About "Catch & Research"

Welcome. I found my passion in ecological economics and fishing. They are all about pursuit of unknown and uncertain objects. I always enjoy the seemingly reckless pursuit itself. This blog is a record of my long journey in research and fishing. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The 10 Biggest Myths in Bass Fishing

Fishing is definitely the art of experience. In general, angler who has the most experience rules. But in a new lake, everybody starts at the same line. It proves the level of an angler how one adapts oneself well to the new water. It must be the reason of the tournament rule that prohibits participating anglers from fishing during certain time before a tournament.

When one faces new water, troubles begin from one's experience. One may try everything to solve fishing equations of the day with one' s previous knowledge. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. It is difficult. Why is it so?

Current issue of In-Fisherman magazine points out that incorrect knowledge that most anglers believe true, or so called myths may be one reason of the difficulty. The virtue of the magazine is that it introduces academic findings not only story based on experience. There are couple more fishing magazines, but they seem not to cooperate with fishery researchers. Anyway, here is the 10 biggest myths in bass fishing (summary of article by Steve Quinn) :
  1. Bass become dormant it cold water
    During winter time, bass will be less active, but still do preying activities. "In north-east states, many of the biggest bass caught each year come through the ice." "Physiological models suggests that at 40 degree F bass need consume only about one third as much food to maintain nutrition as they do at 70 degree F. preyfish abundance is lowest in winter as well, But bass still eat."
  2. Bass strike red hooks because they resemble blood
    "Studies of bass vision indicate they detect red easily and can discriminate among shades. no research shows, however, any instinctive attraction to it." Bass don't have intelligence to conclude red color means bleeding prey.
  3. A bass is a bass...
    Do all bass have same life pattern? "Genetic studies show variation in the DNA of fish even from nearby watersheds within the same state. And differences in dies, water color and cover type also make bass from difference lakes behave differently."
  4. Modern livewells make fish care easy
    Anglers' ignorance and lack of care increase fish mortality even with modern livewells. "Anglers need to take measures to improve conditions: Run aerators constantly to add fresh water; add ice to lower livewell temperatures 5 degree F to 8 degree F; or run pure oxygen into the well" even they have modern livewells.
  5. You need a big, fast boat to fish efficiently
    "As in pas times, many of the best bass fishermen still use small, underpowered boats. Small boats are suited to small waters where giant bass dwell, from Florida to Iowa to California. Full-sized bass boats can't get into key shallow zones and have trouble maneuvering through dense timber or vegetation. When they do, the commotion often spooks lunkers." (My friend, Capt. M is a living proof of this. He uses kayak and canoe, but always outfishes.)
  6. Tournaments harm bass populations
    "A tagging study* found tournament mortality contributed from 1 to 16 percent of total annual mortality of the largemouth population, while non-tournament catch-and-release fishing were 2 to 17 percent of the total, and angler harvest (non-tournament) comprise 16 to 38 percent of annual bass mortality."
  7. Bass abandon areas treated with herbicides
    Lake manager sometimes use herbicides to treat over-grown water plants. "Excessively thick plant growth limits bass feeding and cuts the abundance of key preyfish like shat." (The author may mention about eutrophication.) "Scientific evidence suggests that bass are not negatively affected by correct application of herbicides"
  8. Big baits catch big bass
    "This myth isn't a fallacy. You can increase the average size of bass caught by using larger lures. But there's far more to that relationship." Small size bass will not hesitate to attack big baits also. According to finness fishermen, on the other hand, while food is scarce, big bass will be willing to attack tiny lures.
  9. Catching nesting bass is like picking cherries
    "Some anglers look down on sight-fishing for bedding bass as unsporting and unethical, in that it takes advantage of bass at their most vulnerable moments." However, it could be very easy or almost impossible to catch.
  10. Stocking Florida bass improves lunker catches
    "Introduction of Florida bass into California has resulted in the biggest bass on the planet. In more temperate locations, however, this can lead to downturn in fishing"

More myths:

  • Planting brushpiles increases bass populations
    "In most cases, brush and other attractors concentrate bass but do little to enhance reproduction, lake-wide biomass, or growth." "Effect (of planting brushpiles) are local, not population-wide
  • Big bass live in deep water
    "Big bass live where living conditions an prey availability support their bulk. That can be shallow, deep, or in between, depending on available habitat and type." "Tacking studies have shown that some big bass hold on deep structure during the day but move into 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
    "Creyfish are rather poor food from the stand point of nutrition." "Low fat content and caloric value also make craws less nutritious than most fish. But they're easy to find and catch, particularly in spring when weedgrowth is thin."

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