Key to healthy fish diet: Portion size

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 9, 2011 - 9:22 PM

Bit off more than he could chew: This northern hit a largemouth bass that couldn't be consumed, and meant the end to both fish.

An old adage is, "big bait, big fish,'' meaning the bigger lure or live bait an angler employs, the more likely he is to catch a trophy.

That's not necessarily true, of course, because big fish also consume small prey.

Still, muskie anglers often throw baits the length of a man's forearm, and trophy northern pike anglers sometimes dangle huge sucker minnows on otherwise bare hooks, because they know big fish often order their meals super-sized.

Yet no matter how gargantuan a predator fish is, logic would dictate it would choose a more diminutive specimen than itself to eat.

Logic would be wrong, as the accompanying photo of a dead northern pike and an equally dead largemouth bass illustrates.

The unfortunate pair were found by Joe Biernat of Forest Lake and his 7-year-old daughter, Madelyn, while fishing on Big Marine Lake recently.

Obviously, the northern bit off more than it could chew -- something predator fish like northerns regularly do when their attack instincts get the best of them.

Example: A northern sometimes will hit an angler's bait as it is retrieved, only to whack the same hook-laden lure minutes later, after being released.

That same fish, mysteriously, on another day might not hit that or any other bait, under any circumstances.

Go figure.

Perhaps the only certainty is that trouble arises for everyone when predator fish don't properly size up what's for dinner.

Just ask Minnesota DNR conservation officer Steve Walter, who recently found a dead 50-inch muskie in Lake Waconia.

Cause of the muskie's demise:

A large muskrat stuck in its mouth.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


St. Louis - LP: K. Siegrist 6 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 7
Toronto 4 Top 7th Inning
NY Yankees 6
Arizona 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Philadelphia 6
Washington 4 Top 7th Inning
Cincinnati 1
Boston 3 Top 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 2
San Diego 5 Bottom 5th Inning
Atlanta 0
Oakland 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Texas 2
NY Mets 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Milwaukee 0
Miami 0 Top 5th Inning
Houston 0
Chicago WSox 6 Top 4th Inning
Minnesota 1
Cleveland 1 Top 5th Inning
Kansas City 4
Pittsburgh 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Colorado 0
Detroit - D. Smyly 9:05 PM
LA Angels - T. Skaggs
Baltimore - K. Gausman 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
Chivas USA 8:30 PM
Calgary 26 FINAL
Edmonton 22
Winnipeg 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Tulsa 77 FINAL
Washington 82
Chicago 66 4th Qtr 6:00
Atlanta 62
San Antonio 38 3rd Qtr 8:28
Minnesota 48
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question