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Zombie bass: Zapped floating fish give fishermen glimpse of future catch

Zombie bass isn’t a new species of fish. It’s what happens to the old species when the water in the lake gets zapped with electricity so researchers can see what dwells below. This is so much easier than the old catch, tag and release method. With a little bit of electricity running through the water fish are stunned and rendered zombie-like when they all float to the surface, according to MSN News on April 7.

Zombie bass are zapped with electricity and float to the top of the water for research.
Wikimedia Commons

This gives the researchers a quick and accurate snap shot of what type of fish live in the waters. The fish “almost always” recover, so apparently there’s no harm done. This method also gives the anglers out there a good idea what the supply of their desired catch looks like in any given lake that's been tested.

This method, which is called electrofishing, is being used by the Tennessee Valley Authority (ATV) on 11 of the state’s largest lakes. This gives the TVA “valuable” information to pass along to all the recreational fishermen out there. It also seems to take the guess work out of fishing the lakes.

The hopes of catching that big one may get squashed if all that is found are moderate size fish in your favorite lake. The dreams of catching a certain species can also get squashed if the lake doesn’t have an ample supply of what you are going after. This you would not have know before, but now the fish have all come to the top and viewed, so the guess work is gone.

Fishing with electricity seems to take the guess work out of the fishing. Knowing how populated each lake is can take away some of that anticipation of finding that hot spot that anglers so pride themselves on. That hot spot that they found through trial and error throughout the years, will now be shown in research stats. A quick look at the data tells you there is more fish in this lake than the next one.

With 11 lakes being analyzed through this zapping and then everything logged in and numbered, you may soon be able to pick a lake that fits best for the amount of time you want to spend fishing.

If you have all day, go to lake number 3, the population is down, but they have bigger fish. If you are in a hurry, scurry over to lake 10 where there’s an overwhelming amount of your favorite fish just waiting to be caught.

Somehow, the technique of zapping the fish just to take a peek into their world goes against the grain of nature. Fishing is like a mystery, you don’t know what lies beneath and the thrill of pulling up that unknown on the end of your line is part of the fishing experience. Now that the unknown has been zapped, floated to the top and chronicled, there's not much mystery left.

It is almost like cheating, much like fishing in a lake that they just dumped bass into. Where is the future of recreational fishing headed?

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