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Manigotapee

Will bass eat below them?

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ok, this might sound weird, but I know that bass (as well as other game fish) tend to and have no problem feeding "up".  If a bait is suspended above them or traveling above them they will rise to eat the bait.

So.....

If a bass is suspended off of the bottom (1-2 feet, not like 10 feet) will they move down to feed on bait, aka: crawdad/jig?

I am looking at making/sinking some pvc fish attractors, but am hesitant with my design because i think the fish will suspend a few feet off of the bottow in these structures, so would i want to throw a jig/worm in these and be able to work it on the bottom, or would this be one of those, if i don' t get bit on the fall (typical suspended bite) move on to the next one?

Any opinions, especially with fishing/constructing pvc attractors is greatly appreciated!

Thanks fellas,

TW

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It is a fact not an opinion that bass eat downward. Bass love dads and they dont go around swimming. they walk on the bottom.

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It is a fact not an opinion that bass eat downward. Bass love dads and they dont go around swimming. they walk on the bottom.

Absolutely agree. All relative though. If fish are suspended 10 feet down over 20 feet in stained water, your chances drop on getting them to hit a jig or worm. Rattles would be a plus. Clear water will improve your chances as they might see the bait fall and see or hear it clicking around on the bottom.

1 or 2 feet off bottom would not affect this presentation.

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Yes, bass do feed off the bottom.  Our job is to determine where they are in relation to the water column and present the proper presentation.  As already stated, if they are suspended 10 feet above the bottom I wouldn't think a bottom presentation would be the best way to catch these fish.   ;)

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"Will bass eat below them?"

Either that or they can dig tunnels. ;D

Yes they do eat below them. In fact I have seen them just watch a bait float by and once it hits the bottom get aggressive and attack the motionless bait just laying on the bottom. This, of course was from fish that were relatively close to the bottom to begin with.

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Bass can easily travel up and down in the water column, they suspend at the depth where their airbladder have reached nuetral bouyancy.

Bass prefer to look up and attack from below, but they often follow wounded bait down into deeper water and eat them laying on the bottom. Generally the range is plus/minus 30, meaning a bass suspended (nuetralized) at 30 feet can go up to the surface or down to 60 without much trouble. The airbladder expands too much to go much beyond a 30 foot rise and still be able to eat something.

WRB

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My brother and I always look for bass busting through shad on the surface. On the lake we fish, the bass are like cowboys. 8-) They herd the shad into certain areas and keep them there and eat their fill. You can actually see them strike at the same time on the corners and in the middle of the shad.  

That being said, whenever we find this type of feeding, I always use a BIG Rapala deep diver and cast past the shad and bring the lure right on the bottom.  I always catch the biggest bass.  I have learned that the big fish don't hustle on the surface.  They just lay around under the shad deep and wait for injured shad to fall to the bottom.  

Next time you run into bass busting through shad on the surface, try a slow deep running big plug or even a big plastic worm on the bottom, right under them.  A good chance to hang a big one.

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Good question! I learn stuff everyday on this forum!

Me too man! I thought I knew how to fish until I joined here! Now I realize that I know almost nothing!

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It is a fact not an opinion that bass eat downward. Bass love dads and they dont go around swimming. they walk on the bottom.

X2  ;)

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My brother and I always look for bass busting through shad on the surface. On the lake we fish, the bass are like cowboys. 8-) They herd the shad into certain areas and keep them there and eat their fill. You can actually see them strike at the same time on the corners and in the middle of the shad.

That being said, whenever we find this type of feeding, I always use a BIG Rapala deep diver and cast past the shad and bring the lure right on the bottom. I always catch the biggest bass. I have learned that the big fish don't hustle on the surface. They just lay around under the shad deep and wait for injured shad to fall to the bottom.

Next time you run into bass busting through shad on the surface, try a slow deep running big plug or even a big plastic worm on the bottom, right under them. A good chance to hang a big one.

Great idea, thanks for the tip.  I'm going to try this.

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My brother and I always look for bass busting through shad on the surface. On the lake we fish, the bass are like cowboys. 8-) They herd the shad into certain areas and keep them there and eat their fill. You can actually see them strike at the same time on the corners and in the middle of the shad.

