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How Do You Handle Noise From Your Boat?

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I suppose this could go a bit sideways like the "what do the bass see?" threads, but I'm curious as to how you feel about noises in your boat.

 

Do you visibly cringe when your partner drops a worm weight on the seat?

Do you turn the trolling motor off and drift in to a shallow, good looking little bay?

Leave the trolling motor on always, so the sound is constant instead of off and on?

Do you turn off your fish/depth finder(s) at times?  If so, when?

Does it depend completely upon what sort of water you're on?  That is, are big, busy lakes so noisy that it really doesn't matter what sounds you make in the boat?

 

I'm a bit anal about not banging the sides/bottom of the boat; I try to run the trolling motor fairly continuously....but I never turn off the fish finder....maybe I should?

 

What are your thoughts, idiosyncrasies, superstitions, etc?

 

I'm not talking about fishing from the banks --- I tend to believe that stealth will always serve you well when you're shore-bound.

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Noise happens ;)

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Fish holding tight to cover don't seem to mind noise as much as fish that are suspended.  Long casts also help. You won't see me hucking rocks in the water, but I don't really care that much about noise because it's pretty much inevitable. It seems to me it would depend on where you're fishing though. If your lake gets lots of boat traffic, I would say most of the fish are about used to the noise.  Also conditions. When it's windy I wouldn't consider noise near as much as if it was slick and calm

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Noise is not that big a deal unless it is banging, like slamming lids, or dropping big objects.  Normal talk and low music is not an issue.  Whenever possible I drift with the wind from my back so I can stay off the trolling motor and stay in stealth mode.  I think this helps a lot.  I will run up wind and then drift through a productive area.  One of my favorite ways to fish. :D

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Lots of factors to consider.

If the area where you fish has a lot of background noise, like a marina for example, the fish there are conditioned to noise. You can fish the exact same marina after the lake has been closed at night, the same bass may react negative to noise. Fish living in a quite area react differently then those in a noisy area.

My guild line is this; quite is better than noise. If I believe big bass are active in a area I plan to fish, my approach is as stealthy as possible. Avoid getting the boat between any escape route into deeper water, turn off my sonar and big engine at least a 100 yards away and use minimum power with my electric motor.

When surveying a area I try to prevent driving directly over fish, when that happens and it does often, I drive away from the area, then return using the electric motor.

Bass hear/feel your big engines prop from a long distance through the lateral line and they are aware of your presence, it affects bass differently depending on their activity level and wariness level. For example spawning bass know you are there, they don't spook easily under those conditions. Feeding bass are less affected when in deeper water than shallower water.

Tom

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I recently went with I four stroke tiller for my little boat to help reduce the noise, but this was for the sake of my ears. My older 74 Johnson screamed when she got going.

But I always have a habit of killing the engine and trolling into my spot. I would like to think I am not sending the fish running, but all is lost when the Jack wagon on the jet ski roars by.......

Side thought

I always remember my grandpa telling me to be quite I would scare the fish away, but as I got older I was sure it was just because I was a talkative little tike that loved fishing with his grandpa.

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I don't like banging around in the boat or rocking the boat any more than I have to. 

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Yes,  noise happens. It won't destroy your day. Just keep on fishing.

 

Now, with that said, you want to try to minimize sounds emanating from your boat and also while bank fishing.

 

But we are guys and we make noise so as said above, don't worry about it and just continue to fish.

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I don't like banging around in the boat or rocking the boat any more than I have to. 

Same, I also don't like running the TM on warp speed. I use just enough for the conditions I am faced with.

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I have a tin boat so I am just easy with my hatches and dont go stomping around the boat unless I have to but other then that I dont do much else to reduce sound. At a certain depth sonar is useless anyway so ill turn it off and just have the map up.

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Thanks for all the responses and insight.  I often read about how I should turn off electronics when approaching a spot, but I've never done it.   I suppose, though, that when entering a shallow bay, it might be a good idea.  I don't know if the bass can hear or sense the sonar, but on the off chance that they can, I don't see why I should be taking a chance at announcing my presence. 

 

  As to trolling motors, I think that the sound is so ubiquitous, that it shouldn't matter much on most waters.  I'm guessing that steady-on might be marginally better than repeated off/on.

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I don't know if this applies but I could not tell you how many fish I've caught after a big boat or a bunch of jets skis come rambling threw in there wake. Wether it be on the bank or in my boat; it seems like the wakes sometimes stir things up and get the fish active. So no I don't worry about noise. I also fish dams where many times the water coming over the day is very loud and guess what usually the big ones are right underneath it.

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It really depends on the situation

I have a couple dozen spots on Toledo Bend that are in major boat traffic areas. I catch bass with boats flying by at 60-70 mph but I will say these spots are better during the week & at night.

