When people imagine a world class bass fishery Atlanta’s I-285 usually isn’t at the top of their list. Nestled near Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is an oasis . This client has been with us for many years and most importantly takes fisheries management seriously. Due to its large size the lake is shocked twice a year to insure the appropriate number of bass are harvested. In addition we come out once a month to fertilize and monitor water quality during the warm season. On this visit we shocked the lake for bass harvest as well as the final fertilization of the season.
Once we collected all the bass it’s time to weigh and measure. Fish that are healthy are tagged and released. Fish that don’t meet the cut are taken out.
After a long day the shock boys were worn down but a lot was accomplished. Harvesting bass could be considered the most important aspect of lake/pond management. It doesn’t matter how many bluegill you stock if there are too many bass their will never be enough bluegill. An advantage of electrofishing instead of rod and reel is that our sample is not bias. We shock aggressive and less aggressive fish just as well. Call us today to get your lake shocked and back on track.
Ageing a bass is one of the best ways a biologist can gauge the health of a bass. In the Southeast we use the otolithes to determine age. In the North or where there are defined cold and warm seasons scales can be used to determine age. This is a quick guide on how otolithes are retrieved and aged.
Once age has been determined we can now implement strategies to improve the fishery. Most lakes have never been managed so they are full of old, stunted bass. In most cases the best option is to drain the lake and start over. It is possible to get these bass healthy again but it may be too late. Bass have a lifespan of eight to ten years. If a bass is stunted at six years old then pouring $2,000 of bluegill in the lake is futile. During an electrosurvey we take otolith samples so call us today and get booked.
Aging A Bass – Answers Revealed
Aging A Bass
Think you can age a bass by its otolith?
Check out these zoomed in images of a bass we just aged from the otoliths below:
Want to take a guess at age and weight of these two bass?
These two pictures are from a largemouth bass otolith
These two pictures are from a spotted bass otolith
We will give you the answers next week. – ANSWERS REVEALED
The largemouth bass was 8 years old, 11.75″ long and 0.75 lb while the spotted bass was 14 years old, 20″ long and 2.95 lbs.
Threadfin Shad Survival
The start of 2014 rang in the coldest temperatures that in over a decade. For those with threadfin shad, the bitter cold could have led to the demise of your threadfin shad population. Threadfin shad are great bass forage but they die once the water temperatures reach the low 40’s especially if the water temperature stays too cold for too long. Ice may equal dead shad. However, just because some shad die off does not mean that the entire population died off. In deeper lakes, shad can survive by seeking out thermal refuges that provide warm enough water temperatures to get the shad through the cold winter.
The best key to determine how the shad fared through the winter is by conducting an electrofishing survey this spring. You can also look for schooling shad at the water surface in the evenings once the weather begins to warm. If a majority of the threadfin shad population or the entire population was eliminated, shad can be re-stocked this spring. Remember that we only stock shad when they are ready to spawn which increases the establishment of the shad since they will spawn shortly after being stocked. Typically, our shad stockings occur in April through June. Because of timing the sooner we determine the status of the shad the better the chances of stocking this spring.
** Though thick ice in north GA leads to rare kids fun activities (with safety measures in place), this particular ponds was covered in thick ice for four days. If you experienced heavy ice cover similar to this, you threadfin shad population likely did not survive unless the pond has a high abundance of deep water; and yet their chances of survival are still limited in such a severe ice cover. Also, we don’t recommend walking on ice in the south due to thinness of ice.
4th day of completely solid ice!
Check out the growth for this bass that we stocked only 9 months ago…
Caught in Sparta, Ga…this large bass that recently weighed in at 8lbs 14oz, started out at a mere 2″ only 3 years ago.
What do you think this bass ate??
Take a look at the bulging belly on this bass! What did this big guy eat?
Take a look below and see what we found inside this bass. Bass are basically opportunistic feeders, that consume whatever is readily available. Guess this one pound crappie was in the wrong place at the wrong time!
Did you know?
Bass feed primarily by sight
In low light conditions, they must rely on other adaptations that sense sound or vibrations
Smell and taste are probably used less for feeding than other senses
Bass are basically opportunistic feeders that consume whatever is most readily available
Feeding of largemouth bass is triggered both by hunger or by a reflex
Adult largemouth bass do not feed continuously. Once a meal is ingested, the bass may not feed again for hours or days, depending on the size of the prey that was eaten
Largemouth bass prefer temperatures in the range of 65-85o F. Feeding frequency declines considerably when water temperatures occur outside of this range
Feeding occurs any time during the day or night, but appears most frequent at daybreak, dusk, or during overcast conditions