The Gallant Black Bass: Tribute to the Gamest of Fish in Prolific American Waters, Daily Racing Form, 1922-03-28


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THE GALLANT BLACK BASS are ;, !• Du sen The Tribute to the Gamest of Fish in that tin w Prolific American Waters. Wl _____ B* nil and Haunt* anil llnliiti of the Warrior uf " the Stream Mis Hane World is is Wide. ;," you or ill lO As a game fi-h the black l ;iss 1ms MM into liis it it inheritance nt Inst. Bm peMttve statements .-ire I" In made by nut nf this countrys most experiom ed him I1 anglers. Dr. .tames a. Henshall- With the spe-ial hi bass tools nml tackle now provided for liis capture, the cat • lilaek bass seems to liave proved Dr. llenshaHs Baying thai "bach far imli ami pound for pound lie „. is the gamest fish lliat swims." When Dr. Hen- I shall ventured this opinion twenty-five years age, there were no special devices contrived for ; he capture of the black liass except the Kentucky „ reel and the McOinnis tod. twelve feet bang and Hut |t, fifteen ounce-, in weight. Di awarding the palm m. as ;i game fish to the Mack bass. Dr. Henshall docs m. -o advisedly, he adds in his latest hook -that is. he S, does -o in the light of ample experience With other _, HM fishes and without prejudice, for he litis an 1l the innate love anil admiration fir all. from the trout a, of the mountain brook to the giant tarpon of the Di the npp.h-ation of so broad and so swooping an assertion each and every attribute of a game fish, admits Dr. Ilciishnll. must be well considered. We have to reckon with tile habitat of the fMi. !" he with his aptitude to rise to the fly. liis straggle - for freedom, his manner of resistance, his weight " as compared wilii other game fishes, his excel- *e lelice as food. ■ The aptitude of the black bass to rise to the arti-fieiiil fly is not nuestionod by the twentieth ceil- ft tury angler, although it was considered a matter 1 I of doubt by many eagle** during the list quarter of the nineteenth century. Tliis doubt was up m mainly owing to the lack of experience haeaaae fly fl hint for black bass was practiced success- . fully in Kentucky as long ago as the middle of the t] hist century. ,.j Another quality in a, game fish is measured by as .,, his resistance when hooked and by his efforts He || to escape. After many years in many regions j| spent ill the imrsuit of innumerable- game fish, a] Dr. Henshall affinns aow that no fish of equal , weight exhibits so miKli fineness mid stubborn re- atataaee under each conditions as tin- black bass. Most ftehea when hooked attempt to escape by taggiag and pulling in one direction, or by boring j, loward tin- bottom. If not successful in breaking ..." away they soon give up the contest. THE BASS A STRONG AND WILY FIGHTER. ■ di "I.ut the black bass exhibits, if not intelligence, n something akin to it. in liis strategical maneuvers. a: Sometimes his first effort is to bound into the air a all at ewe and attempt to shake out the hook, as if p he knew liis misfortune came from above-. At other times ho dashes furiously, first in one direction, then in another, pulling strongly meanwhile, then : -leaps into the air several times in quick succes-son. madly shaking himself with open jaws. I . have seen him fail on a slack line, and again by using his tail as ■ lever and the water as a fulcrum. throw himself over a taut line, evidently with the intent to break it or tear out the hook. Another „ clever ruse is to wind the line around a root or l in rock, and still another is to imbed himself in a „ clump of water weeds if permitted to do so. Or, s finding it useless to pull straight away, he re- f vei-ses his tactics and swims rapidly toward the j angler, shaking himself and working his jaw- ujeauwhile. as if he knew thai with a slaek hue M he would !»■ more apt to disengage the beak." The haunts of the black bass are amid the most on charming and varied scene,. Not in the silent and to solemn solitudes of the primeval forests, where s animated Nature is cvMaaeed mainly in swarms of gnats, black flits and mosquitoes, nor under n the shadows of grand and lofty mountains, guarded by serried ranks of pines and furs, but whose somber depths are void of feathered songsters. does the black bass lurk. "However grand, sublime and impressive such s-cues truly are. they do not appeal profoundly v to the angler. He must have lite, motion, sound. , He courts Nature in her more communicative moods. „ and in the haunts of the black bass his desires c are realized. Wading down tin- rippling stream. , casting his flies hither: and yon. alert Per the ,, responsive tug. the sunlight is filtered through , overhanging trees, while the thrush, blackbird and t cardinal reader the air vocal with sweet sounds. and his rival, the kingfisher, greets him with j vibrant voiee. The summer breeze, laden with the a scent of woodland blossoms, whispers among the ] leaves, the wild bee flits by on droning wing, the squirrel barks defiantly, and she tinkle of the cow- ,, lw-11 is mellowed in tin- distance. 