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Re: Predators/fish size/missing year classes, etc.

How many smallmouths are being brought up in the nets, John. Having fished for bass in Squam for 50 years, I have taken many more in deep water in recent years, often spitting up smelt. And also many trolling for salmon down to 50 feet where I don't remember encountering them so much years ago. I feel many are simply suspending out there and could be taking many of the first year fish, though maybe they are there mostly for the current abundance of smelt?

Actually they don't get any Bass at all or if they do, they are small. I doubt the Bass can eat many yearling Salmon if they are decent/desired stock size, but as you say they surely eat Smelt ans W.
Perch. We experience Smallies at depths of 50 feet or so from time to time after they spawn and through the summer, some times more than others ??????????? Nature and food drives all these fish at differently throughout the year.

When the May flies are hatching all fish dine exclusively on them.

Big John

Re: Predators/fish size/missing year classes, etc.

That's strange I haven't seen the cormorants. I certainly know what they look like, we have them in droves out here. They can dive up to 30 feet I hear and are considered eating machines.

I've caught Chain Pickerel in Squam and Little Squam, but never any Northern Pike. I have no data to backup this statement, but I doubt the culprit is pike or even chain pickerel for that matter. Hopefully the yearlings just did a better job than usual at staying out of sight.

Re: Predators/fish size/missing year classes, etc.

i think the missing salmon were hiding with the smelt, smelt seemed to be located differently this year on my pond, the whole summer seemed different, more sun, less rain etc. i was finding smelt in really shallow water this year, almost no need for downriggers for me, towards the end i was leaving the downriggers off the boat and just sticking with 2 to 4 colors lead and maybe 150 to 200 feet of wire line. wasnt catching unless i was in shallow with the rocks losing flies. every year is different, where were all those big salmon hiding last year on winni when everyone was in a panic, they were there this year, didnt hear any bad winni reports