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Discussion Starter #1
We tend to think of bass as bass or largemouth bass, not the other types of bass like; Florida largemouth bass, northern (Kentucky) spotted, Alabama spotted bass, smallmouth bass, Guadalupe bass (teeth on tongue, like spots),redeye bass (like spots with orange fins), shoal bass (silver color) and Swannee river bass (turquoise color) to name the most common. The Truth is none of those bass are bass, they are in the sunfish family. Stripped bass are true bass. Why is any of this important to know? Because every bass behaves differently, prefers different types of water, can tolerate different water temperatures and prefer different types of prey. All bass, except strippers, are built to make short fast runs and turn quickly to catch their prey in there mouth. Strippers are built for forward speed to chase down their prey and are school feeders that constantly roam the water column.
The basics; northern largemouth bass we will call LMB and are the most common everywhere, except where the water temperature does not reach 62 degrees. That is every state, except Alaska. LMB are ambush feeders of opportunity and will eat nearly anthing they can catch, preferring crawdads and baitfish. Florida LMB are less tolerant to low water temperatures below 45 degrees and are in the southern and western states and grow about the same length, except heaver weight . Florida's are ambush feeders that prefer bait fish, including larger bait fish like golden shiners or trout, crawdads, are more selective feeders than LMB. Smallmouth bass or smallies tolerate colder water than LMB down to 39 degrees, less tolerant to warm water above 80 degrees and originally river bass that like current breaks. Smallies prefer crawdads, small baitfish and insect larva. Smallies tend to roam in small schools looking for prey. Spotted bass, the Alabama grows larger than northern or Kentucky spots. Spots are a river bass by nature and like smallies prefer current breaks, can tolerate the same water temperature as smallies. Spots prefer small baitfish, crawdads and are more aggressive feeders like LMB. Spots tend to school and roam like smallies, however will seek ambush sites like LMB.
All the other bass listed are region specific and are very similar to spots. The bottom line; we have 9 bass that make up the bass we try to catch, depending on where we live or fish. Knowing that smallies and spots like deeper or cooler water and smaller baitfish and crawdads is helpful in deciding where to fish. Both smallies and spots like crawdads, however they tend to remove the pincher's before eating them. Why is that important? because the ticking or pecking you feel may not be a bluegill, it maybe a big smallmouth or spot disarming your lure before grabbing it, so let them load up on it before setting the hook.
Tom
 

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I have noticed that quite a bit in my spotted bass fishing, esp. with a jig or hula grub. I have often wondered why I couldn't get a hook in them when I set on the first thump. However, with the shaky head, it is rare that you feel any thump at all-due to slack in the line. The only thing you feel is the weight(or lack thereof). THEN you hold your rod with very light pressure, reeling down on the fish if you feel any movement, whack 'em. No movement, no fish. However, with jigs and other craw imitaters, sometimes they wil hit it aggressively, spit it out instantly, annd refuse to touch it again. Even though I am using carolina lunker sauce, and I know they are there, the only thing that has worked to get those fish to commit is to reel the lure two or three handle turns quickly and let it drop. However. this technique only works on occasion. I wonder if these fish, which are fairly pressured, see that the claws did not come off of the crawdad and then refuse to hit it any more. If I set on the first thump, it seems that tey have short-struck the lure. I am really at a loss on the best thing to do in these situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You avoid use soft plastics with prominate claws when fishing for smallies or spots and try to keep the length down under 4". Jig worms or tubes both work good, split the worm about 3/4 inch at the tail to increase strikes or use chartruse split tip worm tails for spots.
Tom
 

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Well, we are mostly about largemouths, I guess, sunfish family critters. I just want to point out many LMBers also like to go after stripers and hybrids. The big mystery with most is why they won't eat a lure tossed right in the middle of a big boil with shad leaping everywhere. Stripers work in large schools as a team unlike LMBs. I don't mean to say LMBs don't team up, but they fall way short of the striper habits. They slash through a ball of shad and wound all they can by slapping them around, whereas LMBs each pin down and gobble all the healthy shad they can catch, the most mature LMBs waiting below for the leftovers that wriggle down to them. When a large school of stripers do that, they might make a second pass through the shad before the baitfish scatter. Then they ignore any remaining healthy shad and return to scarf up the wounded shad. That's why it pays to use a large sinking "wounded shad" lure in the wake. When all the surface activity is history, the stripers are still down there vacuuming up what they can. They leave when scavenging is inefficient, leaving it all to the LMBs and other opportunistic fish species. That's about the time sea gulls enter in, scraping up isolated stunned baitfish. That's when you are most likely to catch a very nice LMB, letting a spoon or other deep diving lure flutter down. Staying put instead of chasing off to the next blow-up pays off.

