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runt4561

Big bass are smarter?

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I am going to vent here for a little bit. I have seen something in print over and over for most of my life and continues to be quoted by numerous fishing professionals. "Big bass are smarter". hhhhmmmm. I don't think you can take an animal that has a brain the size of a quarter and say that animal is smarter than another animal with the same size brain.

 

I do believe that big fish get big because they are skittish or wary. same can be said for big bucks as it relates to deer hunting. I think a big fish gets big because, the first moment he senses a boat or anything out of the ordinary in his underwater world, he or she gets nervous, skittish or wary. if he sees a bait and it just doesn't quite look like what he is used to eating, he passes. I think that some fish may avoid artificial baits just because they might have higher standards to eat something. maybe the scent isn't quite right or color or action. so, if a fish avoids artificial baits and is also skittish to the point that anytime anything gets near him other than another bass, he seeks shelter. this fish will have more opportunity to get big. we see this with different animals. take dogs for instance.... everyone has seen a dog that wont come near anyone and is very skittish. sometimes dogs from the same litter with the same amount of human contact, just don't want to be near humans. I think those same traits carry over into bass as well.

 

I know this rant seems pointless and as I think about it maybe it is. but I also know a lot of beginners come here to soak up information and there is a lot of information in this forum. I just want the right information out there. I have been led astray many times by people that claim they know about "x,y or z" only to find out that I got bad information or incomplete information. point is, one fish is not smarter than another. I think some of these pros get in the habit of repeating what they have heard all of their lives without giving it much thought.

 

now, I would imagine this has sparked many haters and other keyboard cowboys to start typing their opinions and that is fine. afterall this is my opinion. And I will respect your opinion even if you don't respect mine.

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I don't necessarily think that bigger means smarter.. but without a doubt some bass are smarter than others. 

 

I've had black labs my whole life... And although they were all intelligent and loved the water, I wouldn't say they were all perfectly equal when it came to brain power. (Even though they were the same breed ) 

 

It's borderline ignorant to think that all bass are exactly alike in intelligence... Sure we've dissected them and know their brains are not very big... This does not conclude that they are all exactly the same " IQ" . 

 

But I don't think bigger means smarter... Bigger means better fed and older (in the north) 

 

Could being a smarter than average bass lead to getting bigger ? Without a doubt!!! But the sharelunker programs have shown the same hogs getting caught several times in one season... So. What does that mean ? 

 

 

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I tend to think that an animal that learns to become weary around boats would be considered smarter (or more mature) than those that aren't. Same line of thinking for the picky eaters. It's a learned behavior, which would imply one being "smarter" than another. 

But, even smart people can be tricked.

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Lower life forms like fish don't use the brains for reasoning it's beyond thier capability. Bass grow older by avioding being eaten by other predators until they are adults. The bass that don't survive made critical errors that resulted in death or severe harm and by doing so their instincts for survival don't develop.. Some bass are very aggressive, others are cautious and a few very wary. The most aggressive tend get caught by anglers using artificial lures or killed by other predators, if they survive they also tend to be larger size because they out compete other fish for food and develop survival instincts. The cautious bass make up the majority of the population because they tend to survive longer. The most wary rarely case down faster moving prey or get caught by anglers using artificial lures but also don't grow large size because they are get out competed by other bass and other predators seeking the same food source. Life for wild animals isn't easy, they starve if they can't learn to catch prey, they get wounded avioding capture by other predators, desease is always a factor, just living for a few years to develop the skills needed to survive and become adults. As adults they must continue a life as a predator and compete for food and procreate the species passing on their gene traits, the weak don't get to be adults. It's all about survival skills not intellect.

Tom

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Bass function essentially thru congenital instinct,

and the older the bass, the more conditioned its behavioral response.

Problem is, conditioned behavior is easily mistaken for intelligence.

 

Like the old adage: "Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble, if it never opened its mouth"   :)

 

Roger

 

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The biggest bass ever caught was lake Dixon's Dottie at 25 lbs 1 ozs 

 

She was caught & released several times over her 15-17 yr life!

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6 minutes ago, Catt said:

The biggest bass ever caught was lake Dixon's Dottie at 25 lbs 1 ozs 

 

She was caught & released several times over her 15-17 yr life!

Dottie was caught at least 3 times as a giant bass over 18 lbs, who knows how many times during her life time. She was caught 3 times and weighed, each was off a bed. No tracking device to record where she lived for 11 months of the year, my guess in the safe closed to fishing area near the dam where the trout live.

Tom

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Big bass are smarter ~ I don't believe that.

I believe the following about 'Big Bass'.

 

First if we are talking about trophy fish, there are less of them percentage wise.

Also not every body of water can or will produce them - ever.

They are generally not located where (and when) the average angler finds most of their bass.

