December 4th, 2015
Bass fishermen are a special breed and that is because they love to wrestle with the monsters of the deep. Bass fish are fighters on the line and they grow to prodigious sizes. A fisherman knows he is in for a fight when he has hooked a Bass. There are two distinct types of Bass, the freshwater and the marine species. The word Bass comes from the Middle English word ‘bars’ meaning ‘perch’. Both freshwater and saltwater Bass are from the order known as Perciformes.
The bass are then categorised under three classes, which include the black basses, temperate basses and Asian basses. Under the first of these you get the Choctaw bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, Guadalupe bass and largemouth bass. The temperate basses include: striped bass, white bass and European seabass. The Asian bass include: blackfin seabass and Japanese seabass.
The Australian bass is part of the temperate perch family, Percichthyidae. Australian bass are primarily freshwater native fish found in streams and rivers near the east coast of this island continent. A close cousin of this fish is the muddy bass found in the Brisbane River and in brackish waters in the Queensland hinterland. The dirty Brisbane waters are a favourite location for this much sought after angler’s fish and rare as they might appear to be they are well worth seeking them out. These fish are highly predatory and were originally thought to be related to the barramundi; this has now been found to be erroneous.
Australian bass have a forked tail fin and a spiny dorsal fin of medium height. The gill covers on this fish can cut fishermen handling them due to their sharp flat spines. They are gold, bronze or bronze green in colour and can grow up to sixty five centimetres long in the far northern waters of Australia. They reside in the freshwater reaches of coastal rivers for half the year when it is warm and move to the estuaries in winter. Australian bass are reported to be slow growing and long living.
Bass are good eating fish as well, with non-oily white flesh, which is prized by many leading chefs. Many keen fishermen practice catch and release with the fresh water bass, as they are more interested in the fishing experience as sport. Waiting for that tug on the line and then it is on, as the bass twists and turns, fighting the fisherman all the way.
November 30th, 2015
Peacock bass being substrate spawners can breed more often than just once a year. These beauties, in warmer climates, like in tropical regions in South America and Florida, can be in season once a month. In cooler conditions once or twice a year is a more typical breeding period. These wonderful fighting fish are an angler’s dream and sport fishermen everywhere enjoy the opportunity to test their mettle against the peacock bass. There are currently fifteen known species of the fish and these include: the butterfly peacock bass; the speckled peacock bass; the royal peacock bass and the blue peacock bass to name but a few.
The largest of the species is the speckled peacock bass, which can grow up to around one hundred centimetres long. Some of the various species have a spot on their tales, which looks like an eye; and this a deterrent to their predators. Some of the other species have a hump on their head. Most of them exhibit a colour pattern featuring three wide stripes down their bodies. They are an attractive looking fish, in general, and much sought after in Asia.
There is a substantial aquarium trade in these exotic beauties, as the fish are considered to be a colourful addition to tanks. As a large tropical fish they require tanks that hold between two hundred and three hundred gallons of water depending on the size and species of peacock bass. The peacock bass will eat smaller fish, so tank mates need to be of a similar size to the bass. The peacock bass can leap out of the tank if startled, so a lid is essential. Water filtration is a must as these fish produce more waste than most and feeding them often when immature, a few times a day is advised. Once a day is fine for the adult fish.
When sexually ripe the male develops a pronounced hump on its forehead. The wild peacock bass then cruises in search of a display ground to show his bona fides to passing females. This territory is aggressively defended from other male fish. When an interested female stops the male produces lateral displays and begins digging a bed area. The pair then will mate after a few false starts and the larger male leads the female to a nesting area. When they have bonded, then the spawning usually occurs in two weeks hence. Both fish will dig beds for the recently hatched larvae.