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Alabama bass?


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52 minutes ago, Pat Brown said:

 

 

I have some opinions on this I might be able to offer based on my experience fishing North Carolina the past few years.

 

I think anglers in NC think of NC a muddy TVA river system type state and you CAN find water like that on some parts of some lakes but in actuality, the water here is a lot clearer than people think it is.

 

I think bass fishing culture in the 90s was heavily geared towards power fishing and lots of stained water techniques popularized in places like Florida and Texas.

 

You can definitely still catch bass power fishing in NC, but if you start to pretend you're fishing clear lake in CA or something to that effect and adjust your presentation, you'll actually do much better in general.

 

I think NC is a lot like a clear water Western US state in terms of fisheries that identifies as a mud puddle but actually isn't.

 

The fish benefit tremendously from this confusion and we fish over a lot of fish every year fishing dirty water techniques when all along it should be treated more like clear water.

 

Just my 0.02 

 

I know there is muddy water you can catch bass out of in NC, but that's not how I'd characterize the majority of our reservoirs here at all.

Dreamcatchers on Youtube showcases the highland clear water reservoirs in NC quite well.        

 

Southern Trout Eaters was filmed in that general area as well back in the day. 

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I think it's basically hard to see through the film of stuff on the surface and that throws people into thinking their lure is hard to see.  Fact is, the fish have no trouble seeing and identifying lures in our lakes because it's actually pretty darn clear water.  There are clay banks that stain up more on a windy day but in a lake where 17 ft is deep that has an average of 4 feet of visibility means bass can basically see from the surface to the bottom anywhere on the lake, especially if you consider that the dirtier water is extremely shallow.

 

@WRB that's interesting information regarding the Fla Bluegill.  Probably going to be a clue as to how things may eventually play out.

 

I wonder if there will ever come a time when stocked LMB interbreed so much with invasive spots that a true 3rd species emerges.

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1 hour ago, Pat Brown said:

 

 

I have some opinions on this I might be able to offer based on my experience fishing North Carolina the past few years.

 

I think anglers in NC think of NC a muddy TVA river system type state and you CAN find water like that on some parts of some lakes but in actuality, the water here is a lot clearer than people think it is.

 

I think bass fishing culture in the 90s was heavily geared towards power fishing and lots of stained water techniques popularized in places like Florida and Texas.

 

You can definitely still catch bass power fishing in NC, but if you start to pretend you're fishing clear lake in CA or something to that effect and adjust your presentation, you'll actually do much better in general.

 

I think NC is a lot like a clear water Western US state in terms of fisheries that identifies as a mud puddle but actually isn't.

 

The fish benefit tremendously from this confusion and we fish over a lot of fish every year fishing dirty water techniques when all along it should be treated more like clear water.

 

Just my 0.02 

 

I know there is muddy water you can catch bass out of in NC, but that's not how I'd characterize the majority of our reservoirs here at all.


It’s a good observation, as I just moved here myself and have found the water much clearer than expected so far, so I see your point. In regards to the lake and the fishery back then, though, it was bad and getting worse, and I don’t think the techniques played that much of a role in the lake giving the lake its bad reputation.

 

If you look two years earlier in 1992, Stanley Mitchell won on Norman with just over 46 pounds of bass, a smidge over 11 pounds per day. His final day stringer weighed only 8-07. His primary baits were a floating worm and a Pop-R, so very appropriate clearer water techniques.

 

Two years later, at the same time of year, the winning weight had dropped to 39 pounds, less than 10 pounds per day, and two of those pounds were added in a fish-off.

 

Then the fall of that year produced the 23 pound, 4 day winning weight.
 

Studies at the time had consistently shown Norman to be the least fertile large reservoir in the state, both in terms of water quality (phosphorus, etc) as well as fish (poundage per mile/acre). 

 

Point being, most of the baits and techniques used back then seemed ‘finesse appropriate’ for the conditions:

 

 

 

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Maybe.  Maybe they was over working the bait trying to get paid.  I have no idea.

 

I'm sure there is a lot of truth to what your saying in general.

 

Norman seems like an odd lake to say the least and fairly unique in our state.  Popper and floating worm are proven techniques but a far cry from the intense level of finesse we have achieved in the past decade or two.  Both are still 'topwater' which is hard to call finesse but I agree those are on the finesse edge of that spectrum for sure.

