

A-Jay

A-Jay,

what was the weight on that BEAST in this picture!!!?

On 8/18/2018 at 9:22 AM, A-Jay said:

 

 

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10 minutes ago, PolarKraft195Pro said:

A-Jay,

what was the weight on that BEAST in this picture!!!?

 

@PolarKraft195Pro

She was a Bulbous 7.29 lbs or 7 lbs 4.64 ounces.

Basically a 1/2 goby short of 7-5

And my Personal Best.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor, water and nature

:smiley:

A-Jay

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20 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

We get a bunch of black ones. In the Niagara video that some one posted recently you could see a few dark ones mixed in 

C8F9A232-7585-4702-B0EA-64E744178BA3.jpeg

Now that's a black beauty.

On 8/18/2018 at 5:14 PM, Way north bass guy said:

I don’t know what makes them change colours as much as they do, but up here on Georgian Bay, there’s almost like another sub species of smallies that you only see sometimes around the outside edge of the islands on the big water ( and yes, I know they aren’t actually a different species 😏). They are often massive specimens, usually travel by themselves, and they darn near look black compared to the usual brown fish. 

Also, in some of the inland lakes around here, the water is stained a sort of tea colour from the tannins in the pine trees. In those lakes, the smallies are the most beautiful copper colour, real dark and fight like crazy. 

Here’s one I got a few weeks ago that’s fairly dark, next time I get some real copper coloured ones from a stained lake I’ll post some pics, they are some of the coolest looking bass I’ve ever seen. 

6DFC3A03-D002-4149-8112-7D0023FBB071.jpeg

Real Real nice!

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17 hours ago, A-Jay said:

@PolarKraft195Pro

She was a Bulbous 7.29 lbs or 7 lbs 4.64 ounces.

Basically a 1/2 goby short of 7-5

And my Personal Best.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor, water and nature

:smiley:

A-Jay

AWESOME FISH! 

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I know from dealing with aquarium fish that can change color (Cichlids), a few things can factor in.  Water Clarity, Light penetration, background color, which would include rocks, clay bottom, even vegetation, and just overall mood play a roll.

 

Anyway, here are muddy brown fish for attention:

DSCN0159.jpg

 

IMG_3262-X2.jpg

 

IMG_1252-X2.jpg

 

And all the way back to the 90s!

franchot_03-X2.jpg

 

franchot_15-X3.jpg

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