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acajun2

Bass Memory

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Do bass, or any other species for that matter, have a memory? I have caught bass on a worm that managed to get off and can never seem to entice them to strike again. Is it just me, or do the bass remember and avoid me after being caught?

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Really good question, wish I had an answer for you, I will be watching this topic.

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I think when they are on beds, its much smaller( protection mode).

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I doubt bass has a 15 minute memory. Goldfish has been scientifically proven to have memory up to 2 months. and since many bass return to their old bedding area, i think they have more than 15 minute of memory. In fact, some bass at my pond dont hit the same lure twice in a day too

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The only people I see that reliably say bass have a memory usually apply it to what they are selling. The Berkley folks will insist that a bass can memorize a crankbait, but then insist that they do not remember plastic worms. 'Coincidentally' Berkley sells mostly plastic worms...

I believe that animals can be conditioned to negative stimuli, there are too many experiments out there proving this to argue otherwise. However, those experiments are held in controlled environments where the animal is tested with those negative stimuli over and over, hour after hour, day after day. Bass, even in Japan I think, don't get enough negative stimuli to recognize particular lures. My buddy and I hammer my home pond with RC1.5s all year long (when there isn't ice), and we still get bit plenty on that bait.

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They remember through conditioning. They associate something with either a good or bad response. This is mostly associated with mechanical movement. This means if a bait that gives a specific vibration pattern or swimming motion that doesn't look or sound real. Bass will not hit it a second time because it doesn't change any. The lure didn't act alive or real. The direction didn't change like live bait. The vibration pattern didn't change like a real bait fish. The lure didn't swim at the same posture as a live bait....Because of this they get conditioned and reject some lures. Soft plastics and other lures if fished correct have random action which bass have a hard time figuring out if it is fake or live prey.

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Bass have a memory for exactly 1 year and 43 days. They also see in color. They also remember the first day they got laid. They also shoot laser beams out of their eyes. They also can fly.

Seriously, No offense to the OP at all, but I hate discussions like this. No one can know the answer. No one. You can make studies for decades (which you shouldn't do anyway because it's a huge waste of money) and still never know the answer because its impossible to know.

The thing that I like to think about fishing is, no matter how many forum posts their are, how much gear you have, knowledge of fisheries and the fish themselves....we still don't know what the hell we are doing. That's what makes fishing great.

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Bass have a memory for exactly 1 year and 43 days. They also see in color. They also remember the first day they got laid. They also shoot laser beams out of their eyes. They also can fly.

Seriously, No offense to the OP at all, but I hate discussions like this. No one can know the answer. No one. You can make studies for decades (which you shouldn't do anyway because it's a huge waste of money) and still never know the answer because its impossible to know.

The thing that I like to think about fishing is, no matter how many forum posts their are, how much gear you have, knowledge of fisheries and the fish themselves....we still don't know what the hell we are doing. That's what makes fishing great.

I agree

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"To remember or not remember , that is the question." :huh:

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I believe Bass, or most fish in general, have a type of memory > it's just not at all like ours.

They certainly do remember the exact place they have spawned..... but apparently they don't remember that I stuck them there, on the same lure or bait last year, and the year before :) {which IMPO is pretty stupid !:) LOL}

Bass certainly do become conditioned by certain positive or negative factors though.

I think the answer to this question is the same one for, "Do fish feel pain" ? Sure..... but it's just not the same as we do.

Fish

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A month ago, I caught the same bass 1/2hour after I caught him the first time. On the same bait. It was a 3lber that had this nasty red bump/tumor on his head, so I am sure it was the same fish.

I've done the same with walleyes...catching the same +25" fish several times over the course of a day. If fish do have any kind of cognitive recollection, I would think it's less than 30 minutes from my experience.

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Yesterday I caught the same 4lb bass twice. I caught her first at about 8:30am, then again at 11:30am. I didn't realize it until this morning when I reviewed the pictures more closely. She has two distinctive black spots, one behind the gill plate and one at the base of the tail.

The 2nd time I caught her it was several hundred yards from the first time. The first time she was in about 2 feet of water and I caught her on a hollow bodied frog, the 2nd time she was in about 15 feet of water and I caught her on a jig with a Lobster trailer.

Since she hit a different lure, this doesn't really show whether she 'remembered' me or not. Just that she was still willing to eat after being caught. I didn't think a bass would be eating again so soon after being handled.

On my pond, I have noticed that some lures have been 'worn out'. If my buddies see me catchin 'em on a certain lure, they all go get the same lure and throw it all day until eventually you can't get a hit on it anymore. I can't get a bass to hit a buzzbait in this pond anymore, and it was once one of my best producers there.

