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BassinBoy

Reaction Strikes?

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Do you believe reaction strikes play more of a roll and happen more often in muddy and/or dark water opposed to clear water?

What are your thoughts?

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Ah nope ;)

The reaction strike is a strike out of pure aggression your lure has invaded the bass's space and it reacted. It takes place because of a bass's nature regardless of water conditions; it is the bite we get more often than feeding bites.  

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Good question...one I rarely think about as I fish mainly in clear water.  However, I have to agree with the others that a reaction strike no matter what the water conditions is just that....the fish reacting to a bait that is invading his space.  

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I don't entirely agree with the above posts - in muddy water, it seems like the fish get more skiddish and are more likely to strike at something they can't see as well.  I have had good luck with chatter-type baits under these conditions.

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I'm thinking you'd get fewer as the water gets clearer.

My reasoning, and I'll acknowledge it may be flawed, is that in clear water, a fish can see a bait much further away, and has more time to "study" it before it is upon him/her.

They can make a determination, even if it's by instinct, that the thing poses a threat or not.  But if it suddenly appears, whatever thought they are capable of does not have the luxury of time to consider all factors, and thus are more likely to react.

Probably the best way of putting it is they are less likely to be startled by something if they can see it long before it gets into their territory.

I'm thinking about how our dogs react.  If they are watching us, we can walk up to them, reach out and touch them, and they don't so much as twitch, except for their tails.

But, if they are dozing, or their attention is elsewhere, and you touch them they jerk to attention because they are startled.  Some skittish dogs will nip or make a nipping or biting motion instinctively though they may stop short of following through.

That's what I consider to be a "reaction".  

On the other hand, if the bass are bedding, they will instinctively and intuitively respond to anything that enters their territory no matter how soon they can see it.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've overcast into the emergent vegetation, and when I pull the lure free, a bass grabs it instantly before I can pull in the slack line.

Just my observations, and conclusions.  

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I guess I view reaction strikes differently.

Most bass aren't territorial, so they have nothing to "defend", unless they are in an area with very highly concentrated prey. Researchers have been able to create situations where bass become home bodies and will defend territorial space near the food source. But this isn't all that common in most waters.

I have seen what I see as "reactionary strikes" in a number of species. Probably the most obvious one was many years ago during a sportsman's show in a shopping mall. A vinyl-lined swimming pool had been set up and filled with hatchery rainbow trout. (If you know 'bows you know they can be very "reactionary"). You paid a buck for 5 minutes, and the pool was elbow to elbow with "anglers". The trout were in a panic and created a whirlpool zipping around that pool. When you paid you were handed a cheap fiberglass rod with a short section of black nylon braid tied to the tip top. The "bait" was a small square piece of flat vinyl "nauga-hide".

I wasted the first buck realizing there was no way in he!! those fish were going to "feed". I watched one guy get ejected for trying snag some. Interestingly, there were some fish caught as I saw a few carried off in plastic bags, invariably being clutched by a very young angler. As I watched I saw a small child not paying attention to her bait and inadvertently dragging it across the surface, and some of those spooked trout would suddenly and seemingly impulsively break ranks and chase it.

On my next buck I let the bait sink and then accelerated it in front of the onrushing horde, and a trout struck. I purposely didn't hook it, and did it again, and again finally impaling one.

I've recognized such strikes from stream trout up to giant steelhead, and found I could elicit strikes from even spooked steelies, esp with fly tackle.

I think a reaction strike is simply an extension of a feeding response, but an impulsive one brought on in a number of ways: competition with other fish, and/or proximity to a lure that might escape. This can be brought on by lure speed, action, and positioning in relation to cover, structure, current anything that restricts the fish's perceived ability to react to the lure. It's often a matter of positioning and timing, and can be affected by water clarity.

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Ok question for Rhino

You are talking about your dogs correct?

Now do the same thing with a stranger's dog, guess what would happen?

You would likely not get a response until you invade that dog's space (reaction strike).

The bass may watch a lure from a distance and as long as that lure doesn't enter its strike zone the bass may not react.

Paul

I'm sorry but I do not consider studies done on animals in controlled environments as viable since these animals have become accustom to man controlled feeding times.

Territorial: relating to a territory (an indeterminate geographic area)

Bass are territorial based on the fact they will stay in close proximity to the area in which they were born moving to and from home/feeding/spawning areas. Territorial like say a dog whose strike zone maybe inside your house, your back yard or even an entire farm; then the answer is no.

