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jbmaine

How do you break down all the science?

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I've been reading / watching all the info I can on bass fishing this winter and I find it somewhat overwhelming. It seems like we are inundated with " science " on fishing. Fish patterns/ weather patterns/ water conditions/ specific reasons to use this or that line, lure, rod, reel , etc.. To use all of this info we need to be a combination of physicist, mechanical engineer , meteorologist , marine biologist, electronics expert, and so on. 

 Don't get me wrong, I am glad all this info. is out there, and I love learning more about the "science" of fishing, but for me it gets overwhelming and my brain screams overload.

 I have always fished on instinct, my gut, call it what you will. If a place looks " fishy " I'll stop and fish it. If I catch fish I'll find more similar places and fish them. If my sonar shows arches I figure they are fish and try to catch them. If a lure works I'll keep using it. If my rod will cast a lure 50" I don't know or care if a different rod will cast it 10 more feet.

 It seems fish need to eat, feel safe and comfortable doing it ,and some times need to breed.

So I guess what I am wondering is.

 Is there a simple way to break down all this " science" and knowledge to make it easier for a "dummy" like me to use it?

 For example, our first trip out this spring I'll look for sunny shallow water and see if there are any LM warming up on them. I'll look for rock piles, humps, drop offs etc. for SM. If I catch fish great. If not, then I'm stumped. With all the things I've read/ watched, I'm not processing what to do next. 

 Is there a simple way to relate all this info/ knowledge to every day fishing?

                                                        Thanks

                                                                 Jim

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When I used to teach adjunct at Villanova and the University of Richmond, I was told by some wise old deans of the business schools that any student who breezes through a test will not do as well as a student that has a difficult time with the test.

 

Why?

 

Because the student who is having difficulty has learned a lot of data and is having a hard time deciding how to answer the question.  The student that breezes through the test fast has less knowledge and understanding and is just answering the questions with a gut feeling and not from a strong positon of knowledge.

 

So it is OK to hit the water and get confused. It is part of bass fishing. Happens to us all.

 

And what adds to your challenge is the fact that the "pattern for getting bites" can change by the hour or the day. So what works now may not work in an hour or two or when you return back to the same places in the future.

 

Your job is to read, read and read and watch, watch and watch and then fish, fish, fish, using what you know and understand.

 

Sooner or later you will have "confidence" in your rods, reels, lines, weights and baits that will produce strikes. At that time, you will continue to expand your understanding of the physics and mental challenges of bass fishing.

 

Have fun! :D 

 

 

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Yes.....there are many things to read and lures to apply to these reads.  The biggest of all is "Time on the water".  Sounds like your going to start off right...enjoy your time.  If your not getting bit and don't see anything on the graph......move

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31 minutes ago, jbmaine said:

I've been reading / watching all the info I can on bass fishing this winter and I find it somewhat overwhelming. It seems like we are inundated with " science " on fishing. Fish patterns/ weather patterns/ water conditions/ specific reasons to use this or that line, lure, rod, reel , etc.. To use all of this info we need to be a combination of physicist, mechanical engineer , meteorologist , marine biologist, electronics expert, and so on. 

 Don't get me wrong, I am glad all this info. is out there, and I love learning more about the "science" of fishing, but for me it gets overwhelming and my brain screams overload.

 I have always fished on instinct, my gut, call it what you will. If a place looks " fishy " I'll stop and fish it. If I catch fish I'll find more similar places and fish them. If my sonar shows arches I figure they are fish and try to catch them. If a lure works I'll keep using it. If my rod will cast a lure 50" I don't know or care if a different rod will cast it 10 more feet.

 It seems fish need to eat, feel safe and comfortable doing it ,and some times need to breed.

So I guess what I am wondering is.

 Is there a simple way to break down all this " science" and knowledge to make it easier for a "dummy" like me to use it?

 For example, our first trip out this spring I'll look for sunny shallow water and see if there are any LM warming up on them. I'll look for rock piles, humps, drop offs etc. for SM. If I catch fish great. If not, then I'm stumped. With all the things I've read/ watched, I'm not processing what to do next. 

 Is there a simple way to relate all this info/ knowledge to every day fishing?

                                                        Thanks

                                                                 Jim

Sounds like you are already doing a good job of utilizing information and data. I will say this, and it applies to pretty much everything we do, not just fishing. Do it the way it makes sense to YOU. I know very good and successful anglers who stress every detail, maintain multiple spreadsheets, consult all kinds of tech aides as well as equally good and successful anglers who just grab a rod and go fishing. It has to to with the psychology, human nature (and game theory, causality, and probability). But ultimately, you need to find the balance. Also keep in mind that in practice, every body of water fishes differently, so all that information can be pared down considerably. Of course that requires the most important factor to becoming a good angler, time on the water.

