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When i was younger(2yrs old they tell me) my grandpa started taking me fishing with him and one of my earliest memories is him telling me that you catch more fish using different baits and lures that everybody else uses because the fish get familiar and tend not to bite lures they see day after day..made sense to me back then but with all the studies and data thats available now most biologist say that fish only have about a 30 minute memory span.. i beleive this because ive caught bass before and an hour later have gone back to the spot i caught them and caught the same fish on te same lure. I guess my point is that how do bass get affected by fishing pressure if they cant remember what.. they did 30 mins ago? Kinda funny how we put so much time into trying to outsmart something that doesent have the ability to think and survive purely on natural instinct.. ive came to the conclusion that when the bites tough its actually not, its just our excuse why we cant catch them because what else could it be? They were biting yesterday or earlier??? Our best tool is our ability to understand bass behavior throughout the seasons, guys who understand that catch more fish than those that dont understand their behavior...

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How are bass affected by fishing pressure?

My very presence is enough to send them into hiding

Outboard & trolling motors; sound travels 4.3 times faster in water.

Your boat poorly positioned on structure; you can be right over them.

Bumping into cover with your boat

Approaching cover from the wrong side

That's five & I aint made a cast!

Multiply that for each individual ;)

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You're correct when you say that bass can't remember what they did thirty minutes ago, but I beg to differ about the affects of fishing pressure. My home lake is only 70 acres and it gets pounded on the week-ends. By Sunday afternoon, you'd swear a cold front had moved in. It seems like every fish in the lake is in a negative mood. Not knowing the reason why doesn't mean I don't take that fact into account in my attempts to catch them. 

If you ever fished a week-end tournament on a pressured lake, all you'd need to do is look at the numbers for the last day to see the effects. Fishing pressure, cold fronts, low oxygen levels, etc. all affect the mood of the fish and when two or more are combined, you can bet on it being neutral at the least. Your grandpa was a wise angler. Many times I followed a line of boats down the same weed-line or shore lined with docks and picked up fish throwing something different than the dozen or so boats in front of me.

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I have to agree with what Catt said.  Fish may not be philosophizing down there about the nuances of each presentation and their merits/ detractors but they certainly do learn.  Some bass have been alive for the better part of a decade and they did not survive by being unaware of their surroundings, dangers and environment in general.  

 

So are they down there on their fishy porches in their little fishy rocking chairs talking about the good old days?  No.  They are, however, learning and observing and aware of the most basic parameters of danger, risk and reward that your lake has.  If they weren't, they would not be there.  

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I fished Lake Bill Waller, Lake Columbia and Lake Paul B Johnson. All three less than 250 acres in the fine state of Mississippi. Those lakes received heavy fishing pressure from bassers of all stripes of ability. Bill Waller & Columbia produced/produces 10 lb. plus bass. They are stocked with Florida strain LMB. I fished Lake Bill Waller when first opened and the catch rate was excellent. After a while, could still catch them but not nearly as good. They did become educated. Time on the water.

 

The Old School Basser...

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I have to agree with what Catt said. Fish may not be philosophizing down there about the nuances of each presentation and their merits/ detractors but they certainly do learn. Some bass have been alive for the better part of a decade and they did not survive by being unaware of their surroundings, dangers and environment in general.

So are they down there on their fishy porches in their little fishy rocking chairs talking about the good old days? No. They are, however, learning and observing and aware of the most basic parameters of danger, risk and reward that your lake has. If they weren't, they would not be there.

All valid points, but how can one learn if you have a 30 min memory span...

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I guess they can be affected rather they remember or not...

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I guess they can be affected rather they remember or not...

 

 

Well you can't exactly think of "memory" in terms of what we experience.  Think of a Dog- he may not remember exactly what happened day to day, but they learn patterns and cues such as commands, sounds, times of day etc...  You have to simplify the aspects to which you're prescribing "memory" in your own mind and apply that to a relatively very primitive and simple creature.  They have no use for specific memories, so instead patterns may be imprinted and "learned from" so to speak.  They may not remember what happened, but they may learn over time that the purple worm = bad.  We honestly don't know for sure but I would say that as with any animal that has successfully adapted to their environment, experience breeds knowledge in some form or another.

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The difficulty comes from the use of the word "learn".

Anthropomorphism

Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, ot natural phenomena.

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Bass brain is about the size of a pea and sometimes humans can catch them.

It's about the angler learning how to catch the bass, the bass know how to survive and stay out of harms way.

Tom

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I only have anecdotal evidence to back this up. But I firmly believe if you fish a lure that bass haven't seen before, that adequately represents something they would eat (roughly similar color, size, smell, etc.) you stand a better chance of catching them if they've been pressured. I like to try something different every time out. Experimentation is fun and usually rewarding. I can tell you the first time I try a wacky rig almost anywhere, I'll find some fish curious enough to eat it. There's one place I fish where I consciously avoid throwing what my friend uses there because he's the only other person who fishes for bass there regularly. His fish are not educated and are much easier to catch. They also are a little overpopulated and hungry as can be. You have to experiment to find lures for the bigger fish there.

 

I don't know how long a worm's memory is, but they can learn to choose a particular path to avoid an electrical shock. If they can learn to avoid unpleasant circumstances, I'm almost certain bass can.

