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Bass Fishing Information

The Sunfish of New York - Educational page providing biological, management, identification and fishing information about New York's most common sunfish species. Includes smallmouth and largemouth bass. One of a 14-part series covering the state's freshwater fish species

The Smallmouth Alliance - The Smallmouth Alliance (TSA) is a group of conservation-minded anglers who recognize the outstanding sporting characteristics of smallmouth bass.

Wholesale Fishing Tackle Suppliers & Manufacturers - Worldwide listings by country of fishing tackle manufacturers, distributors and wholesale tackle suppliers

Fishing Tackle Stores | Tackle Shops Directory - Worldwide listings of local tackle stores, also listings on tackle shops that have an online store.

LARGEMOUTH BASS (Micropterus salmoides) - The Largemouth Bass is a species of Black bass and is native to North America . It is also known as widemouth bass, bigmouth, black bass, bucketmouth, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth and northern largemouth. The largemouth bass is the state fish of Alabama (official freshwater fish), Georgia, Mississippi, Florida (state freshwater fish), and Tennessee (official sport fish).

Largemouth Bass are keenly sought after by anglers and are noted for the excitement of their fight.

Description: The largemouth bass is an olive green fish, marked by a series of dark, sometimes black, blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank. The upper jaw (maxilla) of a largemouth bass extends beyond the rear margin of the orbit. In comparison to age a female bass is larger than a male. The largemouth is the largest of the black basses, reaching a maximum recorded overall length of 29.5 in/75 cm and a maximum unofficial weight of 25 pounds 1 ounce (11.4 kg). The fish lives 16 years on average.

Habitat & Feeding Habits: The juvenile largemouth bass consumes mostly small bait fish, scuds, small shrimp, and insects. Adults consume smaller fish (bluegill), snails, crawfish (crayfish), frogs, snakes, salamanders, bats and even small water birds, mammals, and baby alligators.[12] In larger lakes and reservoirs, adult bass occupy deeper water than younger fish, and shift to a diet consisting almost entirely of smaller fish like shad, trout, ciscoes, shiners, and sunfish. Prey items can be as large as 25 to 35% of the bass's body length. Studies of prey utilization by largemouths show that in weedy waters, bass grow more slowly due to difficulty in acquiring prey. Less weed cover allows bass to more easily find and catch prey, but this consists of more open-water baitfish. Paradoxically, with little or no cover, bass can devastate the prey population and starve or get stunted. Fisheries managers need to take all these factors into consideration when designing regulations for specific bodies of water. Under overhead cover such as overhanging banks, brush, or submerged structure such as weed beds, points, humps, ridges, and drop-offs, the largemouth bass will use its senses of hearing, sight, vibration, and smell to attack and seize its prey. It can sometimes hold up to 5 sunfish in its mouth. Adult largemouth generally are apex predators within their habitat, but they are preyed upon by many animals while young


 

SMALLMOUTH BASS (Micropterus dolomieu) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of the order Perciformes. It is the type species of its genus. One of the black basses, it is a popular game fish sought by anglers throughout the temperate zones of North America, and has been spread by stock to many cool-water tributaries and lakes in the United States and Canada. The smallmouth bass is native to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence River–Great Lakes system, and up into the Hudson Bay basin. Its common names include Smallmouth, Bronzeback, Brown Bass, Brownie, Smallie, Bronze Bass, and Bare back Bass.

Description: The smallmouth bass is generally brown (seldom yellow) with red eyes and dark brown vertical bands, rather than a horizontal band along the side. There are 13–15 soft rays in the dorsal fin. The upper jaw of smallmouth bass extends to the middle of the eye.

Males are generally smaller than females. The males tend to range around two pounds while females can range from three to six pounds. Their average sizes can differ, depending on where they are found; those found in American waters tend to be larger due to the longer summers, which allow them to eat and grow for a longer period of time.

Their habitat plays a significant role in their colour, weight, and shape. River water smallmouth that live among dark water tend to be rather torpedo shaped and very dark brown in order to be more efficient for feeding. Lakeside smallmouth bass however, that live for example in sandy areas, tend to be a light yellow brown to adapt to the environment in a defensive state and are more oval shaped.

