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el_jewapo

do bass become conditioned to lures? (short term)

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i deer hunt alot, and in deer hunting your best chance to see deer is the first time you hunt an area. after that the deer seem to sense that you're there.

does this happen with bass?

i'm talking about pounding a productive area alot? do all those lures coming by them let them know something is up?

i know there is debate on how much bass become conditioned to lures. i'm talking short term here.

is it best to back off good spots for a while? or hit them day in day out?

i'm not talking about spooking where you change lures. i mean shutting down completely?

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This question reminds me of a relatively small lake that I know, where there's 4 big brush piles in different parts of the lake. When you first pull up to one, you can't help but catch fish. After an hour or so, the bite gets slow and eventually you have to move onto the next brush pile. By the end of the weekend, none of the brush piles are producing consistent bites.

From my eperience, fish definately react to heavy fishing preasure.

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What an interesting and timely subject.  An article just posted on the site yesterday touches upon this subject:

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

Enjoy!

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It kinda like this you have one shot to hit your cast right to make a fish bite. If you mess up and make a bad cast your success rate goes down and you may not get a second chance. If this happends then come back to that spot later in the day and take your time to make the right cast. Bass have good short term memory if you hook it and loose it but sometimes even if you miss a fish you can still catch it. You might need to change baits or directions or back off and give the fish time to settle down. I had a fish shake off a crankbait (hit it and spit it) and caught a fish out of the same spot later in the day even as soon as 15 minutes later. One side of the bass's brain remembers that someone was trying to catch it and the other side was off counting flowers. Believe it or not if you present a bait on the other side the fish will forget that it just struck your lure. If you keep pounding at a fish the fish will move and know something is up and may take awhile to get back into position to feed or get into an active mood. I hope this helps and I know someone is going to call me crazy but its the truth. If you stick the fish and fight it half way to your boat this rule does not apply you might catch it the next day (reaction fishing)or 3-4 days later. Also If you fish the same bait in the same areas sometimes the fish move or turn off the bait and you need to change baits or locations. Lets say I am fishing a Bandit crankbait and have been killing them on it for two days but each day I catch less fish than the day before. I may change crankbait styles and continue catching fish because fish might relate the sound of that bait as danger. I might change all together to a jig or spinnerbait. Most of the time fish just move locations and you need to move with them.

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Interesting article. Basically says bass do learn to make correlations which help them avoid getting caught. They also have a proven long term memory in some aspects.

One thing the article didn't mention, which I think is a reasonable assumption is that Bass can probably read each other's body language to some degree.  After witnessing a few fish get caught, I think it's likely that other Bass can sense the stress and danger.

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Big fish are a whole different story and Florida bass is just a whole different can of worms.

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I have my doubts that bass or any fish can be conditioned to a avoid particular lure or color after having been caught on one or having seen it multiple times. Many fish have been caught more than once, but on what? Could it have been the same grub or Senko? Will fish avoid one lure type after having been caught, yet still bite others? Can fish communicate an avoidance message?

In my experience, when a lure is used for the first time in a lake that receives moderate lure pressure, the lure works well for most of the year. In years following , it works less and less as time goes on, regardless of how many fish have seen it or been hooked by it. Just because I cast a certain lure 1,000 times and hook 50 bass doesn't mean the lure put fish off to biting it or other lures, but that fish are fickle by choice or for some other unknown reasons.

The reverse is also true. What reason will a lure, fish have never seen, be avoided, even though it worked fantastic in another water? Many of us have seen where a collection of lures seem to excel in one water and flop in another.

This happened to me Saturday. I caught many species on my flash jigs without batting and eye, yet a week before in a different lake, only one species hit the same lure, but with much less success than other lures. This lake sees little pressure and the probability is low that anyone has ever used the jig there. Senkos worked great in both lakes and both waters have seen them used extensively.

A set of reasons, that may include environmental factors (water, seasonal factors), spawn stage differences, genetics and other unknown influences, may be keys to some predictability, but at present the mystery of lure preference is still unexplainable. Only a few lure types have continued success in one or more waters, regardless of how many fish were caught on them, yet other lures may only see a few good seasons.

For the lake near my home, grubs, tubes, Senkos and flash jigs always get fish. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwaters are sporadic and only seasonal successes. Jigging and swimming spoons rarely get hit, along with 10" worms, 5" tubes and the jig & pig.

Just try to remember not to buy a hundred of the lure that won the tournament or broke your own personal record for the simple reason most lures work - the right place/right time. Next week it may be avoided like the plague, for whatever reason.

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i like to use lures that the bass dont see very often, this way they might not think its as phony

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A buddy of mine always says, "don't throw what they bit on yesterday, throw what they're biting on today".  In my humble opinion, the only "lures" that fish get "conditioned" to are the wierd ones that they see alot (anybody tried a helicopter lure recently?).  If fish got "conditioned" to worms would people stop using night crawlers?  I think a lot more has to do with how the baits are presented and how often the "fishermen" are splashing around.  Fish have to feed and they will try for anything that looks like food.  They also have a predatory instinct that will cause them to strike at things that look like they might be food or a competitor for the food.

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Good reply Shad Master.

Some of my basic lures choices can always be depended on to catch bass. Size and shape dictate action and bass may prefer a particular action one day, but turn their nose up at it the following day.

I killed them with long-billed jerkminnows in spring and now can't get a bite, but flash jigs have caught fish from winter until now. Soft jerk sticks have worked since the water rose to 50 and are still hot.

I'm throwing the same snot green or brown sticks and the postspawners are picking them up off the bottom, in the same weed beds, week after week.

An early summer pattern will begin soon and I'll have to overlap lure choices and find new ones to work different structure and depths.

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what i was meaning by this topic was not really them being conditioned to lures. i mean when they see countless lures come by them will they shut down?

does mr bass say "well i've seen this guy throwing all kinds of stuff at me so i'm not biting ANYTHING"?

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I go back to my previous post.  I have seen bass in a particular area "shut down" after making several casts and then after 20 minutes or so they will turn on again.  I either read an article or saw a TV show where Rick Clunn was talking about fish emitting some kind of something in the water after being hooked that will initially turn the fish on but then will cause them to shut down.  The advice from this was to put the fish in the livewell until the bite stops and then release them or catch them at one end of the boat and release them at the other end.  Maybe someone remembers this discussion and can link us up.

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