Do Striped Bass eat their own? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Do Striped Bass eat their own?

07-24-2002, 03:21 PM
One day while fly fishing I noticed this big bass nudging this schoolie I had just hooked up. Hmmmm, was he trying to eat it? Soon enough I had my answer as he inhaled the little fellow head first. My brain instinctively went into bait mode. Start pulling line off the fly reel so the big bass does not feel any resistance, so he wont spit it out as he swims away. After this big fellow got about 75 feet away I set the hook again for the second time on the schoolie. I guess I got caught up in the excitement of it all as I fully expected the bigger fish to simply spit out the smaller one or the smaller one would simply be pulled out of the bigger Bass's mouth. After all, the hook was in the mouth of the little fish..

As I set for the second time I knew I had the bigger fish on as my rod doubled over. Both fish were landed. Little fish was shaken up but revived and swam away. Big fish was released into my cooler and eaten for dinner.

How was the bigger bass landed with no hook in it?

Turns out that when I set the rod for the second time that the dorsal spines on the little fish sprang up and imbedded into the roof of the bigger fish's mouth. The little fish's spins actually acted as a hook. (If you look at the pictures you can see how it happened)

So now you know the rest of the story.


P.S. In no way am I endorseing the use of smaller bass to catch a bigger one. I just happened to get a couple of interesting photo's to go with the story and thought you might enjoy reading it.

07-24-2002, 03:22 PM
I guess we know the answer.

07-24-2002, 03:57 PM
All I have to say Randy is WOW!!! That's a once in a lifetime photo. The only thing I ever encountered close to that is I landed a nice 8lb Striper that had a sunfish ( freshwater type ) stuck in its throat. One day when I see you on the Salmon I will give you a heads up on where you can swing Spey type flies to very large Stripers in a beautiful river setting.

07-24-2002, 03:58 PM
Had the same thing happen to my client Jim H. in the middle of June - by one of the biggest bass I've ever seen on the flats! We didn't try to land it although it slammed the schoolie bigtime with it's mouth flared open. Guess we should've let him eat it :devil:

07-24-2002, 06:39 PM
Used to do this with regularity on a sea mount south of Cattle Point below Friday Harbor, Washington. We'd be putting around in circles (CG 40 footer) with zero to do until someone yelped!) and always had a stiff rod or two on board.

In the fall when the big Ling cod were schooling up for spawning you could have a ball. Would bait up with herring, drop it to the bottom in about 100 some odd feet of water and wait. Small rock fish would usually munch, set hook ... now you had BAIT, with a capital B.

Rod would just bend over like you were hung up on the bottom but we knew better. The Lings would engulf the smaller fish (never a hook in him) and you'd just slowly reel both in. When fish got the the top and figured out this "was not a good thing" it was swoop with the net time. Fish probably averaged 30-50 pounds each.

Many good meals at the base, and on board, off of this little stunt.