 

I'm sure DNR/WRC had to swoop in and try to resuscitate the lake back then with all those environmental issues compounding the poor tournament results.

 

I'd be curious to see some real shock study data from that era.  If the lake was doing that poorly, surely they'd have it somewhere.

 

@Team9nine welcome to NC!  I'm in central NC and if you ever wanna beat a bank somewhere let me know.  ??

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On 9/26/2023 at 5:19 PM, TnRiver46 said:

I think it’s a no brainer you shouldn’t move the fish, kind of a universal law. But it’s really not much of a problem , like always. 

I know this thread has moved on but i cant pass up a jeff goldblum gif opportunity.

 

Life, uh, finds a wayEvolve Jurassic Park GIF

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Guntersville is loaded with Alabama bass, they could easily swim and spread themselves to every lake on the TN river without the assistance of a bucket . 

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I’m close, but actually now in upstate SC. I’ve come across some of the study data from that time, along with a bunch of news articles lamenting the demise, and speculating as to the cause. It was a largemouth only lake for the most part from what I’ve read, and baitfish populations, primarily threadfin, were low and variable. NC-DNR had conferred with a fisheries specialist from GA, and that's where the spotted bass suggestion first arose, but NC biologists were hesitant and chose not to go that route. Anglers eventually took matters into their own hands and transferred them themselves. Similar to the introduction of alewife/herring around the same time, I believe. Most of the press suggests everybody loved the spots catching on in that lake, but we didn’t have the level of understanding/knowledge about DNA analysis and/or population level effects that we do now, so there was no way of understanding what the outcome would be. As anglers, we also didn’t have the ultra level of finesse or appropriate equipment to handle it in any meaningful way in those days, so the light line and weightless techniques they were using back then were pretty much the standard for finesse in those days, except for maybe pockets of specialists like in CA, TN or the Ozarks.

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3 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

Guntersville is loaded with Alabama bass, they could easily swim and spread themselves to every lake on the TN river without the assistance of a bucket . 

The only three species ever stocked on Lake Ray Roberts were LGM, coppernose, and threadfin. Yet, we have smallmouth, wipers, crappies, carps, gizzard shad. The list of non-stocked non-natives is long and mostly introduced from overflow/drainage into the lake. It's only so controllable and we only have so much influence

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45 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

Guntersville is loaded with Alabama bass, they could easily swim and spread themselves to every lake on the TN river without the assistance of a bucket . 

Yes they can essentially swim to any body of water in the Mississippi valley that has a dam with a lock that they can swim through.  A ride in a motor vehicle would allow them to make the trip faster through.

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@Pat Brown agreed on NC lakes. You do have your muddy ones but there are also a lot (not just in the mountains) that are very clear. I'd be willing to bet a rod or 2 I had a good 8-10ft of visibility on the lower part of Gaston when I was on it 2 weeks ago.

 

Also despite my muddy home lake bass have had no problem finding senkos and even ned baits. It may be subtler for the bass but with everyone and their mother power fishing these muddy lakes I'm convinced the fish bite the finesse approach more since its less common. 

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57 minutes ago, Woody B said:

NC Wildlife has a page with a BUNCH of links involving Alabama bass studies.   

 

https://www.ncwildlife.org/Fishing/Black-Bass-in-North-Carolina/Alabama-Bass#119772470-reports-summaries--publications

I thought this was pretty interesting....LMB vs Alabama bass at 1 year old.

alabama bass lying on a measuring tape above a largemouth bass

 

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28 minutes ago, Chris Catignani said:

I thought this was pretty interesting....LMB vs Alabama bass at 1 year old.

alabama bass lying on a measuring tape above a largemouth bass

 


That’s a very misleading graphic as there is a lot of study data that contradicts this, not to mention the inherent variability between any two individual fish. 

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On 10/2/2023 at 8:08 AM, TnRiver46 said:

Well , since every lake in America isn’t lake Norman, let’s take a look at Toledo bend. It’s loaded with spots and produced 125 double digit LM bass last spring. And that’s just the ones reported 

Wrong species there. Toledo Bend has spotted bass, not Alabama bass. 

