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Blotchy Bass


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#1 GC

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 08:50 AM

I am relatively new to bass fishing. The areas I generally fish are the tidal Delaware estuaries. The tidal largemouth are not lunkers (at least the ones I catch), but the bigger ones do put up a lively acrobatic fight. I've been fortunate to catch some decent tidal largemouth over the past few weeks. Decent for me is a largemouth in the 2- 3 pound range.

 

Three of the last five largemouth exhibited "Blotchy Bass Syndrome." This condition has been documented by state fish biologists...

 

https://www.fish.sta.../bass-spots.htm

 

The fish appear perfectly healthy, but do have significant black blotches scattered over different areas of their body. As the article linked above mentions, it appears as if it is just larger concentrations of melanin in the black blotchy areas.

 

I've included a photo below as an example of one that I recently caught. I apologize for the quality of the photo, but I have a difficult time when I'm in the yak. On this fish the blotchy areas were concentrated around the dorsal fin. Most blotches are irregular and approximately the size of a quarter.

 

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this phenomena with bass they've caught?

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#2 JGPHILLY

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 08:53 AM

Interesting. I've been almost strictly bass fishing this year and yet to see one with any blotches.

I wonder if it's something in the water or there diet that causes it.

I have on the other hand caught a few bass with lumps on there jaws and hole near their fins. I can't imagine that being a good sign for the fish.

#3 ILoveFishing

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 11:22 AM

I get them frequently tidal. People say its like a crazy disease but i have gotten bass with blotches in barely fished waters that are pristine and used as a drinking source. Big d bass are tough fish. Fishing tidal i have found lots of bass with crazy amounts of parasites on them and red sores. Real ugly fish. Have you seen this george?
Itching for some fishing.

#4 GC

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 01:28 PM

I get them frequently tidal. People say its like a crazy disease but i have gotten bass with blotches in barely fished waters that are pristine and used as a drinking source. Big d bass are tough fish. Fishing tidal i have found lots of bass with crazy amounts of parasites on them and red sores. Real ugly fish. Have you seen this george?

Hey Chris... Fortunately, the bass that I've been catching have been in good condition. The only anomaly has been the occasional bass with black blotches. The blotchy fish are always on the larger side and in excellent condition. According to the state fish biologists the blotchy condition is not disease related.

 

Was out this morning for four hours expecting a decent bite with the impeding tropical depression, but things were pretty quiet. Landed two small LM, a yellow perch, white perch and a sunfish. Threw a variety of lures, but not much action. Did see a deer wading through the spadderdock adjacent to I-95... that was pretty cool. I kayaked over to get a photo/video, but she retreated into the reeds.



#5 GC

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 01:32 PM

Interesting. I've been almost strictly bass fishing this year and yet to see one with any blotches.

I wonder if it's something in the water or there diet that causes it.

I have on the other hand caught a few bass with lumps on there jaws and hole near their fins. I can't imagine that being a good sign for the fish.

Hey JG... Have you caught any snakeheads or bowfin?



#6 JGPHILLY

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 08:05 PM

No but I've been seriously considering starting to target them. I just don't know where to begin. I'm going to have to do some research on google. You seem to do well with them.

I did see a snakehead or Bowfin while stalking carp on the frankford creek. It was about 24" long.

#7 GC

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 07:10 AM

JG... You really don't have to specifically "target" them. Simply fish in areas where you know they exist. They will hit any lure a bass will hit. I've caught them on spinnerbaits, inline spinners, chatter baits, topwater frogs, crank baits and soft plastics (zooms and curly tail grubs).

 

I honestly don't target anything, unless I'm carp fishing. When I'm throwing lures, which I do most of the time now, I simply experiment and I'm happy when anything decides to sample my lure. I'm still a novice when it comes to lures, but I've been practicing, reading and talking to guys a lot over the past couple of years. I catch way more Channel catfish and Largemouth on lures than I do snakeheads or bowfin. If anything, I target channel cats on lures. When I fished exclusively for carp, catching a channel cat was a disappointment. Now, I enjoy their ability to smack a lure and give quite a tussle.

 

My good fortune at catching some snakehead and bowfin is simply based on the amount of time I fish (approximately 125 sessions a year), not on my prowess as a snakehead or bowfin hunter. I'd estimate, that I've fished snakehead habitat approximately thirty times so far this year and I've only caught ONE snakehead and NO bowfin YET. I did have a decent summer season last year, with all of my snakehead and bowfin coming in July, August and September. Here's hoping for a repeat of last summer!



#8 WG

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 11:48 AM

I caught an American shad last year with black blotch on its back....showed a pic to a fish commission guy and he confirmed that it was the same as the bass you caught George.....That was a first for him!

 

Weird...



#9 JGPHILLY

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 03:55 PM

Maybe I'll take a trip down your way this weekend. Weathers isn't looking to shabby this weekend. Any pointers on where to drop my kayak in?

#10 GC

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:09 PM

Maybe I'll take a trip down your way this weekend. Weathers isn't looking to shabby this weekend. Any pointers on where to drop my kayak in?

PM Sent.

 

Saturday's forecast is for high wind. 20-25mph.



#11 JGPHILLY

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:11 PM

Looks like I might be carping instead




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