That being said, whenever we find this type of feeding, I always use a BIG Rapala deep diver and cast past the shad and bring the lure right on the bottom. I always catch the biggest bass. I have learned that the big fish don't hustle on the surface. They just lay around under the shad deep and wait for injured shad to fall to the bottom.

Next time you run into bass busting through shad on the surface, try a slow deep running big plug or even a big plastic worm on the bottom, right under them. A good chance to hang a big one.

Aww man, you let the secret out.  A big football jig with a white spider grub works well for this.

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It is a fact not an opinion that bass eat downward. Bass love dads and they dont go around swimming. they walk on the bottom.

X2 ;)

Agreed. You'd be amazed what they can dig up.

They are classically designed as an upward feeding predator though, eyes on top, jaw angled up. Maybe the fact that they are still so effective feeding down, to the side or forward also, is part of why they are so adaptive and numerous. There aren't too many places you can put a LM where it won't survive and you need a lot of tools in the bag to own that claim.

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Bass will eat below them but after a couple of feet the bladder of the bass will begin to compress and the bass will "feel" this since the bladder is closely conected with the equilibrium system of the bass. Most bass in shallow water will not go down more then a couple of feet to feed since they resist this compression and loss of bouancy. Deepwater fish have a much greater range down and smallmouth and spots seem to have a larger range than largemouth. But If the fish goes too far down the bladder will compress to the point the fish loses it's floatation and sinks to the bottom and is stuck there unless it wants to swim constantly until the bladder can adjust to the new depth. That is one of the reasons suspended fish prefer to feed upward and fish suspended several feet off the bottom often will not go down to hit a bait.

Whether the attractor is there or not will not really matter if the fish is suspended or not. Most fish are suspended anyway and not on the bottom. The attractor just gives suspended fish something to relate to and attracts bait. It's just my opinion but one attractor is not enough to get a fish to adjust it bouancy to another depth higher in the water. I often build attractors several feet in height to place off dropoffs in deeper water so that the top of the attractor is the same depth as the the bottom before the dropoff. The fish has it bouancy adjusted to allow it to feed in the shallower water and my attractor just holds the fish better when it moves deeper. This allows me to better target suspended fish that will not go down to the bottom to hit a bait after they move to deeper water to suspend high off the bottom I can slowly swim a bait and hit the top of the attractor and catch a fish that might other wise be tough to locate and catch.

To answer your question, fish have no problem going down two feet. :)      

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As said they will feed down. Your attractor is going to attract bait fish which attracts the bass.

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Here is a tip a old fisherman gave many years ago.  "Every bass you catch look at their eyes, if they are looking up fish above the fish, if they are looking down fish below them".  Has worked many times for me.

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This is a really good question. And from what I can piece together from the research literature (so far), and my own observations, I can't argue with Randall's assessment.

Two feet might not be giving bass a fully fair shake, (they don't need to be exactly neutrally buoyant when active), and who knows really what the real limits are when sufficiently motivated. But most telemetry studies show bass maintaining a pretty constant depth.

BUT...these studies are just mostly average observations over a period of time, not constant observations. Since bass are not actively chasing most of the time, and conserving energy, one would expect them to be neutral in averaged observations. These studies really don't say much about what bass will do when actively feeding. Divers rarely see this too it seems.

Most studies show bass making parallel movements when active, not making major depth changes, although there are some that did show regular changes of 8 to 14 feet. This however was to move up to feed, and down to return to resting water.

It appears that the gas gland in closed-bladder species studied is surprisingly efficient, with compensation for modest depth changes occurring within an hour or two. Perch have been shown to make regular feeding movements as much as 20 feet (up to feed). But, this work hasn't been done for bass, as far as I know.

Bass do feed on bottom, but whether this is really commonly a vertical movement is still in question. It appears, from my limited understanding at this point, that bass probably do not feed on suspended preyfish and crayfish on bottom, at the same time. Likely different groups of bass focus on their own level, unless the suspended feeders move somewhat parallel to intercept bottom cover for crayfish.

This is speculation on my part at this point.

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