On 10/1/2023 at 9:00 PM, TnRiver46 said:

IMG-2554.jpg
 

?. Give me a break ! 

So, you don't like what one of the foremost fisheries biologists, and one who is intimately familiar with Alabama Bass, has to say about it? He is correct. The one piece of the puzzle that we do not know about Alabama bass is their water temperature threshold. How low can they survive?

On 10/2/2023 at 11:43 AM, Buzzbaiter said:

Are these “spots” actual spotted bass, or Alabama bass? I haven’t been able to find a source that describes what exact species the Toledo Bend “spots” are. Whether those fish are spotted bass, Alabama bass, or a mix of both will affect how they interact with the largemouth. Spotted bass and northern largemouth evolved alongside each other, so they should be able to coexist. Largemouth and Alabamas share little native range, so the combination of the two species in a single system would be a lot more volatile.

Toledo Bend has spotted bass, just like the Mississippi basin from Illinois south.

On 10/2/2023 at 7:35 PM, Chris Catignani said:

Just got back from 4 days on Neely Henry...
Seems like the Large jaws and Bama bass co-habitat there alright.

That being said...I want to say that Alabama bass are the meanest, hard-hitting, fighting and just plain psyco bass that exist.

I dare you to try and lip one with a crank bait in his mouth.

 

They're native to that watershed and native on native intergression isn't highly common.

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11 hours ago, Team9nine said:


That’s a very misleading graphic as there is a lot of study data that contradicts this, not to mention the inherent variability between any two individual fish. 

yep...I should have dug a little deeper.

 

Quote

 

Alabama bass were smaller than large mouth bass at ages 1–2; however, by age 3, growth rates of both species converged and became similar thereafter.

Alabama Bass (ncwildlife.org)


 

 

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1 hour ago, Chris Catignani said:

yep...I should have dug a little deeper.


Apologies if my comment came across as directed at you. Disappointed that NCWRC published that in their effort to ‘inform’ the public, as even some of their linked studies in that online pamphlet don’t support the argument. It’s an attention getter, but not fairly representative of the data that I’ve seen. The Alabama bass issue is a serious one in some waters, but that just came across as overselling the threat to me. Just my $0.02. 

 

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On 10/6/2023 at 9:24 AM, Team9nine said:

The Alabama bass issue is a serious one in some waters, but that just came across as overselling the threat to me.

 

I think it's kinda a double edged sword.   IF (big if) Alabama Bass have the potential to ruin a good Smallmouth fishery then that's something to be concerned about.    Lately I've been catching good numbers of Spots/Alabama bass, and an occasionally Largemouth.   I attempted to target Largemouth today.  I didn't catch as many but I did manage to catch 7 decent Largemouth and 1 small spot.  It's hard for me to pass up bigger numbers but it was nice to catch mostly LM's for a change.   

 

NC (and I suspect TN) is soliciting money to help stock their magic F1 Bass.   I feel there's a money angle to much of their fear mongering.   

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On 10/6/2023 at 7:46 AM, Drew03cmc said:

Wrong species there. Toledo Bend has spotted bass, not Alabama bass. 

So, you don't like what one of the foremost fisheries biologists, and one who is intimately familiar with Alabama Bass, has to say about it? He is correct. The one piece of the puzzle that we do not know about Alabama bass is their water temperature threshold. How low can they survive?

Toledo Bend has spotted bass, just like the Mississippi basin from Illinois south.

They're native to that watershed and native on native intergression isn't highly common.

Nope sure don’t believe him. He sounds like a psychic with a crystal ball, foremost my foot. I posted a link to Toledo bend regs that included Alabama bass, you can’t tell them apart by just looking 

14 hours ago, Woody B said:

 

   I feel there's a money angle to much of their fear mongering.   

^bingo. They always throw out that “we will lose billions” just like the Asian carp that they were so afraid of, even tho they could have just closed the locks and stopped them immediately. 

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5 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

Nope sure don’t believe him. He sounds like a psychic with a crystal ball, foremost my foot. I posted a link to Toledo bend regs that included Alabama bass, you can’t tell them apart by just looking 

 

God forbid science doesn't align with your views. If you also notice, they included most other species of black bass too. States will do that to simplify regulations. Missouri and Kansas include smallmouth when most lakes don't include them.

