Skip to main content

Effects of Softbait Ingestion on Bass

Effects of Softbait Ingestion on Bass
Photo: Chuck Beasley

Fish Health­—Black bass can ingest softbaits while they are being fished or by eating them off the bottom after they have fallen off a hook or been discarded by anglers, yet little is known about effects this might have on bass. Researchers investigated if shape and composition (biodegradable vs. non-biodegradable) of ingested softbaits affected feeding rates of largemouth bass.* Bass were fed one of the following softbaits: In the biodegradable category, a 4-inch Berkley Gulp! Ripple Shad, 7-inch Berkley Gulp! Turtle Back Worm, or 4-inch Berkley Gulp! Alive! Crawler; in the non-biodegradable category, a 4-inch Berkley Powerbait Ripple Shad, 7-inch Berkley Powerbait Power Worm, or 4-inch Roboworm FAT Worm, and then allowed to eat as many live golden shiners as they could.

Bass that ate the largest softbaits by volume, the shad-shaped baits, consumed the lowest number of shiners. Bass that ate biodegradable baits consumed less shiners than those that ate non-biodegradable baits. Bass usually expelled a softbait within nine days and biodegradable baits were expelled faster than non-biodegradable ones. Although results suggest ingested softbaits do not present a significant long-term risk to largemouth bass health, softbaits should be disposed of properly.

*Sanft, E. J., A. P. Porreca, J. J. Parkos III, T. M. Detmer, and D. H. Wahl. 2018. Effects of ingestion of soft plastic fishing lures on largemouth bass. N. Am. J. Fish. Mgmt. 38:718-724.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Crescent CK1 Venture Kayak

Crescent CK1 Venture Kayak

The Crescent CK1 Venture is a lightweight, throw-and-go, nimble paddling kayak that is universally capable on most waters thanks to a proven and versatile hull design that also keeps you high and dry. The CK1 Venture is 11 feet long, 34 inches wide, has an overall capacity of 400 pounds and weighs only 60 pounds.

Old Town Sportsman BigWater PDL 132 Kayak Review:  Hands-Free Precise Boat Control

Old Town Sportsman BigWater PDL 132 Kayak Review: Hands-Free Precise Boat Control

In this video, we explore the 2021 Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 with MirageDrive 360 Pedal Drive Technology that allows this versatile kayak to turn on a dime and is loaded with professional features.

Timing Hot Bites

Timing Hot Bites

In this episode, the In-Fisherman Staff shows how to get in on peaking fishing opportunities, as they target shallow slab crappies, drop deep for jumbo perch, and use topwaters for primetime 50-inch muskies. Here's a clip!

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top In-Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now