April 19, 2018 - Big Smallmouth Bass.

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
April 19, 2018 - Big Smallmouth Bass

I caught this 4.5 female bass across from the Big Dog at Antelope Point Marina during that nasty wind last Fri 4/13. 10 feet down dragging a rainbow panther martin. She fought for 10 seconds and gave up. Too full of eggs. I was solo, so took her back to houseboat to get a pic, and released her.

Craig Moody

With the limit of 20 smallies a day, is it a bad thing to keep them this time of year? I'm talking about the smaller ones.

And nice fish, by the way!
Here is my advice taken from this weeks fish report:

Spawning Season
The bass spawn has been postponed due to cool windy weather. It seems this happens every spring with bass moving shallow in early April only to be chased back into deep water as the water surface temperature cools back down with the next cold front. The forecast now is for warm weather to arrive this weekend and persist for the entire week. Therefore bass spawning will occur over the entire lake from April 20-27. Crystal clear water is found over most of the main lake which will make sight fishing for bedding bass an amazing event. Expect to see male bass protecting a light colored fanned spot, 3 feet under the surface, on the green or brown lake bottom. Once eggs are laid on the small rocks the male bass will protect those eggs from all predators including plastic baits. On the first day or two after the spawn the guarding bass is overly aggressive, challenging everything that swims within sight. He will pick up plastic baits that settle on the rocks within the nest boundary and move it off the nest and drop it. He can be caught many times and becomes less aggressive with time. The eggs hatch in about 5 days and the bass body guard stays with the bass fry that hatch and swim above the rocky nest site.

The bass protector leaves the swimming fry and lets then swim away after a few days and goes back to the nest. He then finds another ripe female, spawns again and starts the process over once more. A male bass may bring off 4 or 5 successful spawns with 2-3,000 young bass per nest.
It is a good idea to release all bass caught off nests until spawning season
is over (June) so the next generation of bass can be propagated for the future. The lake has not yet started to rise and remains amazingly clear. It will be interesting to watch the natural spawning cycle even if you are not a fisherman. Look for bass on primary and secondary points and in coves near the backs of canyons

To make it clear. I suggest that smallmouth from 9-12 inches be harvested. Larger fish (both male and female) should be released because they are less in number and can exert predatory control over the smaller numerous fish. We would like to see a population of smallmouth with balanced numbers of young, medium and largel bass.
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