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Posted 07 April 2009 - 01:51 PM
Hey guys and gals,
I was just wondering what the variations in prey are in the different parts of the country, and world.
For example, here in SoCal, the largemouth and smallmouth bass forage on primarily threadfin shad, silver sides (small, iridescent minnows), sculpins (think goby), crappie, bluegill, and crawdads. When they're bigger, planted rainbow trout are a major part of their diet. And an occasional bird, frog, or rat that might be swimming by.
I am always focused on these prey when I'm thinking of lures and color schemes, but I was wondering what your particular fishing targets eat.
So please chime in, and, for exotic species, pics would help.
Posted 07 April 2009 - 02:18 PM
Up here in Wisconsin the largemouth eat a lot of sunfish cause there's not a lot of shad in lakes, also fathead minnows and the like and frogs. For smallies its a lot of crawdads and some perch and minnows. There's also an asortment of shiners, daces, chubs, and suckers.
Posted 07 April 2009 - 03:29 PM
I guess , that predatory fish(or any other fish , too) feed on prey , that is presently easily accessible in large numbers .
Even the same species could have different forage preferences in different places .
I recently heard on an Australian site , that the local carp there(same fish like over here in Europe , since it was brought from here) can be targeted with small crankbaits , they'd most like bite it , something almost impossible and unusual over here .
In my own personal theory the carp in "Down Under" have perfect conditions to reproduce .
They like warmth , so they have turned to a pest , thus there is so much forage competition between the individuals , so they have learned to go after minnow forage as well , which in Europe they only do on rare ocassions , when the fry had freshly hatched .
But these are rather more like insects but lure-sized prey fish !
Also heard about pike specialized on small mammals like rats or mice , also frogs , the habitat of these predators are the narrow drain ditches in northern Germany and the Netherlands .
Many of these animals need to swim those ditches to cross them , so the pike are used to it .
A pike in the bigger lakes won't probably know such prey .
It also has to do with the season , that certain prey is easy accessible , catch bigger perch over here in Hamburg waters in late spring and summer , they'd throw up small minnows , later in fall they often have small crabs in their bellies .
I fall the minnows become scarce , and the crabs are joining together to move seaward for winter .
For instance , eel in the harbor area of Hamburg can be caught with different types of bait like bacon , cheese , sausage , etc... , whereas in natural lakes only the "classic" eel baits like nightcrawlers and small baitfish(prefereably perch) work best .
Is this , because fish in rivers are not as shy as they are in stillwater ? Or is it because of human influence dumping all kinds of stuff in the water ?
BTW : I have once caught a trophy eel , that had a piece of grilled pork chop in its belly , it was during a summer night , many people doin' B-B-Q on the lakeside through the day !
greetz , diemai:yay:
Posted 07 April 2009 - 03:43 PM
What do perch in Germany look like, and how big do they get?
Posted 07 April 2009 - 04:57 PM
On the SoCal saltwater scene my main target is Calico bass and the big girls love a mackerel and what we call "brown baits" or types of herring. They also readily take smelt, sardines, and grunion. My intent is to use my mackerel patterned swimbait to bag a few of the larger models on the coast and at our local islands. I have been experimenting with creating a swimbait to mimic the other baitfish as well.
Once summer rolls around I hope to target the yellowtail and dorado that will make there way into local waters using the mackerel bait as well.
Posted 07 April 2009 - 05:29 PM
@ mark poulson
Hi , Mark
Here are two average perch that I have caught in November or early December 2007 in Hamburg .
These are somewhat around 11" to 13" , I guess , any perch beyond 16" can be considered a trophy , my PB so far was about 19" .
Years ago one came off my glider jerkbait , at least 21" , if my would not have stopped me , I was about to throw my rod after it in anger !
There are nice perch in the waters of Hamburg , nice average size and they are quite high-bodied .
A few reservoirs further south are wellknown to produce big perch , a 16incher is considered good average in there !
In the big natural lakes east they are generally smaller and of more slender shape , also their basic color differs in different waters or different habitats in one water .
Usually more bottom located perch tend to have a darker green color , the ones coming from vegetated areas are more purely green whereas other breeds can be of a little yellowish green ,.......the fin colors can also vary from a little orange to that full red as shown here .
But all have these distinctive stripes , and they are all considered the same species .
I guess the absolute size limit would be around 24" , but these are absolutely rare , watched one in a video filmed at the Baltic coast(perch can stand low content saltwater as well) also getting rid of the hook , almost made the angler cry !
Perch grow quite slow , if I hazard a guess , the ones displayed on picscould be already 7 to 10 years old ?
