Bass Out Of Water

Bass Out Of Water

Bass anglers often wince when they see pros, TV hosts, and other anglers hold bass out of water for minutes at a time to build tournament interest, for photographs, or to promote tackle. Recent studies provide a better evaluation of potential harm.

In an extensive study of blood chemistry, post-release mortality, and behavior following release of tournament-caught largemouth bass, researchers found significant changes in blood chemistry as a result of stress, and that air-exposed fish took significantly longer to regain equilibrium or to leave release sites.* After 5 days, however, no released bass had died, even those exposed to air for as long as 13 minutes. This study was done at temperatures at 70°F or below, so these findings do not suggest largemouth bass can survive such treatment in warmer conditions. They do suggest that they survive air exposure better than previously believed.

A parallel study at similar water temperatures simulated angling and subsequent air exposure of largemouth and smallmouth bass for up to 10 minutes.** Again, no mortality occurred. There were similar changes in blood chemistry for the two bass species, but the behavior and recovery time of smallmouths were more affected by both exercise and air exposure than largemouths.

An earlier experiment of oxygen deprivation in largemouth and smallmouth bass indicated that smallmouths suffered more stress symptoms than largemouths and were more sensitive to hypoxia in all ways.*** Reducing time out of water is a good handling practice, but not as critical as once thought, particularly for largemouths.


* Thompson, L. A., S. J. Cooke, M. R. Donaldson, K. C. Hanson, A. Gingerich, T. Kleforth, and R. Arlinghaus. 2008. Physiology, behavior, and survival of angled and air-exposed largemouth bass. N. Am. J. Fish. Mgmt. 28:1059-1068.


** White, A. J., J. F. Schreer, and S. J. Cooke. 2008. Behavioral and physiological responses of the congeneric largemouth (Micropterus salmoides) and smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu) to various exercise and air exposure durations. Fish. Res. 89: 9-16.

***Furimsky, M., S. J. Cooke, C. D. Suski, Y. Wang, and B. L. Tufts. 2003. Respiratory and circulatory responses to hypoxia in largemouth bass and smallmouth bass: Implications for "live release" angling tournaments. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 132:1065-1075.

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

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

Spawntime World Class Crappies

Spawntime World Class Crappies

Doug Stange and Brandon Fulgham illustrate spawntime crappie patterns on one of North America's most famous fisheries.

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

8 Best Catfish Rigs - When, Where and How to Use Them

In-Fisherman

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you can Other Fish

Must-Have Striped Bass Tackle

Rick Bach - May 04, 2017

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you...

See More Trending Articles

More Bass

Understand the importance of sinkers in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Choose the Right Weight for Bass Fishing

Game & Fish Digital Staff

Understand the importance of sinkers in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Crankbaits excel for covering water, bumping cover, and daring spring bass to bite. Bass

Shaping Up for Spring Crankbaits

Steve Quinn - May 18, 2020

Crankbaits excel for covering water, bumping cover, and daring spring bass to bite.

Learn why and when to use each in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Baitcasting vs. Spinning: Choosing the Right Bass Combo

Game & Fish Digital Staff

Learn why and when to use each in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Lunar followers often check moon phases as well as timing of minors and majors. Bass

The Effects of Solunar Forces on Bass Fishing

Steve Quinn - June 22, 2020

Lunar followers often check moon phases as well as timing of minors and majors.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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