Jump to content

Bass and other animals (some dumb questions)


Recommended Posts

My Grandfather used to say there's no such thing as a dumb question, just dumb people.  (The dumb people are the ones who don't ask questions)

 

1st, school me on Bass and birds.   I see birds mentioned a bunch when locating Bass.  What species of birds are we looking for?   I know Velociraptors(Herron) and Osprey will usually be near bait fish, near the bank.  I've also learned that the topwater bite is basically non existent when they're around.  I've always assumed (and I know what assume is an acronym for) that the presence of ducks and geese have nothing to do with finding Bass.   Am I right?    What about Sea Gulls?  I (think I) vaguely remember Gulls crushing Shad from above, while White Bass are in a frenzy below.   Does inactive Gulls just floating around mean anything?    Any other species of birds to look for?  

 

2nd, Shell beds.  I catch a bunch of Bass around shell beds.  I've never targets shell beds to find Bass, I've always been fishing there for some other reason.   What time of year should I be targeting shell beds?   

 

3rd,  Beavers, Musk Rats ect.   What effect do these animals have on Bass?  An area where I've ALWAYS caught Bass has......tuned cold for the last couple months.   Yesterday I saw a HUGE Beaver swimming around there.   Is this just a coincidence or does the Beaver have something to do with the Bass being gone?   Do any of you see other animals, or certain animals and go find somewhere else to fish?   

 

4th, other fish.   I'm not really worried about this one, at least in the waters I fish.   I've heard many people say you won't find Bass around Gar because the Gar eat everything.  (Speaking of Long nose Gar locally)   I've caught Bass, and hooked Gar on back to back casts.  I've also caught Bass and huge Catfish close together.   Is it rare to fish Bass near other big predators.  Perhaps this is the case with bigger, more toothy predators like Musky ect.  

 

 

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

My grandfather used to say there are no dumb questions,  but there are plenty of dumb people who ask questions. 

 

Birds.  Gulls are definitely a good tell.  Osprey, too.  Ducks, geese and swans...not so much.  A cool indicator is when it is calm, watch the surface when a heron or cormorant flies low.  You will see where the baitfish are from the boil.  Floating gulls may not be on bait, but they aren't far from it, usually. 

 

Mammals.  Otter within a hundred yards can absolutely kill a bite.  But bass know the difference between beavers and otters.  I was shocked a year or two ago when I got bit in 3 foot of water right as a beaver was swimming over the bass.  Some of my most reliable spots are right outside...or even inside a beaver mess.

 

Fish.  I don't catch bass around gars, but then again, when I know there are gars schooling, I tend to relocate pretty quickly.  So my dislike for catching gar may have more to do with it.  Bass and catfish absolutely share the same water.  Bass and snakehead also share the same spots and snakeheads are crazy mean and aggressive.  However, I rarely catch bass if carp are plentiful...no idea why

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

#1 I'm gonna fish around diving Gulls, Loons, and fresh baby duck.

#2 Shell beds for my area means Shell Crackers so I fish bigger baits to target Cracker eaters.

#3 All beaver huts deserve a few cast atleast until the tail slapping starts.

#4 I've caught Bass, Gar, Blue Cats, and Flathead catfish all in the same area.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great questions. My pond always has a couple of geese and a couple of herons. They typically fly off when I get close (the geese) making a ton of racket. Seems I never catch anything for 15-20 minutes after that. 

 

I've seen one beaver but it was far off and I couldn't cast out anywhere near it from the bank.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1: Gulls dive on shad. Loons eat anything they catch, so what water they're working usually tells me what they're hunting.  Osprey hunt panfish size fish, I don't recall ever seeing them dive on shad since ours never really get more than 4".  

 

2: I'm on a lake devoid of hard cover, so if I ever found a shell bed in deep water, I'd bet it would be holding bass.  I've seen enough internet to know that FL guys/gals like to crank shell beds.

 

3: I've seen musk rats blown up in the shallows/first break at night.  I fish those areas hard.  I've also seen a baby duck not make it past the corner of a pier, though the flash looked more Northern Pike than bass.  I don't have any up close experience with beavers and otters.

 

4: Big Northern don't seem to eat the size bass I'm looking for, so I consider them a good sign that there's bait in the area and therefore I keep fishing.....maybe with a leader.  I often find bass near or under schools of crappie too.  Humans, if they're panfish fisherman, I remember that spot and go looking for bigguns when it's available.

 

scott

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

There are very few birds that can harm a fishery, Cormorants and Pelicans with Cormorants #1.

Few animals can swim and eat fish, Otters are #1.

Tom 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Global Moderator

white birds are always near baitfish 
 

Beaver and muskrat are vegetarians. 
 

I catch gar and bass together all the time but they’ve both been in the river a few million years, neither of them can leave now 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Coots eat new vegetation so they can help disclose those areas.  
 

Beaver chew down small trees, chew off branches and drag the branches for huts and food stores.  It’s not uncommon for residual brush to be near huts or sapling stumps but out of view.

 

Crows and blackbirds are an indication that some jerk threw their McDonalds garbage out the window at the ramp parking lot.  

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Eagles. hawks. and the osprey around here will kill the topwater bite.  They will circle the lake for a few minutes and then leave if they can't find any fish.

 

There are always some fish around a beaver dam.

