There may be some legal issues in doing this in some states or areas, however where I live there are no such restrictions. With my ever growing addiction to bass fishing and everything that goes with it, I thought it would be a great idea from an interesting point of view to…
There may be some legal issues in doing this in some states or areas, however where I live there are no such restrictions.
With my ever growing addiction to bass fishing and everything that goes with it, I thought it would be a great idea from an interesting point of view to buy a large fish tank and keep a bass of my own in the home.
I got a 140 gallon plastic tank custom made for me at a great price. I had to make a lid to fit the tank as well as fit hatches into the lid and I also added an extra filter system to the lid. To say the least my tank is extremely unique.
Following all recommendations for new tanks that I received from many great Ultimatebass.com members that have had experience with fish tanks, I cycled the water in the tank for several weeks before going out to find a suitable habitant for the tank. Well that day came and I went to a pond I knew had some small bass. I caught and took home a very skinny 8 or 9 inch bass. The day I caught it the lake water level had dropped to an extremely low level and it was living in a puddle off of the main lake of which the puddle was completely dried up several weeks later. During the 18 months it has lived in my home it has grown to at least 12 inches and just about as round lol. I guess I feed it too much.
Now, the benefits of keeping a bass or other wild fish for that matter is amazing, and I find my self sitting in front of the tank like most people would sit in front of the TV.
I had my bass in the tank from June 2007 until spring of 2008 not knowing if it was a ‘boy’ or a ‘girl’. My wife was saying it had to be a girl because of the rate it was growing. Then in spring of 2008 I finally found out. Although it was in a tank in my home with similar air and water temperatures year round, the slightly higher temperatures of spring kicked in the urge to spawn. My bass started to fan the gravel with his tail to prepare a bed for his girlfriend (which never seems to turn up ..sorry buddy). He is a BOY and he continues to build a bed every year from early spring right into summer.
One thing that I have noticed is that occasionally he will stay perfectly stationary for a number of days in one part of the tank, right low on the gravel and he seems much less interested in feeding (he will still eat if I put in a bait fish in for him, but he will go right back to doing nothing after he has eaten his meal). When I first saw this behavior I was thinking he was sick, but after a day or so he would be back to normal. This happened mainly during the winter months but does also occur during the whole year. It wasn’t until I was fishing one time and the fishing was very slow and it was while he was behaving this way, which I realized that the reason for his behavior was due to the weather conditions outside, or barometric pressure or a cold front. I never thought that the weather conditions outside would affect a bass living indoors but it does!
Another great spectacle is seeing how bass behave under different situations and how much can be learned from them which can then be taken to the lake to help me catch more bass and this is true!! I have learned that when my bass has the “bait” in his mouth, he will immediately turn 180 degrees and swims off with it. From this I can then picture in my mind what happens next time I’m at the water. I’ve learned that setting the hook earlier gives me a better hook up ratio.
I have also learned how a bass will eat a crawfish. A bass will first nip at the crawfish, I believe he is testing the craws reactions and then the second attack the bass will take the craw in its mouth. This has taught me that when fishing with a craw imitating jig or other lure, I should wait a little longer before setting the hook when I feel the fish moving with my bait.
Another interesting thing that he does, and I’m not exactly sure why he does it, but he will rub and scratch himself across the pieces of wood I have in the tank. He will turn himself almost upside down and kick his tail as he rubs along the wood. This leaves him with a bunch of light scratch marks all along his body, but these soon fade.
There are some downsides to keeping a ‘swimming eating machine’ like a bass they eat a lot, so they produce a large amount of waste!! Due to this amount of waste I need to clean the tank quite regularly using a gravel vacuum. It’s not a big or difficult job, it’s all a part of the fun of keeping such a great pet. During these tank cleaning sessions I have to drain some of the water and at times have my hand in the water. This obviously causes some stress to him. His body markings during these stress times become very strong and dark compared to normal and his dorsal fin is at full extension.
I have learned so much from my buddy about his kind that has given me a much better understanding of how bass behave in their own environment. He has made me a better fisherman.