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43 minutes ago, jbmaine said:

I've been reading / watching all the info I can on bass fishing this winter and I find it somewhat overwhelming. It seems like we are inundated with " science " on fishing. Fish patterns/ weather patterns/ water conditions/ specific reasons to use this or that line, lure, rod, reel , etc.. To use all of this info we need to be a combination of physicist, mechanical engineer , meteorologist , marine biologist, electronics expert, and so on. 

 Don't get me wrong, I am glad all this info. is out there, and I love learning more about the "science" of fishing, but for me it gets overwhelming and my brain screams overload.

 I have always fished on instinct, my gut, call it what you will. If a place looks " fishy " I'll stop and fish it. If I catch fish I'll find more similar places and fish them. If my sonar shows arches I figure they are fish and try to catch them. If a lure works I'll keep using it. If my rod will cast a lure 50" I don't know or care if a different rod will cast it 10 more feet.

 It seems fish need to eat, feel safe and comfortable doing it ,and some times need to breed.

So I guess what I am wondering is.

 Is there a simple way to break down all this " science" and knowledge to make it easier for a "dummy" like me to use it?

 For example, our first trip out this spring I'll look for sunny shallow water and see if there are any LM warming up on them. I'll look for rock piles, humps, drop offs etc. for SM. If I catch fish great. If not, then I'm stumped. With all the things I've read/ watched, I'm not processing what to do next. 

 Is there a simple way to relate all this info/ knowledge to every day fishing?

                                                        Thanks

                                                                 Jim

 @jbmaine Jim - I agree with you.

"All the science" & "Looks Fishy" may very well be the same thing. 

The only thing I could suggest regarding your first trip out - perhaps consider the 'north end' of the lake and especially in the spring - don't discount the attraction of submerged wood. (warms up nicely & hold heat) 

That may not be 'science' but it has routinely led to net use for me - early & often.

Good Luck

:smiley:

A-Jay 

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3 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

To use all of this info we need to be a combination of physicist, mechanical engineer , meteorologist , marine biologist, electronics expert, and so on. 

You just have to put time on the water . Before we ever get to a body of water  we already  know the season and weather patterns . When we arrive , we get  a general impression  of the water without putting much thought into it . Then simply , try to make good decisions . I "usually" fish in only 4 different ways and might do them all on the same day . 

 

Junk fishing 

Pattern fishing  

Structure fishing

Contour fishing , where I am targeting a depth and following that contour .

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

@scaleface

Hey ~ I didn't say that ??????????

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I know what you mean, Jim. Some of us are diligent

note takers, journal-keepers, and so forth. Sometimes

I wish I was one of those, but I'm not. Probably why

I never went in to the sciences - even though I enjoy

reading and absorbing much of their stuff...

 

So my gut usually leads me on a given day. Known

places that produce, etc. Like @A-Jay said, they both

may be one and the same.... At least I like to think of

it that way, LOL. :) I fish with science, I just don't know

it!

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3 hours ago, jbmaine said:

I've been reading / watching all the info I can on bass fishing this winter and I find it somewhat overwhelming. It seems like we are inundated with " science " on fishing. Fish patterns/ weather patterns/ water conditions/ specific reasons to use this or that line, lure, rod, reel , etc.. To use all of this info we need to be a combination of physicist, mechanical engineer , meteorologist , marine biologist, electronics expert, and so on. 

 Don't get me wrong, I am glad all this info. is out there, and I love learning more about the "science" of fishing, but for me it gets overwhelming and my brain screams overload.

 I have always fished on instinct, my gut, call it what you will. If a place looks " fishy " I'll stop and fish it. If I catch fish I'll find more similar places and fish them. If my sonar shows arches I figure they are fish and try to catch them. If a lure works I'll keep using it. If my rod will cast a lure 50" I don't know or care if a different rod will cast it 10 more feet.

 It seems fish need to eat, feel safe and comfortable doing it ,and some times need to breed.

So I guess what I am wondering is.

 Is there a simple way to break down all this " science" and knowledge to make it easier for a "dummy" like me to use it?

 For example, our first trip out this spring I'll look for sunny shallow water and see if there are any LM warming up on them. I'll look for rock piles, humps, drop offs etc. for SM. If I catch fish great. If not, then I'm stumped. With all the things I've read/ watched, I'm not processing what to do next. 

 Is there a simple way to relate all this info/ knowledge to every day fishing?