  Meaning except for the spawn, they are often positioned a little deeper.  In locations / depths that some anglers may not be comfortable fishing or perhaps are a little less effective presenting a bait - meaning not on the bank, or anywhere near any visible structure or cover.

 

That said, I believe that instead of special big fish baits, or presentations or special tactics; what one needs to do to catch a Big Bass is first fish a body of water that produces them.  Then use a proven bait with the correct gear, make an effective presentation, at the right place and at the right time.  Simple right ?  No, everyone knows that nothing's guaranteed.  But if you put the odds in your favor enough times, you might get lucky and that's about all you can do.

A-Jay

 

 

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3 minutes ago, WRB said:

Dottie was caught at least 3 times as a giant bass over 18 lbs, who knows how many times during her life time. She was caught 3 times and weighed, each was off a bed. No tracking device to record where she lived for 11 months of the year, my guess in the safe closed to fishing area near the dam where the trout live.

Tom

 

Don't sound to smart to me ;)

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I agree with yeajray.  Bigger bass or bigger fish are not necessarily smarter but they have maybe become more wary simply because they are usually older.  The same concept applies to bucks when deer hunting and even toms when turkey hunting.  Their experiences over their lives have taught them to learn from their mistakes.  Not only that, but there just aren't as many big ones out there because every habitat has a carrying capacity.

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I've caught the same 10+ lber 4 times the same week in almost the same spot. That on it's own should be a record.

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27 minutes ago, Raul said:

I've caught the same 10+ lber 4 times the same week in almost the same spot. That on it's own should be a record.

We now know you are smarter then that bass!

Tom

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Not a pointless rant at all! I love these types of posts. I can only add one word to the discussion of the biggest bass in the lake: specialized. It seems like the big ones have figured out something different, and that's what has provided them with success. It's also frustrating for us, trying to figure them out. 

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Catching the biggest bass or the top 1% in any body of water can be 1 lucky cast or a lifetime studying these rare bass and targeting them...it takes dedication to catch consistently. If I can catch them anyone can if they are willing to put in the time on the water to learn where these big bass live and lots of fishless hours catching nothing.

Tom

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I do not believe that there is a correlation between a fish's size and it's "intelligence" or that larger fish are any more difficult to catch. There are however behavioral differences that occur at different stages of a fish's development. "I catch more small fish than large fish" is not statistical data, or even logical anecdotal evidence that larger fish are "smarter".

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2 hours ago, Catt said:

The biggest bass ever caught was lake Dixon's Dottie at 25 lbs 1 ozs 

 

She was caught & released several times over her 15-17 yr life!

I attest this to, being the female of the species, she wouldn't keep her mouth shut

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smart is, as smart does

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They can be dumb around me. It's OK because I'll put them back. :) 

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I wouldn't say smarter, just wiser. I don't think they are capable of thinking anything a little dink can't but they have seen countless lures, and have basically mastered their habitat at that point. I think one of the reasons they are harder to catch (besides being less common) is they are very efficient based on their experience. They know what meals are worth it and which aren't. 

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15 minutes ago, MassYak85 said:

 ...(besides being less common)...

 

And there you go. 

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Maybe it has to do with, percentage wise, not many bass become "big". Big, being relative to their local ecosystem. Maybe the big fish are just fortunate. Maybe some are fortunate they have never seen an artificial lure. Maybe some are fortunate they have good genes. Maybe some are fortunate they didn't become prey themselves. Maybe some are fortunate they have an ample food supply. Maybe the rest are just unfortunate they don't have what the big fish have. Maybe it's a stupid theory.

 

Maybe it has to do with maturity. Dare I say the youth of every species makes poor decisions based on being ignorant and/or naive. Most grow out of it. To touch on something WRB said, fish are unable to reason but, aren't most if not all animals? Do animals need the abilty to reason when their instinct tell them all they need is to survive and procreate? Maybe buried in the instinct to survive is the ability to be trained. (I use the word "trained" because I think the word "learn" implies reason.) We already know fish habitually respond to positive natural external stimuli such as light, sound, vibration, temperature, pressure, current, and opportunity. Surely they can be trained in the negative.....

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Big bass get dumber on cloudy days .

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A big bass is the one who becomes the dominate fish in a very nutrient rich area. By nutrient I mean it has a great source of structure, cover, deep water, shallow water, and food source with relatively low fishing pressure. 

 

To sum - it's both a bad ass and smart..... 

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Bass don't think they react, the biggest bass are the bass that eat the most. I read these forums and it's full of fisherman over thinking and over complicating bass fishing. Each tread like this has a core of very good anglers trying to steer Anglers away from this line of thought, it never ceases two amaze me how many people do not take this subtle common sense information to Heart. 

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