Exhibiting potential as a future Bass Angler of the Year, Chad Hagar of Saranac Lake smiles while admiring a fine largemouth he had just landed.
Photo by Joe Hackett.
Although the recent weather patterns have been decidedly summer-like, the actual summer season did not officially begin until Wednesday, June 20th. It seems like we have been enjoying summer since March!
However, for many eager anglers the true summer actually arrived just a few days ago, with the Opening Day of bass season on Saturday, June 16th.
Bass fishing, like apple pie and the Fourth of July, has become an American tradition. Bass are one of the most widely distributed of all freshwater game fish species, and they are to be found almost anywhere there is water and a forage base.
In fact, Andy Griffith and Opie opened the popular television program Mayberry RFD, while toting an impressive stringer of bass back from the fishing hole. Bass, Bubba, and beer, these are American traditions.
Alaska is the only state in the union without a bass population, which is too bad because bass can actually be fished through the ice. Hawaii received the state’s first bass when they arrived by boat, likely while being transported for introduction into Japan in 1925. That was the year Akabishi Tetsuma, a Japanese businessman shipped over seven-dozen largemouth bass from California’s Ashino Lake for introduction to the island nation.
Although American servicemen that were stationed in Japan after the war enjoyed the opportunity to fish for bass, the non-native fish is still considered an invasive species. Many Japanese anglers would prefer to see it eliminated.
It is an unfortunate perspective, since it was a Japanese largemouth bass that captured the current world record largemouth, when a 22-pound, 5-ounce largemouth was taken from Lake Biwa on July 2, 2009.
The monster largemouth fell for a live bluegill on a reservoir near Tokyo that was offered up by Japanese angler, Manabu Kurita. His catch topped the historic world record by only one ounce.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.