Bass fish live in freshwater lakes and rivers as well as the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean. Many fishermen try to catch record-size bass and then release them back into the wild so that they can continue to grow and lay eggs. Fishermen consider bass fishing a great challenge because they are not easy to catch. This is because of their super adaptations to their water environments.
Bass are usually dark brown, dark green or dark grey in color on top, depending upon their water habitat. Striped bass have dark brown spots and stripes. These dull colors help them blend into their environments so they can sneak up on their prey and hide from predators more easily. This adaptation makes it hard to spot them from fishing boats, especially if they are down near the lake bottom where they like to stay.
Bass fish have long bodies with strong, spiny fins and forked tails that help them swim fast. They can surprise their unsuspecting prey by springing on them at almost 12 mph. They can't swim that fast for long periods, but they can swim for long distances. Striped bass living in the Atlantic Ocean swim up rivers to coves and other protected areas to lay their eggs. The baby bass learn from the time they have just hatched that they must keep moving or be eaten by predators.
The jaws on a freshwater bass fish are angled toward the sky. The lower jaw is also longer than the upper jaw. These adaptations allow a bass to easily scoop up prey above it like small minnows and insects that like to swim near the surface of the water. When it is done scooping up prey, the bass returns to its safe resting place near the bottom of the lake or river.
Good Eyes and Ears
Bass have big eyes with sharp eyesight that help them spot prey in the murky waters of lakes and rivers, as well as the dim light in the Atlantic Ocean depths. Bass can also hear noises. They can sense the smallest vibration from a fishing boat moving on the lake to the slam of a tackle box on the boat. Bass seek shelter in deeper water when they hear sudden unfamiliar noises like these. This is another adaptation to their environment that makes bass fish hard to catch.
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