Anybody know what the reason is Pickeral and Bass seem to stop taking when Gaspereau are around? They are not eating them, especially the bass, are they just disrupting everything in the shallows and the bass move deeper? Any ideas?
we neted a whole bunch of them and the smallest one was 10 inches long and about 3 inches wide, I know pickerel would grab them but doubt they would get them down, certainly a small mouth couldn't eat them.
I caught a 26" Pickerel once, and it had a 10" pickerel in its mouth with the damn tail sticking out LOL Believe that or not, was quite a thing to see. Im sure the Pickerel would at least try to eat them lol
No doubt pikerel would grab one, those things are beasts, ive caught pickerel smaller then the lure I was using, those things are beats, maybe they would tear the Gasperau apart and eat it that way but the small mouth must be disturbed by them , wondering if they go into deeper water to get away from the school?
Big pickerel will eat gaspereau, ive caught a pile of pickerel with whole gaspereau in there stomachs or throats, pretty much all 22 inches or over will take gaspereau, its amazing how big of a meal they can take, my uncle caughty a 23 incher last summer with a whole bull frog in its throiat, not a small frog a big full grown bull frog.. the legs were sticking out of his mouth and he still tried to eat a spinner bait, and i got one last winter that looked like it swallowed a cd...cut it open and it had a 8 inch sunfish, pickerel was only 21 inches long. As for the smallmouth , my guess would be they are just either disrupted by all the commotion, or they are fed up on the baitfish and perch that follow the gasperau to eat the eggs
big small mouth and pickerel will both eat gaspereaux. with no spines, these are soft prey for the toothy critters, while a big small mouth has no problem eating baits up to about 3/4 of there length. the top water action is just what these predators are looking for. i`ve caught a 18" smallies that had a 14" white perch in it, with a couple inches of tail still sticking out it`s mouth. the pickerel deffinately get harder to catch for the next couple weeks after the gaspereaux run (full to the gills! lol!), i would guess river access smallies would be the same or similar.
Some of the largest smallies I've caught have been while gaspereau were splashing around. I'm not sure if they are gaspereau or some other Alosa species, but I've seen small gaspereau-looking fish (3"-4") washed up on shore and some that had even jumped from the water onto docks. What was the mesh size of the net you used? Maybe the smaller gaspereau just swam out. I suspect that the smallmouth would be gorging themselves on these small fish