I watched them slowly slip with the flow of water over the rim of the bucket. With an uneven strip down the side and golden, olive scales glistening in the sun, I was witness to largemouth bass being released into their final home. There’s something special about seeing confined, farm raised fish released into a larger world. I say this knowing that fishing poles and a tackle box sit waiting in the garage and that I find great pleasure in the term “fish on”. Yet, the feeling sticks with me. Perhaps it’s seeing an animal close up and recognizing it’s going to live its intended life. Regardless, each time fish are released I feel the same way.
Largemouth bass are quite handsome and interesting. They are native to Ohio. A member of the sunfish family, they’ll eat just about anything that can fit into their mouths. Frogs, snakes, other fish, amphibians and even rodents that enter water can be eaten by largemouth bass. They have incredible vision, seeing in all directions except directly under or behind. Spawning occurs primarily in May and June with the male creating and protecting a nest. The male creates his nest by using his tail to clear an area of silt to reveal roots and rocks. Several females might lay eggs in his nest, which he fiercely protects. Largemouth bass have been known to live over 15 years. Pretty neat.
All city ponds are stocked and the majority contains largemouth bass, channel cat, bluegill and amur carp. There are even a few surprises. Hybrid-striped bass and perch can also be found in a few ponds. Because the state of Ohio sees our ponds as privately owned, fishing licenses are not required. The city asks that visitors respectfully pick up trash as they leave and have fun fishing!
Yes, we do like to hear about the big one that got away! What have you caught lately?