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General Bass Information

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Im looking for just some informative information on Bass that probably arent asked that much if at all. Since im so addicted to catching these beautys id like to learn everything about them. Ill ask general questions and leave enough room between each for replys, thanks to all who respond. Might even make a good sticky? who knows..

What is the average life expectancy of both a Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass?

What do Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass do in the winter for food sources when the bodies of water they frequent in some states are frozen solid?

What can a person do to help a Largemouth and Smallmouth Basses habitat in which they live in, are there things you can do maybe cheaply to make em say spawn more or improve their overall health that arent very costly or time consuming?

Do Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass have predators (wether it be birds or other problem fish) that can ruin their numbers in a given body of water?

If yes to the question above do you have any recommendations or solutions on getting rid of these problematic things?

Do you know something about Bass in general that people might be suprised to know, if so what?

How long can you keep a Bass out of water before doing damage to the fish itself.

Do you think all Bass should be released back? If yes or no are there certain circumstances aside from legal that would effect your decision?

This is all I can think of in two minutes off of the top of my head.

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Try the articles.Look for the topic Bass Biology and Behavior.Some of the answers should be there and I am sure you will get some of the answers on this thread,which is a good one BTW.

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All of my replies are towards largemouth bass but may also apply to smallmouth bass.

1: What is the average life expectancy of both a Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass?

In northern waters up to 15 years and in southern waters around 10.

They also grow faster in the south than in the north.

Females live longer than males.

2: What do Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass do in the winter for food sources when the bodies of water they frequent in some states are frozen solid?

Same thing they do in the summer, only slower. Their metabolism slows and they don't eat as much.

If the water freezes solid they will die. Also even if just the surface freezes and the body of water is small enough, especially if there is rotting vegetation in the water, all the oxygen in the water will be used and the fish will die. It's called "winter kill".

3: What can a person do to help a Largemouth and Smallmouth Basses habitat in which they live in, are there things you can do maybe cheaply to make em say spawn more or improve their overall health that arent very costly or time consuming?

Uh, Good question. I'm not real sure as far as spawning more. As for health, you can provide them with some type of cover. Sunken christmas trees, old tires bolted together, railroad ties piled together to form a "crib shelter", concrete blocks piled together, I hear the like gutted out cars, buses, farm equipment....etc.

4: Do Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass have predators (wether it be birds or other problem fish) that can ruin their numbers in a given body of water?

Not really after they get over about 10 inches. Granted a snapping turtle or muskie may get one every now and then, but it is generally not a real threat. Carp can sometimes be a problem as they can root up the bottom of the lake and make the water dirty, which can create a lot of problem for everything that lives in that body of water. Again that is rare.

Disease would be the biggest threat I can think of.

5: If yes to the question above do you have any recommendations or solutions on getting rid of these problematic things?

Kill the turtles and make some soup! ;D

6: Do you know something about Bass in general that people might be suprised to know, if so what?

Bass will relate to anything different. In a study bass where placed in a plain, all white tank. They swam around aimlessly. A board was placed over one edge and all the bass stayed under the shade of the board. The board was removed and rocks where placed on one side of the tank. The bass immediately where attracted to the rocks and hovered over them. The rocks where removed and a black stripe was placed in the tank. Even though it provided no cover, the bass still hovered near the stripe.

In another study bass had their eyes covered and where placed in a tank with minnows. Within a few hours the bass had eaten all the minnows. Showing that the bass would use their lateral line to hunt and not even need their eyes.

Pretty cool, huh? :)

7: How long can you keep a Bass out of water before doing damage to the fish itself.

I'm not sure if there is a certain time. Get them back in the water as soon as you can.

Make sure you handle them with wet hands and try not to let them touch anything like the ground or the deck of a boat. It washes of their slime coat which protects fish from disease and abrasions.

If you ever catch a big fish, over maybe 8-10 pounds, try to support it from under it's tail when you pick it up. Just lipping a large bass can break it's jaw.

Do you think all Bass should be released back? If yes or no are there certain circumstances aside from legal that would effect your decision?

I release all of the bass I catch (I'm a nice guy, though. I even release the ones I haven't caught! :D) but I don't have any problems in the waters I fish. One of the problem's I can think of would be a small body of water that is overpopulated with bass. In that case it is wise to remove a few so there is less fish fighting for food and lets a few get big.

Hope this helps.

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In northern waters up to 15 years and in southern waters around 10.

