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Are Largemouth Bass Line Shy?

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We have topics discussing fluorocarbon line, braid, monofilament line and various knots to join the different line together all in an effort to catch more LMB. My question is directed to one simple factor; are bass line shy?

If bass are not line shy fish, meaning their eye sight isn't designed to see tiny insects in low light like trout for example, why use a leader or FC line?

We discuss fishing in off color water, muddy water, gin clear water, mid day, mid night, can bass see the line in all these conditions.

The diameter of the line can and does affect a lures action, does it matter if the line is highly visible if the lures action is working good?

What are thoughts.

Tom

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Depends. I know bass aren't the smartest creatures on earth but I think some may have different dispositions. Think about dogs. disposition can vary wildly between the same breed. It's kind of a nature verse nurturer argument. I think with most animals there is a risk vs. reward factor. They see a prey item and most likely make a snap decision. Strike or no strike. Kill or no kill.

What does this have to do with fishing line? Ever see how lions act during a drought? They display risky behavior. Does your dog eat his food when you leave the house? Probably not. He's saving that food because he doesn't know if you will return.

So is that bass hungry enough to hit that lure attached to 65lb high viz yellow braid or can he afford to pass waiting for a better opportunity. I dunno. I just keep changing it up till something works.

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I don't know about bass being line shy, but I do know they tend to avoid more visible lines in clear water and under heavy fishing pressure situations when I'm using a slow presentation.  I don't know if they just percieve that something isn't just right, or they actually see the line and react to it negatively.  I don't believe they have that opportunity with faster presentations as they need to react quickly and focus on their target.

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I don't know how anyone could say it's the line that made a fish avoid a bait. How could you know that? I have no doubt that fish may be able to see the line, I just question whether they can determine that something is wrong because they see it. There are many other factors in a bait that are un-natural. There are hooks, metal blades, wood, plastic, why is it the line that would make the bass turn away? If they are smart enough to figure out line is bad, how come they aren't smart enough to figure out the bait is not real food?  

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None of the thousands of bass Ive caught with braid in water that has 15' vis  seemed to be.

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I don't know how anyone could say it's the line that made a fish avoid a bait. How could you know that? I have no doubt that fish may be able to see the line, I just question whether they can determine that something is wrong because they see it. There are many other factors in a bait that are un-natural. There are hooks, metal blades, wood, plastic, why is it the line that would make the bass turn away? If they are smart enough to figure out line is bad, how come they aren't smart enough to figure out the bait is not real food?  

I agree !!!

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Almost all the water that I fish is either stained or muddy but I use fluorocarbon for almost every application that I can. I don't use it for the "invisibility" factor. I believe, for me, its best attribute is its unrivaled slack line sensitivity and abrasion resistance. I suppose the gin clear California waters would be the exception due to its extreme fishing pressure where presentation is of the utmost importance in some instances but that's for the west coast anglers to decide. 

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None of the thousands of bass Ive caught with braid in water that has 15' vis seemed to be.

Interesting...what size and type of braid do you use without a leader?

Tom

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I've been using nothing but superlines for 10 to 12 years and have never used "clear" leaders. I use 8lb Fireline, 20-50lb Power Pro and 20lb Suffix 832. I fish clear Northern lakes and have also caught thousands of smallmouth, largemouth and northerns. Never saw any reason to even try a leader. The biggest thing that spooks bass I fish for is me and my boat.

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Interesting...what size and type of braid do you use without a leader?

Tom

 

Braids 8,10,15,20# light green, dark green, brown, off-white number of different brands; non braid white 6#nano

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Im not sure how much bass react visually to line, however I do believe they can react negatively to the movement of lines. My background is trout which,as you said, have more acute vision, but bass still have a lateral line that detects those movements. When presenting slow moving baits I feel that it is the movement of the line more so than the visual aspect of it that would turn them off of a lure. I have seen numerous trout respond to line movement even when using 2lb test tippet on a fly rod. I would think bass would be similar as it is the lateral line that detects this movement. That being said, I feel this only applies to slow moving baits. I don't think it matters for reaction baits. Jus my .02

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When read the threads on this and other forums the vast majority of braided line users tie on a FC leader using Uni knots, Albert knots, etc...2 knots; 1 to splice on the leader, the 2nd to tie on the lure or hook.