As soon as the prop on my boat hits water at the launch I fire the big motor & turn on all electronics. They stay on until I'm back at the launch!

Deep structure bass are not bothered by the trolling motor. In shallow water I use the wind when possible & the trolling motor to keep it straight.

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Like you guys have said I've done well on high traffic weekends. The water is stirred up and the fish seem to stay fired up. Water gets calm and so do the fish till the next one comes through. We were fishing a rip rap wall on the outside of a marina this year and every time a boat came out of the marina through the narrow opening we would hang on cause the fish would fire right after.

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  The noise issue is as complex as you want to make it. The issue is actually more accurately called vibration, not  noise, since fish cannot hear, but detect vibrations through their lateral line.  IMHO, when one is  fishing  a lake that has a lot of  boat traffic, the fish are likely conditioned to  a higher noise level that in a wilderness situation. The whine of an outboard or a jet are definitely mood killers for me, but possibly not the fish. Guys are running boats all over a lake during tourneys, and the fish still bite.  If I am on a lake and I get buzzed more than once or twice,  I just hate fishing under those conditions.  Especially jet skis.  I'll usually move unless I am really pounding the fish.  Sudden unusual noises are a different matter.  Dropping a rod or weight on the floor of  a tin boat is going to surprise fish.  Some will move closer to cover, some will move deeper, and some may suspend in deep water. With really aggressive bass, some may even come closer to see what made all the noise. After a little while, they will start to bite again.  If you are still on them.  I expect that noise will adversely affect the bigger older fish more than the smaller, younger fish.

  Trout area little different though.  When most  people think of trout, they are talking about a stocked fish raised in tanks that is acclimated to expect to be fed when it detects the vibration of  feed pellets hitting the water.  Wild fish are different.  Wild stream trout have to survive a constant barrage of predation and so the bigger fish tend too be very wary.  I have seen all the  trout in a pool stop feeding many times, after a slight noise in the boat.  Funny thing is, I have also seen trout continue to feed a few feet from the boat as I approach with the outboard running,

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If someone accidently drops a worm weight or rod or trips over themselves and stumbles in the boat, I don't give it a second thought.  If they are regularly/habitually banging around, I might explain to them how this often disturbs the fish and ask if they might tone it down a bit.  As far as the trolling motor goes, the shallower or closer to the target I am, the more I try to shut it down or run it at a lower speed.  I almost always shut down the outboard and coast into a spot. Sonar?  I seriously doubt if it makes the least bit of difference.

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Fresh water black bass or what we refer to as bass have highly developed senses of sound wave detection.

Their early warning system is their lateral line nerves that pick up sound waves from a long distance and ears that define sound waves at a short distance, hearing is important to their survival.

Sound waves travel very fast in water because it is higher in density, no sound travels in zero density in a vacuum like space and travels slowly in air.

If sound detection was not important bass would not have developed 2 hearing systems. What bass can't do is determine how far away the sound is or how fast whatever is making the sound waves is traveling or the direction it's traveling using it's lateral line. Sounds picked up by it's ears gives the bass close proximity information to start looking for what is nearby, like prey.

The sounds you make in your boat can be picked up by the lateral line, if the sounds waves travel through water. How bass react depends on individual fish, some are very wary, others are not.

Tom

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It depends on the noise. If I drop a weight I don't worry about it. If I keep hearing the same noise over and over then I get worried.

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I don't worry too much about noise in the boat, I don't go out of my way to be quite.   I also don't go stomping around or slam compartment lids either.   Somewhere in between I guess.    Sometimes I turn my sonar off when fishing shallow, but that is more to conserve battery if needed.    I never run my trolling motor on continuous because I figure if I fell in the water I would be kinda SOL.  lol

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I do not take any special actions to prevent noise. Have never felt thought about doing so. I am quiet doing my things and being in boat automatically.

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I have hit big fish limits with two finders on, trolling motor on and off, Live well going full time and Im sure I'm making noise boating fish. I have caught them when other boats were on top of the fish.  I pushed shad before into a ball with my boat and then saw bass hit them with me right there on top of them. I saw one wink and thank me LOL!

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I don't like banging around in the boat or rocking the boat any more than I have to. 

How Do You Handle Noise From Your Boat? I drop Sizzle back at the dock!

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I am very guilty of making alot of noise. I slam the hatches and stomp the boat when I miss fish or they break off. I often act before thinking not only in fishing but everywhere. When I am flipping docks I sometimes hit the side and often wonder if that effects the fish. Once i was fishing around a dock and I was singing and then I hit the dock several times with my jig. When I got to the other side of the dock there sat an angry elderly woman tanning that I couldnt see because a boat in the way. 

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