Bizarro Bass

Bizarro Bass

May 26, 2012

“Bizarro” bass: a hunt for strange fish…and how they got that way!

by Mike Pehanich

What’s wrong with the bass in our featured photo?

We hope to find out — and so do many thousands of other readers of Mike Pehanich’s Small Waters Fishing and Bassmaster magazine.

Remember “Bizarro” in the Superman comic books? He and his Bizarro family comprised a set of bizarre clones of Superman and other characters from that comic book world.

Blind in one eye and with a back more crooked than a former Illinois governor, this Lake Erie smallmouth still put up a heck of a fight. What are the various causes of the "swayback" condition?

Now I am on the hunt for “Bizarro Bass!”

I am working on a feature for Bassmaster magazine to find unusual bass and I would love to have your help. With luck, help and research, we hope to get explanations for why these bass look the way they do!

S0 dig up your photos of bass with unusual markings, colorations, shapes, physical abnormalities, and other distinctions and send them to me at:      

Or mail to the post office box address listed at the bottom of this post.

We will select some of the best photos and most interesting fish for the Bassmaster feature and possible coverage on  Small Waters Fishing website and .

If you have photos of “Bizarro Bass” that you or your buddies have caught, please send them along in the highest resolution version of the photo that you have.

If you know the cause of the abnormality, please submit an explanation with your photo. Identify your source for the explanation as well, whether it be biologist, lake manager, DNR official, prominent angler, pond owner, or anyone else with an “educated” explanation. You can submit your own theory as well, but PLEASE identify it as such if you do!

Ken and Mark Pallister caught several bass with an upper that lip fell woefully short of the lower jaw. Have you seen it before? Have a picture? What's the reason?

Photos submitted may be used in posts on Mike Pehanich’s Small Waters Fishing website, Bassmaster magazine, or the B.A.S.S. website, so understand this when you submit the photo, and do not send photos if you are unsure as to the ownership of publication rights to the photo. (At least alert us to the uncertainty so we can try to hunt down the owner.)

Understand, too, that neither publication will provide cash compensation for the photos, but SWF will send a complimentary lure for any photo that either B.A.S.S. or  Mike Pehanich’s Small Waters Fishing publishes. (We will try to give photo credits and return photos at your request, but we cannot promise.)

So dig up those photos, send them to us…and join us on our journey to the world of Bizarro Bass! — MP


Email digital photos to:


 Mail slides or prints to:

Mike Pehanich, Publisher and Editor

Small Waters Fishing

P.O. Box 8106

Westchester, IL 60154


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