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Fishing Pressure Recovery

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The lake I live near has received a lot of fishing pressure over the holidays and I noticed the bite has really slowed down. How long can I expect to wait for the fish to start hitting again?

Thanks!

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How do you know they aren't biting because of "fishing pressure?"

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Typically the lake gets fished a bit on weekends but over the holidays it was daily by multiple anglers for about 10 days strait. I we saw a reduction in the typical action over that period.

BTW already seems to be bouncing back, plus maybe the cold weather, my son released several today including a 4 pounder.

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There are so many variables, it's hard to know. I bank fish a lot of small local ponds, and on a few of them I might be the first angler they ever see. Sometimes a brand new spot can be crazy hot. But after a couple of trips to a small active spot it may not be the same again for months or perhaps years, even with baits I haven't before thrown into that particular area.  And I release all the fish. I am fairly sure I single handedly pressure some ponds, and I try to stay away from small productive areas as long as I can stand it, and try to rotate all small waters that I fish. Also, I think the mark of a truly talented angler is the ability to pull good fish out of a pressured lake.

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I agree with what  @Hawgenvy  wrote in regards to fishing highly pressured small bodies of water.One of the highly pressured lakes I fish is a public lake and I barely fish it since  it gets to crowded for my taste.It's also one of the spots I got a +10 pounder from land. 

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I have heard or read somewhere bass have a memory span of about 15 minutes. I think it was in a Glenn Lau video.

So wait 20 minutes and all should be well! ;)

 

On a more real note, it might be dropping temps.. along with increase in barometric pressure sends them deep and they get real finicky.

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According to this linked "fish science" article, some bass can remember an inedible lure for at least three months. I imagine that when a bass experiences a dramatic hookset and is then dragged through the water to the point of exhaustion by a hook buried in that lure, such memory might become indelibly reinforced -- at least in the sharper minded members of the species. In another article, on the other hand, it was reported that a (probably) less well mentally endowed (and ID tagged) individual was caught 27 times in a particular lake in a single season. That's what you call a dumbbass.

http://www.***/apps/forums/topics/show/3246698-bass-biology-memory-spans-of-largemouth-

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I know Golf Course bass are very dumb so I can believe how a single bass can be caught 27 times in a day there.You will be lucky to catch the same bass twice in a highly pressured lake,especially a big bass.

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I am under the impression that bass are neither smart or dumb.  In fact I am not sure that they are capable of thinking or reasoning at all.  I tend to lean towards the theory that everything they do is genetically programed in them and they are totally reactionary.

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Big bass get that way for a very good reason. If bass were as dumb as some people portray them to be, then all of us would have 10lbrs for PB's on our profiles. I respect big bass because they are the 1%'s of their species. Read what a bass has to endure to reach big bass status and you will probably think differently about them.  I know I did. 

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I don't think it is a matter of intelligence. It is all instinct.

The bass sees a bait with a hook, he eats it, gets pulled out of the water. A week later does the same thing, and maybe a third time, maybe it takes a fish 15 times, who knows. I think eventually that bass instinctively correlates your line, hook, and maybe the bait. Says hmmm, I've seen this trick before a few times and goes on it's merry way.

The fishing pressure also depends on how many of those people are practicing catch and release and who isn't. There are only so many fish in that lake. You take 10, 15, 20 out per day and that is 10,15, 20 fish that could have gone for your fake lure. Extend that out 10 days straight, that is a significant number of fish. This is all theoretical of course but still makes some sense at least to me lol.

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You could go with the opposite expected result there, if you assume that the fish you DIDN'T remove never saw a bait.  You're expected result is based on the assumption that the fish not removed refused the bait.  Just another idea about this. 

Personally, unless it's a pretty small body of water, fishing pressure has a small effect.  I fish Conesus quite a bit, and there's pretty much at least one (several on the weekend) tournament a day there, plus tons of recreational anglers.  The fish are big, and usually bite pretty well.  The challenge isn't finding "unpressured" fish, it's finding the biters.

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True you could look at it that way. I guess I am thinking the lakes in my area are small. So I could see how fishing pressure could affect them. Not sure about BareHook's lake.

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12 hours ago, BassinLou said:

Big bass get that way for a very good reason. If bass were as dumb as some people portray them to be, then all of us would have 10lbrs for PB's on our profiles. I respect big bass because they are the 1%'s of their species. Read what a bass has to endure to reach big bass status and you will probably think differently about them.  I know I did. 

I agree 100% with you! I love bass fishing and few things get me as happy as catching another Double Digit Bass.I do other forms of fishing and I still rather get a Trophy Bass over a Trophy Grouper, even over a Trophy Snook!

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On 1/8/2016 at 8:22 PM, Molay1292 said:

I am under the impression that bass are neither smart or dumb.  In fact I am not sure that they are capable of thinking or reasoning at all.  I tend to lean towards the theory that everything they do is genetically programed in them and they are totally reactionary.

