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CJ

Instinct or Science?

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I have read alot of articles in the past and present.I enjoy reading them for knowledge and discovery.Sometimes I may get into an article or just see something somebody wrote and think "that's just to much".I mean really Ph balances,solunar charts,are just some of the things that are to technical for me.Sure there are alot of things as far as lake elevation,water temps,weather,and water releases that I check before I fish,but I'm talking about all those scientific studies that I don't feel hold true all the time.There are to many times I have been on the lake and the fish are doing something that doesn't make scientific sense.That's why I try to use my instincts though observation of what I see and what I feel to tell me how and where I need to be fishing.What do you guys and gals think?

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I agree, I pay attention to the water conditions, level, temp, current, and clarity. I don't get into the ph balance, or feeding times charts or some of the other scientific studies out there.

I don't think the bass can read them anyway.

I do think that it is important to understand how bass utilize their underwater world, how they find prey, relate to structure and how they move about.  

I rely on my knowledge of their feeding habits and the way that bass relate to structure to entice them into biting my lures.    

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That's what I'm talking about DD.I know to many good ole' boys that couldn't tell you anything about bass science,but they catch nice limits day in and day out.

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Enjoyable thread to ponder.  

I would not consider myself an elite angler, in fact not even close, but like to believe I am better than the weekend warrior.  I think I have become better with more time on the water that has used reflection upon things I have read/watched/ or studied that would probably be categorized as "scientific", but most of the times I would say instincts play a major part when I have a good day when reflecting back to basics I was taught as a kid by my grandfather and my buddy's grandfather.  I would favor instincts over science most definitely.

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I'm sure all these factors are important--but what are you going to do, spend your precious time on the water doing scientific tests of PH levels and dissolved oxygen--or are you going to fish?

It's a lot easier to go to lakes that are known good bass fisheries and forget about some of these other things, which are at best explanations as to why some bass waters are better than others.

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I believe that in order to achieve consistent success at bass fishing you have learn the scientific aspect of it. It is totally more than just picking out an old lure and making a cast to any old piece of cover. Sure, you can catch them at times like that. But I also believe when and if you don't catch them, it is because you failed to adapt to their changing environment.

I don't think I am a better angler than anyone but I do think that I have become more educated and organized about my fishing than most. This has led me to incredible consistency. Regarding pH, Lunar tables etc., I feel there are times when these things can come into play. I've published about 300 articles and although I never wrote about pH or lunar influences on bass I've certainly experience some degree of success when I felt that they were important factors and applied them into my fishing.

I published a book in December called Systematic Seasonal Patterns for Bass Fishing. It is based on how I have managed to pattern fish on a consistent basis in each season. In it I use something I call the seven ring method that has helped me find fish anywhere. I won't lie to you, I can't go out everyday and catch and 8lber but the system has definately led me to a consistency rthat gives me confidence I can catch fish at anytime of the year, even on unfamiliar water. I moved down to Florida in Sept. I'm fishing unfamiliar water all the time and I've done extremely well here.

Sorry didn't mean to promote my book, not my intent but it applies to this post.

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CJ, the one thing that you mentioned that I follow is solunar charts.  I use it in both fishing and hunting.  If you have ever been in the woods and is so quiet you could hear a mouse f**t,  All at once the woods come alive, birds singing, squirres romping, deer moving, are at or near the time the charts say.  I always try to be at my best spot during that time peroid.  It works for me.

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I will admit to looking at the solunar charts myself.I have however quit because I thought I was relying on them to much.If the window was 8:00 to 10:00 for example I would fish hard at these times and slack up at other times.I learned to fish hard every minute I am out there.I guess this subject can walk a thin line.I believe it is good to know your bass biology and  taking water temps,elevation,water releases,weather,etc. into consideration before I fish,there is some sort of science being applied.I just think there are some who are overkill and there are some who don't use any of it.To me the science part of it helps mostly with locating fish.

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Another thing I meant to add.I have noticed alot of guys going by results taken from fish that are being held in captivity.Fish have different characteristics from one side of the lake to the other.

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Like my old sensei used to say "one must learn until it becomes instinctive." If you practice taking in all the variables you can the faster you will become at it until you no longer have to consciously think to do it. Like learning to cast, after a while you stop thinking of the principles and just do it.

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Catching fish ( note that I didn 't say fishing, it may sound that both concepts are synonimous but they aren 't ) is much as science as it is art. The scientific background is important, the more you know about your prey the better, the art comes when you take your scientifical knowledge and apply it to the reality by practice, how good you are at both determines how succesfull and consistent you will be in the long run.

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There is alot of so called "scientific fact" that you hear quoted about bass that is in fact made up hooey used to sell a product.  Too bad, because there is in fact alot of real research that has gone into micropterus salmoides that is quite valuable.  The problem is sorting out which is which.

I'm always suspicious of any "scientifically proven" statement that is associated with a sales pitch.

