Tackling Fall with Bass September 12, 2016
Modern bass fishing has evolved into a multibillion-dollar industry. The sport has changed drastically since its beginnings in the late 19th century. From humble beginnings, the bass has become the second most specifically sought-after game fish in the USA. The sport has driven the development of all manner of fishing gear, including rods, reels, lines, lures, clothing, electronic depth and fish-finding instruments, drift boats, float tubes, also boats specified for bass fishing.
Largemouth bass populations boomed after the U.S. Department of Agriculture began to advise and assist farmers in constructing and stocking farm ponds with largemouth bass, even offering advice on managing various fish species. Soon, those who had stocked largemouth bass on their farm ponds began to pursue them on a burgeoning number of new reservoirs and impoundments built in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s.
The increasing popularity of the sport combined with "catch and release" practices have in some cases led to an overpopulation of bass.
An overpopulated, stunted bass population can best be detected in the spring when all the bass are at least one year old. If virtually all the bass are 4 inches long or smaller, the population is probably stunted. Some indicators that a bass population is overpopulated.
In modern bass fishing competitions, caught bass are placed in a live well, and released as soon as caught and weighed by officials. Competitors are penalized heavily for dead fish and in some cases dead fish are not weighed. Fish turned in for weighing are immediately released or placed in tanks and treated for stress and glyco-protein injury, then released back into the water.