They also grow faster in the south than in the north.

Females live longer than males.

I've heard that they live to 20 yrs. But I could be wrong.

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Great answers mikey.

Just a couple things to add.

#4- they have predators such as heron, osprey, turtle, pickerel, pike muskie,etc.

NOTE_  If the pond is healthy and does not have an overabundance of 1 specie, DO NOTHING!

Balance is everything in a lake and the bass is not the top of the food chain.  He's high on the list but not the top.  This is natures way,...let it be.

#5 If you think there is an issue, do not take matters into your own hands, contact DNR first and they will advise you on your best solution or may take over the situation themselves.

#6 a red colored boat does not scare them away.  It does however make them dig a little harder when they get close enough to see it.

:)

#7- He is just like you.  When you lift him from the water, start holding your breath.  When you are gasping, so is he

;)

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#4- they have predators such as heron, osprey, turtle, pickerel, pike muskie,etc.

Come on, LBH! Two out of five ain't bad. Is it? :-/

"Granted a snapping turtle or muskie may get one every now and then, but it is generally not a real threat."

I wish to retract and rephrase my original statement to reply # 4 as it seems we have nittpicker's here. ;D

Soo... This is just for LBH. ;)

New #4.

4: If a big fish has teeth, a bird has a large beak, or you have snapping turtles, they may put a hurting on your bass population. ;) Carp may still be a problem and so is disease. ;D

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What I meant to imply was that just because there may be turtles or pike or somthing that can eat a bass,...Don't just kill or remove it for that reason, a balance is in place.

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Cool Topic. Here are some things I can add.

#3. Spawning: I read an article about improving spawning success (I think it was from this site). You can increase spawning habitat in your local waters by using something to make a border (like cinder blocks) and then fill the center with gravel or small stones. Bass like to spawn on hard surfaces and if the area does not provide that they will not spawn or will not spawn successfully. So by adding some spawing areas you can help improve the spawn.

#4. Predators: Yes they do have predators. I had a small pond growing up that I stocked with Bass. I had 2 problems...1. No spawning areas and 2. Osprey. The Osprey cleaned out every bass I ever put in that pond. The pond was only 3-4 feet deep and made the bass easy prey. You would be surprised at the size of fish big birds can pull from the water. I watched an Osprey pull a 16-18" bass from the water right in front of me! I was astonished. Larger fish like toothy critters will also feed on smaller bass but in the waters where toothy critters live this will most likely not hurt the bass population...in fact it may help by weeding out an over abundance of smaller fish.

Solution: If you do have a predator problem then add plenty cover to the body of water (weeds, sunken trees, fallen trees, rock piles, docks). Bass will use cover for both protection and to ambush prey. It is a KEY ingredient to successful bass waters. A body of water with no cover/structure will not be good for bass.

#8: Keeping Bass: I pretty much release all fish I catch but I am actually not doing the best thing for the body of water when I do so. Each body of water will have its own "Selective Harvest" needs. Many waters contain too many small bass or crappie or sunnies. These smaller fish should be harvested to keep their numbers down. Too many small fish will stunt fish growth because as a group they eat so much food that there is not enough food for fish to grow big. By harvesting smaller fish you allow the ones that don't get harvested to grow larger because they now have more food available to them. A perfectly balanced body of water will have a good range in the size of fish for all species. If there are lots of small fish... start harvesting! Keep some smaller fish and let the bigger ones go so they can grow big.

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Ospreys: I have seen osprey in the Everglades attached to such big fish they can't get them out of the water. I once paddled by an osprey that was just standing there in shallow water. It had its talons on a fish too big to lift, but by golly it wasn't about to let it go, either!

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This bass weighed 3.3 lbs.  I know this because we had just released it when the Osprey grabbed it about 10 ft from the boat, scaring the poop out of us.

It was probably hovering, waiting for us to release it because since this incident, we have noticed these osprey (1 mating pair at our lake) hovering over boats with fish on.  Never thought anything of it before we had this happen.  We were relatively close to the nest and it grabbed the bass and went straight for this limb.  Smile for the camera!

Picture1609.jpg

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Ya'll forgot to mention Bald Eagles. They are bigger then Ospreys and can carry away bigger fish.

