A study conducted by the University of Illinois (UI) shows some bass are born to baffle anglers.
If you have ever saw bass on a pond or lake that are virtually impossible to catch, you are about to see why.
According to UI news release, the study began in 1975 with the resident population of bass in Ridge Lake, an experimental study lake in Fox Ridge State Park in Charleston.
“The fishing was controlled. For example, anglers had to reserve times, and every fish that was caught was put into a live well on the boat. The fish were measured and tagged to keep track of how many times each fish had been caught. All fish were then released.”
“We kept track over four years of all of the angling that went on, and we have a total record there were thousands of captures,” said David Philipp, ecology and conservation researcher in the statement published by UI.
“Many fish were caught more than once. One fish was caught three times in the first two days, and another was caught 16 times in one year.”
Then after four years, the pond was drained, and more than 1,700 fish were collected.
“Interestingly, about 200 of those fish had never been caught, even though they had been in the lake the entire four years.”
Then according to UI officials, males and females from the group that had never been caught were designated Low Vulnerability (LV) parents.
“To produce a line of LV offspring, these parents were allowed to spawn with each other in university research ponds. Similarly, males and females that had been caught four or more times in the study were designated High Vulnerability (HV) parents that were spawned in different ponds to produce a line of HV offspring. The two lines were then marked and raised in common ponds until they were big enough to be fished.”
The results were that HV offspring were more vulnerable to catch than LV offspring. There was, as many bass anglers suspect, a genetic component to elusive fish.
To read more about the role of genetics in bass behavior click here.