Keep in mind that reaction strike may or may not take place on every cast, often it will require multiply casts. As to why you get a reaction strike on the first cast or fifth cast is not know to man.

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Good stuff here.

Catt, the studies I'm referring to were done in the field, not in a lab. A very good one, pertaining directly to this question, is Ralph Manns "The Territorial Imperative" in InFisherman Bass Guide 2003. In it he writes, "Many anglers and biologists assume black bass have a strong territorial instinct because territoriality is common in most large animals. Yet scientific literature contains few reports of territorial behavior in bass outside of nest-guarding behavior during spawning or reactions of hatchery bass or those in aquaria. Underwater videos often show bass schooled or aggregated, with no evident forceful interactions to separate one dominant bass from another.

He goes on to describe his own daily feeding of bass in his own pond, and how this altered their normal hunting patterns to crowd into a small area to receive the handouts. Here they set up in a formation and became territorial (over real estate the prime location being proximity to the feeding location).

It's not that bass can't be territorial, but that it takes specific conditions to set up and, even rarer, to maintain it. Maybe the word is being used by anglers in a loose fashion, like ambush in describing bass hunting behavior. Bass are not ambush predators in the strict definition of the term.

Reaction strikes interest me and I do want to know why. So, I'm picking it apart a bit more. I'm not convinced that territoriality explains most reaction strikes. I think it is more common as an extension of feeding than one involving real territoriality. I guess my point is, or thought is, that reaction strikes happen more often than territoriality in bass and other fish. Where these get intertwined is in areas of high concentrations of food, and competition, where a fish might have to race another fish to a food item. But this isn't necessarily territoriality. However, it can have a territorial component, as in Ralph's study and some others where concentrations of food were maintained for a long time. But this appears to be rare in the wild and doesn't go far in explaining reaction strikes (which are quite common) in my mind.

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What is being misunderstood is the word Territorial

With a bass it simply means they relate to an area (territory) of the body of water their entire lives. With animals such as a dog while it will live its entire life in a certain area (territory) it will exhibit territorial (aggressive) tendencies towards other animals entering its area (territory). The behavior exhibited by the bass is from a more of an in your face reaction than in your area (territory) reaction.

While watching hours of underwater video one will notice bass, shad, minnows, or bream all within a close proximity of each other with no reaction from the bass. But let the shad, minnows, or bream make a sudden movement towards the bass usually from an opposite direction or something (lure) not all ready there and bam a reaction strike occurs.

Anytime studies are conducted in aquariums or small ponds where man manipulates certain conditions to study a reaction of wildlife to me the results of that study are tainted.

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Another thing that maybe is being misunderstood in this discussion is just what a "reaction" is.  I just finished watching a couple of bass fishing shows (one with Edwin Evers and another with Kevin Van Dam) both of them had segments that talked about making multiple casts to an area in order to provoke a reaction (aggravation). The original question in this debate had to do with clarity of the water.  It just seems to me that a "reaction" bite is cause by a sudden charge toward a bait or lure that occurs when the fish can't take notice of it from a distance.  To me, this has nothing to do with feeding or even territorialism.  It is just that - a reaction.  And in the case of muddy or stained water, any bait/lure that kicks up a fuss will draw a reaction.

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Reaction strikes happen in clear water. Maybe people just find themselves fishing for reaction bites in muddy water? I don't like fishing muddy water very much.

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Ok question for Rhino

You are talking about your dogs correct?

Now do the same thing with a stranger's dog, guess what would happen?

You would likely not get a response until you invade that dog's space (reaction strike).

The bass may watch a lure from a distance and as long as that lure doesn't enter its strike zone the bass may not react.

Paul

I'm sorry but I do not consider studies done on animals in controlled environments as viable since these animals have become accustom to man controlled feeding times.

Territorial: relating to a territory (an indeterminate geographic area)

Bass are territorial based on the fact they will stay in close proximity to the area in which they were born moving to and from home/feeding/spawning areas. Territorial like say a dog whose strike zone maybe inside your house, your back yard or even an entire farm; then the answer is no.

Keep in mind that reaction strike may or may not take place on every cast, often it will require multiply casts. As to why you get a reaction strike on the first cast or fifth cast is not know to man.

I think the "problem" may be one of our concept or understanding of "reaction".

You are correct about the dog thing, but, I'll insert one caveat, when a strange dog sees me approaching, he, to my understanding of the two words, react and respond, is responding to my entering his space.

In order for us to reach an understanding, we need to agree on what the terms react, and respond means.