I find that Bass Times is the best at covering the scientific angle of bassing.

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I believe that in order to achieve consistent success at bass fishing you have learn the scientific aspect of it. It is totally more than just picking out an old lure and making a cast to any old piece of cover. Sure, you can catch them at times like that. But I also believe when and if you don't catch them, it is because you failed to adapt to their changing environment.

I don't think I am a better angler than anyone but I do think that I have become more educated and organized about my fishing than most. This has led me to incredible consistency. Regarding pH, Lunar tables etc., I feel there are times when these things can come into play. I've published about 300 articles and although I never wrote about pH or lunar influences on bass I've certainly experience some degree of success when I felt that they were important factors and applied them into my fishing.

I published a book in December called Systematic Seasonal Patterns for Bass Fishing. It is based on how I have managed to pattern fish on a consistent basis in each season. In it I use something I call the seven ring method that has helped me find fish anywhere. I won't lie to you, I can't go out everyday and catch and 8lber but the system has definately led me to a consistency rthat gives me confidence I can catch fish at anytime of the year, even on unfamiliar water. I moved down to Florida in Sept. I'm fishing unfamiliar water all the time and I've done extremely well here.

Sorry didn't mean to promote my book, not my intent but it applies to this post.

Earthworm, I would like to find out more about your book.  It sounds like something I need (or at least the bait/book monkey is telling me so).  

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Great thread guys. I don't think it is coincidence that many of you great instinctive fishermen have spent many hours on the water studying the habits of your prey, as well as reading everything available on the subject. I agree with Paparock's old sensei. It is when learning becomes instinctive that excellence happens. Raul, you are a wise man and I love reading your posts. I think you are right (as usual) that it is the application of knowledge that separates the men from the boys-in fishing and life.

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Preach, if you go to the site listed at the bottom of my posts, it will take you to a page that has access to all of the books I've written. If you need any help finding it, pm me.

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BTW: I believe Bill Dances new show this week is about barometric pressure. It's on OLN starting tomorrow(Sunday) afternoon and runs a few times during the week. I know he has covered the scientific aspects to fishing before and he makes it very easy to understand(in my opinion).

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I have a question that begs to be pondered.

What is scientific and what is biological?

Several of the posts in this thread including mine elude to the know your prey and their habits and habitat is that science or biology?

Others including mine talk about ph, moon phase, and barometric pressure.

Is that science or biology?

Thanks

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Yeah that's a good point.I'm not going back and looking at what I have said so I may contradict myself,but I know I have referred to scientifc studies and bass biology.Bass biology being facts of bass's make up of scenses,structural body,and habits.The science that i'm referring to is the studies of bass that are more in theory,such as the effects of ph,moon phase,etc.

Maybe I am making sense. :-/

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Is Bass fishing instinct or science.... it's a little of both. If you understand the biology of bass then you are a leg up on most guys. The science part fits in also if you take the time to understand some of it. The science of light penetration and the law of color for example is worth learning. Ph can be thrown into the mix because this also determines oxygen levels along with temp. Moon phase does effect when I catch larger bass and does effect when fish move to spawn. It effects the activity level of the bass and when they are more opt to feed at night. Barometric pressure for shallow fish effects the activity level and what portion of the water they would be feeding. How you put all the pieces together is science, but the biology of how conditions effect a bass is the study of living things (biology). The one thing that you must always remember is that bass are grouped as individuals and they will sometimes make their own rules. Example: 40 degree air temp warm water discharge lake, 73 degree water temp, went through a rock bank flipping a jig and a worm got 3 bites, put the boat on the bank at 3pm and threw topwater and loaded the boat fishing tight. What was the science behind that? The sun was hazy and the fish where tight and every other boat flipped that same rock. We caught fish the rest of the day throwing that topwater bait. My point is don't put to much thought into it because if you break the rules sometimes it pays off you got to pay attention to the conditions in my case it turned into a 20+ fish day.

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I don't buy into them either, bud.  I know that there are certain things that will determine fish movement, most of which you stated............water level, etc.

That's all that I really pay attention to, and I just use common sense.  

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Biology is science.  This whole thread has me wanting to do a little experiment.  What I think I will do is pick two or three lakes and fish them accordingly:

1.  My first trip to each, I will study seasonal conditions, moon phase, pressure changes, water temps in different parts of the water column, weather trends, feeding times, etc.  From this I will decide on how I am going to fish that day from baits to locations to styles.

2.  My second trip to each lake, I will do none of that and just grab some rods and don't think about it.  When I get there, I will decide what to do but no sooner.

3.  My third trip to each lake, I will do a little of both (which is what I THINK I do now).

Since I always keep a log anyway, the results will be recorded.  If I can stick to this I will share the results with everyone.

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Biology is a branch of science.As Chris said biology is the study of any living thing.Science goes beyond that.

I like the way you think Chris.

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