Skip to main content

Largemouth Bass Hook Wounds

Largemouth Bass Hook Wounds

From the Field—Anglers often catch fish and observe what appear to be hook wounds on their mouths, presumably due to being previously caught. Questions concerning hook wounds include how long they last, how easily they’re detected, and if they can be used as an index of angling pressure? To answer these questions, we angled largemouth bass from a pond using a crankbait with two treble hooks and a soft-plastic worm with a single hook.* After capture, bass were held for six days to examine hook-wound detection and healing rates.

Hook wounds were detected in 100 percent of angled bass on the day of angling and were still observed on greater than 90 percent of bass seven days after capture. In May, 27 percent of hook wounds were healed within six days, but only 12 percent were healed within six days during July. No differences in hook-wound detection or healing rates were found for bass caught on crankbaits versus plastic worms.

Next, we visited 16 largemouth bass tournaments from April to October to determine the proportion of tournament fish displaying hook wounds. As many as 16 percent of tournament-caught fish did not have observable hook wounds. For those that did, hook wounds were most commonly on the roof of the mouth (52 percent), followed by the left jaw (26 percent) and right jaw (23 percent). Four percent of bass observed had broken jaws. Hook-wound detection did not vary among months and was not related to bass size.

Finally, we conducted monthly electrofishing to estimate the proportion of the total bass population with observable hook wounds. An average of 19 percent of bass captured with electrofishing displayed hook wounds, with the highest percentage of fish with wounds in August and the lowest percentage in April. The proportion of bass with hook wounds was positively related to the number of bass brought into tournaments.

Our study suggests hook wounds in largemouth bass are easily detected and last beyond one week post-angling. Thus, they have the possibility to be used as a short-term indicator of capture. Marks sustained during angling, such as hook wounds, may provide fishery managers with an easy and inexpensive way to estimate catch-and-release angling pressure on largemouth bass populations.

Savannah Fernholz, Andrea Sylvia, and Dr. Michael Weber

*Fernholz, S., A. Sylvia, and M. J. Weber. 2018. Hook wound longevity and use as an indicator of largemouth bass catch-and-release angling pressure. N. Am. J. Fish. Mgmt. 38:759-768.




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

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Learn

3 SIMPLE and EASY Catfish Rigging Tips with Captain Ross Robertson

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Learn

How To: Rigging for fall catfish

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Gear

The PERFECT Rod to Carolina Rig With G. Loomis GLX Bass Rods

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Destinations

In-Fisherman Classics: Stalking Giant Flatheads AFTER DARK

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Destinations

In-Fisherman Classics: Big Cat Safari - Finding Spring Channel Catfish

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Fishing

New Podcast! Life on the Lower Niagara River with Capt. Frank Campbell

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Learn

In-Fisherman Classics: Where to Find Post-spawn Walleyes

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Learn

In-Fisherman Classics: What Are the Top Walleye Baits Of ALL TIME?

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Destinations

In-Fisherman Classics: Big Mississippi Flatheads with Chris Winchester

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Learn

In-Fisherman Classics: Walleye Location Secrets

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Learn

TOP 2 Smallie Rigs with Jay Pzrekurat

The new version of Shimano's jointed swimbait provides swimbait anglers with a slow-sinking model that attains a working...
Gear

Shimano's NEW ArmaJoint 1900SS Adds Depth Control During Retrieve

In-Fisherman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

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

See All 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

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now