Though they surely can't "reason," bass are, without question, able to learn. Even microscopic animals, way more primitive than fish, can learn to avoid certain noxious stimuli. The ability to learn is itself instinctual.

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31 minutes ago, hawgenvy said:

Though they surely can't "reason," bass are, without question, able to learn. Even microscopic animals, way more primitive than fish, can learn to avoid certain noxious stimuli. The ability to learn is itself instinctual.

I would argue that what you are talking about falls into the category of conditioned response rather than learning.

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5 minutes ago, Molay1292 said:

I would argue that what you are talking about falls into the category of conditioned response rather than learning.

Yes, I mean conditioning, which is learning in it's simplest form, also called "associative learning." 

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On January 7, 2016 at 9:42 PM, FloridaFishinFool said:

I have heard or read somewhere bass have a memory span of about 15 minutes. I think it was in a Glenn Lau video.

So wait 20 minutes and all should be well! ;)

 

On a more real note, it might be dropping temps.. along with increase in barometric pressure sends them deep and they get real finicky.

Yeah once it got colder 90% of the LMB I've caught have been deep, they seem to only go for the slow moving, slow twitching only. While a bit more work, they definitely have been fighting harder as well, and are mostly bigger than the average in my lake.

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Also, some of the fish are just more aggressive than others, or more likely to hit artificial lures. 

Every time someone removes one of these "biters", which are obviously the most likely ones for people to catch anyway, the pond tends to get a little tougher to fish because the fish that are left and their offspring will tend to be of the less aggressive variety. 

This was proven in a study conducted on multiple closed (controlled access) ponds. I've seen the study referenced in books, and also here before but I can't recall where or by whom it was conducted. 

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4 hours ago, MFBAB said:

Also, some of the fish are just more aggressive than others, or more likely to hit artificial lures. 

Every time someone removes one of these "biters", which are obviously the most likely ones for people to catch anyway, the pond tends to get a little tougher to fish because the fish that are left and their offspring will tend to be of the less aggressive variety. 

This was proven in a study conducted on multiple closed (controlled access) ponds. I've seen the study referenced in books, and also here before but I can't recall where or by whom it was conducted. 

    I have read similar studies as well which say certain bass seem to be less likely to bite a lure compared to others in the same body of water. These non-biters may or may not have been caught before and seem to be more intelligent than the biters.This is one good reason why we should release all large bass,we don't want to remove the ones that are  more willing to bite which can reproduce and make more biters.

   Other  studies say that Florida Largemouth Bass are harder to catch than Northern Largemouth Bass.There is an article that says how a pond owner in the south was complaining that his pond has very little bass in it yet it was filled with trophy bass when the lake was professionally checked.This was a shock to the pond owner to say the least,but frustrating to him as well since it was difficult for him to catch bass in his own private pond.

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I found this article in (of all places) the BassResource.com article section :) It references a similar study to the one I mentioned above. 

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

An Excerpt from the article:

Largemouth Bass Catchability

Researchers at the Illinois Natural History Survey completed an interesting study on this topic. First, let's look at their study design. They used three ponds, all about 0.2 acres in size. All ponds were stocked with the same number (420/acre) and the same sizes (9-13 inches) of largemouth bass. After bass were stocked, anxious samplers waited 2 weeks before fishing began. They varied amounts of fishing pressure at each pond (low, moderate, and high). All fishing was catch and release. At the end of the 3-month study, only two bass had died. One was lost in the low-pressure pond, and one in the high-pressure pond.
   

Fish catch ratios

Figure 3. Largemouth bass caught per hour of angling related to total hours fished in three small Illinois ponds. Each pond contained 75 bass per acre and each was fished 23 times over 49 days.

In the low-pressure pond, fishing amounted to 170 hours/acre, and anglers caught 3.0 bass per hour. In the moderate-pressure pond, anglers fished 340 hours/acre, and caught 1.2 bass per hour. In the high-pressure pond, angling was 680 hours/acre of water, and they only caught 0.4 bass per hour. The more experienced bass in the higher pressure ponds certainly learned, and were less likely to bite.
    In the second part of the same study, researchers stocked each of three small ponds with 75 bass per acre. During the next 49 days, each pond received 23 sessions of catch and release fishing. Each session. Pond A was fished for 0.8 hour. Pond B for 1.6 hours, and Pond C for 3.3 hours. Figure 3 shows what happened. As fishing pressure increased, fish became harder to catch. Near the end of the study, no bass could be caught in Pond B or Pond C. The best bass fishing occurred and catch rates of bass persisted throughout the study period in Pond A. which had the shortest fishing sessions (0.8hr/ac). Bass seemed to learn more from the length of fishing sessions rather than the number of times the pond was fished. Again the more experienced the bass became, the harder they were to catch.

 

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