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I will also add that if you have a lure that acts like live bait bass have a hard time rejecting the lure because it doesn't give off cue's that point out it is fake. The lure swims or acts real so they attack it even if it may not have the perfect finish that looks like a fish...it is the live action that takes over and causes the fish to hit it given you appeal to the way a bass's brain works. When bass are hungry they hit lures that act like what they have been feeding on which goes along with activity level. When your dealing with neutral fish activity level is less so you need to use lures in a way that makes it to good to pass up like a hurt shad for example. When bass are not in the mood to feed you got to force the fish to respond to the lure what I call force feeding them. You bring the lure at an angle so that it surprises the fish when it is in front of it's face and they bite out of response. Bass because they are predators like to take out the weak and don't like things that try to get away from them much like a cat if you drag some yarn by it. The cat is not pouncing on the yarn because it is hungry it is attacking the yarn because it is trying to get away. Also with big fish they tend to hang in the best place within cover or the best place to intercept bait. If you present a lure that in the bass's mind is invading the fishes territory the bass will hit the lure because it is trying to defend it's feeding area. When a lure doesn't act real like what I posted above the natural response changes because the bass may not feel it is real food, something alive or a threat to their feeding area or in the case of a spawning fish a threat to the fry. Bass know that bait fish swim and act a certain way and you might trick them fishing lures a certain way but in the long run to continue to trick the same bass you need to make your lure act more real or change the vibration pattern so that the fish think it is something other than the lure you caught the fish on the previous day. this is because in the bass's mind they associate that lure you caught that fish on with a bad response...it hooked him. I hope that helps you out :)

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So hey then Chris, what would you say about a bass that swims up and inspects an actual live bait (like the ones I've thrown a million X's in the last 40 years) inspects it closely, then swims away ?

Artificial purists always have such a hard time imagining this :) .....while I see it SOOOO often, I'm not even a little bit surprised when it happens.

Anyway,

Peace,

Fish

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So hey then Chris, what would you say about a bass that swims up and inspects an actual live bait (like the ones I've thrown a million X's in the last 40 years) inspects it closely, then swims away ?

Artificial purists always have such a hard time imagining this :) .....while I see it SOOOO often, I'm not even a little bit surprised when it happens.

I don't have a hard time with it. I've seen it too, with live crawfish. Maybe they are the one or two fish out of millions that have been caught that actually don't like the hook?

:lol:

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Simple the live bait didn't have fear or didn't act like it was chased. It would be like the difference between a wild shiner and a domesticated shiner. The wild shiner knows it is food and has been chased by bass it's whole life the domestic just waves hi.

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Simple the live bait didn't have fear or didn't act like it was chased. It would be like the difference between a wild shiner and a domesticated shiner. The wild shiner knows it is food and has been chased by bass it's whole life the domestic just waves hi.

But Chris, it's not always so simple... I use "nothing but" wild crawdads (when I'm using crawdads that is), which almost always freak the heck out when a bass comes up and noses down toward them, and sure, this usually "at least" tends to make the bass get twitchy, and kick their tail a time or two to keep up with the dad which will always dart away backwards.... but even after catching up to it, they inspect it a little more, them swim away ? Maybe like JF says, they noticed the hook.... or my mono leader.... OR, the big factor that always plays on my mind, is that they are spooky because of the presence of my boat.... So even if their are no red flags from the bait itself, they might have become conditioned to knowing that "eating anything" in the presence of a boat (a large, floating, foreign item) will often lead to a negative end result ?

BTW, I'm not much of a shiner fisherman. Nothing against it of course. It just has not been so effective for me with these West coast bass as it apparently is in Florida. One things for sure though, "IF" I were in Florida, I'd be finding a way tyo catch "wild" Shiners for my bait, not only because they would likely be much more effective, but also because I doubt I could afford to buy as many Shiners as I'd go through :)

Peace,

Fish

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Years ago they opened up a lake in Fla called stick marsh and farm 13. Guys would load up on wild shiners and go down there and whack the fish but as time passed the same guys who where catching fish suddenly stopped catching the numbers they where. They bought the shiners locally because around those lakes the prices where crazy. Some of the guys felt that the fish where getting conditioned to not feed on a hooked shiner. I think what could have been more important was that a suspended shiner on a bobber after awhile of dragging the float around acted tired and didn't sit right under the float. Much less depending on how they cast the bait and hooked the bait will change how lively the bait will act when a bass is around. Also consider that they where trucking in shiners to the lake from their local tackle shop and not everyone knows how to keep shiners. The end result is the shiners didn't act like a free roaming bait fish. When I fish shiners I either don't use a float or use one that is just enough to keep it out of the weeds. I also want my bait to run the whole time. If the bait stops and just floats in one spot I change my bait because more times then not my bait is just acting like a chunk of meat and not a free roaming shiner. It is kinda the same deal with your crawfish. Bass will nose down on a bait and wild bait will move because it has figured out it is food. If the bait didn't move a bass will flare it's gills to basically push water on it trying to get the bait to move. The next thing a bass will do is pick it up and blow it out still trying to make it move. If the bait acts like it is alive and jets off in any one of the three cases it will bite it. If they loose interest because the bait didn't move then you know what to do...make it move. It isn't your line really it is the weight that the crawfish has to drag to move. When the bass was playing with it's food the crawfish stopped acting scared and the bass lost interest.

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