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dsa2780
05-19-2015, 11:46 AM
I've been catching a lot of smallmouth as of lately with black bellies. It seems to be more common in the smaller ones and after reading up on it, there's a big parasitic problem called "black spot disease" in the eastern part of the nation. Really bummed out if that's what this is, I've been catching these river smallmouth for a decade and have never seen so many irregular black bellies on a fish that should be clean and white bellied with bronze and blue tones. It's a parasitic thing from what I've read, but also can be attributed to contaminants in the water and high water temperatures.

We caught 35 of them on Saturday and about half of those had some form of noticeably dark black spotting on their bellies and out of the 8 or so I caught this morning, 6 of them had it.


Anyone got any info on this? I'm hoping it's not black spot disease, which is most known for starting to kill the famous smallmouth fishery of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.

Here are some pics from PA fish and game on black spot. These are severe cases.

https://www.fish.state.pa.us/water/rivers/susquehanna/susq-impairment/pics/JRaymond_062x180.jpg


http://cbf.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341bfb5353ef017eea8fea41970d-320wi





Now, here's the belly of one of the smallies I caught 2 hours ago.

https://scontent-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10422583_871549836225464_4174661337794289498_n.jpg ?oh=d2a6c055bea53e4d5fe5722a15c6af53&oe=55FC119C


https://scontent-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/v/t1.0-9/1509805_871549919558789_210434667936837504_n.jpg?o h=f2d620f0e893cce77cfdd8d88c52f4b9&oe=55C0E60F




For the record, I've seen slight grey patterns on them before, but never really have seen these dark and noticeably black splotches. Hopefully I'm just over thinking it and nothing is wrong with the population in the sac river.


I'll take more photos if I catch anymore with the noticeably dark black markings. 6" Lunker Punkers killed em on top this morning in 30 feet of water!

salmonid
05-19-2015, 11:53 AM
Hope that disease isn't in our fish!

Looks nasty.

There's a parasite that affects trout called "black spot" as well. It causes really small distinct black spots. Wonder if that is the same as the bass disease?

dsa2780
05-19-2015, 12:10 PM
Hope that disease isn't in our fish!

Looks nasty.

There's a parasite that affects trout called "black spot" as well. It causes really small distinct black spots. Wonder if that is the same as the bass disease?


I've been reading up on it and have heard of that one in trout. I guess it's predominantly parasitic. I'm going to document it if I keep finding it, will see if I catch any this evening near my house that look like this. Would suck to have the smallie population die off or become infested with disease. I have some of the funnest days catching and releasing these things. I personally think the stripers need to do a better job of eating some of the young ones, in certain areas they're like rats!