As we mentioned in our previous article on Prey Size for Largemouth Bass, the size of a largemouth bass with have a major influence on the size of their food.
The Lower Limit is determined by whether or not the effort required to catch a small meal will return an adequate amount of energy. Bass will not waste too much energy to catch a small meal, resulting in an overall loss.
The Upper Limit is determined by what they can actually fit in their mouths… without choking. Samples of preyfish have been taken from within their stomachs – some as large as 50% of their overall length – however, much more manageable quarry is usually pursued.
The following chart shows the length of bass compared to the length of preyfish to give us a relatively solid ballpark range, which will help us select lures and presentations that will adequately target the fish we are looking for.
The shaded area shows the size of the preyfish that largemouth bass typically eat. Although bass may eat preyfish as small as about 10% of their own length, or as large as 60 to 70 percent.
MOST preyfish fall between 20 and 50 percent.
Larger bass tend to eat larger prey. Most of the food of young adult bass falls between 20 percent and 40 percent of their own length, while older and larger bass tend to select preyfish in the 30 to 50 percent range, depending on prey shape.
This makes one wonder if the older fish are slightly wiser, able to discern and select food(s) that are a size they can manage to eat without discomfort, while minimizing the energy expended and maximizing the energy gained…
Hmmm… I wonder?
Either way – this gives us some insight into the preferred prey size on the big bass buffet.
Now let’s go get some.
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