The Smallmouth Bass
The Smallmouth bass also known as a brown bass or brownie is also a good sports fish in the United States. On a ranking of 1 to 10 bass for eating quality opinions vary, but for the most part, people enjoy the taste. To identify the smallmouth bass, look for vertical dark bands on each side of the bass. They are also a lot browner compared to the largemouth bass. The back of the mouth unlike the largemouth does not extend past its eye.
The current world record for the smallmouth bass is an 11 pound 15 ounce which was caught by David Hayes in 1955. It was actually removed from the record books due to a weigh in controversy, but after some investigations the IGFA in December 2005 reinstated the record.
Many bass usually caught average anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds. It depends greatly on the location of where you are catching these bass. The smallmouth is predominantly found in the mid to north parts of the United States.
Smell – Their sense of smell is great. They could attack your bait based on how it smells or could flee. It’s said that bass hate hand lotion, nicotine and bug spray. Wouldn’t you if it was on your food? Wash hands with minimal soap before going out to fish, and keep the touching of your baits to a minimum. You can also buy scented gels and sprays to hide “off smells.”
Hearing – Bass have ears located in their skulls. From trolling motors to walking on the bank, the bass can hear you approaching so take caution. Also, don’t be scared to talk to your fishing buddy. Most air waves are deflected once it hits the water. However, you moving or thumping around in your boat can be heard very well.
Sight – Think of it as a foggy day. The foggier it is, the harder to see. It is the same concept when it comes to bass. They can see better in clear water. Temperature also makes a difference. It is said that the colder the water gets, the better their vision gets. Bass can also see in color, so test out different colors if one bait isn’t working for you.
Lateral Line – Bass have this lateral line which is a number of pores on the side of the bass. This is said to be the most important sense. They use this to detect the size of the lure you’re using as well as how fast it’s going and the vibrations it puts off.
Bass eat a wide variety of foods including crawfish, other fish, worms, small ducklings, mice, rats, small birds, frogs, insects, snakes and just about anything you can throw at them if presented in the right way. In other words, anything they can fit in their mouth.
Smallmouth bass prefer clear large waters with a good amount of depth. They also can be found in streams and rivers usually holding in a hole where the current is subtle. Small mouths are more associated with rocky areas like boulders and gravel.
Bass usually spawn when the water temperature reaches 60 F. (Usually from May to June timeframe.) They enjoy a hard flat bottom like clay, sand or rocks. The nest is constructed by the male who then guards the nest once eggs are laid. The female bass can lay up to 20,000 eggs at one time. The female is most cases are always larger than the male.
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