Usually you want to wear camouflage print if you are the one hunting, but this smallmouth bass thought it wouldn’t hurt to sport some camo.
The picture that Ryan Doll, a “multi species angler from Ohio,” posted onto his Instagram account showcases just how unique this smallmouth bass’ appearance is. With the large blotches of black spaced out across the greenish colored bass, it truly looked like it was a genetically engineered camouflage fish.
Of course, what’s actually happening is a pigmentation of the bass’ skin called melanosis. The condition actually occurs when the fish’s skin cells fail to regulate pigment production as it is intended to, resulting in black spotting.
The “blotchy bass syndrome” generally occurs with bass that are larger in size. Many bass, both largemouth and smallmouth, only deal with the condition if they are larger than 30 centimeters in length.
So this particular bass that was caught sort of just “got lucky” with its pigmentation, giving it the appearance of a fish looking to blend with the clothing section of a Bass Pro Shop. The guy should have kept this thing and somehow gotten it to one of the big tanks that sit in their retail stores.
Instead, he released it back into the water, but not before he could take a couple of pictures so he could share them with his social media followers, saying:
“One of the coolest smallmouth bass I have ever caught. I catch a lot with smaller black dots and blotches but nothing this crazy!
The post has garnered over 20,000 likes on Instagram, and has also encouraged a number of supportive comments from fellow fishermen in awe of the beautifully unique catch:
“Man that’s so cool!!!! Hands down the most unique smallmouth I’ve seen.”
“His camo game so strong! What a unique pattern.”
“That’s the coolest smallmouth I’ve ever seen.”
He’s been grinding, unlocking camos.”
“What a gorgeous fish! I like catching them when they’re like that, but never had one with that many blotches.”
And the fish was so nice, Doll ended up posting it twice.
The second time, the Ohio angler decided to make it into an Instagram reel and set the video to the tune “Thing of Beauty” by the Danger Twins. I think “Just Fishin'” by Trace Adkins would have worked better, but I see what Doll was trying to do with the name of the song.