Do you need a boat to bass fish as myths and other bass fishing myths, You can find many bass fishing tips and everyone sort of information about largemouth bass, but actually, there’s even as much misinformation as fact out there. The late Al Houser, former director of the Oklahoma Fisheries lab, made a comment that’s stuck in my head for 30 years. “The problem isn’t that anglers are ignorant,” he lamented, “it’s that they know numerous things that just ain’t so.”
Every angler group has its widely held fallacies, perhaps none quite bass anglers. That’s perhaps surprising, given the quantity of research directed at largemouth bass. Yet despite their talents and large winnings, many professional anglers are as guilty as anyone else of clinging to myths. Here’s a variety of firmly held beliefs that just ain’t so.
Table of Contents
Myth 1:Do you need a boat to bass fish
you would like an enormous, Fast Boat to Fish Efficiently, Boat manufacturers and therefore the pro anglers they sponsor sometimes seem to imply that the craft makes the angler. In fact, it’s the angler’s craft, as in being crafty, instead of boat choice that prevails. As in hobbies, many of the simplest bass fishermen still use small, underpowered boats.
Full-sized bass boats can’t get into key shallow zones and have trouble manoeuvring through dense timber or vegetation. once they do, the commotion often spooks lunkers.
Even on large waters, small, slow boats force anglers to hamper and consider the fish and its environment, always a boon to good catching. Witness the various huge bass taken by shore-bound anglers up to their elbows within the bass’ environment.
Big, fast boats are way cool and mighty comfortable, allowing us to haul untold many bass baits, few of which get utilized in a year, including during a day. Even in tournament competition, I do know anglers who always score high, yet fish from small boats that make them the last guy to a given spot.
Myth 2: Bass Strike Red Hooks Because They Resemble Blood
Manufacturers have rushed to maximize this myth by offering lures with red hooks, red sinkers and blades, red line, even red reel spools. I’ve heard pros state in seminars that red hooks or a red highlight can attract extra bites by simulating the blood of a baitfish, gills, or perhaps a crawfish.
Studies of bass vision indicate they detect red easily and may discriminate among shades. No research shows, however, any instinctive attraction thereto. Anglers might reason that blood is red, bleeding baitfish are susceptible to attack, so fish should attack objects with red markings. But bass doesn’t think like that. They lack the neurological processes to return to any conclusion.
Bass is capable of quickly learning to bite what brings a gift, ignore what brings no benefit, and avoid dangerous stimuli. But the thought that bass can associate reddish markings on baitfish with red on artificial lures is far-fetched, consistent with what we all know about their learning process.
Myth 3: A Bass maybe a Bass
While most knowledgeable anglers recognize the differences in behavior, habitat, and prey choice between largemouth and smallmouth bass, many accept the adage that largemouth bass behaves similarly everywhere you discover them.
This phrase may boost an angler’s confidence when fishing a replacement body of water but is biologically groundless. The largemouth is usually considered one species divided into two subspecies, Florida and northern largemouth. But further genetic studies show variation within the DNA of fish even from nearby watersheds within an equivalent state. And differences in diet, watercolour, and canopy type also make bass from different lakes behave differently.
In some, topwater lures work all summer while they produce little in other lakes. Night-fishing is ok some places and a waste of your time elsewhere. Lure colour preferences are often pronounced also, and feeding and spawning behaviour also can vary.
Local experts and guides are tuned to bass behaviour and may teach visitors their tricks. For this reason, tournament anglers often hire a guide or consult renowned locals when researching for an upcoming tournament.
Myth 4: Modern Livewells Make Fish Care Easy
Gene Gilliland may be a veteran bass biologist at the Oklahoma Fishery lab in Norman, an epicentre of U.S. Bassin’ fervour. Moreover, he’s an accomplished tournament fisherman and fishing analyst . for many years he’s been trying to show tournament anglers to require better care of their catch.
Too bad numerous avid basses don’t wish to read, and have for years did not heed valuable advice that promises to feature bonus ounces to tournament tallies and at an equivalent time save bass from delayed mortality. “When I give seminars on this subject ,” Gilliland says, “I still get the comment, ‘Well, how am I alleged to skills much air a bass needs?’ Too many anglers simply put their catch during a Livewell, turn the switch to auto, and ditch them until weigh-in time. While that quantity of aeration could also be sufficient for a modest catch in cool water, limits of bass weighing within the teens are oxygen-deprived in 80 degree or warmer water. Anglers got to take measures to enhance conditions. Run aerators constantly; add fresh water; add ice to lower Livewell temperatures; or run pure oxygen into the well.”
While today’s bass boats are longer and heavier than those of the past, many models haven’t substantially increased Livewell volume. Some manufacturers are to be commended, however, for taking fish care seriously, sacrificing a touch of storage and adding aeration features that employment .
