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Old 06-27-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
KWilliams
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Default Rock Bass ??

We just returned from a visit to the lake and have a question. We caught probably 20 rock bass which was a first for us. Never caught one in the last 20 years of fishing the same areas. Were these accidentally introduced or a sign of changing water quality? Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:59 AM   #2
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What kind of spots were you fishing, depth, bottom etc?
There has been confirmed rock bass in Winni for 3 or 4 years.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:11 PM   #3
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Default rock bottoms ...

and shallow depths. Classic smallmouth bass spawing flats. Any idea how the rock bass got introduced to the fishery?
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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Not sure how they ended up in Winni. I hope it was by accident. I can't see it helping any part of the fishery. I heard it drastically effected Lake Sunapee's bass fishing.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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I have never caught a rock bass on Winni so my first thought was "he was catching smallmouth and doesn't know how to ID a rock bass" but since you later mentioned smallmouth I think you know your fish ID. Are you also sure it wasn't a white perch? If rock bass are indeed introduced to Winni, it could affect all game species in the lake. I'm hoping it's just a mis-ID.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:02 PM   #6
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Thumbs down Rock Bass

I'm afraid they've been in the lake for a while now.


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Grant took some underwater pictures of Rock Bass while diving at Lady of the Lake. In some old threads he keeps promising us a fish fry!
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:51 AM   #7
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Default I assure you ...

I can positively identify a Rock Bass. This is what prompted my concern for the fishery. We caught approximately 20 of them last week in the north end of the lake.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:15 AM   #8
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I'm not looking for any of your "hot spots" but I'm curious where you found them. I have seen them caught them in Back Bay, Wolfeboro in the SW part of the lake. These were caught in shallow water on a crawler under a bobber. I knew about the "Lady of the Lake". I hope you don't mind sharing where and how you caught them and how big they were. Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:18 AM   #9
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I'm not looking for any of your "hot spots" but I'm curious where you found them. I have seen them caught them in Back Bay, Wolfeboro in the SW part of the lake. These were caught in shallow water on a crawler under a bobber. I knew about the "Lady of the Lake". I hope you don't mind sharing where and how you caught them and how big they were. Thanks.
heck, the whole lake is a hot spot. I've been bringing the family up from Pennsylvania for 20 straight years now. I'm strictly catch and release and WILL NOT fish bedding bass. The rock bass were caught on topwater baits in the Center Harbor area. Blackey Cove, 1/2 mile Isle, Black Cat, etc.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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They've been in Winnipesaukee for a while now. The photo posted above by Rattlesnake Gal was taken by me on the wreck of Lady of the Lake in 2002. There remains a very large population of rock bass on that wreck (as well as some nice smallies co-existing). The wreck lies in 30 feet of water, and the deck is probably 20+ feet deep.

That being said, I can't remember seeing rock bass elsewhere in the lake -- at least not in a concentration like on the wreck of the Lady.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:09 AM   #11
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What's the largest size you have seen or caught?
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:43 PM   #12
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Default Rock Bass

I've been catching them for the past 5 years at least, mostly in the same area around Lady of the Lake and in Smith's Cove. An occasional one down in Alton Bay. Mostly small, no bigger than a pound or so.
Love to see them gone.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:01 PM   #13
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I don't think they're going any place. I wonder which species they will compete with the most.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:04 PM   #14
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Default Rock Bass = No Good

I grew up fishing smallmouth on both Winni and Sunappe. Sunappe used to be a great smallie lake. In the 1990's the bass fishing there absolutely shut down. Rock bass took over big time. You could hardly get soft plastics to the bottom of the lake without getting picked up by rock bass. Most fisherment I saw catch them would use a pair of wire cutters and cut the spine and toss them back for the birds. Lake Sunapee now holds a season long Rock Bass tournament where total weight wins. People bring buckets of rock bass to the town docks for weigh-ins. I've heard the bass fishing is coming back, but I have no confirmation of that rumor.

