Fish Busters’ Bulletin; April 2010By Bob Wattendorf
Bass are on the beds and on our minds
Spring is here and the bass are ontheir beds. The males have been fanningout beds preferably on firm lake bottomswith plenty of nearby vegetation. If theyare successful in their amourous intentsto entice a female to join them, they’llsoon be spending time guarding the nestand fanning tens of thousands of eggs to keep them oxygenated.
Spawning bass shot by master underwaterhotographer Glen Lau (See shop.wildlifeflorida.org to buy prints or DVDs and support the Florida BassConservation Center).
This annual ritual is not only dependent on the sexual appeal of theindividual bass, but also on the quality of the environment in which they live, thevagaries of weather, and impacts of man. Environmental quality for Florida’spremier freshwater sportfish include the purity of the water, firm sandy bottomsfree of dense muck layers on which to deposit their eggs, vegetation for the youngfry (baby fish) to hide in, and plants to attract insects that the young bass will soonbe pursuing. It also entails the levels of the water and how fast those waters rise orfall. Bass like to build their nests in 2-4 feet of water so a sudden drop can exposethe nests; floods from heavy rains also can impact hatching success. Anglers alsocan potentially impact this spawning ritual, which is a constant concern for FloridaFish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) fisheries biologists charged with