Wednesday February 8, 2023

Lake County Record-Bee

Bass are rapidly approaching their spawning time and many anglers are wondering how far they will swim when released after being weighed. Will they return to their spawning area or take up residence in a new area?

It is amazing the number of tournament fishermen who believe bass return to their spawning area when released after a tournament. The truth is that most bass tend to stay in the area they were released. In other words, bass that were caught in the Redbud Arm and weighed in the Lakeport area will normally stay in the Lakeport area.

A number of years ago the DFW tagged 580 bass (497 were smallmouth and the remaining 83 were largemouth) that were caught in a tournament at Lake Shasta. The bass were then released at the weigh-in site. Fishermen catching a tagged fish were asked to contact the DFW. The study lasted three years. Anglers returned 34 largemouth bass tags. Thirteen were caught less than a mile from the release site. Twenty-one were caught from one mile to seven miles from the release site. During the first 40 days after being released the average distance traveled by the fish was less than a mile and the average for the entire three-year study period was less than 2 miles.

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