I was on vacation at winni last week and snorkeling in front of my own cottage in south wolfeboro bay I spotted a small rockbass in about 5 feet of water. I've known they were in the north end of the lake, but I'm afraid they are really going to take hold in the next few years. I'm not sure what can erally be done to save the lake from them.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:22 PM   #15
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Maybe Winni should host a Rock Bass tournament like Sunapee?
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:44 PM   #16
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I grew up fishing smallmouth on both Winni and Sunappe. Sunappe used to be a great smallie lake. In the 1990's the bass fishing there absolutely shut down. Rock bass took over big time. You could hardly get soft plastics to the bottom of the lake without getting picked up by rock bass. Most fisherment I saw catch them would use a pair of wire cutters and cut the spine and toss them back for the birds. Lake Sunapee now holds a season long Rock Bass tournament where total weight wins. People bring buckets of rock bass to the town docks for weigh-ins. I've heard the bass fishing is coming back, but I have no confirmation of that rumor.

I was on vacation at winni last week and snorkeling in front of my own cottage in south wolfeboro bay I spotted a small rockbass in about 5 feet of water. I've known they were in the north end of the lake, but I'm afraid they are really going to take hold in the next few years. I'm not sure what can erally be done to save the lake from them.
Sunapee 's Bass fishing for smallies and largmouth has been great the last 2 or 3 years. A Tourney this year had a winning 5 fish bag over 25 pounds.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:33 AM   #17
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Sunapee 's Bass fishing for smallies and largmouth has been great the last 2 or 3 years. A Tourney this year had a winning 5 fish bag over 25 pounds.
That's a healthy bag! I've only caught two smallies in the five pound range in my many years on the Lake. But I've sure met a few more under the surface.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:16 AM   #18
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:26 AM   #19
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I had a couple of dead ones float by me the other day near our cottage. I was wondering what they were, I do not wish death on fish, but these I would love to get rid of
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:00 PM   #20
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Default they are here

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a friend caught 2 in a row tonight in Ctr Harbor. Thought at first it was white perch but definately a rock bass
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:20 PM   #21
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Hopefully, he kept them. I always do.
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:16 AM   #22
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What kind of spots were you fishing, depth, bottom etc?
There has been confirmed rock bass in Winni for 3 or 4 years.
More like 15-20 years. The photo of the school on the Lady of the Lake wreck posted by Rattlesnake Gal above was taken in 2002, and there was already a HUGE population on the wreck at that point. Even more now.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:47 PM   #23
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Exclamation Nuisance !

The rock bass is most certainly in the lake no matter what anyone says. I have caught numerous white perch and rock bass collectively and know the difference, the white perch do not however bed with the smallmouth as I have observed underwater. The white perch often reside in larger columns of water in schools at least in Winni. The times I have been fishing at the Long Island bridge I had caught a rock bass on whatever soft plastic I threw down there. They devour everything they see and are a definite threat to all game species in Winni. They also bed in June - July in shallow water near my dock and when the Fam goes for a swim they are brutally attacked by the fish that are trying to protect their beds. It was unbearable and some would not bite a hook while bedding. I solved that problem with a speargun but I know others will be back next year. They are a nuisance to the lake in I believe they are not a natural species to Winni but somehow with the slightly warmer waters of recent years have migrated through river systems or accidentally illegally introduced. If you catch them killem or eat whatever you want but they must be eliminated at all costs if possible. Those who don't believe they are there are to old school and need to realize what's happening.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:55 AM   #24
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Default Rock bass

The rock bass population has exploded in the south end of the lake in the last two years. They certainly are an invasive species and a nuisance. In the 1990s lake sunapee was devastated by the rock bass. Smallmouth fishing went from spectacular to awful in a few short years. The association had annual season-long rock bass tournaments where all the catch were killed. It may still go on. Im noy sure, but ive heardcthe lake hasvrecovered. I was saddened to see rock bass in underwater photos of lady of the lake years ago and it took some time but eventually they arrived in wolfeboro. A fish and game employee told me that winni's size would help it survive the rock bass infestation. Regardless we kill all rock bass we catch. They make good fertilizer and compost, but they have to be burried.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:24 PM   #25
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Default Rock bass won over Wolfeboro bay

Three years after I saw the switch in the species and made a post calling this out - we caught 54 rock bass in less than 45 min. Without pickerel and largemouth bass living in back bay in the milfoil and other natural weeds that provided excellent habitat for the the only predators for this invasive species - fishing for smallies perch or any decent sport fish is now finished. Drop in walleye or lakers when the water cools? These rock bass are like freshwater piranhas. The lake was all over a weed and dumped herbicide to kill it and all the other natural weeds in back bay - now thanks to that Winni is now A Rockbass lake. Who made the call for the milfoil eradication in ‘05/‘06 that now has led to an explosion of rockbass ? Did they factor in the impact to the lake’s ecosystem...anyway who has any ideas on eliminating rock bass...
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:10 AM   #26
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Smile Bob's...

