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Meanmouth Bass

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Here ya go!!!.........

It must have been 20 years ago when we first read of a "meanmouth" bass.

Now we read in Outdoor Life that Curt Walker of St. Charles, Mo., last fall caught a 4.75-pound meanmouth at Table Rock Lake. The fish was a state record, although we suspect there have been relatively few entries in that category in the Missouri record book.

Meanmouth is the nickname of a hybrid black bass, a cross between a smallmouth bass and a spotted (Kentucky) bass. Given the fighting abilities of both branches of the hybrid's family tree, the nickname fits.

Whether the cross occurred in the wild or was engineered in a laboratory is unclear. we've learned the risks of placing total trust in an aging memory bank, but we believe the first meanmouth we heard of were crossed in a laboratory.

Researchers in that case labeled the fish as meanmouths and for very good reasons. By our recollection, they were stocked into a holding pond for observation. The researchers said that anyone wading in the pond would feel the fish nipping their legs, thus the nickname "meanmouth."

Those original meanmouths at least we think they were original were isolated because their potential impact on other species was unclear.

That their kind now are found in public waters was news to us. But if they inherit the best characteristics of their split ancestry, they represent exciting prospects.

Both smallmouth and spotted bass, arguably, are better fighters when hooked than the more widespread largemouth bass. Both grow at slower rates than largemouth and never reach the maximum size of largemouth. Both are capable of topping 10 pounds, however, and are street brawlers when hooked.

Some fish species, most notable being those in the sunfish family, crossbreed in the wild. And hybrids, whether bred in the wild or in the laboratory, are known and respected by sport fishermen.

They include the saueye, a cross between the sauger and the walleye; the tiger muskie, a cross between the muskie and the northern pike, and the hybrid striper, a mix of the striped bass and the white bass.

And then, of course, there is the meanmouth. Kentucky

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Thats awesome! I've never heard of a meanmouth bass. Hmmm, makes me wonder what a LMB and a Peacock Bass hybrid would look like  :o

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