When I talk about reaction, I equate it to a startled response. Every reaction is a response, but not every response is a reaction.

Let me try to explain. We've all heard the expression, "You're just reacting." It means you have not thought a situation through. In that sense, a reaction is your first gut, instinctual response. After having thought a situation through, you can respond.

l may be wrong, but I do not consider a fish biting at a lure because it is hungry and perceives it to be food, a reaction. I think it is responding to whatever sense tells it that it needs to consume food.

We "respond" to our hunger by fixing something to eat. We react to touching something hot by involuntarily withdrawing our hand from a flame or a hot pan or whatever.

I am making a distinction between a pure involuntary action and an action that is to some degree planned.

In that sense, the strange dog has been studying my approach, and plans its response.

Perhaps, in fishing, every strike that is not prompted by hunger is considered a reaction strike, and not necessarily the result of being startled and taking an aggressive defensive or offensive action.

In any case, that is where I am coming from. I will defer to those with more knowledge and experience as to the understanding of the term "reaction strike", as it applies to fishing.

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Exactly Rhino but your analogy using your dog to get a response vs. a strange dog would be totally different and that was my point. While a strange dog may watch you from a distance remaining unresponsive until you reach a certain point that it considers invasion of his Territory.

In animals there are two types of territorial aggression; dominance-based territorial aggression and fear-based territorial aggression nether of which appears in bass.

A reaction strike to bass is simply that, your lure passed to close to the bass for comfort and it reacted; water clarity has nothing to do with it. Even in the most gin clear water your lure may go totally unnoticed by the bass depending on the proximity of the lure to the bass.

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Rhino Wrote:

I am making a distinction between a pure involuntary action and an action that is to some degree planned.

This is the distinction I originally saw too, but I've refined it considerably. It is at the center of what reaction strikes really are, even whether they really exist at all.

DISCLAIMER: OK, this one's going to get dense. I am not responsible for headaches.

A number of people, (Keith Jones of Berkley and Bob Underwood of SCUBA fame in particular), have suggested that with mature bass there is no such thing as a "reaction strike". Bass know what they are doing, to paraphrase Jones. Their reasoning, although coming from diff quarters, is that bass cannot afford to expend energy over-reacting to stuff that won't pay off. Prey is most often difficult enough to catch, and a lot of bass fail and disappear in the process. Striking things involuntarily would be maladaptive they argue.

I understand this reasoning however, as an angler, I've seen enough "reactionary" (seemingly involuntary) strikes that I believe the term "reaction strike" is appropriate. And I can see where it could be advantageous as it is still a decision by the fish to strike, but a quick one one in which the fish is pressured to make it. However, it's not a rash decision (thus adhering to Optimal Foraging Theory (OFT) and agreeing in principle with Jones and Underwood), but a pressured decision, and one that can pay off for the fish. I guess it has something to do with reaction time how quickly a fish can make the decision to strike successfully.

I see this type of pressured decision occurring in a number of ways, primarily when the predator is in high competition with other predators, and/or in close enough proximity to a lure or prey that MIGHT ESCAPE. Catt mentions this last scenario:

...let the shad, minnows, or bream make a sudden movement towards the bass usually from an opposite direction or something (lure) not all ready there and bam a reaction strike occurs.

In angling, this can be brought on by lure speed, action, and positioning in relation to cover, structure, current anything that restricts the fish's ability to react successfully to the lure. For both fish and angler it's often a matter of positioning and timing not every combination works. The physical space where this occurs has been called an ambush point or the strike zone (not "strike window" here although in relation to it of course).

I most probably came to this realization as a long time stream fisher, in which current limits fish movement enough that for every movement they make there is an energetic consequence, (and where OFT research began). In stream fishing, especially for trout, smallmouths and other current using species, the fish's DECISION to take was obvious.

What I've seen in trout is what appears to be an especially lightly set strike trigger, notable in the wet fly swing in which you are tempting a trout to take at the critical point before the fly (or lure) moves across current too far or fast to be chasedan energy expensive movement for stream fish. This hair trigger is especially evident in rainbow trout (of all sizes), to the degree that it can appear as rash, (esp when seen in an unnatural environment like that shopping mall mentioned above a set of circumstances simply not in the rainbow's evolutionary history). But I've seen something similar onstream too. I've been able to take advantage of a bows/steelies hair trigger by getting a fly, bait or lure right in front of a given fish's face, then making it quickly change speed and direction. They TAKE! It's almost like magic. It appears so involuntary that one useful ploy with these fish is, if you find one in a position where you can't get a fly to it, or it's asleep (stale), you can throw rocks at it, or even wade in and physically move it. Rest it 10 minutes and get a fly to accelerate right in its face and it'll often take. This does not work so well with most brown trout if you disturb them in any way they just shut down.

Now I have to believe, in the wild, this is NOT maladaptive behavior, and the only way I can explain it (my guess here) is that it has to do with bows capabilities in fast water they are efficient feeders in much faster current than other trout. I am assuming that this carries over into their ability to react quickly, being efficient for bows, not for browns. There are other likely reasons why it doesn't work so well with browns, or brookies, but this is not a trout site, do I'll leave it off here.

In slower water species I think this concept is less easy to recognize, but I believe it is still acting. Pike offered another lesson in this. They love current. They aren't equipped to sit in it, but they are well aware of it and use it. I used to be able to find pike in very slow streams, and in a canal system, by fishing current gathers places that necked down and created (oft-times slight) current. The pike sat in the eddy's created, and they were suckers for a lure brought through at the right speed and angle. The canal I fished had low pike numbers (not even known as a pike fishery), but I could find them easily in the proper current conditions.

In LM bass, being a stillwater species, this is even harder to recognize, but I think the pressured decision concept still works, in many circumstances: high competition, and/or in close enough proximity to a lure that MIGHT ESCAPE. Again, this can be brought on by lure speed, action, and positioning in relation to cover, structure, current anything that restricts the fish's perceived ability to react to the lure. You are trying to force a predatory decision, and this is what a reaction strike is.

Another thing the truly involuntary potential, and this one's a mindblower:

Bass and other fish have an extension of the lateral line going onto the lower jaw and cheeks. It's been known for many years in ichthyology circles that mild electrical stimulation of these hair cells can cause an automatic involuntary feeding response. How cool is that?

I've attempted to trigger this reaction in spawning female bass, and believe I may have been successful a few times. I use a ribbon tail worm and try to tickle a reluctant bass' jaw. When I used to target spawning females (I watch them now) I found that they wouldn't always take a worm allowed to fall to bottom maybe they see this too much from other anglers. Whatever, they often won't take. A swimming worm swum above them can work like a charm, especially if I'm out of sight. In this case the worm is silhouetted and it's right smack in the bass' strike window above and in front of her. But, if neither of these do the trick, and I can get really close without her bolting, the "jaw tickle" is worth a shot. And I've had it work a couple times although I really have no way of knowing whether it was such an involuntary take or not.

Is this involuntary reaction to such stimulation maladaptive in the real world? No. My assumption is that these hair cells around the jaw and mouth are normally used at the very last moments when a fish is closing on prey, to accurately coordinate to the escape movements of the prey item. (I've always wondered if the lack of life in a "killed" lure plays a role in why many bass don't take it after they've inspected it up close. Want to make a $million? ...talk about brave new worlds). When experienced anglers say, fishing is all about timing, it's true, and at a much finer scale than most of us realize. Catching a fish really comes down to a series of sub-momentary decisions by the fish. It starts with the inner ears, the lateral line, goes to the eyes, and on down to the mandibular pores.

This critical timing of a feeding sequence may even explain why fish have such high flicker fusion frequencies (FFF) the ability to separate (slow down) rapidly flickering light signals into something sensible. A bass FFF is way higher than a human's. Thus, we see a movie as a fluid motion picture, where a bass would see it as separate still images. We see a revolving spinner blade as a blur, where a bass sees every revolution. I'm wondering if this ability allows for very fast decision making and reactions to potential prey an obvious advantage for a primarily visual predator.

Fish also have directional and other visual sensitivities that likely play a role in what triggers the cascade through the feeding sequence. Perch have been found to have a strong vertical sensitivity, especially for objects falling from top to bottom. Does this ring a bell? Now so far as I know bass haven't been looked at, but bass, especially smallmouths, have a strong feeding response toward falling lures. A dropping jig or tube seems to trigger something special in smallmouths, and largemouth too. Lake trout have a thing for lures rising upwards above them.

There is also a speed component to the stimulation of optic neurons. Bass respond to target velocities of 10 to 50 degrees per second with a preference of around 30degrees (1/6th of the visual field, and likely temperature dependent). Pike have been found to have a slower preference to target velocities, which brings me back a ways to a lesson I learned from an old timer who took me fishing for bass and pickerel years ago. He told me that the bass liked the jigworm falling, and in general they liked lures changing in direction. The pickeral however liked the retrieve straight, because he said, pickerel aren't built to turn rapidly, and won't bother chasing something they don't think they can catch. This is true, but it's more than their body forms that are adapted to this target action.

What all this comes down to is maybe all strikes are reaction strikes, the more apparently impulsive ones simply being at one end of a variable continuum of stimulation required to elicit a fully committed, start to finish, feeding response.

Can we control our presentations enough to take consistent advantage of the feeding process in fishes? Sometimes, when conditions allow, yes. Experienced anglers can pick water apart and apply presentations where and how they can do the most good. They can choose lures that offer good, and appropriate, triggering characteristics. They can also, make use of conditions (like water clarity) to make best use of this. All of this falls under other larger contingencies too: Angler's can, must in fact, understand and adapt to the immediate environmental conditions that influence all of this.

Lastly, I have wondered if for inexperienced anglers (and many catches by experienced anglers) whether a lot of catches are not simply a random encounter between fish, situation/conditions, and lure. The often similar overall catch rates amongst inexperienced anglers (or elicited by chuck-n-wind presentations) makes me think this could be so. Experienced anglers often come to the conclusion that bass take lures because the bass made a mistake. The ability of fish to make reaction strikes, and the experienced angler's ability to recognize when and in which way they are vulnerable and to discern ambush points/ strike zones, explains to some degree higher than random catch rates more mistakes elicited from our quarry, and fish in the boat.

OK, I've rattled on long enough. Anyone still reading? LOL

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Not all strikes are reaction strikes because with the reaction strike the proximity of the lure and bass has to be at close quarters with the bass usually sitting still, this is very different with feeding strikes where the bass will actually cover various distances to strike the prey.

Now back to the original question Do you believe reaction strikes play more of a roll and happen more often in muddy and/or dark water opposed to clear water? the answer would be no since the reaction strike occurs with the proximity of the lure to the bass not with the color of the water. It also has nothing to do with dominance-based territorial aggression and fear-based territorial aggression.

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WOW - stream fishermen may definitely have an advantage here 'cause it's really getting deep and waders may be required from this point on - all living creatures "react" whether this is a voluntary or involuntary response depends on a lot of things.  The original question was basically do bass "react" differently in clear water vs. muddy water - I think they have to because some of their processes for detecting what is being presented has declined.  If the process was the same, why to almost all Pro's recommend using a more natural colored lure in clear water as opposed to using a brighter (unnatural) color in muddy or stained water.  Part of this has to do with sight, of course and the tendency to "react" to something that is "not natural" is greater under those circumstances.

Now for the aggravation reaction - as in all living things - the process for detection begins to shut down and the consequences of the reaction is less "thought out" (no, this does not mean that I think bass are capable of reasoned, rational thought - its just that the input of stimuli is more reactionary).  I think the aggravation reaction may be stronger in clear water, because there is more stiumuli being presented over and over (I have heard Pro's talk about making 15 casts to the same spot before getting "a reaction").  In muddy or less clear water it may be more of a startle response (reaction) because all of the senory data isn't there.

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Rhino Wrote:

I am making a distinction between a pure involuntary action and an action that is to some degree planned.

This is the distinction I originally saw too, but I've refined it considerably. It is at the center of what reaction strikes really are, even whether they really exist at all.

DISCLAIMER: OK, this one's going to get dense. I am not responsible for headaches.

OK, I rattled on long enough. Anyone still reading? LOL

Yes, I've read every word, more than once, and it's beginning to sink in, I think.  However, before I resume reading, I must run out to replenish my Excedrins.

Man, that's a doctoral thesis.  But, it failed to cover another possibility, the surge of adrenaline which prepares the body for flight or fight.  That is, if fish experience adrenaline rushes.

Is it possible that in addition to the territorial, of whatever type, and the need to feed, that a fish can react to a sudden perceived threat with an involuntary attack on said "intruder"?

Said reaction/response not related to the instinct to protect and clean a bed of all detritus, be it alive or inanimate.

Seriously, I found the post to be helpful in understanding a reaction strike as it is known in the fishing fraternity.

Thanks

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Wow  ;D Lots of debating here

Some of you mentioned the bass being able to see a lure from a distance in clear water.

This is what my question intended on getting an answer about

Wouldn't it be more likely to get a reaction strike in muddy water when the bass can only see 6 inches in front of them opposed to 25 feet?

Just the thought of a crankbait wizzing past there face would make them react is what I thought.

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Water clarity does not guarantee a bite ;)

Why muddy water is more difficult to fish than clear?

If your assumption were valid muddy water would be easier to fish than clear would it not?

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Water clarity does not guarantee a bite ;)

Why muddy water is more difficult to fish than clear?

If your assumption were valid muddy water would be easier to fish than clear would it not?

That was the case for me last year, though it may be more a function of the ponds (fish densities) more than one of clarity. Devol pond had an algae bloom which reduced visibility to the human eye to a matter of inches. Could not see the bottom in more than six inches of water. On a breezy day the visibility was even less on the windward side of the pond.

It is, no doubt, due in no small part to being more familiar with my favorite pond, and the fact that bass seem to be concentrated around the perimeter (within roughly 80 feet of the shore), where the other ponds have more structure, and are also deeper.

Having said that, there was one instance on a calm day, while exploring away from shore, I did hit one area where I hauled in six bass in a matter of less than thirty minutes.

Though I marked the spot with ranges, and tried many times, I never got a bite in that area again.

As an aside, the peak fishing for the pond corresponded with the peak of the algae bloom. But, in the fall as the water cleared, the size of the bass I caught was larger on average.

Just my experience. It proves nothing conclusively.

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Rhino was the over all fishing in that pond more productive during the limited visibility period or was it just on that particular outing?

Was your success due to limited visibility or was your success due to the bass being in a feeding mode?

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Rhino was the over all fishing in that pond more productive during the limited visibility period or was it just on that particular outing?

Was your success due to limited visibility or was your success due to the bass being in a feeding mode?

That was the case throughout the summer. This is my favorite pond. It's only about 500 yards from our home as the crow flies.

But it is surrounded by private property and the best access I have is across the pond, so I have to access it from the other side.

I fished this pond four to six times per week from early July into October, with occasional trips to other nearby ponds for a change of scenery.

This is not your typical pond. It is fairly small, a half mile long by a quarter mile across, give or take, with very little structure.

The fishing pressure on the pond is light. I have never seen more than three other boats on the pond when I have been there.

So, I do attribute my higher success rate on that pond compared to others that it does have a higher fish density, and that they locate primarily within 60 to 100 feet of the shore, depending on the area.

The algae bloom did not begin to noticeably diminish, and visibility begin to improve until late September, early October, which quite possibly accounts for decreasing catches rather than any change in clarity.

This pond is a rarity. There are other ponds close by that have a similar rocky shoreline, with similar vegetation along the shoreline that do not exhibit anywhere near the activities of wildlife that this pond does.

They do however experience heavy fishing pressure, but that alone would not account for the difference in the activity seen around the pond taking fishing out of the equation.

The pond has thick vine-like emergent vegetation along 90% of the shoreline. See photo.

DSC00054.jpg

In the summer, between these viney plants and the water hyacinths in bloom, the numbers of insects and birds is incredible. In the thick of this stuff you can hear the constant splashing of fish feeding on the insects. It's not uncommon to see some type of fish bulldozing a path through the water hyacinths in pursuit of something.

The pond is home to a pair of Ospreys, two pair of Great Blue Heron, a single cormorant (thank goodness it's only one), and countless kingfishers.

Said pond is only six feet deep except for three small holes (springs perhaps) that are nine feet deep.

The pond is full of white perch. If you target them, you can catch plenty in excess of one pound. It also has some large pickerel, which I only caught in numbers when the water cooled. I'm talking pickerel over 30 inches. My personal best in this pond was a 36 inch chain pickerel caught over forty years ago. I only caught two small pickerel from June into September. Then they became active.

They seemed to "show up" as the water began to clear.

Bluegills, crappie, and yellow perch round out the species that I've caught from its waters.

I do better in Devol pond with low visibility than other similar local ponds with clear water. However, I would not attribute that to water clarity, just that Devol pond perhaps has a higher density of good fish, and less fishing pressure.

The fishing was consistently better for bass during the time of low visibility. But, that could also be a seasonal condition, more than an issue of visibility.

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Some of you mentioned the bass being able to see a lure from a distance in clear water.

This is what my question intended on getting an answer about

Wouldn't it be more likely to get a reaction strike in muddy water when the bass can only see 6 inches in front of them opposed to 25 feet?

Just the thought of a crankbait wizzing past there face would make them react is what I thought.

In my mind the whole "reaction strike" idea is theoretical, and there are a lot of ideas on just what that is.

So, I'm not sure of your question; It's pretty vague. Guess I'd need more info. What prompted you to ask this question? Something in a video you saw, mag article, something you saw on the water? Curious here.

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  • fishing

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