Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

If you're a bluegill, that is. I love coming across little bitty  "one-liners" either in articles or research papers that either stand out as being profound, or explain via scientific documentation something generally perceived or accepted in the (bass) fishing world. Kind of like one of those "A-HA" moments. I don't find many of them, but I've come across a pair of studies that each have the same finding and that qualify in my eyes for this distinction.

From the 1996 INHS report (Effect of Electrofishing on Sunfish); "Small bluegill are more likely to be eaten by largemouth bass predators immediately after the shocking experience than unshocked bluegill. In our laboratory experiments, which were performed in an eight-foot diameter pool, the foraging largemouth bass would immediately eat any shocked bluegill that moved (either by gilling or twitching)."

And, from the follow up research nearly 10 years later (Effects of Electroshock on Bluegill Feeding and Susceptibility to Predation); "After release, largemouth bass began to follow and strike at swimming, unshocked bluegills with a success rate of 41%. The largemouth bass ignored the shocked bluegills that were present on the bottom of the pool. However, as the shocked bluegills recovered after about 30 s (evidenced by ventilating and attempts to swim), largemouth bass switched almost exclusively to feeding on them, and the predator capture rate increased to 88%."

In this case, our favorite fish came out on the 'short end of the research stick', so to speak. But for those that also enjoy chasing bass like I do, a little bit of info that might be used to your advantage in the future.

I'll try and add a few more similar posts to this blog from time to time as I come across them.

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Comment by dick tabbert on January 21, 2012 at 10:10pm

Very interesting article I know in Michigan some of the lake I fish you'll see the shocking boats out there shocking away. When they leave the area you may see lots of fish floating on the surface. The shocker isn't selective it shocks what ever is swimming between the 2 rod weather it's the type fish there after or not. They do eventually revive and swim off. I guess it is a tool  and like all tools they have there pros and con.

Comment by Bruce Condello on January 21, 2012 at 8:27am

Very interesting information.  Thank you for posting it.  That's definitely a feature.

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on January 21, 2012 at 7:04am

Kinda cool. I know this is how they test populations of fish. It also doesn't strike me as too "shocking." I mean , bass being predators will recognize and attack a crippled fish that appears to be an easy meal.

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