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Author Topic:  Fish are as alien to anglers as lures are to them  (Read 281 times)


Fish are as alien to anglers as lures are to them
« on: April 29, 2018, 12:45:14 PM »
Granted, much is known about biological factors such as the spawn, lateral line, sight, feeding habits, etc., but not much can be proven when it comes to why fish attack lures - at least not beyond the shadow of a doubt. But one thing that is certain and easily proven are the lure designs fish react to.

Do fish know what a lure represents as is in the mind of the angler that casts it? If that were so, every crankbait, spinnerbait or spoon would be attacked equally assuming they all represented prey fish to predator fish, but they aren't even when fish are prone to being more aggressive than usual.

What has been known by lure designers and innovators for decades is that certain lures that act or move a certain way in combination with shape, speed and color, are hit more often than many other lures in the same category such as crankbaits, worms, craw trailers, etc. - even when they look identical.

Anglers are willing to pay more for Lucky Craft plus and Senko stick worms because of some feature(s) that pushes a bass's buttons just right forcing it to attack. In the right hands most lures can catch fish regardless of features that make them superior, but I would guess that the best of anglers take nothing for granted when choosing lures for different situations, much that goes into the selection based on observed lure motion/action in combination with shape and size.

Some of the best lures show their stuff at the slowest speeds. It might be a slight quiver or subtle waddle or one of a hundred actions displayed. As for myself, I've been studying and designing soft plastic lures as part of the challenge of fishing to answer what exactly fish find provocative about certain designs. A fish's brain is not capable of thinking before attacking, but is a conduit for information received from the senses, both of which become overloaded forcing a fish to attack a lure uncontrollably.

One way of looking at fish striking out at lures is the similarity between fish and a human infant.
An infant will look at a mobile hanging over its crib and reach out trying to grab moving objects or a set of keys jigged near its face. An infant's brain is on par with a fish's brain, reacting reflexively to moving objects while having no idea what they represent. But unlike the baby's brain, fish do sense the fine details of lures or any moving object that comes near, where the catchability of lures is in the details that increase a fish's level of aggression.

An example of this has recently occurred on my local lake. A fish misses, attacks and misses again and finally hits the lure and is hooked. It may even happen on the second cast because the fish, (mostly likely suspending and not actively feeding) was acutely aware of an unknown shape passing near and provoked by it.  The more aggressive the attack, the deeper the hook set in its throat. 

In fact yesterday I caught a few sunfish and crappie where the lure was completely inside it's mouth- some of the lures 2 3/4"! Lighter less aggressive strikes were indicative of hook sets in the lip, which most hook sets were indicating instead that fish were excited but not that excited. I had to switch between soft plastic lures and jig weights to find which did best, but finally settled for three lures that got hit more often and more aggressively. Again, lure factors mattered and strikes or no strikes were the proof.

Linkback: https://fishinpedia.com/bass-fishing-forums/lure-talk-fishinpedia/10/fish-are-as-alien-to-anglers-as-lures-are-to-them/2807/


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