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Just two Sunday morning fish questions

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Mr.T, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I am asking the Bass men and gals too, LM Bass, what is the visual difference to distinguise male from femail, besides watching them throw a baseball.
    I am culling a small farm pond out today, but would like to leave few for the future.
    Also, to dispatch the fish, I kind of remember from the old archive something about baking soda or borax mixed in the water in a cooler. Would one of these mixes kill quickly to keep the fish from beating themselves up in a cooler?

    Please and thank you, Paul
  2. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    It's been awhile, BUT....

    I took Ichthyology when I was at Kansas State University (1978-1983), and IF the information hasn't changed since then; there are two ways to distinguish males from females:

    1) Females live longer and are bigger, so any large LMB (over 4 lbs) will have to be female. Doesn't help you with smaller bass.

    2) If I still remember after 26 years, the anal opening is shaped differently between males and females. Something that is over looked in competitions.

    * To the best of my recollection, that is what I recall"



  3. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    Mr. T.,
    PM sent. Good luck.
  4. Many times the area from the top soft doral fin to the base of the caudal is longer in male largemouth bass, while the shorter length in that area is on female largemouth bass.

    the anal opening, but I too have forgotten.

    Again I also have surveyed the males seldom get larger than 4 or 5 lbs.
  5. wabbit

    wabbit Guest

    "T" seems the only sexual dimorphism of Micropterus salmoides is that generally the size (length) of the females in each AGE class is longer, up to 20% over the males.
    You didn't mention the method you were "culling" the pond , nets, or draining. It's obvious you are not doing any Roetone work. If your culling is by seining don't worry about it as you will leave plenty of both male and female bass to perpetuate the specie if the pond is presently in BALANCE. Not knowing what kind of fish you are leaving as forage for the bass to feed on, the pond can get easily off balanced where even the biggest of bass will not be able to reproduce successfully due to the gross numbers of "panfish".
    My concern is where you state it's a "small farm pond", the smaller the pond the harder to manage as far as keeping things balanced. In most instances the bass are removed to be eaten, and the bluegill are tossed back to "grow". They (bluegill, crappie, perch) grow in NUMBERS not SIZE, due to having reduced the predator numbers to control them. They will get to big for the bass to utilize and to small for human consumption.
    That pond has the ability to substain a certain biomass of fish, if its ability is 1000 lbs you can have 1000 one pound fish, or 4000 4 oz. fish.
    Usually what you end up with is a pond out of balance. A few big bass, not being able to reproduce successfully.
    The key factor here is AGE class of fish. If you are getting bass reproduction presently in the last say 4 or 5 year AGE classes I would have to know your reason for culling the pond.
  6. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Sorry Mr. T. If you want to be 100 percent accurate this time of year you probably wont' be. However it looks like you might be close by culling out your really large bass as females.

    Sexing is most accurate in the spring just before spawning. The ripe females have distended abdomens and the males will exude milt when pressure is applied. However a well fed male may be mistaken as having a distended abdomen with eggs, so it would be foolish to just go by that characteristic.

    If the bass are larger than about 13 inches they may be sexed by looking at the scaleless area around the urogential opening just before releasing their sex products. This scaleless area is typically round in the male but more elongated in the female. But even this is not 100 percent accurate and again you need to do this during the spawning season. The most accurate way to sex bass at this time of the year is to gently insert a capillary tube and remove eggs or milt. However this can be tricky and you need to know what you're doing or you may injure the fish.

    Yes, males are usually smaller than females but I have seen some lunker males. Any other outside physical differences to determine the sexes is doubtful.

    The best way I have found to quickly dispatch fish is to overdoze them on MS-222 (finquel) but it's very expensive and if you want to eat the fish it's not advisable for 21 days. I tried borax and the fish take too long to die and thrash around a lot for me. Lately I've been using just a little bit of Clorax bleach in a cooler of water. But of course I'm not eating these fish. Clove oil works good too if you can find it. I had to have my pharmacist order it for me.
  7. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    Hey Mr. T!

    I don't really have a good answer for your first part of the question but this is what litttle inforamtion I have . Great but difficult questions to answer for sure. In typical circumstances one can distinguish special or similar description by scale counts along the latter line or fin rays from one fish to the next. However when sexing gender of a fish species as in the case of Micropterus salmoides there are few distinguishing differences at all. Some times time of year is the best indicator. During the spawn the female as would be expected will display a larger more pronounced abdominal portion of the body in addition the displacement of eggs would indicate a female, even male can and do in some cases will display a milky milt will be the indicator of a male in the spawning cycle.

    As far as out ward external physical characteristics other then the obvious size discrepancy over 6 lb or more in the case of female bass. So definitively I have never learned of or discovered any 100% accurate way of distinguishing a difference between the sexes together then at spawning time. I wish I could have been more help!

    My Best!

    Rick Krane
    Anglers Artistry