Do bass jump or come out of the water when eating?

LimerickShaw

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Hi all,

I was fishing the other day and saw some fish surface but they were too far away for me to really tell what type of fish it was. I was fishing for trout but it got me thinking if I see a fish jump will it always be a trout or do bass do the same? I can't say I've ever really seen a bass jump so that may be my answer but I wanted to know from people that have more fishing experience than I do.

Cheers
 

clsmith131

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A lot of times you just see the tail slap as the bass chase their prey to the surface before turning back down, but yes, they jump. Some species more than others. I don't think I've seen small mouth jump, but it is common with spotted bass and large mouth. It just dawned on me that you may be talking about striped bass, seeing that you are in Maine... But yes, striped bass jump too. I've trained my eye and ear to be able to tell the difference in the different species by the way the water is displaced and the sound of splash. Also, carp are known to jump, but I have no idea why.
 

ia_trouter

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LM Bass jump very impressively at times. They haven given me a few mini-heart attacks when they miss a top water offering close to the boat. Largemouth don't exist in my trout water though.
 
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mikechell

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Down here in Florida, we don't have Smallmouth Bass. But we do have a lot of Largemouth Bass ... and when they're schooling, they will often breach the surface. Even if they aren't in a school, but not "alone" chasing bait fish and trying to get to one first will frequently result in a bass going airborne.

So, yes, bass do jump.
 

dakotakid

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In the Michigan and Indiana lakes that I frequent, any fish jumping or rolling on the surface in open water are almost always carp. The large mouth bass on the other hand are far more likely to break the water surface near the shoreline, lily pads and other areas that hold baitfish, frogs, etc.
 

mikechell

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I've trained my eye and ear to be able to tell the difference in the different species by the way the water is displaced and the sound of splash..
:laugh: What ??? If two fish, both weighing 2 pounds, clear the water and land on their side, it would be impossible to tell what kind they were just by ear. You'd have to prove it to me, that even by eye, you could tell the difference between two fish at more than 20 feet or so with 100% accuracy.

I'm not calling you a tall tale specialist ... I just don't believe your claim.
 

sjkirkpa

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Smallmouth will jump. Or at least splash the surface. I don't know if it is feeding or some other behavior.
 

dennyk

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Yes both LM and SM bass certainly jump. In attacking surface flies I've had them come clean out of the water.

Denny
 
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SkipS

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I have seen smallmouth bass jump after damselflies & dragonflies many times.Largemouth will often do the same.
 

darkshadow

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Largemouth will. Smallmouth? Not in SoCal, but I've heard them crashing topwater baits in the right areas. Carp also "jump." As do many game fish.

The goal is to determine whether they're jumping because they're eating, because they're mating, or because they just want to (much like carp do, which many think they do, or whether they're cleaning debris outta their gills.)

Once you're on the water enough, you can hear the boil and can determine the fish that just made it.
 

brownbass

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I have had a largemouth bass jump out of the water and hook itself on a spinnerbait hanging over a tree limb. Fishing at night under a light I swear a largemouth jumped out of the water and grabbed a spinnerbait passing over on the way to a corner of a wall. I don't recall a smallmouth ever doing that though I didn't fish for them nearly as much as I would have liked.

Bill
 

smarty140

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Early this summer I was fishing smallies in NW Ontario with poppers. I was amazed at the variety of ways the fish took the flies: some came all of the way out of the water to attack from the top, some attacked viscously on the surface but didn’t come all the way out of the water, and a couple looked just like a brown trout gently sipping the popper off the surface. It was pretty neat.

It doesn’t really apply for fly fishing, but anecdotally I’ve observed that for sturgeon in the Rainy River in Northern MN, lots of jumping activity seems to correlate with good fishing. It seems odd since we’re fishing for them with globs of night crawlers right on the bottom of the river, but it seems to be true. It’s pretty cool seeing 50-60” fish jumping all the way out of the water..

ryan
 

JoJer

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I fish for bass occasionally on Bruneau Dunes pond. When you hit it right, you can fish dries early season before the pond weeds up. Then, any bit of floating weeds or debris is a holding spot for SM bass. You lay a big dry-hopper, adult damsel fly, etc- near the surface cover and wait...then just a little twitch and the bass come up full speed from right under the fly and clear the water as they take the fly. Neat stuff.
 

philip43

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Two days ago I was fishing a local pond for LM bass. They run kinda small in this pond but it is wadeable near the shoreline. I hooked a 13" LM and after I set the hook he jumped out of the water shacking his head from side the side, the hook held. Adios Philip
 

beachbreak

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I've seen them go after dragon flies that were flying above the water so I think sometimes (rarely) yes.
 

ejsell

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I once saw a small mouth come out of the water chasing a clouser I had lifted out of a fast retrieve to cast.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

denver1911

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I’ve seen smallmouth go so acrobatic they’d embarrass a good trapeze artist when the cicadas are having a banner year. The 2008 batch was thick and the bass loved them.
 

karstopo

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This time of year, the Largemouth Bass herd shad in the lake I live on. The shad schools form sort of half spheres as pressured by the bass underneath and surrounding them. Then on some cue, bass will leap into the sphere to gobble up shad. Sometimes people picture Largemouth bass as solitary ambush predators, but I’ve observed them working cooperatively like this many times. Leaping into the air and into the shad balls is part of their M.O.
 
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