Managing For Big Bass

Managing for big bass can be an art. Al, and Dan Lindner head south of the Mason Dixon line, to chase largemouth bass on a private lake.

In this episode, we head south of the Mason-Dixon line in the great state of Texas. Known as the Lone Star State, it is the second-largest one in the US, both in area and population.

Over the years, Texas has had a wild and sordid history, from Mexican occupation and the famous fight at the Alamo, through the Civil War era, and in today’s ongoing border battle — Texas has seen it all. Historically, four major industries shaped the Texas economy before World War II. Cattle and bison, cotton, timber, and oil. Before and after the U.S. Civil War, the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a significant economic driver for the state. Thus, creating the Texas cowboy’s traditional image in the later 19th Century, cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative.

It was ultimately through the discovery of petroleum deposits — spindle top in particular — that initiated an economic boom and became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th Century.

With substantial investments in Universities, Texas developed into a diversified economy and high-tech industry in the mid-20th Century. As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most fortune 500 companies with 54.

With the growing industrial base, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, computers, electronics, aerospace, and biomedical sciences. Texas has led the United States in state export revenue since 2002 and has the second-highest growth state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world.

Al Lindner: You know that management philosophy is so important in these little lakes. Their carrying capacity in a lake like this down in the southern portion of the United States is amazing to me compared to a lake in the north country.

The amount of fish a body of water can produce depends on several important factors, including the fertility of the pond or lake. Since bass, sunfish, and other warm-water fish require warm water to grow, southern waters boost their growth and abundance.

Factors that limit production include oxygen deficits, disease, and outside predation by birds or animals. In productive southern waters, densities of largemouth bass can run up to 50 pounds per acre. By comparison, in northern waters though 15 pounds of bass per acre is considered high due to the reduced forage, less fertility and overall colder water.

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