The struggle to survive isn't always a fair fight. Here's what separates nature's winners from its losers.
Bass see in every direction except directly behind and below. Plus, their eyes gather light five times better than yours, so hunting in shadowy water is no problem.
A row of nerve cells called a lateral line runs along each side of a bass. It detects waves in the water, allowing bass to feel things without actually touching them. The lateral line is so sensitive, bass can detect crayfish 20 feet away.
Crayfish use claw-like pincers to snare food and deliver painful pinches to predators who get too close.
A smallmouth’s maw isn’t small. Fully opened, it’s wider than the fish’s body. When a bass opens wide, water rushes in, sucking anything nearby inside, too.
Crayfish use their fan-shaped tails like canoe paddles. By squeezing their tummy muscles, crayfish can swoosh backwards at nearly 25 miles per hour
A crayfish’s exoskeleton is like armor and blends in perfectly with rocky streambeds.
Smallmouths often pass on large, feisty crayfish, but gobble small ones every chance they get. Unless this shrimpy crawdad can dart under a rock, it’s bass bait.
Nichole LeClair Terrill