Why?

Why would anyone use mono or FC line, braid is smaller in diameter, stronger, last longer, doesn't twist.

The answer is anglers believe bass are line shy and mono or FC will improve the size and number of bass they can catch.

I first learned to bass fish using Dacron braid tied directly to my lures....until monofilament line came of age. Like most bass anglers I also jumped on the FC line when it came out, believing the advertised low refraction low visibility ads.

The fact I fish gin clear water lakes makes it easier to think bass are line shy.

Are they?

At times the line size affects how fast or slow the lure falls through the water column or the lures action, this does affect strike reaction from some bass.

I know for sure transparent small diameter line gives me more confidence, the question is does it matter to the bass?

Tom

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When read the threads on this and other forums the vast majority of braided line users tie on a FC leader using Uni knots, Albert knots, etc...2 knots; 1 to splice on the leader, the 2nd to tie on the lure or hook.

Why?

Tom

Tom, I actually wonder the same thing. I only have a few rods with braid and on all of them I tie direct as I fish these in heavy grass. I use it for the cutting ability and strength for pulling them out of heavy weeds. You have posed a very good question. One that would probably be best answered by a biologist that knows the structure of a bass's eyes and brain. As fisherman we can only guess as to what they really see. As I stated before, I do feel line movement can turn them off of a lure. It could be the reason why so many finesse baits & slow moving baits are hit on the fall or not being moved, the line is not being moved by the fisherman.

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I'm not sure if line size really makes a difference, but I figure if downsizing gets me even one more bite a day, then it's worth it.

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Me personally I don't buy the whole "invisible to fish" spiel. I use flouro for sinking, mono for floating, and braid for heavy weeds. All work!

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Whenever this topic comes up there seem to be some very good sticks on both sides. 

I am undecided, but for the most part reached the conclusion that fluorocarbon leader

is an advantage. Stealth, abrasion resistance and the ability to break-off when necessary

is important to me.

 

 

 

:fishing-026:

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I'm catching lots of Bass on 50lb high vis yellow PP with no leader. The water is pretty clear in the lake I'm fishing in. 

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Im a straight braid guy about 90% of the time and I catch plenty. The times I use a leader are for structure or cover reasons, not because I feel the bass can see the line. I also fish a lot of very clear water.

If an A-rig or alike isnt scaring bass off, then a single strand of line isn't going to either.

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I use FC because I BELIEVE it gives me an advantage. Period. Logically, I understand I may be wrong. But, if I BELIEVE it helps me then Im going to fish a little slower, and Im going to stick with that bait a little longer. Eventually it will help me. Not because bass cant see FC, simply because I think they cant.

Last Sunday I caught two jig fish, they just werent up in the trees. One was caught on straight 65lb braid the other on 17lb flouro. I still belive FC gives me an advantage. Ill fish it until I dont believe that, knowing the whole time I may be wrong.

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I use braid for top water and heavy cover,FC for the rest.Works for me

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I'm most of the way through Bill Murphy's book and he would strongly argue that bass are line shy. Although he is specifically talking about giant bass in high pressured lakes, so this may play a roll. I think I agree with Murphy for the most part. I feel that older bigger bass may be more line shy than the younger more aggressive ones, but certainly couldn't say for sure. I do use fluorocarbon with bottom contact presentations, but as already stated, I use it for it's density and sinking properties which contributes to its slack line sensitivity. 

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If you go with "hi viz" line it might but the "low viz" / transpearant colors shouldn't affect anything...

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