I attended a reunion that was serving fried Rock Bass. (Caught in Winter Harbor).

It was "Bob's of Wolfeboro" who catered it.

Delicious!
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:21 AM   #27
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I attended a reunion that was serving fried Rock Bass. (Caught in Winter Harbor).

It was "Bob's of Wolfeboro" who catered it.

Delicious!
Thank you for the comment, and your experience consuming it.

A fish that should be encouraged to be removed from the lake.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:11 PM   #28
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Default Rock Bass

Are the lionfish of the freshwater lake. For those of you who are unaware, lionfish have taken over many once plentiful ocean ecosystems and are nearly impossible to remove-try as many do. Rock bass should absolutely NEVER be returned to the lake. Unfortunately, like lionfish the damage is done and the lake is forever altered.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:47 PM   #29
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Caught 20 rock bass in an hour off my dock near the Cattle Landing dock. They are just about the only thing we now catch. We need a tournament to reduce the population. The winner is the person who fills the most five gallon buckets full of rock bass.
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:09 PM   #30
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Be great if they could be packed up and given to the out of state homeless
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:12 PM   #31
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Caught 20 rock bass in an hour off my dock near the Cattle Landing dock. They are just about the only thing we now catch. We need a tournament to reduce the population. The winner is the person who fills the most five gallon buckets full of rock bass.
Not sure how serious you are but it has been done before. Perhaps some of the folks that are familiar with Lake Winnisquam that can remember back to the lake 60' and early 70's and the fleets of Boston Whaler type boats back then that the state sent out with copper sulfate to help make the waters *appearance* look nicer ended up killing just about all the sports fish and the ecology that supported there food supply.

It's my understand for a while there were (state?) sponsored catch and kill tournaments targeting white perch. While I don't remember the actual tournaments from back then and the details, I do remember the fleets of boats dragging the burlap bags and certainly remember the millions of white perch schooling in the bays every night in the summer. When water skiing back then you might go thru schools a 1/2 mile or better in length when they were visibly on top of the water.

I have heard, but never eye witnessed myself personally they would remove dump truck loads of them while also restocking the sports fish species to reduce the food supply competition.

It's a dam shame that they seem to be taking over the lake. However there have been some stories out of Lake Sunapee that also has a rock bass problem and that some of there efforts to control them have been successful by encouraging taking of them and sponsoring removal completions.

On the good side what ever was done years ago to restore the sports fishery seemed to have worked on Winnisquam, -real- 4 pound small mouth were common in the late 90's for a while. A friend of mine with a prominent lakes region name caught an 11 pound lake trout weighed at "Sarges" a real monster.
So some how things "seemed" to get fixed for a while. On the bad side rock bass are all so in Winnisquam now and fishing seems to be on the decline.


Sadly it's a very complicated problem and any proposed solution can't be fixed on social media. It has to be very well thought so we don't make some new mistake.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:58 AM   #32
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Caught 20 rock bass in an hour off my dock near the Cattle Landing dock. They are just about the only thing we now catch. We need a tournament to reduce the population. The winner is the person who fills the most five gallon buckets full of rock bass.
that's what they should do for next year's winni derby. instead of targeting salmon, go after the rock bass. the salmon need a break and the rock bass need culling.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:23 PM   #33
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that's what they should do for next year's winni derby. instead of targeting salmon, go after the rock bass. the salmon need a break and the rock bass need culling.
Not sure if a winter derby would yield any beneficial results for something like this. Rock Bass are part of the (sun-fish) species and are less active in cold water. Ideally in the summer with as many fisher people as possible would yield better results.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:39 AM   #34
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right, that's why i said the winni derby targeting salmon...
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:07 PM   #35
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Default Winter Rock Bass

Years ago I have seen old times target rock bass ice fishing. They hang out in about 40' to 45' of water along ledges that drop to deeper water.
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