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fishinginiowa

Schooling bass and other bass habits

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Hello again...

I had such a good response from my last post, I thought I would pose a couple of questions to all of you...

Schooling bass - Do bass school just for the purpose of hunting prey like minnows, or are there other reasons?

Similar sizes bass group together- Why does it seem that bass of similar size group together? I have seen countless times when I might catch several bass off a bush or tree and they all are in the same size range, such as 3-4 pounds... Do they stick to similar size bass for certain reasons? Is there less of a threat being with bass of similar size or are there other reasons?

Large bass become loners- It seems to me that when bass get over 6-8 pounds in size and the "average" of the bass in that body of water are 2-4 pounds, that the large bass seem to be "off by themselves more", is there a reason for this? Do they choose to be loners, or are they sort of cast out by groups of the smaller bass?

I don't know all the answers, but I do have a lot of questions...  

Thanks in advance for any information you have...

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ON lake Erie the bass are in schools but they are following schools of forage fish. my guess is that the bass from the same years hatch stay together because big bass eat little bass. so they may just stay together in the school. but i have also caught biger fish that seem to be loners.

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I can't give a scientific explanation for bass schooling by class,they often do.I can say from on the water experience that I have caught larger bass that are schooled(5-6 lbs.)and I have caught larger bass schooled with smaller bass.I do think that seasonal patterns effect the schooling process.In the late spring(post-spawn)is when I have caught big fish schooled togather.In the fall I don't catch bigguns' togather nor do I catch bigguns' with smaller schoolers.I wouldn't say that these experiences would hold true on all bodies of water.

Smaller largemouth bass are known chasers,where mature bass have learned to ambush their prey.Not saying smaller fish don't ambush,they just don't mind chasing.This may shed light on bigger fish being loners and smaller fish schooling during the fall feed.Just my experiences and opinions.  CJ

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In addition to hunting I believe that bass will school for safety in bodies of water that contain larger predators like musky. It's been my experience that largemouth of all different sizes will school together while smallmouth tend to school by size. It may vary from lake to lake.

I agree that big bass tend to be loners, especially largemouth. I figure a bass that is genetically predisposed to become large has needs beyond what the school can provide. I believe these bass will seperate themselves from the feeding competition associated with schooling fish and develop their own foraging habits. A large appetite and the need to rest between feedings usually prompt these bass to become very territorial once a suitable home is found.

In late fall and early winter on my home lake here in Va. we get mainlake striper schooling action on the surface. It's awesome to see. Very large bass are sometimes caught within these striper schools, not on the surface busting bait but down below the school. These bass just wait for injured bait to fall down to them. They let the stripers do all the work and they collect the leftovers. Giant lazy bass, you gotta love'em!

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