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#12499393 - 11/10/17 02:25 PM What is it that fish want? - nothing really....
SenkoSam Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 99
Loc: Walden, N.Y., USA
Warning before reading: ideas presented are theoretical and based on 40 years of fishing experiences

Wanting something to me is a complex human emotion involving a craving or strong desire to obtain something (or someone). If I smell something that I can identify as good to eat, I want it if I'm hungry. If I see a lure for sale I believe can not fail to catch fish, I'll buy it. But fish I believe are incapable of wanting anything but rather susceptible to simple aggression regardless of stomach contents. Many of us have caught fish with undigested prey still being swallowed / moving down their gullets. (Wish I had taken a picture of a 2' long pickerel that attacked my lure even though a fish's tail was still visible in its throat.)

When I consider all the lures I've caught fish on, I can't but help think of why fish attacked them. I know - many believe a spinnerbait represents a fish to a fish; a skirted jig and trailer must represent a crawdad; a Senko has to be a earthworm to a fish. I suppose.

But looking at it another way - fish are very keen observers of objects moving within their field of vision which is far wider than for humans seeing as how their eyes are on both sides of their heads and see different things simultaneously. (at least most freshwater species like pan fish and bass.) So if they see a grub with one eye and a spinner in the other located on the opposite side of its head, do they think they're seeing two different animals represented by those lures? I so, how do they decide which one to strike - if at all?

So apart from identifying moving objects as one thing or another, fish react (or not) - period. Seeing the two lures mentioned may have no affect on their aggression level. Casting another that moves just right and is within a certain size range may get that fish excited. Most animals become excited by one thing or another - much of it having nothing to do with eating. If you own a cat or dog, you know this is a fact. So, what gets a fish excited? The answer lies in what fish see, maybe feel with the lateral line or hear with ears.

As I said, fish are capable of seeing, hearing and feeling the fine details of any object, never knowing what an object is or even capable of knowing and therefore making an association. Therefore if fish don't know what something is, they can't want it regardless of how realistic a lure imitates the appearance and motion of something in nature. On the other hand, billions of dollars have been spent for many decades on lures good and bad that anglers continue to use or stop using completely. It's not that anglers are fickle (thought many are when it comes to the latest heavily advertised designs), but they sense when a lure is one they can always count on given the situation.

For example, I use a certain weedless skirted jig I've used for 30 years. Granted I'm fickle when it comes to attaching different colored skirts and trailers for ha ha's, but when the jig bite it on, bass react to it. It's not the skirt color that matters - black will do 100% of the time - or trailer design - a pork frog imitation does fine. So why is a skirted jig a great bass lure? My theory is the whole visual package of barely moving skirt hairs and trailer extensions. Could say it tickles their fancy something like a snake slithering across your foot in the dark.

What about the color of a lure? For me, all I ever need to cast is watermelon with black, chartreuse and gold flake when it comes to many soft plastics. Why? Fish notice details such as slight reflections or flash, color contrast and hues depending on water light filtration. The idea is not to blend with a background, but to stand out against it. In fact many fish are incapable of camouflage as are some insects and stick out like a sore ....fish. The only protection is in numbers - schooling - but those poor b*#$%ds that are alone minding their own business invite aggression because of a vulnerability demonstrated via slight motions while at a standstill or sudden motion from a standstill position. If a lure is constantly in motion, speed matters! Again, a slow speed is attractive over faster speeds because fish have more time to see lure details such as motion and color.

So when you ponder why a lure you own works so well year after year, break it down to the elements that could most likely aggravate a predator fish. Those elements may also help another lure catch fish and exclude lures that don't have them.

Here's an example: Senkos are made from plastic that sinks at a certain rate and that is soft. Sticks that use plastic that it too firm and that don't sink fast enough when wacky rigged, are usually useless using that presentation - same shape and color, but no response. Fish see those tips quiver and rotate on the way down along with body wobble and THAT is all she wrote!

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#12499507 - 11/10/17 04:44 PM Re: What is it that fish want? - nothing really.... [Re: SenkoSam]
GIG'EM AGGIES Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/14/14
Posts: 2009
Loc: texas
Don't what the question is so I don't have an answer but I can tell you that on Lake Fork if you're throwing a spinner bait those bass can not only tell you the brand but where you bought it and how much you paid for it. I think the bass on Fork just want to be left alone and quit throwing stuff with hooks in it at them.
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"Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks"
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#12499554 - 11/10/17 05:48 PM Re: What is it that fish want? - nothing really.... [Re: SenkoSam]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 13883
Loc: Justin, TX.
Good write up SenkoSam. All our confidence baits have caught really good fish at some point in time. Then there comes the days that nothing will bit it; so we turn the page and move on to another new one, just in case we missed something. All in all though we will keep coming back to our tried and proven baits.

