What is it that fish want? - Nothing really....

Discussion in 'Lure Making & Customizing' started by spoonminnow, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. spoonminnow

    SDFish VIP

    Feb 6, 2016
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    Warning before reading: ideas presented are theoretical and based on 40 years of fishing experiences

    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 head and see different things simultaneously with each eye. (...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? If 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, but 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 feeding. If you own a cat or dog, you know what I mean. 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 of making an association. 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 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 strands and trailer action. You could say it tickles their fancy something like a snake slithering across your foot in the dark making you react.

    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 plastic designs or lure types. Why? Fish notice details such as slight reflections or flash, color contrast and hue depending on water light-filtration factors. The idea is not to blend with a background, but to stand out against it. In fact many fish are incapable of camouflage unlike some insects and therefore stick out like a sore ....fish. The only protection is in numbers - schools - 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 a 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 resulting in a triggered attack.

    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 be the reason it aggravates a predator fish to strike. 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 when using that presentation. Same shape and color but no response. Fish see those tips quiver and rotate along with body wobble as the soft stick falls to the bottom and THAT's all she wrote!
    #1 spoonminnow, Nov 10, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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