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paul.

bass intelligence revisited. where would YOU fish?

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i must admit i have been completely engrossed in the thread on bass intelligence. some guys i respect very much have taken the stance that bass are "smarter" than we realize sometimes and are indeed capable of "learning" and being "conditioned" or "educated". others who i also respect very much have taken the stance that bass are basically stupid, mindless creatures whose intelligence/learning/conditioning plays very little to no role in our ability to catch them. personally, because of what i have seen with my own eyes, i have to believe bass as well as other fish are indeed capable of learning and being conditioned.

but i would like to hear what the rest of the membership believes if you would be so kind as to answer this simple poll question. here is the scenario:

a wealthy landowner has two lakes and he has invited you to come and fish the one of your choosing. both are exactly 10 acres with identical depth, water clarity, cover, structure, and forage conditions. in other words, the lakes are identical twins of each other. the only difference is that lake #1 is "virgin water" and has not been fished since it was built. lake #2 on the other hand has received a steady dose of fishing pressure on a weekly basis by anglers of all skill levels, with all of the adult fish therein having been caught and released at least once.

the landowner assures you that a shocking study revealed that there were exactly 20 bass over 10 pounds in each lake. one of the 20 double digit fish in each lake is a world record.

the landowner issues this simple challenge to you. you have one day to fish either of his lakes. you cannot fish both. if you produce a bass over 10 pounds in either lake, he will pay you a million dollars on the spot. if you catch the world record, it's yours to certify and reap any additional benefits that may come your way.

my question is a simple test of your convictions on bass intelligence:

with a million dollars and a world record bass at stake, which lake would YOU fish?

any explanation of your rationale would be much appreciated. i am really interested in what our membership honestly thinks.

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no brainer for me no pressure bigger bite.

just my 2 cents

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul just did work on the non believers!

Of course I would take the unpressured lake, just like every bass angler that is not in denial.

That being said I will fish any ten acre pond that has 20 doubles in it. I dont care if I'm elbow to elbow with the next guy. 2 doubles per acre gets me there ;D

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul just did work on the non believers!

Of course I would take the unpressured lake, just like every bass angler that is not in denial.

That being said I will fish any ten acre pond that has 20 doubles in it. I dont care if I'm elbow to elbow with the next guy. 2 doubles per acre gets me there ;D

X2.

Nice way of putting it Paul.

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Lake 1.

Like shoting fish in a barrel.  ;)

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Who you calling an Idiot?

posted by MUDDy on location at Lake#2

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Muddy, ya dumb Mook!  You're not going to catch a thing until ice-out.

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not to sidetrack anyone from the poll above as those are the answers i'm really interested in, but here is another question for your consideration. again, this is just a simple test of your real convictions on bass intelligence using the 2 twin lakes in the scenario above.

suppose you get a chance to dive under water and thoroughly explore BOTH lakes.  since the lakes are identical twins of each other with the exception of the fishing pressure applied to lake 2, do you suppose that the adult bass would be at least roughly positioned on the same spots and in roughly the same manner on both lakes? why or why not?

if you answer that you believe that the fish would be positioned differently, then in which lake would the fish be positioned "where they are supposed to be" given the weather conditions and seasonal period?

would you expect the conspicuous/obvious laydowns, humps, ditches, weedbeds etc. to be at least roughly equally populated with bass in both lakes? again, why or why not?      

just curious what y'all think. ;)

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I do believe that for the most part they will postition the same. excluding the super shallow areas of the pressured lake, where people always stand. not all the shallows, but you know, those spots where the grass gets worn down

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I'd fish lake #1 obviuosly.

As for your second question Paul, I would tend to think that relating to humps,laydowns weedbeds,etc, is an instinctive trait and you would probably find them holding a fairly equal amount of bass.

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my mistake.  i should have clarified this.  

suppose the fishing pressure applied to lake 2 also includes anglers in boats with electronics in addition to bank anglers.  

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Paul there is a small lake about 200-250 acres near where I live that is the most visited State Park in GA. It gets over one million visitors a year and most of those all come in just a few months. It has shoreline access all the way around it and often has people lined up on the banks fishing. Now it may be that all the fish around the shoreline have just been caught but there is rarely the number of fish around the shore that I see on most lakes and the shallow fish suspend real shallow but way off shore. It's common to see fish just under the surface 75 yards offshore over twenty feet of water. I personally believe the pressure moves these fish way off the banks until the people are gone at night then the fish move right up to the shore and feed.  I might be right or I may be wrong but I believe the hundreds of people there each day cause the shallow fish to move out.

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Umm Is it a trick question ? :P jk this is obvious to me anyways - The Lake Less Fished ... or was that the road less travled ... first one sounds betterin both situations!

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i assumed thats what you meant paul. but i would still assume that some people would fish from the bank, and people tend to stand in the same spot, if any fish wanted to sit in a foot of water, i think thats the only place they wouldnt.

Generally speaking, i dont think that fishing pressure moves fish, just turns them off the bite.

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very interesting observations so far here.  don't be shy y'all.  feel free to chime in.  there are no wrong answers since we are just speculating about a hypothetical scenario here.

personally, here's what i think you would see in both lakes in my scenario.  i think in lake one, the fish would be clustered on the prime, obvious spots for the given seasonal phase.  sure there would be some oddballs that would kinda make you scratch your head as there are in the real lakes we all fish.  but for the most part, i think the bass and the forage in lake 1 would be "where they were supposed to be".  bass would have no reason not to locate on and around prime cover and structure locations.

i think lake 2 would be a different story.  yes, there would be some bass and forage fish where they were supposed to be.  but they might not necessarily be relating to the area in the same way fish in lake #1 would be.   i would surmise that a fair portion of the population would have taken up residence in the less conspicuous areas of the lake.  they would still be in "fishy looking areas" and with a quick analysis you could probably figure out why they were there.  but these would not be the MOST conspicuous and obvious areas in the lake that typically become "community holes".  i would also guess that another fair sized chunk of the bass population in lake #2 including some of the larger ones would totally defy explanation in their location.  you would find them in places that made no sense given the seasonal phase or conditions.  places like bare banks or suspended in open water.   perhaps if you had a week rather than a day, you could figure out their pattern and why they were there, particularly when you factored in the typical "patterns" of the anglers that frequented the lake.  but maybe not even then.  

and for the record, i would definitely choose lake #1 to fish in.   ;D

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]I personally believe the pressure moves these fish way off the banks until the people are gone at night then the fish move right up to the shore and feed. I might be right or I may be wrong but I believe the hundreds of people there each day cause the shallow fish to move out.

x1000000

In night tournies, I will pound any beaches (with actual beach sand) or swimming areas. Seems like bigger largies will roam them at night for some reason....  :-/

Doesn't matter if it is flat calm, windy, has a light on the beach shining onto the water, full moon/ no moon. Can always find bigger fish in these areas at night around here... :-/

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Excellent post. I would definitely choose the unpressured lake. I would like to throw a curve ball into the conversation. Could evolution also be a factor? Wouldn't ,over time, fish holding in non standard locations be more successful than fish in typical ,high pressure areas. In other words, in your situation abnormal behavior would become the dominant survival  trait. So I would think that the fish in the two lakes would be in significantly different areas.

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Evolution could have an effect over a long period of time but I don't think that pressure would really cause that. I'm definitely not a scientist so who really knows. What I do know is that fish choose the areas that they hold typically because of feeding opportunities. They will choose the areas that give them the best chance at success so where ever the food is. they are. Now if there is food in that secondary area then sure why not.  ;)

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i closed the poll.  check out the results and i think it's pretty clear what the vast majority of those who responded actually think about bass' ability to learn or be conditioned.  when push comes to shove, when money is on the line or a shot at a world record, 24 out of 27 people who responded said they would choose the non-pressured lake.  24 chose to fish lake 1.  no one, none, zilch, zip, nada actually chose to fish lake 2.  

3 people said it didn't matter.  

this is pretty much what i expected the outcome to be.  even some people who would argue that bass are stupid and cannot learn at all might quickly re-think this if they had a personal stake in the argument, such as in my imaginary scenario.  logic tends to kick in pretty quickly in this type of situation. ;)  

and when it comes right down to it, to some degree is something, even something as small as enjoyment vs. frustration, not at stake every time we hit the lake?  perhaps all this discussion about bass learning and intelligence has, if nothing else, caused some of us to re-think the old, tired way we fish and abandon some of the thought processes and practices that have become so routine to us in favor of something new and "outside of the box".  i hope so.

and a question to the 3 who said it didn't matter.  why then, did you not just choose lake 2? ;)    

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Good thread Paul. I know first hand the difference between catching Bass at a highly pressured lake as opposed to a Lake thats never fished. BASS DO LEARN.

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I'll take lake 2 because I like to argue. Here's why.

1. I know everyone here will be in Lake #1 which means I'll have lake #2 to myself.

2. No matter how pressured, a bass will not turn down a live gill or wild shiner.

3. I like the challenge of fishing the pressured lake and besides, I am confident in my fish catching abilities.

#4. Apparently lake #2 is still producing fish because people fish it on a weekly basis.

5. You only have one day to fish. I can ask those who fish Lake #2 where the best spot is to help with my chances. You have no one to ask about lake #1. * It's like not pre-fishing before a tournament or asking the locals about the lake before a tourny.

6.  (realistically, I'd take #1 too)

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I'll take lake 2 because I like to argue. Here's why.

1. I know everyone here will be in Lake #1 which means I'll have lake #2 to myself.

lol. ;D  i just knew someone was gonna say this eventually.  shoulda known it'd be you.  ;D

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