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Whats wrong with this Hoosier smallie?


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I caught this smallmouth in Sugar Creek last week.

It fought hard, like normal, but when I brought the fish to hand I noticed the startling discoloration extending from the middle of the fish towards the rear. Upon further investigation I found two vertical marks about 2 1/2" long extending from the backbone down..........Im assuming a heron bit off just alittle more than it could chew.

Is the color change a bruise or maybe worse????????? Chances for suvival????????

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If thats a bruise remind me to give Herons a wide berth on the river :blink:

 

Dude. They'll put your eye out.

 

I don't know if I believe a heron did that. There are plenty of ways for fish to get dinged up. I'm not coming up with something convincing in my own mind yet. Herons tend to take out a chunk...and yes, that would be a HUGE mouthful for a heron to take on. They swallow their prey whole, you know.

 

Otters, other fisherman (my personal guess), fortunes of war....

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that's wierd...lookin at just the picture, I would say some genetic condition. But if there was an injury mark than I'm sure that was the cause. Fish will probably be fine...I got a 17incher a few years back that was missing about half the meat on one side behind his dorsal fin. was fat strong and healthy and healed over just fine.

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  • 2 months later...

I caught one Friday that had a big dark spot on the one side of it. It was not nearly like your fish but It did go back about two inches from the dorsal fin. On this one I could easily see a V shaped scar on both sides of the fish. I'm not sure what caused yours to do that but a heron had to be the cause of mine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would say the fish was injured...possibly was washed over a dam, bad release from someone else (could've been injured on a rock), a dog fishing... you never know.

 

As for survival...I think it's fine...fish are remarkable animals in their ability to sustain serious injury and survive...they don't have much blood concentrated in the flesh, most of it is found in and around the organs, heart and lungs, if it can swim and feed it can survive.

 

In the world of the animal kingdom only the strongest survive to reach adulthood...if your fish gets a chance to breed I would say it's a good gene pool for the future!!! :)

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I would say the fish was injured...possibly was washed over a dam, bad release from someone else (could've been injured on a rock),

 

That was my idea too, jimb, but I spoke to Steve J. recently and he said those two marks made a downward pointing, triangle-shaped wound at the front edge of that discoloration. We can't see it clearly in the photo, so we're guessing other things, but that's the kind of wound a heron leaves, so Steve was probably right all along.

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