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Black Bass

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Bass is an incredibly popular sportfish in North America. Below are some tips to help you effectively catch and release bass on your next fishing trip.
Section #1


  • Use single-pointed, barbless hooks (Cooke, 2001) to minimize damage. Avoid treble hooks as these are shown to be more harmful for fish.
  • A wide range of rods are used in bass fishing, from very heavy rods and line for dense cover environments, to fairly light tackle for deep water fishing. Use the right equipment for the type of fishing you are doing to minimize fight time and promote fast recovery of fish (Kieffer, 1995).
  • If using a landing net, ensure that it is fish friendly and won’t cause undue harm to the bass – rubber nets are a popular choice in that category.
Section #2


  • Keep tools for hook removal at the ready and be prepared to unhook the fish quickly. Cut lines or hooks when necessary to avoid excessive trauma to the fish.
  • Do not “lip hold” a bass vertically for pictures. Try instead to grab it by the lip and support the fish under its belly with the other hand to reduce chances of causing injury to the fish.
  • Throughout the angling event, keep air exposure to a minimum as it causes immediate stress and potential long-term harm for bass (Cooke et al, 2002).
  • Release the fish by holding it loosely in the water until it breaks away.
By following these guidelines to the best of your ability you can directly help our fisheries by returning more bass to their environment and providing more opportunity for other anglers.
Section #3

The Science Behind the Story

The information presented is based on a years of research by experts in the field. Here you can find a list of the references relevant to Black Bass and we encourage you to read them to learn more.

The influence of terminal tackle on injury, handling time, and cardiac disturbance of rock bass.

We studied the effects of catch-and-release angling on rock bass Ambloplites rupestris, a small but common centrarchid species in North America. A field study of hooking injury and mortality was conducted in Lake Erie at a water temperature of 168C. We captured fish using one of four terminal tackle types: barbless worm, barbed worm, barbless jig, and barbed jig.

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Effects of catch-and-release angling on nesting male smallmouth bass.

We assessed the effects of angling stress on nesting male smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu from two lakes in southeastern Ontario. In the first portion of the study, adult male smallmouth bass were hooked and then played either briefly (<20 s) or to exhaustion (2 min). White muscle acid–base and metabolite status were used as indicators of the extent of the physiological disturbance in these fish.

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Physiological impacts of catch-and-release angling practices on largemouth bass and smallmouth bass

We conducted a series of experiments to assess the real-time physiological and behavioral responses of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and smallmouth bass M. dolomieu to different angling related stressors and then monitored their recovery using both cardiac output devices and locomotory activity telemetry. We also review our current understanding of the effects of catch-and-release angling on black bass and provide direction for future research.

Read at publisher's site