                                                        Thanks

                                                                 Jim

I am glad you use quotations marks around the word science. There's actually only a very small portion of the information related to bass fishing that truly qualifies as science. Most claims about bass fishing lack the appropriate controls to be science and turn out to be a testament toward what someone else did or what worked with their gut instinct and the fact is that statistically, how someone caught fish on a certain day was determined to a high degree by chance. Because of this, even knowing all of the published information doesn't do much toward increasing your odds of catching a fish. In other words most "science" about bass fishing are simply the conclusions someone has drawn about a series of events and may or may not be the what is true. Science is the method/application, not the answer. Good science promotes/perpetuates itself. In other words, truths about bass fishing are reproducible and quickly disseminate. Such as things you have already mentioned such as fish relating to structure and cover.

 

The most "scientific" approach you can take toward fishing is to keep a log and try to reproduce what you have done before given the conditions.

 

As far as gear is concerned there is a lot of good science. It is extremely reproducible that you can cast further and get a crankbait down further on lighter line, if that is the only variable. Whether or not that actually improves the odds to catch a fish, on the other hand, is an entirely different question.

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Thanks for the replies,

I use the term "science " loosely " for lack of a better word. I guess I got thinking about this from a conversation with a local member. He was asking for advise on a body of water we both fish. I had a hard time giving good advise because I could say " I was here and I caught fish using XXXX. But I couldn't say the fish will still be there tomorrow unless these things change, because I don't know how  to relate/ process the changes or what they all are.

 Maybe simple is all I need.

I have a lot of time on the water and experience, but my mind just says, LM like shallow water and weeds/ lilly pads. If I don't catch them there, move deeper. Look for blowdowns things like that. If I catch one in the shade I'll keep fishing shade, things like that.

 My idea for SM is they like rocks. I'll try rock piles, gravel bottoms, drop offs, that type of thing.

 It's when I'm not finding fish that I wonder "if only I could process better the variables of what changed, I would spend less time hunting for the fish and more time fishing for them. It's when I try to process all the possible changes, and what they mean as to where the fish are, I stall out.

                                                Jim

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Jim, don't feel like you are the only one to wonder about all the "rules of thumb," science, and advice unsupported by evidence that we receive as anglers.  It is a lot to sort through at the beginning.  Eventually, due to your love of the game you will sort it out and find what works for you.  As some have stated above, but in other words, there are the following:

  1. Real science.
  2. Rules of thumb that may apply more often than not due to that science.
  3. And also pure fishing conjecture based on that science.  

Avoid number 3, and don't forget that number 2 only applies some of the time.  Take the real science, apply it on the water, and as you spend time on the water you will work out some things that work for you. I know that is a very general statement but it is why so many mention "time on the water" because there is an art to learning to apply the science so that it becomes second nature . . . . almost instinctual, and that art is developed only by time on the water.

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3 hours ago, jbmaine said:

 Is there a simple way to relate all this info/ knowledge to every day fishing?

                                                        Thanks

                                                                 Jim

Good stuff. Hopefullly, the head and the gut should be working together. So, don't ignore either.

 

First, enjoying your fishing time is primary, of course. If you enjoy the "science", great. My advice would be not to expect to kill it -'cause you can't. You can't know it all. It's a process, and there really is no end to that process. Problem is, we are not talking simple machines in a simple environment here. We're talking deeply complex "machines" in enormously complex environments.

 

For me, I've spent my life -with varying degrees of success- essentially trying to figure Nature out, and aquatic systems esp. Still working on it. Don't expect to be done anytime soon. :) That said, I feel like there are some pretty core pieces that explain a lot. Then there's being able to relate what I . That's where I'm at with it.

 

I can say that I'm a lot less clueless for all that effort than I used to be, and able to be a lot more philosophical about the rough spots. Maybe this latter is the wisdom beneath the "knowing".

 

If you enjoy learning -more than knowing- you are in the right space.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, scaleface said:

You just have to put time on the water . Before we ever get to a body of water  we already  know the season and weather patterns . When we arrive , we get  a general impression  of the water without putting much thought into it . Then simply , try to make good decisions . I "usually" fish in only 4 different ways and might do them all on the same day . 

 

Junk fishing 

Pattern fishing  

Structure fishing

Contour fishing , where I am targeting a depth and following that contour .

One of my best patterns (I'm not admitting there is such a thing) is to junk fish structure along a contour...^_^

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the more i fish the more it confirms my belief that fishing is not an exact science and i hope that we never fully figure them out. i love the mystery and have always embraced the “sporting aspect” of catching bass. man vs fish. the quest is my addiction.

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2 hours ago, lo n slo said:

the more i fish the more it confirms my belief that fishing is not an exact science and i hope that we never fully figure them out. i love the mystery and have always embraced the “sporting aspect” of catching bass. man vs fish. the quest is my addiction.

