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Future Bassing?

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Are we "damaging" our future bassing?
HI everyone.

Plaasdam and I fished Kwaggas on Saturday, the evening i thought of something, and hope someone can shed some light on this subject for me...

I caught a largie, it was 1.5kg, it looked to me like it had already been in pre spawn mode and i probably took it off a nest that she was busy getting ready. But i am not a pro and only learning about these things as i had scuff marks on its tail and inside its mouth it was red in places (even if this fish wasnt on a nest etc , it happens ALL the time with all bass anglers - as have heard before, catching spawning bass of nests is "easy and good fun")

Sooo... after landing the fish - i put in in the livewell to photograph and measure at the end of the day! This is what got me thinking, i caught it in Brandvlei, and released it at the slipway of Kwaggas. There is no way it will find its way back to that nest. And the fish was not fat and healthy by any means.

I basically screwed up its current situation... I am sure it would have found its way back to its nest if i had just caught it, gotten the photo and weight, and released it right there!????

If we all do that, we will have removed a lot of fish from their nests and will definately have a disasteris effect on the number of hatchlings etc etc ! Am i correct in saying this, has anybody thought about this?

I a competition scenario its understandable and there is no way of getting around it. but for casual or pre- fishing trips it should not be practised by "conservationists" like ourselves!!??

Talk to me?

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I agree...lets practice CPR and release the lady as close as possible to her nest. I am not sure if she will find another male or another nest. Anyone want to comment on this?
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I made a post on exactly this subject about year ago:
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I was basically appealing to bass anglers not to put spawning or pre spawn fish in their livewell and release them several kilometres away. Here's hoping that at least one of them will follow that appeal now :blue-cool:
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span on this earth the hours spent in fishing ~Babylonian Proverb
While you are on this topic.....

Interesting Info and Facts on Spawning Bass

Hundreds of studies have been done on bass and each one will teach you something different. Can't remember where I got this from...

• The most interesting one is that the bigger/biggest bass tend to spawn first
• Bass stop feeding 3 days before the full moon. Generally they start to spawn on the first full moon in spring. I would say the bigger on the last full moon in winter.
• The male bites the female during this time; she also rubs herself against an obstacle presumably to loosen the eggs, hence the broken tails and marks when caught during the spawn.
• Big fish are more comfortable spawning at a deeper depth, the clearer the water the deeper they will spawn.
• The male guards the nest and the fry for up to 3 weeks and does not eat much during this time.
• Bass are easier to catch during the spawn as they are in protection mode and not eat mode.
• I feel lure colour does not play a big part during this time of the year and is a great time to try and use some of the ones that you never do!
• Bass can spawn up to 3 times a year! And will skip a spawn if conditions are not ideal
• Big females move back towards the deeper water after dropping their eggs to recoup.
• The males do not fan the nest with eggs in; he makes a nest by fanning an area clean. The he just protects the nest by swimming around and watching for danger.
• If you are fishing while the fish are still feeding for the spawn bigger baits should be your first choice, small and big fish will chow it! If I told you not to eat for 3 days and you must choose between a rack of ribs and a box of Smarties what you going to have?
• Top water baits are a must to be thrown just after the spawn and if conditions are right can be thrown all day.
• Please remember to release any bass as soon as possible and as close as possible to where you caught it. It will return to the nest or fry.
• Bass can spawn in extremely shallow water; I have seen fish on a nest in a foot of water.

Bass will be on the nest and drop the eggs over these three days (full moon), actually only drop the eggs on the full moon. However nature does not always listen to humans and you will find bass in spawn mode over a month or two. That is why the fishing is so good over this time, they are active and in chase mode. The 3 days to the full moon is most probably the hardest time to catch a bass on a nest as they are busy with other things.

And more facts about Largies.....

Largemouth Spawning Habits

The Largemouth Bass gets ready to spawn in the spring, when the inshore water temperature reaches about 16 degrees C.

Their typical spawning area is located in shallow bays, backwaters, channels and other areas protected from the prevailing winds. They usually look for areas with firm bottoms of sand, gravel, mud or rock, and usually in water from 1 - 4 feet deep. But in some cases of very clear water they will be in deeper water.

Actual spawning takes place when the water temperature reaches between 17 - 20 degrees. The female will lay from 2000 to 7000 eggs per pound of her body weight. She will deposit her eggs in either one nest or can deposit them in several different nests, after which she leaves the area and returns to deeper water to recooperate. Once in the deeper water she will remain there for several weeks without eating.

Once the eggs are layed, the male guards the nest (or nests) and refuses to eat until the eggs hatch. But will pick up slowly moving objects and move them off the nest. And will attack fast moving objects near the nest.

Bass fish eggs hatch in only 2 days if the water temp is at 22 degrees, but take 5 days at 19 degrees. From 2000 to 12,000 eggs hatch from the typical nest, and of all these only 5 - 10 are likely to survive to reach 10 inches in length. The male will then guard and protect the fry until they reach about an inch in length and then abandon them.. And after this point he will also eat any fry he encounters.

And Smalies.....

Smallmouth Spawning Habits

Here’s a breakdown of the smallmouth’s spawning phases.

As water temperatures reach the low teens, smallmouths suspend near sharp dropoffs close to rocky points or shallow flats.

Once water temperatures hit the mid teens, smallmouths stage on the edge of gravelly flats, often congregating in large numbers around piles of boulders or other structure that connects deeper water with spawning shallows.

When the full moon coincides with water temperatures in the region of 16-18 degrees, actual spawning begins. Males clear out 2- to 3-foot-diameter nests on pea-gravel flats in 1 to 10 feet of water. After inducing hens to lay their eggs, the males aggressively guard the nests and fry for two or more weeks.

After spawning, smallmouths go into a bit of a funk. But it’s not as long or as pronounced as the largemouth’s postspawn lull. Although smallies will retreat into deep water to recuperate, they’re soon back up on flats and along rocky points and shorelines.
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Thanks PDV thats very informative to me!

Bassassin - i see your post from about a year ago got some guys worked up, haha! one thing i am now sure of is that i am on the right track to learning more and more about bass.

I will, in future, do exactly this, catch, photograph, weigh, and release as close as possible to where they were caught, unless its in a comp. I hope ALL BFSA members take some time to think of this and make up their own minds.
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BoatWrapperVincent Wrote:a competition scenario its understandable and there is no way of getting around it.

Just don't plan a compo during the spawn, and organisers that do should be shot :blue-confused:

PDV Wrote:• Bass stop feeding 3 days before the full moon.

Once in the deeper water she will remain there for several weeks without eating.

So she stops eating 3 days before she spawns and won't eat for several weeks after the spawn, yet this is the best time to catch big females, go figure :blue-biggrin: I can understand catching lots of males as they are in protection mode but the whole theory doesn't make sense for females.
The more I learn about fishing the more I realise
how much more I have to learn about fishing.
I agree - that observation sounds strange...
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i think they dont EAT - they just protect are in a agressive state of mind in that time!

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