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ArkansasBassin

do boat motors scare off bass

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Right now on my favorite lake the bass are relating to main lake humps and points and feeding on shad and crawfish, as a normal summer bass does. Before I start fishing a point, I like to slowly (1-2 mph) drive over the point or hump, following the contour of it, and graph some fish so I can get an idea of where they are, how many, how big, and what to throw. I usually have some decent success doing this and I have caught some big ones no doubt, but I am wondering if the boat slowly going over them or the noise scares some potential giants away. By the way the lake I am fishing has a fairly large amount of pressure and a lot of boat traffic, most of it not being fishing boats. Also the average visibility is around 6-7 feet.

I would like to know what ya'll think about this

Thanks and have a good day 

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I expect that on a lake with a lot of boat traffic the bass get used to it.  Conversely, on a wilderness lake it very well may be the opposite.  On Saginaw Bay and Lake St. Clair smallmouth bass often are found (active, too) in the dredged canals that boats use for access to launches.  It is not unusual to fish these, getting out of the way of the larger boats as they use the canals, and then go back in to fish.  The fish don't seem to mind.  I have speculated that the boats may disorient baitfish making them easier prey for the bass.

 

Also, if largemouths were concerned about boats they probably wouldn't hang out under docks. In this case it seems that they get spooked by traffic, but not for long.

 

In a local largemouth lake the usual path for the wakeboat business goes through about 5 feet of water and the weeds are cut down in that path.  Like a "road" up and down the lake, with no weeds but a couple significant edges.  The edge of that path is a good spot to find largemouths, although I've not caught a big one there.

 

That being said, I think that "unusual" boat traffic would alarm them, like fast motoring in an area where it usually is not done.  But I'm not a bass.  We will have to find a bass to interview.

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No, I don't think it does. 

Matter of fact in heavy surface vegetation I've seen the bite get better when boats come by and tear it up a little. 

Bugs and other critters get dislodged and the feed is on. 

 

I've had boater's purposely do donuts, back off a little while then come back and we'd tear em up. 

 The bite doesn't last long and doesn't happen all the time, but sometimes it helps. 

 

 

 

 

Mike

 

 

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Bass tend to get conditioned to boat traffic, it can do nothing to the actively level or shut down or in some circumstances turn a bite on depending on what the bass are feeding on.

You may remember Jay Yelas several years ago fishing a B.A.S.S. classic that he won. Some locals ran right passed him continued on a plane along the bank Jay was fishing, he simply made a cast into the boats wake next to the bank and caught his 6 lb kicker bass that won the tournament for him.

I have watched big bass swim away from a point I was quietly fishing whenever a boat would run passed that point several hundreds yard away, spooked by the vibrations their lateral line picked up before I could hear the boat coming. There isn't a simple answer, trail and error. I usually don't meter an area until after I plan to leave and sometime there are bass right where I was fishing without a strike. When that happens I return an hour or so later and try it agian when those bass become more active.

Tom

 

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Al Lindner doesn't think so. He was commenting this on a show that was on not too long ago. Guys who troll, drag baits "in the prop wash", just 6 feet or so behind the boat. This is a very effective tactic that we used in Canada on remote lakes that seldom see much boat traffic.

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58 minutes ago, MickD said:

I expect that on a lake with a lot of boat traffic the bass get used to it.  Conversely, on a wilderness lake it very well may be the opposite.  On Saginaw Bay and Lake St. Clair smallmouth bass often are found (active, too) in the dredged canals that boats use for access to launches.  It is not unusual to fish these, getting out of the way of the larger boats as they use the canals, and then go back in to fish.  The fish don't seem to mind.  I have speculated that the boats may disorient baitfish making them easier prey for the bass.

 

Also, if largemouths were concerned about boats they probably wouldn't hang out under docks. In this case it seems that they get spooked by traffic, but not for long.

 

In a local largemouth lake the usual path for the wakeboat business goes through about 5 feet of water and the weeds are cut down in that path.  Like a "road" up and down the lake, with no weeds but a couple significant edges.  The edge of that path is a good spot to find largemouths, although I've not caught a big one there.

 

That being said, I think that "unusual" boat traffic would alarm them, like fast motoring in an area where it usually is not done.  But I'm not a bass.  We will have to find a bass to interview.

That's pretty much what I was thinking but I was looking for some outside perspective, thanks

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One theory is the boat noise stirs up the bait fish which turns on the bass.

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I'm not sure on this one, it seems to really vary. On most lakes, I rarely get bites during the time that a boat wake is influencing the area I'm fishing. However, on Smith Mountain Lake in May, my partner and I were crushing them in a tournament while house boats were nearly tossing us out of the boat with their wakes.

 

On Lay Lake in Alabama, on the last day of the college event I fished, I had motor problems and had to leave it idling for the last 30 minutes of fishing. The rules do allow you to keep fishing if the boat is idling, and that is what I was doing when I made my final cull pitching a jig fairly close to the boat!

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On Toledo Bend several of my most productive structures are either directly in a boat lane or within easy casting distance of one. Two of these has produced double digit bass & has won me lots of money.

 

Now with that said all far more productive during midweek when traffic is lighter!

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If I recall, in one of the Lau videos about bass our big motors do not bother the bass.

 

Trolling motors bother the bass with the large ones taking cover when they hear a trolling motor.

 

Now if there is no wind; the surface water is totally calm; you may want to sneak up on a spot very slowly and quietly so you won't spook the bass holding in the area.

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For what it's worth, years ago I had a Bass Tracker Bantam with a two-horse kicker and a small electric motor. I can't say the motor noise from either had a noticeable effect on my fishing. What, to me, seemed to really affect fishing were sharp noises like dropping something or banging a rod against the boat. And just to wander a little farther from topic, I have noticed that paddle noise while positioning a kayak is not as disruptive as putting the paddle back in the paddle holder. (This from personal observation while fishing lily pads.) My personal experiences lead me to believe that steady or constant noise is less disturbing than sudden, unexpected noise. (I have a good paddle tether and often just let my paddle float while fishing close to target structure or cover.) I apologize if this got off-topic, but noise is noise regardless of the type of boat.

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