i was fishing brays bayou for bass. (Saw some massive gar btw) I kept getting bit by tilapia. I thought at first it was a snag but after a couple of times especially with the fish hooked by the tail end as if it were chasing he crank bait. If this isn't a tilapia please correct me. Lol I fish mostly salt haha.
No, tilapia are not carnivorous.....they are omnivorous. So they will pretty much eat anything that has nutritive value and they can catch. That includes a lot of things, including plants and animals of all sorts.
The fish in the pic above, a Rio Grande Perch (aka "Texas Cichlid") is a distant cousin of the tilapia (which is an African cichlid) and the only cichlid native to North America. They are indeed more carnivorous than tilapia and are active predators where they live, in warm waters or ones with thermal refuges such as the Houston Ship channel. We also caught a lot of them in Brays, but they are in a lot of creeks, rivers, and bayous in the Southern half of the state.
Its not unusual to catch a large tilapia or Rio on a lure or piece of live or cut bait.
People that have kept large African cichlids (and Rios) in aquariums know they'll eat feeder minnows, shrimp, worms, insects, as well as pellets, lettuce and oranges (and a lot of other stuff).
If you were in the Houston area of Brays, I did a lot of electrofishing there about fifteen years ago. Lots of tilapia, plecostomus, and other typically tropical fish around there. They keep warm in winter by ship's heat exchangers and city sewage outfalls.
We did catch bass, redfish, and blue catfish in that bayou.