I believe all animals in the wild have the same basic needs of food, mating and shelter. Our only chance of getting a fish to bite is to replicate and mimic the food source. When we do that during the mating season it becomes easier as more fish are up shallow. If we do that in the exact spots where they live and ambush from; then catching gets better. Those fisherman that do these things the best catch more fish. Paying attention to every find detail that big fish are looking for is the key. To put all this together for success, knowledge is king. There is a reason that we did not get bit those days on our confidence baits; but we did not have the knowledge to turn that around; therefore learning is a never ending process.
_________________________
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
Shallow Water Mapping - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic



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#12499788 - 11/10/17 09:23 PM Re: What is it that fish want? - nothing really.... [Re: SenkoSam]
Dan90210 ☮ Offline
Nonbinary Gender of the Year 2017

Registered: 11/18/09
Posts: 26071
Loc: Denton County
So how does the buzzbait, pink worms, and 12 inch bass hitting a 12 inch swimbait fit into this?
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Originally Posted By: junbengreat
Pulled a gun on his dryer and they caught a bunch of fish.

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#12500118 - 11/11/17 11:02 AM Re: What is it that fish want? - nothing really.... [Re: SenkoSam]
SenkoSam Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 99
Loc: Walden, N.Y., USA
Don, Dan makes a good point. Plus, have you and a partner ever used different lures and only one of you caught fish? Better yet, the one who caught fish was using a lure or lures that imitated nothing in nature.

This one small lake I've fished for years has zero yellow perch and yet I can count on a y.p. Floating Rapala to catch bass - which agrees with,
Quote:
All in all though we will keep coming back to our tried and proven baits.


Now even if both anglers are using lures produced by different sources that match a forage and one angler does better on one, could it mean that something about his lure excels at provoking an attack?

I've proven over many years different theories about lures such as why they work, some in the same group that work better than others such as crankbaits. They may dive to the same depth, but in one case mine caught only a few bass whereas my partner's did much better. It wasn't a presentation issue since both of us worked our lures the same and in the same general areas. He loaned me a crankbait exactly like one he was using and I started to do better. One thing is that the vibration felt different. Could that have been it?

Soft plastics are my forte when it comes to versatile lures and I believe lure design makes all the difference presentation aside. I'm not just talking using one design per outing but trying different designs, colors and sizes to see how many fish will attack. Once a lure catches fish, my confidence level increases dramatically when numbers are caught and then more fish are caught on different outings in different seasons.

Some may target bass forage to imitate, but in my experience there are an unlimited variety of multi-species lures that catch from 4-7 species on one outing that may or may not imitate anything in nature.

One last consideration: fish in one areas may attack one or more lure designs and fish in another part of the lake may attack a different lure or lures depending on many factors such as structure. This tells me that no one can count on a particular match for all areas in a lake, but instead are provoked by different lures using different presentations. An angler's brain knows after a bit of experimentation which to use counting on a fish's lack of associative intelligence to provoke aggression. (Something my wife knows a lot about - me being the poor fish.) realmad


Edited by SenkoSam (11/11/17 11:06 AM)

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#12500308 - 11/11/17 03:58 PM Re: What is it that fish want? - nothing really.... [Re: SenkoSam]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 13883
Loc: Justin, TX.
You are exactly right. There is a spot on every lake that I can catch more fish on a spinner bait. There is a spot on that lake that a jig will produce better than other baits on that spot. You just have to find those spots and throw the right bait at the right time. Point is you can take your confidence bait, spend enough time on the water and find those spots. Now weather you will win the competition or not depend on the other fisherman's knowledge in doing the same thing with his best bait. Most fisherman keep looking for that bait that will catch them equally well all over the lake. That is why marketing and a store full of lures comes into play. They want to catch the fisherman and not the fish. roflmao
_________________________
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
Shallow Water Mapping - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic



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#12500743 - 11/11/17 09:14 PM Re: What is it that fish want? - nothing really.... [Re: SenkoSam]
SenkoSam Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 99
Loc: Walden, N.Y., USA
Quote:
. Most fisherman keep looking for that bait that will catch them equally well all over the lake. That is why marketing and a store full of lures comes into play. They want to catch the fisherman and not the fish. roflmao


I used to be one believing that one-size-fits-all or at least most situations. The companies know better as do the pro anglers hyping lures. Barnum was correct .....(though early on, In-Fisherman was a great source for the truth!)

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