1 know of each streams in the mountain valleys of West Virginia, niiiid the green rolling hills of Kentucky and Ten-aeeaee, and in the hill country where Missouri and . Arkansas meet. Leaving out of consideration the technicalities of the topic, it would seem that the black bass fall under two classifications, the large mouth and the Haall mouth. To the layman the elf- , feronce lie-ween the two is of little moment, ex- e[it that I few anglers deem the slil;1n mouth I Mart. beM the gaaaest. Originally the small mouth , Mark bass was restricted to the Great Lake region. I parts of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys, and along lie- upper reachee of streams flowing from the . i Alleghany Mountains in the southern states. It I has been introduced into ail the New England and I * middle stales and into many western ones. It baa a I a • loinpressed. rather elliptical body, the dorsal and I i ventral outlines bciag equal. It becomes deeper • with age. i RANGE, HABITS AND HAUNTS OF BLACK BASS. . I "As its range, or distribution, is so great and exteusive. and the v..itcts it lahaMth are so differ- . cut in hue and character, the coloration of the J small mouth bee* varies from almost black to 1 the faintest tinge of green, in different sections J of the country. The coloration is so variable that , it differs oxen in flab in the same waters. It 1 . is influenced mostly by the hue of the water, character of the bottom, the greet ace er absence of f « eeds about the haunts of the ease, and. more- over, the changes in color may occur la a very short time when subject to these various conditions. " The general color, however, is greenish of varleai ■hades, always darker on the back and paling te white or whitish oil the belly. When markings are present they form vertical patches or bars, never horizontal. Three bronze streaks extend from the eye across the cheeks. All markings, however, may : b-lollle obsolete with age. "The natural food of both species is crawfish. vhicli might be inferred from the character of j their teeth and wide opening mouth. There is a pop.ilai belief that they are essentially and habitually i is-civorous; but this is an error. "Both .species of black bass have l.eeii introdueod 1 into tieruiany, France, Baaata. and the Netherlands. In Oeimany, especially, they have foaad a permanent home. It was my privilege materially t9 I nasist Heir Max con dem Berae of Beraeaa heat, With Mich adxiO as enabled him to start on a sure fooling in his eatrrprtse, and with such subsequent sue. ess in its establishment that he published several brochures on the hlaek bass to ■sect the demand for information as to its habits and merits as a game ami food fish. An effect was made some years ago i.. introduce the black bass s into English waters, but without success, owing to " a want of knowledge as re the proper species to experiment with. The? small mouth bass was placed j ill weedy ponds or small lake., in which only the e large-nioutued would live. "The small -mouth bass thrives only in comparatively clear, cool and rocky or gravelly streams. uud in lakes and ponds supplied by such streams or having COM bottom springs. III lakes of the latter ch. trader, in northern tectieas, it coexists with the large BMUtb bass in many instances." The exalted opinion of the lilni-k bass as a game ,. fish is indorsed l,y ttiat American angle, Dixie ,. CarroU, in a recent study of lake and stream camo-flshiag. The bass, be points out. is a roamer, a a lively and ncliTe hunter for tile beat place to 0 gorge himself on choice minnows, crawfish unci d lielgramite. with a dessert from the surface of if tjic water of in ths. flies ami fio-.s. "• hi ■ great 1 little traveler and s i becomes •|iig i hie f" of the , waters in which In- liio*. "While playing l!"- game, don. for a minute ,. forget thai i ia-s baa eyei gaxl he aura kno .•■ :.on jj are ;, !• Du sen The that tin w Wl B* nil and " is is ;," you or ill lO it it I" In him I1 hi bass cat • i .• them, luce he lamps you. your bait tir lures not for him. and he has moved to other quarters. Dont st. ml in the boat and open up with a per sonallv conducted alghtaeelag :oci- before you cast. bass also he.ns. and often you will think he is exceptionally keen in hath of these senses While ill a boat, bear in mind that sound vibrations carry farther in the wafer than you cast, ami underwater sounds mean a frightened fish. Save useless casts in a pool freni which the fish have vamosed, dont telegraph the bass before inviting him to come in from the wet. "A bass will always gorge his food, although there ajaite a difference in his mouthing of baits. If are fishing with live bait, a minnow, crawfi-h frog, he will strike with, out much force anil will mull the bait aiound in his mouth a bit before swallowing it : in fact, with a live minnow be will turn around in his mouth and swallow it headfirst. this case dont strike him too quickly, but give a little time to play the bait before striking. A handles a live bait somewhat like the play of a with a mouse it has caught." * ♦—

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