Are there large or small mouth bass in the uk

kct2002

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Hi, I'm 13 and new to fishing I was asking are there any large or smallmouth bass in the UK. I was looking on the forum and a guy called ron clay said they are in a private gravel pit in or near and old USAF base in the south of England if anyone could help me out with this that would be great many thanks Kurt
 

wanderer

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Never heard of any, but that doesn't mean it isn't true, maybe the yanks shipped them over as a recreational fish for the airmen, if it was away from a flood area and within the confines of a base, technically America, probably correct.
 

Mark Wintle

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There were a number of attempts to bring both large and small-mouth bass to the UK from the late 1800s to post WW2. Almost all failed. A water (5 acre deep clay pit) near Wareham in Dorset was stocked by Donald Leney in 1935 with L/M black bass and this population bred and survived until 1980. I caught half a dozen of these fish during the 1970s, all very small. Another pond close by had some of these fish and supposedly still had some until the mid 90s though I haven't anything of these for many years. A USAF base water (Suffolk?) also supposedly had bass, as did a Woking, Surrey water near where Leney was based but no evidence in the last 30 years that this is still the case.

A batch of what were supposed to be L/M black bass were stocked into a Fenland water circa 1920; only one of these fish was ever caught but turned out to be a walleye (similar to a zander) hence the reason we have a walleye record.

Black bass have done better on the near Continent nad can be found in French, Spanish and other waters. I've seen some in Switzerland.
 

sam vimes

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I was always lead to believe that freshwater bass of some description were introduced to water within the confines of either RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall, or both. However, having seen rainbow trout stocked (temporarily) into an outdoor swimming pool on a USAF base, I suspect that they could easily have ended up in a swimming pool or EWS (Emergency Water Supply) tank. There are quite a few EWS tanks within RAF bases all over the country that just happen to have fish in them. I know one unit that used to have small matches on one of their EWS tanks.
 

Mark Wintle

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The problem with the stories of the black bass and the UK USAF/RAF bases is that there doesn't seem to be a shred of evidence to support the claim.
 

sam vimes

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The problem with the stories of the black bass and the UK USAF/RAF bases is that there doesn't seem to be a shred of evidence to support the claim.
Unlikely that there ever will be, especially for Joe Average Brit. I couldn't offer any evidence for there being bass at Lakenheath/Mildenhall. However, I heard a few anecdotes during my time in the services. I'll bet that there will be no evidence of rainbow trout in the outdoor swimming pool at Incirlik AB in Turkey. However, I know that happened, I was there. I watched them being stocked and watched them being fished for.
 

robertroach

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I have fished for both species in both USA and Canada.
The largemouth bass seemed to be around in the Southern states up to about Virginia, from there northwards there only seemed to be smallmouth bass. I think it is just too cold for largemouth to survive for very long, or breed in UK. The same may be true of smallmouth, although I'm sure they will have a better chance of surviving, but perhaps not breeding.
 

Mark Wintle

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The L/M black bass bred successfully for 35 years in the pond I caught them from, and successfully for at least 20 years in the other pond.
 

robertroach

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I stand corrected, but are you sure they are largemouth and not smallmouth? I wonder why they have not been more successful?
 

Mark Wintle

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Back in the mid 60s Lewis Harris and David Marlborough attended a junior match at the pond - article is in Angling - and took a sample fish to the Natural History Museum who verified it was a large mouth black bass. As far as I know that fish is still at the NHM.

Leney stocked a number of waters and it was rare for successful breeding populations. The ponds are in a sheltered spot with its own microclimate, and are also a long way south - actually south of parts of France! The waters were also slightly acidic back then.
 

markcw

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I was always lead to believe that freshwater bass of some description were introduced to water within the confines of either RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall, or both. However, having seen rainbow trout stocked (temporarily) into an outdoor swimming pool on a USAF base, I suspect that they could easily have ended up in a swimming pool or EWS (Emergency Water Supply) tank. There are quite a few EWS tanks within RAF bases all over the country that just happen to have fish in them. I know one unit that used to have small matches on one of their EWS tanks.
Sam, RAF Neatishead in Norfolk had some good Roach and Rudd in a EWS, I spent many a dinner time fishing for them when I was working there in the 70's.
I Never heard of any fish being on the base at RAF Bentwaters near Woodbridge.
If I had known about Mildenhall and Lakenheath the rods would have been alongside tool box.
Some of the best "wild" fishing I had was on the Isle of Unst in the Shetlands when I was working at RAF Saxa Vord.
A large loch that ran to the sea, , the outlet to the sea was full of flatties , eels , sea trout, the loch had some decent trout and eels in it as well.
 

sam vimes

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Sam, RAF Neatishead in Norfolk had some good Roach and Rudd in a EWS, I spent many a dinner time fishing for them when I was working there in the 70's.
I Never heard of any fish being on the base at RAF Bentwaters near Woodbridge.
If I had known about Mildenhall and Lakenheath the rods would have been alongside tool box.
Some of the best "wild" fishing I had was on the Isle of Unst in the Shetlands when I was working at RAF Saxa Vord.
A large loch that ran to the sea, , the outlet to the sea was full of flatties , eels , sea trout, the loch had some decent trout and eels in it as well.
Staxton had roach in a pretty small EWS tank for a time, though no one admitted to putting them in there. Oakhanger was the unit I know that had regular small matches on one of their EWS tanks. Brize had some nice fish in what was more like an EWS pond, but I never got to fish it in my time there.
 

markcw

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Staxton Wold near scarboro' , used to get on the fields there to pick the mushrooms day before we were due to come home,
It was fun going up Staxton hill to the camp in a Scammell Low loader with a great big generator on the loader, then having to unload it and install it.after taking one out of powerhouse to go back to Burtonwood for major overhaul. Food was good at Staxton but not as good as Boulmer.
Only went to Brize a couple of times, liked the pub near it, good carvery and beer.
Funny enough am not living far from there now.
 
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