 

No data to back it up, but that's my opinion, FWIW.

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I would guess that the test parameters that defined "memory" were faulty. I would also guess that there is likely not a distinct correlation between "memory" and "fear". Some combination of stimuli could trigger a "fear" response without a deeper understanding why. Those stimuli eventually become part of what you would consider an instinctive response.

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This short piece references some of the work of Dr. Keith Jones ("Knowing Bass"). Add this book to your library if you don't already have it.

 

Ponder this: Do bass remember your lures?

 

http://www.outdoornews.com/February-2014/Ponder-this-Do-bass-remember-your-lures/

 

-T9

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All valid points, but how can one learn if you have a 30 min memory span...

 

BassPatrol, what the guys are saying is that after a bass is caught and released they can take different amounts to time to forget what just happened to them. This time can be 30 minutes or longer.

 

A bass can associate a noise with an unfortunate event. Uncle Homer Circle wrote about a large female retreating into her hiding place as the trolling motor approached. This behavior is associated with the trolling motor sound and the bass having a negative adventure the last few times it felt or heard the prop turning. This occurred in Florida when Uncle Homer and Glen Lau were filming their Big Bass series.

 

A bass is an inquisitive animal and it will investigate sounds. There are a few stories about people hitting objects underwater and they turn around and a school of bass are watching them. The bass are not taught to do this; they just do it normally as did Pavlov's dogs in their tests with the bells.

 

So can a bass become accustomed to one bait or technique? Maybe. But remember, a bass will feed out of 1) hunger, 2) aggression and 3) for an easy meal.  So if you encounter a bass that is hungry or being aggressive, they can hit your baits and techniques many times. Or, you can just catch one if you throw where the bass is sitting and your bait becomes an easy meal.

 

I have caught the same bass on the same lure and technique and know guys who have returned to specific spots and caught a bass that they missed a few hours earlier. It is instinct that causes the bass to react to your bait as it does.

 

Good question. But don't try to figure out those little green monsters or you will end up in the funny farm.

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If bass could indeed "learn" your lures & thereby remember to avoid those lures would it not stand to reason that after a peroid of time they would no longer hit another lure ever?

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We tend to lump bass into 1 behavioral group when in fact they behave as individuals.

Mike Lembeck's 3 year tracing study back in 1974 of 200 bass conclusively showed that bass behave as individuals.*

A few adult size bass may never be caught on lures, others are caught multiple times.

Tom

*Bill Murphy, In Pursuit of Giant Bass.

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All valid points, but how can one learn if you have a 30 min memory span...

The answer is, they don't have a "30 minute memory span".

 

They have --like all organisms-- some basic learning abilities, including habituation, reinforcement, and other kinds of adaptive conditioning. The time it takes for learning to extinguish (essentially, to "forget" -- keep in mind, concepts that apply to human memory may or may not be meaningful when applied to other species), is going to be variable depending on the strength of the learning experience (i.e., how much was a behavior reinforced or punished), how often it is repeated, and how flexible the behavior is to be modified by experience in the first place (that is, some instincts are more receptive to modification through learning, and some are more rigid). The behavior in this case may be a prey-hunting strike or a reaction strike, or possibly something else. As the article by Keith Jones linked above shows, bass can learn to avoid at least some lures after being caught a single time, and can retain some of this avoidance over weeks or months, possibly more.  But it almost certainly depends on the kind of lure, the nature and variability of the bass's usual forage, exactly how aversive (painful, stressful) it was to be caught...and also on the bass itself (individual differences in the general catchability of individual bass have also been documented).

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If bass could indeed "learn" your lures & thereby remember to avoid those lures would it not stand to reason that after a peroid of time they would no longer hit another lure ever?

 

Finally, clear scientific justification for buying new lures!

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Behavioral Modification is not learning!

If bass indeed were capable of learning as Mr Jones proclaims for weeks, months, or possible longer, then in small bodies of water with heavy fishing pressure the bass would cease to hit anything because they would have learned every lure.

A spinner bait is a spinner bait to a bass; they can not distinguish a Stanley from a Strike King from a Booyah! Once they learned one name brand of spinner bait they would know them all!

And yes I have a degree in the Philosophy of Science!

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Bass Resource: http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/angling.html

 

" Are largemouth bass "smart?" Well, that probably depends on who you talk to and what they are doing. So, we won't try to unload that loaded question. However, we do believe that largemouth bass can learn from past experiences."

 

The Old School Bassser...

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I'm not so sure they see every spinner bait the same - if I read it correctly they have a quick "blink" time or something like that - they see the actual blade where we see a blur - I've had them quit willow leafs but nail a colorado blade - - anecdotal at best but that's been my experience.

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If bass could indeed "learn" your lures & thereby remember to avoid those lures would it not stand to reason that after a peroid of time they would no longer hit another lure ever?

 

Catt, I think this happens to me all the time!!!!!!

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In order for a bass to see a lure, then decide not to hit it from memory would require deductiving reasoning, the part of the brain needed for that complex function is not present in bass.

Are y`all really listening to what y'all are claiming to believe?

Bass are capable of

Learning

Remembering

Deductive reasoning

Cognizant thought

Y'all really want to put your name next to those?

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