Smallmouth bass commonly live 5-7 years, with a few individuals reaching ages from 10-20 years. Most bass waters grow some adults to weights of 2-3 pounds.

The female can lay up to 21,100 eggs, which are guarded by the male in his nest.

Habitat & Feeding Habits: The Smallmouth Bass is found in clearer water than the largemouth, especially streams, rivers, and the rocky areas and stumps and also sandy bottoms of lakes and reservoirs. The smallmouth prefers cooler water temperatures than its cousin the largemouth bass, and may be found in both still and moving water. Because it is intolerant of pollution, the smallmouth bass is a good natural indicator of a healthy environment, though it can better adjust to changes in water condition than most trout species. Carnivorous, its diet comprises crayfish, insects, and smaller fish, the young also feeding on zooplankton.


 

STRIPED BASS (Morone saxatilis) is also called Atlantic striped bass, stripers, linesiders, rock, pimpfish or rockfish and is the state fish of Maryland, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and the state saltwater (marine) fish of New York, Virginia, and New Hampshire. They are also found in the Minas Basin and Gaspereau River in Nova Scotia Canada.

Description: The striped bass is a typical member of the Moronidae family in shape, having a streamlined, silvery body marked with longitudinal dark stripes running from behind the gills to the base of the tail. Maximum size is 200 cm (6.6 ft) and maximum scientifically recorded weight 57 kg (125 US pounds). The average weight is 30 to 40 lbs. Striped bass are believed to live for up to 30 years. The striped bass is South Carolina's state fish.

Striped bass spawn in freshwater and although they have been successfully adapted to freshwater habitat, they naturally spend their adult lives in saltwater (i.e., it is anadromous). Four important bodies of water with breeding stocks of striped bass are: Chesapeake Bay, Massachusetts Bay/Cape Cod, Hudson River and Delaware River. It is believed that many of the rivers and tributaries that emptied into the Atlantic, had at one time, breeding stock of striped bass.

Striped bass have also been hybridized with white bass to produce hybrid striped bass also known as wiper. These hybrids have been stocked in many freshwater areas across the U.S.

Fishing for Striped Bass: Striped bass are of significant value as sport fishing, and have been introduced to many waterways outside their natural range. A variety of angling methods are used, including trolling and surfcasting top water lures are a good pick for surf casting. Striped bass will take a number of live and fresh baits including bunker, clams, sandworms, herring, bloodworms, mackerel with shad being the best bait for freshwater striper fishing.

Bait for Striped Bass: Striped bass can be caught using a number of baits including: clams, eels, anchovies, bloodworms, nightcrawlers, chicken livers, menhaden, herring, shad, and sandworms. At times, striped bass can be very choosy about the baits they take. Because of the wide variety of baits that are known to work and their finicky nature, they are considered among fishermen as being an opportunistic or "lazy" feeder. However, it is estimated that 90% of their diet is fish.


 

HYBRID STRIPED BASS (Morone saxatilis x Marone chrysops) are also known as a wiper or whiterock bass, is a hybrid between the striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and the white bass (M. chrysops). It can be distinguished from the striped bass by broken rather than solid horizontal stripes on the body. Wipers are considered better suited for culture in ponds than either parent species because they are more resilient to extremes of temperature and to low dissolved oxygen.

Wipers became part of aquaculture in the United States in the late 1980s. Most producers purchase the fish young (as fry or fingerlings) and raise them in freshwater ponds. Currently about 10 million pounds (4.5 million kg) are produced annually in the United States. Wipers are used both as a gamefish and a food fish.

Most Hybrid Striped Bass are produced by fertilizing eggs from white bass with sperm from striped bass; the resulting fish are also called "sunshine bass" or "cherokee bass".

Bait for Hybrid Striped Bass: Striped bass can be caught using a number of baits including: clams, eels, anchovies, bloodworms, nightcrawlers, chicken livers, menhaden, herring, shad, and sandworms. At times, striped bass can be very choosy about the baits they take. Because of the wide variety of baits that are known to work and their finicky nature, they are considered among fishermen as being an opportunistic or "lazy" feeder. However, it is estimated that 90% of their diet is fish.