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35 minutes ago, Drew03cmc said:

God forbid science doesn't align with your views. If you also notice, they included most other species of black bass too. States will do that to simplify regulations. Missouri and Kansas include smallmouth when most lakes don't include them.

I don’t have to believe him and he doesn’t have to believe me. It’s ok to disagree. I also have a degree in fisheries science 

 

so far they are saying based on 2-3 lakes in NC, all smallies are on borrowed time. Also saying a fishery will be certainly doomed, gone forever and never to return is just hyperbole. Nobody knows the future, they are almost always wrong about invasive species 

 

and thirdly, the biologists in my state just got called out by a former employee for publishing erroneous data 

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On 10/2/2023 at 7:35 PM, Chris Catignani said:

Just got back from 4 days on Neely Henry...
Seems like the Large jaws and Bama bass co-habitat there alright.

That being said...I want to say that Alabama bass are the meanest, hard-hitting, fighting and just plain psyco bass that exist.

I dare you to try and lip one with a crank bait in his mouth.

 

Pretty much anything with a treble hook! I think they try to get even 🤔

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43 minutes ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

Yeah I've never encountered a meaner or more violent fish than the Spotted Bass.   

 

They would certainly eat humans if they could 😆

I’ve always said if fish knew how to use a fillet knife, they would come after me for revenge on account of how many I’ve eaten 

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On 10/8/2023 at 12:20 PM, ScottW said:

Pretty much anything with a treble hook! I think they try to get even 🤔

I've been resisting posting this picture from July.  This is what a 3 pound Spot will do if it get's a chance.   

 

hook.jpg

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On 10/8/2023 at 10:05 AM, TnRiver46 said:

Nobody knows the future, they are almost always wrong about invasive species 

This is true, but I believe most, of the time an invasive species has a negative effect on the native species.  Most of the time anglers simply adapt to the change, and don't really care about the effect on the native species, especially if the native species is small, does not bite topwater, and tastes bad.  An example of this is the Northern Pike Minnow ( previously know as Squaw fish) in the Columbia River drainage.  Introduction of bass and walleye have biologists concerned about the effect these species have on trout and salmon, but no one cares about the Northern Pike Minnow.  They even have a bounty on them, paid by the power companies that built the dams, because they prey on the salmon and trout smolt.  Why are people not concerned about them?  Don't they have mothers too?  The reason is their mothers are ugly, small, don't fight well, and taste horrible. 

      Many trout lakes that have carp introduced, can still have decent trout fishing and eventually people will forget how much better the trout fishing was, and begin to think the carp had zero effect. After enough time fisherman will actually think the carp are native species.  This doesn't mean the carp didn't have a drastic negative effect on the trout.

     Same can be said about other invasive species.  Most weeds that farmers constantly fight, are invasive species.  Will a farmer still have a wheat crop after a new weed starts sprouting in his fields. Yes but the crop will not have the same yield, combined with the extra expense of fighting the weed, his profit will suffer.  Of course his crop is most likely a non native species, which shows weather an effect is positive or negative, can only determined by which side of the fence a person is standing on.

     If Martians came to earth and enslaved all humans, it would probably not have any negative effect on the universe as a whole, and the earth would continue to exist with a large variety of species existing in a balance state, for millions of years, but to us humans, the Martians would have definitely had a large negative effect.

     I like catching large mouth bass in Mexico, and admit to being selfish enough to not care if the bass displaced any native species.  I am not saying the bass are in any way good for the native ecosystem, but I will say they get very big, hit top water lures, and taste great.  Although I wouldn't go so far as legally plant them, I do practice catch and release on the waters that already have them in order to help sustain the population of these very large invading predators. 

      I believe there should be an attempt to stop the spread of Alabama Bass, but I have to believe the cat is out of the bag, making it almost impossible to do so.  Luckily the Alabama bass is a great sportfish.  There are many other species of fish that could be far worse to sportsman's interests if accidently introduced.  I would like to catch an Alabama bass some day, but I am willing to travel to do so.  Please don't put any in Mexican waters, I am happy catching the invasive species of bass that are already here.

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