We have both in abundance here in Florida. One time I was fishing in Dr's Lake an inlet off of the St.Johns river here in Jacksonville and I was back in a creek and saw an Osprey catch a decent sized bass and it was flying around and a Bald Eagle attacked it which caused the Osprey to drop his catch. The Bald Eagle dove right in the water to get that fish and just sat there in the water. While the Bald Eagle was sitting in the water the Osprey was steaming mad and was dive bombing the Bald Eagle. That happened until the Bald Eagle gave up and flew away.

Bald Eagles often times wait for Osprey's to catch a fish (They are better at it) and will attack them to steal their catch. It is pretty amazing to see that.

Ok I was going to answer the questions in a different way so here are a few:

What do Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass do in the winter for food sources when the bodies of water they frequent in some states are frozen solid?

They die as they would be frozen in an ice cube. ;D ;D Luckily this doesn't hapen as lakes are only frozen from a few inches deep to a couple feet. So there is plenty of water down below for them. But LMB don't do as well in water that cold as do Smallmouth bass.

Do Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass have predators (wether it be birds or other problem fish) that can ruin their numbers in a given body of water?

Yes, unfortunetly the biggest predator a bass has is man.

If yes to the question above do you have any recommendations or solutions on getting rid of these problematic things?

Get rid of man  :D Just teasing. Properly manage the lake you are fishing. Release all the bigger fish and keep some of the smaller ones if you need to.

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Bald Eagles often times wait for Osprey's to catch a fish (They are better at it) and will attack them to steal their catch.

I've observed this in the Glades, too. Now what does that tell you about our national symbol? (Ask the Native Americans!)

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Hate to do it but: Ospreys will out fish, out fly, and out maneuver an Eagle 10-1. It is the rare eagle that gets to keep his fish if Ospreys are in the area. It's interesting to watch this big strong bird sitting in a tree plaintively calling for its mate as the osprey have it pinned and won't let it fly away.

Even more interesting is to watch black birds gang up on an Osprey and these highly maneuverable little guys win many times.

The Osprey lives for stealing, including from each other. I get to watch this a hundred times a day.

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Guess my little moral lesson was a bit too tidy; the moral is that everybody's a thief  ::)

Seriously, George, you're lucky to see as many eagles and ospreys as you do. Sure beats looking at this computer screen all day. (Which reminds me: I better get back to work.)

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Wow I am very impressed with you guys not only do you know your fishing but you really KNOW these fish.

The frozen water question came up only because here in Michigan bodies of water will freeze (at the top solid) for about one month out of the year. When I say freeze I dont mean they freeze solid I mean the top of the water freezes so you can walk on it in some cases. Many people ice fish here as well.

I had no idea bass had such a decent life expectancy, I thought maybe around 5 years so that impressed me.

From now on when I see large chunks of land mass such as stones, blocks, logs etc etc I will DEFFINATLY be throwing them in that body of water. Thank you for that bit of information.

When I was younger and when my father was around I remember him catching a certain species of fish from time to time and cutting its head off then throwing it on shore. He told me something about them feeding on bass and are bad fish for bass waters. The fish could have been a Carp if im not mistaken or a Dog fish im not 100% sure on the species but I remember this day. He told me not to worry about the fish because other animals will eat it upon finding it and that the reason for the head cutting was to disperse the scent in the air for land predators.

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      Well Im convinced that a bass is not as smart as we think they are. Just lately I  was fishing a lake when I caught the same bass twice in a short amount of time. I caught it, realesed it, then caught it again. I know it was the same fish, I seen it the whole time.

      Another thing that convinced me of this is i was fishing for bluegill in a high pressured park pond.( there was 15-20 other people fishing it within 4-5 hours) I ended up catching a one and a half pound bass on a tiny crappie nibble.  ::) Oh well, there still fun to catch.  :)

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Hate to do it but: Ospreys will out fish, out fly, and out maneuver an Eagle 10-1. It is the rare eagle that gets to keep his fish if Ospreys are in the area. It's interesting to watch this big strong bird sitting in a tree plaintively calling for its mate as the osprey have it pinned and won't let it fly away.

Even more interesting is to watch black birds gang up on an Osprey and these highly maneuverable little guys win many times.

The Osprey lives for stealing, including from each other. I get to watch this a hundred times a day.

Seen it both ways George. I have also seen other smaller birds maybe Twin Tail Swallows? (Just a guess as I am not a bird person) chasing Bald Eagles all over the place. I guess those smaller quicker birds can run off those big predator birds pretty easy. I have seen them chase Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Ospreys and just about everything else that gets to close to their nests.

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