Myth 5: Bass Become Dormant in Cold Water
When fall approaches we hear how bass fishing is going to be bountiful since fish refill before their long winter of inactivity. little question fall may be a fine time to fish, and large fish do seem more active. But this shift has the maximum amount to try to to with altered habitat and prey movements like bass seeking their last meal in months.
As poikilothermic animals (which have blood an equivalent temperature because the environment), the metabolic systems of fish suits temperature changes to take care of life within the same conditions they’ve evolved in. Members of the sunfish family undergo physiological changes in chemical balances and size of the guts that prepare them for cold. Relative movement of bass declines and digestion slows, but the bass bite well in northern waters as lakes approach the melting point.
Largemouth bass strike lures jigged below a hole within the ice and eats large suckers and shiners assail tip-ups. In northeastern states, many of the most important basses caught annually come through the ice.
Few North Country anglers target bass on frozen lakes, which could also be an honest thing from a conservation standpoint. consistent with Roger Hugill, Minnesota DNR fishery biologist, a contingent of ice anglers sought to dam catch-and-release regulations on an area lake. the rationale , they argued, was that winter was the simplest time to catch the bass they liked to bake, those juicy five-pounders!
Physiological models suggest that at 40 degrees bass need consume only about one third the maximum amount of food to take care of nutrition as they are doing at 70 degrees. Prey fish abundance is lowest in winter also. But bass still eats.
In some systems, particularly rivers, bass tend to be sedentary during winter mostly because the critical habitat is restricted at that point. In lakes and reservoirs, however, underwater cameras show bass cruising along shallow and deep, often approaching the camera for a far better look.
Myth 6: Tournaments Harm Bass Populations
Despite booming bass fisheries in recent decades, this myth refuses to die. Anglers and managers against tournaments, for one reason or another, propagate the thought that excessive mortality hurts fishing quality. In defence of competition, one need only check the weights caught at waters fished incessantly by tournament competitors for decades—Grand Lake, Oklahoma; Kentucky Lake, Kentucky; Lake Seminole, Georgia-Alabama; Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota; and Sam Rayburn, Texas, to call but a couple of. Catches today typically are nearly as good as they’ve ever been.
Rayburn hosts quite 300 tournaments a year and has done so for many years. quite half the anglers there participate in tournaments, consistent with a recent analysis by biologists with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.* That tagging study found tournament mortality contributed from one to 16 per cent of total annual mortality of the largemouth population, while non-tournament catch-and-release fishing was two to 17 per cent of the entire, and angler harvest (non-tournament) comprised 16 to 38 per cent of annual bass mortality.
Fishing pressure doubtless makes bass harder to catch, but the blame can’t be placed solely on competitive anglers. All who wield a rod contribute. Social issues have always been with us, and that we can only hope that etiquette, fair play, and sportsmanship prevail on the water.
Myth 7: Bass Abandon Areas Treated with Herbicides
I’m generally as against herbicide treatments because of the next avid bass. I’ve seen habitat damage from chemical applications and am concerned about disease breakouts. But in some situations, treatments could also be necessary for navigation and recreation, and even for the health of bass populations.
Scientific evidence suggests that bass isn’t negatively suffering from the correct application of herbicides. Nearly 20 years ago, Dr Mark Bain and Suzanne Boltz of Auburn University tracked largemouth bass as herbicides were applied to their home areas on Lake Guntersville in Alabama.** Fish didn’t evacuate because the chemicals were applied or as plants dwindled, and collections of bass in treated and untreated areas were similar.
Recently, other Auburn researchers studied the reaction of bass to plant reduction by herbicides at another waterway where treatments are controversial, Lake Seminole on the Georgia-Florida border. The Corps of Engineers treated the Spring Creek arm with fluridone at six parts per billion, which reduces hydrilla but is tolerated by most native plants. There, treatments didn’t change bass behaviour within the short term but, as plants dwindled, bass moved into deeper water and switched habitat from hydrilla flats to standing timber.
Removal of hydrilla in smaller, shallower coves in another creek arm had contrasting results. rather than moving deeper, bass moved shallower into floating and emergent vegetation that represented the simplest habitat once hydrilla dwindled. In both cases, however, changes in fishing strategy would be required to take care of catch rates. During summer, stable environments typically offer the foremost consistent fishing, and habitat changes may temporarily reduce catchability.
In a final experiment, the scientists applied herbicide directly on nesting bass and water onto others, has an impact. Bass didn’t abandon nests, and reproduction in treated areas was almost like that in untreated ones.
Vegetation removal should be viewed as a final resort by lake managers, but careful treatments in limited areas shouldn’t harm bass fisheries.
Myth 8: Big Baits Catch Big Bass
This myth isn’t an entire fallacy. you’ll increase the typical size of bass caught by using larger lures. But there’s much more to the connection. The largemouth bass is an appropriately named fish. Endowed with a capacious maw, they eat anything they will catch and engulf—bats, rats, snakes, turtles, clams, birds, and amphibians, plus all kinds of invertebrates and fish.
