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KYbass1276

spawning bass question

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I fish mostly private owned ponds and was just wondering if i should not fish when the bass are spawning, would it hurt the bass population by catching a bass on the nest even though i will be releasing it I'm not and expert on the subject but I don't  want to hurt the bass population in the ponds I fish if the eggs or fry are going to be eaten because of me fishing

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I would say if you have a healthy bass population in the small pond I wouldn't think it would hurt it. I will also say that if the population in the pond is high it would be healthy to take out some to insure some of the fish can grow big.

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Before i went off to college i fished a local lake all the time in my hometown every chance i got. When the fish were spawning not only did i catch some of my biggest fish out of the lake but also enjoyed the challenge of getting them to bite out of either reaction or protection. When i did catch a fish on a bed i released it ASAP and then after a few minutes would see it come back to the bed as if nothing had happened. I never tried to catch a fish more than once on a bed since our lake was heavily fished and aways practiced catch and release.

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They usually do go back to their beds but the preditors are in there eating the eggs and fry while the are gone. However, with many private ponds the problem is too many fish. I have had two friends with ponds and they asked me to take fish out rather than C&R. Ponds are like lakes each are different.

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In the early stages of the spawn when the female is dropping her eggs the male female both protect the nest but after the female drops her eggs she only stays by for a little while and then she leaves. This is the way the bass used to act in my lake so it could be different from place to place.

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I would liken bed fishing to pruning a plant. Although the crop may benefit from prudent thinning,

if too much is taken away, it will seriously damage the crop.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but when I was very young I have single-handedly fished down (skimmed)

several small ponds. The point being made, small ponds are very fragile ecosytems,

regardless of what else you may read.

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I have been bed fishing small ponds for years. It is possible to have a negative effect on the smallest of them. What I started doing is just looking for that big one. It is fun to catch as many as you can. But when you are bed fishing the smallest of waters just go for the biggest one you can find.

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I really enjoy catching fish on the bed.  To see her go down on the lizzard really grinds my ax!  I always return the fish as soon as possible unless I catch the male first and the femle is still there.   I try to catch her then release both.  Try it with a light spinning rod, it's a kick in the pants!

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I fished for bass during the spawn last year in Calif.  After catching a bass on their nest, I waited to see if that bass would return.  After a few minutes that bass did return.  But a couple days later, the bass that have been caught on those beds get smart.  I witnessed the bass would either swim away, or if a lure is on its bed, it will grab the lure in a different area, so it avoids the hook.  Seriously, I've seen this.

Also heard that smallmouth bass, during the spawn, will hit a lure & when returned will go back to its nest.  But sm bass are known to hit the lure again, & again.  They are that agressive & will protect their property.

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Basspro48,

That is the way of bass everywhere. They as you pointed out both male and female will protect the nest after spawning, and really this is for the male to also guard the female because they are weak and vulnerable after the spawn. After the female begins to recover and the eggs have hatched she moves to deeper water and feeds heavily to regain lost energy. The male will watch over the fry until they reach about an inch and then he to will move to deeper waters.

Peter

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Ghost,

Alot of bass will simply move a lure or bait without eating it. They will also move a crawfish of other small egg snatcher without inhaling it. This is a survival trait. If these fish who are naturally canabalistic feed during this time there is a good chance they will eat their young. So most if not all bass will ussually not inhale a lure. The trick is that you have to use a smaller lure with a more readily exposed hook.

Peter

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Now, I don't know if the bed fishing I've done (mostly in small ponds, occassionally on banks of bigger lakes) has had ill effect or not, but a buddy of mine and I used to implement a "tag team" technique. The following assumes (like GobbleDog mentioned) the scenario where both the male (smaller) and the female (the HAWG) are both sitting on/near the nest:

1. Both anglers cast to/near the nest with suitable soft plastic bait, with the intent of getting the more aggressive male to grab it. I've found that either a lizard or tube (t-rigged) are tops for this.

2. Whoever hooks and lands the male first immediately takes him a good bit away from the nest to release him - I'm talking far away, like another corner of the pond, a couple hundred yards, whatever. This is important because that buck bass will immediately return to the nest and will bite again. If you drop him off far away from the nest, it'll take him a while to get back and you can focus on the (now alone) female.

3. The other angler focuses his/her effort on the big female now left to her own to defend the nest. If' you're lucky, she'll bite! Then of course, release her :)

I've only done this twice, and it only worked out for us once. I wasn't lucky enough to catch the momma, but the male I did catch was nice 4lbs. or so. My buddy got the female, which was just under 8lbs. Tons of fun!

-Rich

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