Pond Monsters

Recently on The Fishing Wire, I read a report about aggressive bass biting fingers and caught by hand. News Station WKRG posted this video, perhaps worthy of a visit by Jeremy Wade of River Monsters.

The aggressiveness is attributed to a genetic strain of largemouth bass developed by fisheries scientists, Don Keller and Barry Smith. The Tiger Bass® is the result of over 15 generations of crossing confrontational northern male bass with a strain of Florida female bass at the American Sport Fish Hatchery, near Montgomery, Alabama. The goal is a rapidly growing bass species that can be caught, and thus enjoyed, repeatedly.

Genetic variation in aggressive behavior occurs naturally, like the bully on the playground. But unlike the bully, with bass fishing we like to reward the fish with poor social skills.

For about five years, we had a bass that lived, no lurked, under the dock of our pond. It thought it owned the place. The activity of regularly feeding and fishing off the dock was like a dinner/boxing bell for this bass. It was almost impossible to reel in a bluegill fast enough to avoid being chased. And yes, even hands dangled in the water would attract attention, as my young son learned the hard way.

Still there were never any hard feelings; my kids loved our “crazy bass.” We watched that bass grow from about two to five pounds, and then it disappeared. Today, there is a different two-pound bass staking claim to the territory under dock, with plenty of pond monster potential. Do you know any pond monsters?

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.