According to this formula, a thin, six-inch baitfish is prey for a keeper-sized bass. And a 24-inch lunker shouldn’t shy from a foot-long prey-fish or a swimbait of comparable dimensions. So, if you have an eight-inch bait weighing a few ounces, lunkers aren’t guaranteed but don’t be surprised by the 16-inch bass attacking them.
The key to catching big bass with big baits is placing them during a vulnerable position where big bass live and hunt. Long, main-lake points, interfaces of trouble and an offshore vertical structure, and deep weed lines are a couple of examples.
Researchers at the University of Arizona, interested by bass found choking on tilapia, conducted experiments to check bass choices. Adult bass was offered green sunfish, redear sunfish, and tilapia with body depths around and beyond the utmost size susceptible to attack, consistent with calculations. Bass pursued and attacked prey larger than predicted, often choking on them. This result helps explain why sometimes miniature bass attack topwater lures, worms, and floating minnow baits almost their own length.
At the opposite extreme, adult bass eats items as small as nearly microscopic water fleas (Daphnia), even subsisting on them for months when larger prey is scarce. Field Editor Ned Kehde may be a finesse tactician, often found on Kansas’ hard-fished public impoundments wielding a 1/16- or maybe 1/32-ounce jighead with a 2 1⁄2-inch portion of a Strike King Zero. He likes action and sometimes tallies dozens of bass during a short outing. But he regularly accounts for bass from three to just about six pounds on these tiny offerings.
Myth 9: Catching Nesting Bass is like Picking Cherries
Some anglers look down on sight-fishing for bedding bass as unsporting and unethical, therein it takes advantage of bass at their most vulnerable moments. Rather, it’s a feast-or-famine approach to fishing that’s a part of angling tradition in many areas. Catching a bedding bass are often easy, or it is often so difficult on approach impossibility.
I hear bass pros rue the very fact that they spent several hours trying to tempt a bedding lunker to bite, within the end failing and returning to weigh-in without a limit. In-Fisherman Editor In Chief Doug Stange once spent the higher a part of a day with Florida guide Gene Holbrook trying to catch an enormous bass Holbrook had found after three days of searching. The lunker nipped baits, temporarily abandoned the nest, and frustrated them for hours, until a change of lures finally turned the trick on the 11-pounder.
Sight-fishing is an art, and skilled anglers can read the behaviour of a specific bass and determine the likelihood of its capture. It takes years of practice, plus powers of observation, patience, and gamesmanship to try to to it well. On the opposite hand, some bass, particularly in lightly fished waters, may swim off a bed to eat nearly any bait tossed their way. So, when it involves sight-fishing, if you don’t love it, then don’t roll in the hay.
Myth 10: Stocking Florida Bass Improves Lunker Catches
When stocked into semi-tropical environments, Florida bass tends to extend the utmost size of bass there. Consider the cases of California and Texas. Anglers elsewhere have clamoured for similar introductions, failing to understand the frailty of those giants in habitats not suited to them.
Florida bass evolved within the central and southern a part of that state and are adapted to conditions there. Outside this native range, cool water (below about 50 degrees for extended periods) limits their spawning, slows growth below that of native bass, and causes high mortality.
Since Florida bass frequently spawns with native fish, genetic mixing in subsequent generations is detrimental to the fitness of the natural population. Geneticists caution against introducing non-native stocks of largemouth bass and other species without extensive review of threats.
Bass myths often contain a kernel of truth. But when extrapolated to the larger bass-fishing scene, these adages restrict the free-thinking that’s important to successful fishing.
Planting Brushpiles Increases Bass Populations
In most cases, brush and other attractors concentrate bass but do little to reinforce reproduction, lake-wide biomass, or growth. As a result, some fishery managers are reluctant to encourage their use, feeling that bass exploitation may rise if catch-and-release rates are low. Attractors can improve habitat by increasing the area available for invertebrates that feed small fish, but effects are local, not population-wide.
Big Bass sleep in trouble
where there is support for prey and living conditions are where big bass is, which will be shallow, deep, or in between, counting on available habitat and prey type. In northern lakes, many of the most important basses of summer are caught underneath boat docks during a few feet of water, or within lily-pad beds of comparable depth.
Tracking studies have shown that some big bass holds on the deep structure during the day but enter the 10-foot zone to feed after dark. In deep, clear lakes, lunkers may hold in open water, but they’re often suspended at levels where baitfish are most available.
Bass Seek Crayfish in Spring for Nutrition Benefits
Crayfish are a favourite bass food wherever they’re found, and in some cases, spring consumption exceeds that of summer. Crayfish are rather poor food, however, from the standpoint of nutrition. They require substantial handling time, both to subdue the clawed critter and to extract the edible portion from its chitinous shell, which amounts to a few thirds of its total mass. Low-fat content and caloric value also make craws less nutritious than most fish. But they’re easy to seek out and catch, particularly in spring when weed growth is thin. In summer, craws find shelter in dense weed beds that shield them from bass predation.