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activity). But the point is that it can be difficult to catch fish consistently if you don't understand, say, how the heck they can live in water in the first place. This chapter introduces concepts that can help you become better at catching fish.

Hal's Story: A Day in the Life of a Fish

Hal (not his real name; he doesn't have a name) is a foot-long largemouth bass who lives in a 100-acre lake in a state with a moderate climate. Hal was born in the lake three years ago, one of about one thousand fertilized eggs that hatched in late spring. When he was an inch longby which time more than half of his nestmates had been eaten by other fishhe was on his own, seeking shelter in the weeds of the cove where he was born. Hal has spent most of his life in that cove, leaving it only when the water there became too warm, too low, or too cold.

At sunrise this summer morning, Hal is hovering just inside the edge of the bed of lily pads that extends 10 feet from the shoreline. His belly is full of various minnows, insects, and one unlucky frog that Hal ate during the course of the previous night. Hal roamed the entire cove finding this forage, but now he is staying under the cover of the lily pads, avoiding the direct sunlight.

A school of 3-inch long shiners, a dozen in all, swims past the edge of the lily pads, looking for insects and any tiny aquatic creatures that will fit into their minuscule mouths. Hal sees the school and remains motionless. He will not go after the school and expend energy chasing them. However, the last shiner in the school is a bit smaller than its mates and must swim harder to keep up. This effort sends vibrations through the water that do not synchronize with the vibrations made by the rest of the school. Hal waits until the shiners are almost past him, then darts out and opens his mouth behind the last shiner. By this time the entire school has sensed the presence of the predator and has begun swimming quickly toward the deeper water of the cove, but already the last shiner is in Hal's mouth. Hal turns the shiner around in his mouth and swallows it headfirst while swimming back to his station in the weeds.

Hal remains there for a couple more hours, eating one more shiner in a similar manner. By now the sun is higher in the sky and Hal moves to a deeper, and thus cooler and darker, section of the cove, where he is more comfortable and less likely to be seen by predators. Hal stays in the depths for most of the day, moving around close to the bottom, finding and eating two small crayfish.

Hal's Evening.

Toward dusk, when the sun is off the water, Hal moves back to the lily pads. A not-quite-grown green frog jumps off one lily pad and begins swimming toward another. The sight

Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

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