We have them in virtually every water in Europe , they also live in coastal regions of the Baltic Sea .
greetz , Dieter:yay:
Posted 07 April 2009 - 08:13 PM
Mark everybody of water is its own ecosystem here. Someplaces like newriver crawdads are the main menu, some lakes shad are the main forage and creek fishing anything smaller than you is on the menu. Its hard to say this is the food chain here because every creek, river and lake are all different here . I really enjoy small water creeks and rivers for musky and you will be suprised at how small of water these guys need and I imagine everything swimming to crappie to carpand everything in the middle are fair game.18 mile creek is a very small creek and there are places that you drag your jonboat through and the next hole and you only have room to cast forward ahead of the boat because the bank is about 6 feet of both sides of the boat.The scary part is people are catching mid 40s and a few right at 50 inchers in these pot holes.Now you can imagine anything goes in this ecosystem. I seen a pic last year of two older guys on my route down ( talk to them weekly) by 18 mile and he caught and ate the would have been new unofficial state record.These are country boys and they fish for food and the saw nothing but dinner for days when they caught this fish. It made my stomach ache when the showed me the pic,because I knew this poor fishs fate.It just goes to show you that little water can hold a big fish and anything is on the menu including the poor musky that was deep fried.
Posted 07 April 2009 - 08:38 PM
I understand what you're saying. I guess, being from SoCal, with so few options, I assumed everyone had an idea of what the basic forage for their angling targets would be.
Those perch look like pictures I've seen of yellow perch on the East Coast here in the U.S., but with more green. Those orange fins look like one of our local carp.
Posted 07 April 2009 - 11:48 PM
I used to fish a very small pit, about 40m diameter, regularly for 3 years. It contained small crucian carp and perch, 2 - 4ozs.
I invited a friend, to introduce him to fishing. Set him up with all my gear. Sat with him for an hour or so, to get him started.
After a couple of hours, he pulled in a 15oz perch. Bigger than any perch I had ever caught and 3 times the size of my biggest in this pit.
I was gutted!
Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:13 AM
Dieter, a 24 inch perch? What do you feed them over there to get them to grow that big? Ohh yeah, that's right, you feed them Hamburg!! LOL sorry I coulnt help myself.
Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:11 AM
Milia, that was baaaaad!
Do the pike eat perch that big?
Edited by mark poulson, 08 April 2009 - 08:12 AM.
Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:49 AM
@ Milia B
Talking about that 24incher I was refering to what I saw in that video made by some wellknown angling guides at the Baltic coast around the island "Rügen"(approx . 50 miles west of the Polish border) .
These coastal waters there are famous for big pike as well , they grow that big , since they are feeding on herrings , that are living in large numbers in the salty water of the Baltic there , I guess .
The guy in the video shouted out , that the perch that he had lost , was that big , he had already tossed it to the surface , the camera still shot a brief glance of it before it vanished to the depths again .
But this is really , really exceptional , never heard of such before ,...... but as said previously , in some reservoirs down south they frequently catch perch over 20" every season .
It really depends on the possibilities of forage , not every swim is the same .
But Milia , I guess that perch much more prefer herrings over Hamburgers !
Probably eel might take them , but gotta take off the pickles , onions and tomatoes before:lol: !
@ mark poulson
Pike can eat prey up to 2/3 of their own body length , but this is also exceptional , but the real big 45" + mamas ain't scared to eat anything , I remember a picture , that one was found dead with the tail of a 30" zander(walleye) sticking out of his mouth , also 4 pound carp and big rats were found inside the bellies of big pike .
But a 24" perch might be too large(height of its body) , also it would be hard to swallow with all the stings in its fins .
In murky Hamburg waters(except some gravel pits)perch-colored lures don't seem to work very well on pike , they tend to take more shad or neon colors .
greetz , Dieter:yay:
Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:56 AM
Do your pike ever come up and eat topwater baits?
I bet that would be a thrill!
Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:41 AM
@ mark poulson
Yes , Mark , they do during the warm season May through October , but it also depends on the kind of waters , one is fishing .
Generally speaking , if there is a lot of boating , traffic or swimming , they don't respond too well to topwaters , in this case its better to try the shallow portions of such waters early in the morning(I never get up this time , though:lol:) or the hour before sunset , right into dark .
Also on hot summer days these are the best times , even in "perfect" topwater grounds like smaller ponds and rivers(slow current) with lots of water vegetation .
Fallen timber , overhanging trees and bushes , reed margins and pad fields at the banks of gravel pits or any other lakes are always the places to cast into(meaning the water surrounding them:lol:) .
Some gravel pits have beaches for swimming , the shallow water there would often sooner or later drop sharp deep down , these are the places to hit with the topwaters in the evening , the predators come up from the depths to look for prey in the shallows , as the bank of the lake is calming down at the end of the day.
Sometimes also bigger perch strike the topwaters on such ocassions .
My favourite pure topwater bait is the "Spook" type walking bait , haven't had good success with crawlers , creepers and propbaits yet .
Poppers seem to work far better for perch than pike in my experience .
If pure topwaters don't produce , I'd switch to my other favourites , the "Whirligig" and "Lucky13" , these provide topwater AND diving action(up to 18" deep) at one time , depending on style of retrieve .
Sometimes lure action just a few inches below makes the difference:yes: !
But one thing's for true , if I had not had a healthy heart in my chest , them pike would have killed me already a couple of times , nothing more exciting than a pike jumping full length out for a lure !
greetz , Dieter:yay: