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Why small bass?


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If most people release bass, why are the lakes full of mainly little ones? Maybe they don't release as many as I though?

A pretty complicated question, depends mostly on the lake itself, the productivity (available nutrients to grow fish) and the fish community and harvest pressures

Certainly in some situations if you throw back all the small bass, they are all in competition with each other and end up limiting growth, and you end up with thousands of small bass rather than a nice varied size structure

I wouldn't say most lakes are full "mainly of little ones" though, Minnesota has hundreds upon hundreds of good bass fishing lakes. Keep in mind that even in ideal populations, there are going to be far more smaller bass than larger bass!

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I think maybe you just need to try some new lake or techniques because as far as average size goes I have always heard minnesota is pretty good.

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Plenty good big bass in Minnesota!!!!!....Just not many over 7 lbs or so.....I have always been amazed at the number of people I have had contact with in my lifetime from more southern states that have NEVER caught a 5 lb bass....It is a Minnesota myth that fishing ON AVERAGE is better down south......Bull [PoorWordUsage]!......Yes you can catch a 10 lber further south, but, MOST fisherman have not caught one that large....The smallmouth fisherman in Tennessee and Kentucky often must resort to fishing at night during the summer to have a chance of catching many fish. June thru October in Minnesota is hard to beat for quality Bass fishing.

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Hiya -

Lots of answers to this. Not all apply to all bodies of water...but most of it boils down to the simple fact that not all lakes are capable of producing big fish. Water chemistry, forage availability (density, type, and availability of the right kind of forage at the right time of year), predation, spawning habitat, mortality rates...all can play a role, and all interact. Abundant spawning habitat but lack of sufficient forage can lead to a population of undersized fish, for example. These relationships are complex ones.

The other side of it is even if you're on a lake with bigger fish, you might not be fishing for them. You can fish for 5 lb bass, or one pounders on the same lake - sometimes in the same place. Learned this a long, long time ago fishing muskies.

This kind of thing fascinates me because I think there are two ways to look at it, both valid, and they're mutually exclusive.

On the one hand you can target big fish by using techniques and fishing locations that focus on bigger fish. In doing so, you accept that you'll catch fewer fish overall, but more of them will be bigger. The contradictory philosophy is to go for numbers - fish for biters and fish fast. Catch as many fish as possible, and the law of averages says some of them will be bigger. Which one works for you depends on your personality and temperament as much as anything. Look at professional bass anglers, and you'll see both in action, and a few guys - KVD, Rick Clunn, maybe a few others - that can switch back and forth as circumstances dictate.



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Agreed RK.....As you say the balance of small to larger fish indeed varies from lake to lake......I have often seen where the biggest bass in the lake seem to be very shallow or deep(relatively speaking), but, not so much in between where most people are fishing....Or is it my imagination?

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