Good topic, Tom.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Florida LMB are not widely distributed and only occur naturally in Florida and southern Georgia. I never gave the Florida bass much thought until they were transplanted into local San Diego city lakes back in 1959. Orville Ball had the idea that Florida LMB would grow bigger than the LMB and provide the city lakes with overall improved bass fishing. The Florida's grew bigger, however proved to be more difficult to catch and the experiment was considered a failure. That was until bigger became giants and world record class bass over 20 lbs started to show up. The only states that have benefited from the Florida bass transplats have been California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mexico. If you live or fish outside of the southern border states, then Florida's may not be of interest.
Pure Florida's that have not intregated with LMB are a different specie of bass, they not only grow heavier and longer than LMB, they tolerate warmer water and can't live in water that freezes or is colder than 45 degrees. Florida's are more wary and prefer larger bait fish than LMB. The may look fat and slow and that is deceiving as they can easily run down and catch trout and fight equally well as LMB. This is one reason that swimbaits are so effective for Florida's, they target big bait fish and crawdads because of the increase of protein. Location is close to their prey source, find the prey and the bass will be near it.
Pure Florida's will intregrate with LMB and become F1, F2 etc until all the bass in the lake become LMB/F intregrates within about 10 to 15 years. The end result are bass with very similar to both and grow slightly larger and are less aggressive towards artificial lures.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Swim baits are one reason why I decided to post "Bass are bass". Not all largemouth bass target large bait fish. Florida's evolved in an ecosystem where golden or river shiners are the predominate bait fish. The golden shiners are 8 to 12" long and thin an easy meal for a big adult bass that are genetically wired to eat big bait fish. When the Florida's where introduced into lakes that had planted trout resembling big bait fish the trout became a natural prey. The native or northern strain of largemouth bass that lived in the same lakes with trout may have targeted the stocked trout occasionally, however not like the Florida's that target trout as a primary food source. The development of trout like lures was in response to the Florida's feeding on trout and other big bait fish that resemble golden 8 to 12' swim baits are effective where Florida strain LMB are present and may not be a good choice where northern strain LMB are prominate. Scaling down to 5 to 7" gizzard shad, bluegill, crappie or perch type swim baits may be a better choice in lakes that have LMB, smallies and spots. However I believe swim baits are under used by the majority of bass fisherman.
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I was wondering what the best conditions for swimbaits are, and also, what realistic sizes I should throw. I know that the majority of spots on some of these reservoirs in N GA. aren't looking for 8" prey, but the pond/lakes around this area are loaded with bluegill. Therefore I bought a bluegill colored 4" lobina lures something- can't think of the name- and I'm thinking about buying more. However, I'm really hesitant to spend 50+$ on a lure that I cant guarantee will catch fish. Most of the largemouth in this area are hybrids between the Fl and Northern strain. I guess the results of my swimbait fishing this spring will determine how much I am willing to dabble in these lures. Also, I am considering the matt lures sunfish I saw in Bassmaster.
 

