How much do bass grow annually?
The amount that a bass will grow in a given year depends upon a few different factors. How much competition is there? How much food is there? How nutritious are the available food resources? How cold is the water where the bass live?
A bass in the South can grow more than a pound per year under optimal conditions. In contrast, a bass in the North might weigh 4 pounds and be 16 years old. It really depends upon the conditions where the bass lives.
A bass can weigh 10 pounds after only 4 years if the conditions are right but those bass are not the norm. The type of forage in a particular water system is a big component of growth rates in bass.
When the bass can feed upon shad in their water system, then they will typically grow more quickly than bass that rely upon bluegill. Shad give the bass more energy than a bluegill will. Bass that are forced to eat a lot of crawdads also don not grow as quickly as those that feed upon shad. Crawdads are not very nutritious and their bodies are made mostly of calcium shells that are not digestible.
Weather is another major factor in the bass growth rate. If a cycle of warmer seasons occurs, then the bass will have more time to feed and can get bigger. In other words, if there are abnormally warm falls for a few years in a row, then the bass in the area will tend to grow more quickly and larger.
Water systems that do not have a lot of vegetation will lead to more of the baby bass getting eaten by predators. Less vegetation also means that there are less places for the minnows and pan fish to live that the bass can feed upon. Less vegetation will also lead to less dissolved oxygen in the water. Bodies of water with low oxygen levels will slow the growth rate of the bass in that system.
Moving water makes is harder for bass to grow large. The moving water in a river system with some current requires the bass to work harder. They have to constantly swim which will burn more calories than a bass that lives in a pond or a lake without any currents.
Bass that live in tidal waters will also not grow as big as bass that do not have to deal with salt water. Saltwater bass will often be short and stubby. They are not a different species but the metabolic costs of getting rid of the salt from their systems keeps them from growing as large or as fast as bass that live in pure fresh water.
I wrote another article on this website all about how much a bass can grow in a given year. You can read that article by clicking right here.
There are a lot of different factors that alter the size and growth rates of bass. It all just depends upon the body of water that they live in. The warmer water bass will grow more quickly but not live as long as the cold water bass.
The value of the food items that are in the ecosystem where the bass lives is another factor on how fast and large a bass will grow. If they are in a system where the resources are plentiful and nutritious, then those bass will grow better than bass that lack those food resources.
So it really depends upon the particular bass that you have caught. Many bass anglers think that if a bass weights 10 pounds that it must be an old bass. Now we know that is not necessarily the way it works. There are 10 pound bass that might only be 6 or 7 years old if their environment is geared towards faster growth cycles.
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