 

Other fish.  It depends on the size of the fish.  Big fish eat little fish I don't think they worry about which species they're eating.  When the sunnies are active and out in the open then the larger predators are not around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Birds:

Egretta

Are carnivorous, with their diet consisting of fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, crustaceans, such as fiddler crabs, crayfish, & shrimp.

I'm looking for more than just a single bird.

 

Coot

Omnivorous. Eats mostly plant material, including stems, leaves, and seeds of pondweeds, sedges, grasses, and many others, also much algae. Also eats insects, tadpoles, fish, worms, snails, crayfish, prawns, eggs of other birds.

 

Flocks tell me where submergent vegetation is thickest.

 

Shell Beds: don't look for just shell beds but any (hard) bottom.  Sand, clay, road beds ( dirt, gravel, or blacktop, or concrete).

 

Animals:

IDC (I don't care)

Alligator, wanna know their where abouts for my safety.

Edited by Catt
Fingers faster than the brain
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

As far as inactive gulls floating on the water or lining the shores, they are there because its a good spot to ambush bait fish like shad. They are just waiting for game fish to push the shad to the surface.. They are usually set up on a flat. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

They sure are cute, but go the otter way if they are around. Fish know they are carnivores and tend to move out of the area..

 

image.jpeg.108083ba4142653bf808ac4417a492ca.jpeg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

1. 


2. Anytime, but especially post-spawn through fall

 

3. Never any issues with those listed. Have always considered beaver dams a great place to find bass, and in the ponds I fished, bass and catfish would use the ‘lanes’ created by muskrats. Only big ‘negative’ that comes to mind is otters, but those are usually river based and primarily affect smallmouth in my former area. Osprey and eagles take LMB, but it’s fairly opportunistic and random from what I can tell.

 

4. Nothing specific outside of some northern natural lakes where large populations of big pike or musky exist and rule the weedlines, forcing smaller bass (-3 lbs or under) to stay largely inside the weeds or to the inside weedline/shoreline. Really big flatheads and blue cats will eat them, as will some snakeheads, but again, more random and opportunistic, I believe.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

I've seen both ospreys and eagles dive on bass. Last summer, I parked under a dead tree to watch an eagle eat a bass. However, because they are omnipresent in Maine, they don't kill the topwater bite. I think they suppress it and especially when the Sun is high, but bass have to eat. They just hunker in the weeds, snatch one of my poppers, and dive back into the weeds before a raptor eats them. 

 

Beavers are abundant here too and and one of my best bogs has so many of them. My main issue with beavers is all the tail slapping. I fish quietly and beavers are the noisiest critters in nature. A single beaver might sound the alarm half a dozen times and there might be four or five beavers in a morning. It's like fishing in the percussion area of an orchestra. 

 

I used to chase gulls when fishing for white bass. The bass would drive the shad to the surface and the gulls would dive on the shad, making the white bass. 

 

Thanks for raising this topic, Woody.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Woody B I’m a firm believer that the absolute dumbest questions are those which aren’t asked. Great topic.

 

From what I understand, shell beds can be gold mines in certain systems & worth seeking out & marking. They can be found using both 2D sonar & down/side imaging/scan, if not already shown as waypoints on your FF mapping or on a hard map like Hot Spots, etc. Search YouTube for more information about it & how to set up your particular unit to help locate them. Another possible source would be Google searches & reading forum posts related to using sonar units.

 

I was down at Guntersville last fall & quite a few nice bass were caught dragging football jigs through shellbeds by some of our friends.

 

If you’re interested & need help finding the YT videos or forums, shoot me a PM.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Bass & Catfish hang out on the same structures feeding on the same food sources. 

 

A trick I used for locating bass holding structure was look for trotlines. On Toledo Bend trotlines by law have to be marked & most anglers used bright yellow Prestone Antifreeze jugs. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve fished with eagles, osprey, beavers, gators, all kinds of critters… the only one I thought turned off the bite was otters. I mean nada, zilch, ka-put….. even the minnows hide.

It’s like when everyone is talking about someone and they walk into the room…..it gets all quiet ….then they leave and they start talking again. That’s an otter. 
@Team9nine and @ol'crickety I’ve chase gulls here when the stripers are running. Running up to them and throwing rattle traps in the mix. It can get exciting when ya get a few boats, all chasing the birds.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

@GRiver, for sure, jump fishing is a blast. I've done it on the Atlantic with stripers too. The only I HATE about jump fishing is the occasional idiot who powers at full speed into the middle of the feeding and drives the bass away. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

Cormorants in large numbers will absolutely decimate a population of fish. Years ago there were so many on Leech Lake here in MN that the feds brought in snipers to pick them off. I don’t remember how many were removed, but it was in the hundreds. They were eating walleye fingerlings that had recently been stocked.

 

In regards to other fish, most predatory fish are carnivorous, pisciverous, and cannibalistic. Meaning they will eat other fish, including their own kind, given the opportunity. This is generally why schooling fish are grouped up by relative size.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User
1 hour ago, GRiver said:

I’ve chase gulls here when the stripers are running.

 

That's how we fish for Speckled Trout & Redfish. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


  • Outboard Engine

    fishing forum

    fishing tackle

    fishing

    fishing

    fishing tackle

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.