By William D. Anderson

Largemouth Bass

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This Largemouth Bass was photographed at Lake of the Ozarks. 6/2008

According to Nate Herman of Herman Brothers Pond Management - "It is covered with a fungus called Saprolegnia. It is a secondary invader of a fish that has been attacked by bacteria."

This fish is a perfect example of why it is so important to handle a fish with care that you plan to release.

This condition can be caused due to the stress of spawning, injury, loss of protective slime or from sitting in a hot livewell all day long and then released at the end of a tournament after it has been caught and flopped on the measuring stick, bounced around on the deck of the boat a bit, handled, touched with dry hands, photographed, weighed and then hauled all the way back down to the lake in a bag (you get the point by now).

Herman Brothers Pond Management