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stumpanic

Are Bass Territorial?

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I've read somewhere that bass are territorial. How territorial are they? How far will they move to deeper structure from their territory? I fish on lakes that have alot of feeder creeks and that is where I have the most success fishing for bigger bass, but with the lakes falling to their winter levels and the bass moving to deeper structure, how far is too far for them to move? This is my first time fishing in mountain lake/resevoirs in SE Tn./ SW Nc. and my first time fishing deep. All help would be appreciated.

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I've read this a number of times also, especially about the big lunkers.  I've also read some posts on this forum where tagged bass were found many miles from the tagging location.  I know smallmouths in a lake will move further distances, but it was always my understanding that largemouths didn't move great distances.  There are some very knowledgeable people on this forum who will be able to give you examples of both territoriality and traveling bass.  

BTW, welcome to the BassResource.com forum, stumpanic!!

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Butch Ward and I were involved back in the early 90's on a Upper Potomac River project that involved radio transmittors attached to some smallmouth that we had caught in the Whites Ferry-Edwards Ferry area above Washington DC in the Rockville MD area. The Maryland Fisheries provided us with the transmitters. Some fish stayed in their areas while some were prone to move 6,10 even twenty miles. Most of the smallmouth that moved great distances were prone to do this during the winter or pre winter months searching for winter haunts. I felt that after the project was over that each had their own personalitys and preferances. To keep it short, some were roamers and some were home bodies while many did migrate down stream towards a dammed area or deeper holes. Ken Penrod has some interesting info on these migrations. Get in touch with him via the net. My opinion on how territorial bass are? I think that the bigger fish, especially the females can become very territorial, even after the spawn. I always felt that big bass are sort of loners and do not like anything in their area. On the other hand I have seen many "pairs or groups of three that seem to hang together. Especially smallmouth bass. I guess this deserves a lot more research and time to build a case on how, when and why bass are different in there territorial ways. Thanks , Jim

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Butch Ward and I were involved back in the early 90's on a Upper Potomac River project that involved radio transmittors attached to some smallmouth that we had caught in the Whites Ferry-Edwards Ferry area above Washington DC in the Rockville MD area. The Maryland Fisheries provided us with the transmitters. Some fish stayed in their areas while some were prone to move 6,10 even twenty miles. Most of the smallmouth that moved great distances were prone to do this during the winter or pre winter months searching for winter haunts. I felt that after the project was over that each had their own personalitys and preferances. To keep it short, some were roamers and some were home bodies while many did migrate down stream towards a damed area or deeper holes. Ken Penrod has some interesting info on these migrations. Get in touch with him via the net. Thanks , Jim

Interesting information Jim, thanks.

Roger

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I not  sure about exact distance but this year Toledo Bend dropped 11' below normal meaning areas that were 10' deep you could walk around kicking dust.

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A largemouth bass's territory is the space its body is occupying. I have tracked a 5 mile move of an entire school in under 4 hours. Where goeth the food, so goeth the bass.

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George Welcome is spot on, bass will move with the food source and when they deem that areas theirs they wii defend it adamantly. But their territorry is subject to change by the movements of food and also their seasonal movements. In general if food sources remain regular and in a stable point in the year their territory will remain constant and if the fish is released it will return to where i was caught, If I remember correctly small mouth will swim farther than large mouth. The most territorial that a bass will be is during the prespawn, spawn, and post spawn. Durring that time they will strike out at nearly anything, but they can be a real tough bite after the eggs have hatched. But with enough determination even these fish will bite. Mostly these fish will just move objects out of the bedding area. I once heard that the territory of a double digit fish can be up to 200 cubeic feet. Not sure on the validit of that, might be interesting to see what our hawg hunters say.

Their territorrail nature is dictated by the biological calendar, competition, and character of each fish and its size. I used to keep a 40 gallon aquarium and kept bass and bream and crappie, and I truly beleive that each fish has its own character, that said they are still primarily instinctual creatures. I hope all that is clear.

Peter

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There are several bodies of water that I fish where fishermen have given names to bass that live in certain areas. They are almost like pet bass that even after they have been caught and brought to the scale fishermen swear that they catch the same fish over and over from the same spot. What happens is that you have areas that will attract quality bass for one reason or another. Large bass will use these areas from time to time. If you catch that bass and keep it sooner or later that spot will be taken up by another bass because there is something about that spot that the bass likes. The spot might just be used for feeding, spawning, or protection and might just be used for a short time. Roaming bass tend to be bass that might be in transition, or actively looking for food, new hunting area, a new place to call home. Roaming bass might take up an area for a short time but they will be here today gone tomorrow either because food source has moved, fishing pressure, or any number of reasons.

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If you watched any of the BassMaster tournaments on TV this year, you probably noticed the thing they were doing with tagged bass.  I was amazed at how far those suckers roamed.  Not enough info from this to indicated why they were traveling around, but sure raised some questions for me about things I had thought I had learned.

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I not  sure about exact distance either, but Big bass in the northeast  dont move that far away form the area. I have caught many 5+ pound bass. They are very territorial,staying in one area for the season.

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I am currently reading the big bass magic book right now. Hannon states they are very territorial as well.

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