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Hook n’ Look at Lake Winnipesaukee

By KStricker - Published June 10, 2011 - Viewed 3836 times

Danny and I just returned from a shoot at Lake Winnipesaukee, NH.  The surface water temperature was in the upper 60’s and we found several male smallmouths guarding nests in 4-8 ft. of water.  Each nest appeared similar, a fanned bottom exposing 2-inch chunk rocks throughout each nest.  Upon close examination from our Hook n’ Look underwater perspective, it was difficult distinguishing any eggs present on the nests.  The truth is, I simply couldn’t find any!  I was told the fish had been on these beds for a least two weeks and it just didn’t make any sense. 

The very next day we returned to the lake bottom and explored the same beds and were astonished to find that there were sac fry hatching on nearly all the nests we previously visited.  Smallmouth fry are black in color (hence the term “Black Bass”) and this early hatchling stage was no exception.  There were hundreds of newly hatched heads and tails wiggling out of the egg sacs in thick wads on the bottom between the cracks of the chunk rocks.  These groups were located mostly on the outer perimeter of the nests.  We have never had the opportunity to capture video of a newly hatched smallmouth brood during the “sac fry” stage before they become “swim-up fry” and were quite pleased to capture some close-up footage.  Upon our return to Church Landing Resort we eagerly reviewed the previous day’s footage to investigate why I had neglected to notice any eggs or sac fry at that time.

Kim Stricker
Hook n' LooK





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