Catch‐and‐release angling of black bass Micropterus spp. during the parental care period may lead to brood predation and premature nest abandonment. Furthermore, physiological disturbance incurred while landing angled males may impair their ability to provide parental care long after release. To assess the extent of this physiological disturbance, we examined the relative energetic expenditures of nesting (N = 4) and nonnesting (N = 2) male largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides exposed to staged angling events in experimental ponds. Information on fish locomotion, through activity of the axial musculature, was remotely collected using electromyogram transmitters. During angling, nonnesting fish fought with a higher intensity, probably expending significantly more energy than did nesting fish. In addition, although the locomotory activity of nonnesting fish appeared to recover as early as 2 h after angling release, the locomotory activity of nesting fish was still impaired 24 h postangling. Overall mean activity for 24 h postrelease was 98% of basal for nonnesting fish, but only 63% for nesting fish. The reduced energetic capability of a nesting male largemouth bass following angling, together with brood predation incurred as a result of the temporary removal of that fish from the nest during angling, increases the likelihood of that male abandoning his brood prematurely. This study provides further insight into the physiological disturbances and behavioral consequences incurred as a result of catch‐and‐release angling and highlights the need for addressing population level effects of catch‐and‐release angling on parental care and reproductive success of black bass.