Australian Bass (Macquaria novemaculeata)

AUSTRALIAN BASS (Macquaria novemaculeata) are a small to medium sized, primarily freshwater (but estuarine spawning) native fish found in coastal rivers and streams along the east coast of Australia. They are a member of the Percichthyidae family and, currently, the Macquaria genus. Australian bass are an iconic, highly predatory native fish. They are an important member of the native fish faunas found in east coast river systems and an extremely popular angling species. They are also known as Freshwater perch, eastern freshwater perch, perch

Australian bass have a moderately deep, elongated body that is laterally compressed. They have a forked caudal ("tail") fin and angular anal and soft dorsal fins. Their spiny dorsal fin is of medium height, strong and sharp. They have a medium sized mouth and relatively large eyes than can appear dark in low light or red in bright light. The opercula or gill covers on Australian bass carry extremely sharp flat spines that can cut fishermens' fingers deeply.

Australian bass vary in colour from gold in clear sandy streams to the more usual bronze or bronze-green colouration in streams with darker substrates and/or some tannin staining to the water.

Australian bass are, overall, a smallish-sized species, averaging in most waters around 0.5 kg and 20–30 cm. A fish of 1 kg or larger is a good specimen. Maximum size appears to be around 2.5 kg and 55 cm in southern waters, and around 3.0 kg and 60–65 cm in northern waters.

Typically, Australian bass stocked in man-made impoundments (where they cannot breed) show greater average and maximum sizes than wild river fish.

Habitat
Often found far upstream in freshwater. Prefers cover such as instream debris, fallen timber or rocky outcrops. May be found in all types of water from still pools to fast running streams.

Distribution
Coastal rivers and streams along the Eastern seaboard from Tin Can Bay in Queensland, south through New South Wales and into eastern Victoria. Not recorded west of Wilson's Promontory.

Most prolific in the waters of remote streams in the far south coast of New South Wales and eastern Gippsland in Victoria.

Recent research has confirmed that Australian bass share a common gene pool, and consequently fisheries departments are now allowing more widespread use of commercially bred fish for stocking of farm dams etc, especially in Victoria.

Diet
Australian bass have a varied diet including insects from the water's surface, and other organisms from the entire water column and the bottom including aquatic insects, shrimps and other freshwater crustacea, tadpoles and small fish. In salt water they feed on various crustaceans including prawns and small crabs, worms and fish.

Fishing for Australian Bass
Fishing for Australian bass is a summertime affair, undertaken during the warmer months in the freshwater reaches of the rivers they inhabitat. Australian bass are keenly fished for as they are an outstanding sportsfish, extraordinarily fast and powerful for their size. One of Australia's most truly outstanding freshwater sports fish, bass respond to all methods of angling. Australian bass are the native fisherman's answer to trout. Bass will respond to angling methods used by trout fishermen and will easily outfight trout of a similar size. Most bass specialist use small to medium sized cast floating lures, although trolling is effective at times. Surface lures are especially effective on bass, although a degree of finesse is usually required. With all lures, when fishing for bass, it is usually best to allow the lure to float on the surface for some time before beginning the retrieve. Occasionally pausing during the retrieve is also often effective.

Fly is effective in many areas, but the best natural bass waters are often heavily over grown and a degree of skill is required if one is not to become hopelessly tangled in the overhanging vegetation.

Bass are great fun to catch and often hit hard and fight hard, they are very strong and a fast fish through the water.

A lure that resembles a bait fish - maybe a perch or a minnow works well.. Top water baits and surface lures or poppers, plastic baits that represent worms, crayfish or lizards, spinner baits or blades, crank baits in shallow, medium or deep divers,

Minimum legal size: 27 cm


 


 

References:
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife - Smallmouth Bass Fish Identification
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife - Largemouth Bass Fish Identification
Wikipedia - Smallmouth Bass
Wikipedia - Largemouth Bass
Wikipedia - Striped Bass
Wikipedia - Hybrid Striped Bass
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Dept Primary Industries Victoria - Recreational Angling Australian Bass Information
Australian Native Fish Association - Information on Australian native fish

 

 

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