I agree, all the science behind infers that the way fish think don't really change. Some days, they just aren't predictable, not acting "normally", are in places or not in places that we don't expect them to be, or just simply not active or not feeding. I've seen large bass get caught off the bank of a lake with no shelter, nothing but a sandy bottom, in 100* weather in full sunlight. Didn't make a lot of sense but there it was. There are certainly some indications and patterns we can follow, and a lot of rules of thumbs but sometimes nature just doesn't do what we expect. And those kind of days are the ones I've been having lately. :P

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As I get more experienced I can answer the question, "Does that look "bassy"? more accurately.  THAT is time on the water.

 

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12 hours ago, jbmaine said:

 

 Is there a simple way to break down all this " science" and knowledge to make it easier for a "dummy" like me to use it?

 

 

Sure. Turn on the fishfinder and look around for fish. When you find them, note their depth(s).

Next, find some structure with breaklines (and/ or breaks) at said depth(s).

Fish those breaklines with baits that can reach those depths, and try out different speeds.

If you do catch fish, great. Either finetune it, or fish breaklines/ breaks at the same depth(s) on other structures.

If you do not catch fish, troll (as in trolling motor, not troll a bait although you can do that too) around and see if you can find suspended bass. They might just be inactive at that time, and you can try other structures and hopefully find active bass there.

Luckily, not all bass are inactive at the same time. More luckily, only 10% of the water holds 90% of the fish (or something like that). So you needn't flail away here there and everywhere trying to find active bass.

 

Buck Perry had this really neat plan. Fish the shallows on the bottom and then mid-column. Then fish deeper water on the bottom etc etc. Not randomly, of course. @Team9nine is your man.

 

Part of the puzzle is the forage. What are they up to?

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I've dabbled extensively on the science end of things, and my recommendation would be to not put the science first, trying to understand everything and applying it in a practical way, but instead, use science to help explain and let you understand why something you observe or others might suggest (fishing wisdom or guidelines) might be happening. Seems to work much better that way.

 

For example, it's much easier to try and come up with a good scientific explanation for why you see suspended fish on your depthfinder during the summer months, than it is to try and learn the science of limnology and develop effective theories and ideas as to where the fish might be based on your understanding of the science.

 

Or, as 'deep' alluded to, become a Spoonplugger and never worry again about any of the details, theories, garbage and/or 'science' espoused by magazines, Internet angling pros and manufacturers B) :lol:  

 

 

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Very good point Sam. The student who has a harder time has to think it out.Therefore,  he will learn more in the end.We can all get baffled while fishing, but each time you solve the problem you've learned something

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The problem with "the scientific approach" is once I think I have them figured out they prove to me I don't!

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1 hour ago, Catt said:

The problem with "the scientific approach" is once I think I have them figured out they prove to me I don't!

Exactly this ^^^^^. Thus, the addiction.

 

You can leave the golf course thinking you could win the Masters ..... Next time out, 100!

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The problem with science is that Bass can't read.  

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Im a biochemist so I got some cool simple info.

1. Fish, like most predators, ambush food when possible, so fish from upstream and you will find a fish in waiting.

2. They are cold blooded. So they love warmer water. On cold days odds are they are deeper and/or in or near clearer water to soak up some sun.

3. Fish do have long term memory none of that goldfish 15 seconds crap. I can even link the study if you really cant just look it up on google scholar. So mix up your retrieve, colors and presentation. 

4. Like almost every animal, you can provoke a territorial response. So aggrivate them, suprise them and make it look like the easiest meal ever without it being too obvious. We are, after all, a slave to our natural responses. 

5. As the water warms, the closer to the shore they get. But if its too warm, they will look for colder water to cool off. They can not regulate their blood temp naturally so they have to force it by the environment. So look for structure, shaded places and ambush/hiding points. 

6. Fish like us have meal times. Sometimes even if they are hungry. They wont eat. Its the same thing as working all day and forgetting. Give it a few minutes to an hour and your luck might change dramatically. 

 

Im not sure if this is what you want but itll help someone.

 

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Thanks every one for the great replies and information.

 You've given me a lot to think about and work on.

                                    Jim

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On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 7:15 AM, jbmaine said:

 

 Is there a simple way to relate all this info/ knowledge to every day fishing?

                                                       

Nowadays there's an app for that.

 

I had one on my phone last season that would take tide, moon phase, water temp, etc into consideration and predict peak fishing times on the locations I chose. Worked pretty good IMO. Days and time of day it said were peak fishing time were pretty accurate. I found myself catching more at those times. It would alert me of these peak times on my phone.


I changed phones last year and haven't found the app to download it again.

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