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Storm makes some very realistic swimbaits, my favorite this time of year being the Kickin Slab Jerkbait bream imitations. They are 4" long and in soft plastic weighing in at 1 1/8 oz. That's an ideal bait target size for southern bass. Jig it vertically over a small school of bass hovering around deep structure. Bump their noses with it. http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=90535&hvarTarget=search&cmCat=SearchResults

Their Wildeye Shads are good too. http://www.basspro.com/servlet/cata...varTarget=browse&cmid=PP_P0_2&cmCat=CROSSSELL They come in 2,3,4,5 & 6" lengths.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #9
oldschool said:
Florida LMB are not widely distributed and only occur naturally in Florida and southern Georgia. I never gave the Florida bass much thought until they were transplanted into local San Diego city lakes back in 1959. Orville Ball had the idea that Florida LMB would grow bigger than the LMB and provide the city lakes with overall improved bass fishing. The Florida's grew bigger, however proved to be more difficult to catch and the experiment was considered a failure. That was until bigger became giants and world record class bass over 20 lbs started to show up. The only states that have benefited from the Florida bass transplats have been California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mexico. If you live or fish outside of the southern border states, then Florida's may not be of interest.
Pure Florida's that have not intregated with LMB are a different specie of bass, they not only grow heavier and longer than LMB, they tolerate warmer water and can't live in water that freezes or is colder than 45 degrees. Florida's are more wary and prefer larger bait fish than LMB. The may look fat and slow and that is deceiving as they can easily run down and catch trout and fight equally well as LMB. This is one reason that swimbaits are so effective for Florida's, they target big bait fish and crawdads because of the increase of protein. Location is close to their prey source, find the prey and the bass will be near it.
Pure Florida's will intregrate with LMB and become F1, F2 etc until all the bass in the lake become LMB/F intregrates within about 10 to 15 years. The end result are bass with very similar to both and grow slightly larger and are less aggressive towards artificial lures.
Tom
I'm re posting this for the FLMB is a different breed topic.
When the FLMB were introduced into San Diego lakes the bass fishing became more difficult as the FLMB grew to adult size. The traditional lures used to catch native NLMB simply did not work on the FLMB. The only consistant presentation was live crawdads and shiners. Then some bass started to be caught on 10 inch De Long plastic worms, cinnamon brown with black stripe, fished very slowly along the bottom with a split shot crimped about 18" above the hook by Bill Murphy and a few other locals.
I believe the reason that the FLMB shunned the traditional bright color lures of the time period was due to their genetic preference for larger prey, general weariness and reliance on visual comfirmation of the prey before striking it. NLMB are a more aggressive bass and sell out faster, striking harder then FLMB and a much wider verity of lures. Slowing the presentation down and using more lifelike colors and profiles is the key with FLMB, unless the bass is very active. The FLMB is very aggressive when feeding actively with other bass, they just don't seem to turn on as often as other bass.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The cover of this months (July/May 2009) Bassmaster; 8 species, 1 year can you do it" by James Hall, editor, got my interest.
The ultimate challenge apparently is to catch all 8 for a slam in 5 days. Sounded interesting, until you read the rules; all the 8 different species must be caught from states that Bassmaster has selected. FLMB only from Florida, Spotted LMB from the southern states. I can understand Guadalupe bass from Texas and Suwanee, Shoal bass from Florida or Georgia, Redeyes Alabama and Georgia, the native range for those species. Why restrict FLMB and Spotted bass to natives range? Northern LMB and Smallmouth do not have any native range restriction.
The map has a side bar label that covers most of the west and I'm fully aware that B.A.S.S. has written off the western states, but still includes Texas as a bass fishing state, although restricts it from FLMB.
California doesn't have any native black bass, they were all introduced from other states. However CA does have pure strains of NLMB, Smallmouth, Spotted and FLMB, 4 of the 8 species. The fact is CA holds the world record for Spotted bass!
It's easy to determine a pure FLMB by scale count; over 69 lateral line pore scales and it's a FLMB. I guess Bassmaster doesn't believe Californians can count past 10.
If you live in Florida you can catch 7 of the 8 without too much travel, then go to Texas for the elusive Guadalupe bass that now has intregrated with smallmouth and may be extinct as a pure species.
Just a note to Hall; FLMB and NLMB that have mixed are called intergrates, not hybrids. Earnest Hemmingway wrote about salt water "slams" for both tuna and billfish, so Bassmaster isn't creating the first slam for for fishing and California is a bass fishing state.

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I read that Tom. My first thought was, how are people going to validate that they in fact caught the correct species, and who confirms this?
Anytime you have mixed "species" of Bass, how would one determine a "true strain", versus a hybrid? Do they not inter-breed?
 
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