Science: Nature’s 10,000 Year Old ‘Lure’

OK, so I pulled that number out of my…umm, err – labcoat. You got any lures that have been working for ya’ that long?

Didn’t think so –

How much would you be willing to pay for one with a guarantee like that?  Seems like bass get conditioned to so many of our presentations pretty fast these days. Bet you won’t find this one on your late night cable infomercial. Long before there was that great ‘genetic response’ lure, the Banjo Minnow… 

There was a mussels version of a little darter (circled in red). Bivalve shellfish have actually been around for something like 600 million years. Recently I was reading about a resurgence in a particular species, the wavy-rayed lampmussel, that need smallmouth bass in order to reproduce. No smallies - no lampmussels.  Here’s how it works.

  • The mussel displays a “lure”, really just an appendage of itself that looks like a small darter or similar creature, in order to attract a smallmouth bass. Check out that high dollar paint job!
  • When the bass charges in to make short order of the tasty morsel, the mussel shoots out lots of little larvae, called glochidia, many of which end up attaching themselves to the gills of the smallmouth.
  • The little guys stay hitched for several weeks, until eventually after getting tired of the joy riding, they detach and drop off into their new digs, thereby increasing their range and beginning the cycle anew.

Check out this video to see a smallie get “Punk’d” by a lampmussel.



  1. Dwain

    February 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    trying to keep my busy i see

  2. Chance

    February 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Forgot to make the link!

  3. Brian

    February 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Sorry – WordPress isn’t playing nice with us today. They’ve dropped the embedded video a couple times, so I’ve inserted it as a direct link. Just click and view…

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