Bass are the most common predator fish for smaller ponds. Their appetite in the warmer months of the year is unmatched. However, it is also true that in December, January, and February they remain nearly dormant. Sexual maturity is reached at approximately 12”. Females can carry 13,000 to 50,000 eggs . Males create a nest where a limited number of weeds exit. He will nip off the plants and fan the base of the plant exposing remaining roots. He then directs the female to release her sticky eggs onto the exposed roots. This permits the eggs to remain suspended from the pond floor allowing all sides of the egg to get fresh water and oxygen. Young bass swim in a school protected by the male until they reach 1”. Then they are on their own and begin to swim in much smaller groups. It is not uncommon in mid-summer to see a bass swimming with a fish in its mouth that it cannot completely swallow. This strong appetite is what permits bass to grow quickly and keep the numbers of other small fish in check.