RE: NANFA-- greedy fish

Crail, Todd (
Wed, 6 Nov 2002 23:28:01 -0500

Sorry to hear of your mishap Traci. It is unassuming, but a bass has 3/4 of it's body volume dedicated to capture and the other 1/4 dedicated to making sure it goes down the pipe :) Bass are fantastic predators... Next time you run into a larger specimen, take some time to feel around inside the mouth and notice how *tough* the tissue is, and what is even more impressive to me... How exposed the gills are. They're supposed to be this fragile organ, yet you know they're just getting hammered continually by spiny dorsals and crayfish claws.

Something that may be of related interest... While a bachelor, my buddy and I lived in an apartment on a 10 acre lake. Due to unscrupulous harvest of the larger bass (why do humans reward taking out the best genetics?), the lake was *loaded* with 8" bass. You could catch 150 in a day that were 8" or less, but never one over 10". We imposed our own slot (obviously this was only on the low end :) to see if we could get the production of larger specimens up, and began telling people that we were trying to semi-manage it, explain the thinking, play along, we'll all catch larger fish.... It also made for some really cheap meals heh.

A 7" fish I cleaned had the most strange bulge in it's gut. Like a rock. A BIG rock heh. It was noticable prior to cutting. So I'm cutting around, and all of a sudden this like alien tail and leg pop out. I'm not all that squeamish a person but it made me jump (the beverage of choice probably didn't help much either ;). Upon further inspection we discovered that this little alien was in fact, a snapping turtle.... 3" shell. I wish I'd had a camera.

Can you imagine putting that down your pipe? Snappin' jaws and diggin' claws? :)

Oh, and within the span of the remaining 5 year stay that lasted well into my marriage... The bass *and* bluegill average size got a lot larger. Now wether it was the cull or the crappies that were introduced, the jury is still out. :)


-----Original Message-----
From: Traci Mount
Sent: Wed 11/6/2002 8:27 PM
Subject: NANFA-- greedy fish
Speaking of greedy fish.
I was gone for a weekend, when I got back, there were 4 less fish in my
natives tank. All of my sunfish were gone. At first I blamed Mike as two of
my tanks looked as though he had dumped a whole can of flakes in. He swore
that he had not killed any of my beloved fish. The next day or so I kept
watch over them and noticed my smallmouth bass was being particularly
aggressive. I thought that it was unlikely that this 3.5" bass could swallow
the 1" sunfish, when my glassfish of the same size are still there. To test
this I got some big fat rosy minnows, approximately the same volume as one
of my former sunfish.
As I dumped them in, that SMB gulped one down! It was a gruesome death for
the rosies, I never figured that a fish's mouth could stretch so much! I'm
not mad at Mike anymore, but I still don't see how a little bass could eat
something the shape of a comparatively large sunfish.

Traci Mount
Department of Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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