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Gator_Bait

Bass And Boats

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Got a question. Let's say you are fishing in a bayou about 5-8 ft deep, 30-60 ft wide, with lay downs scattered along both sides. You've caught bass there before, and you just started fishing the spot a few minutes ago. Then you hear a boat comming...wide open...they slow down to an idle as they get to you and go by. Will that stop the fish from biting? If so for how long?

Most folks just blast through this spot going from the launch down the bayou to other areas. Sometimes I can fish it for an hour before a boat goes by, and sometimes it's like trying to cross the road at rush hour.

How does boat traffic in a bayou/stream/creek/small river, etc effect the fish? Do they get use to boat traffic and have no effect? Do they hide for 5 min...half hour...?

I've got two or three spots like this...that most people just pass through and I've caught keepers. When it gets colder and the Crappie really come on there are so many boats you can hardly throw a jig. But most are on trolling motors except to move areas.

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If it happens that much I don't think it bothers the fish much at all. Caught a lot of fish in boat wakes after they went by. On the flip side, if its not in an area where boat traffic is regular or the area is in very clear water it could shut them off for a period of time...

this is just my opinion and must be taken with a grain of salt.....

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I have found that weekend fishing is usually tougher than during the week and the common thing is increased boat traffic. But since fish are reactive predators you never know what they will do a specific time.

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I read in an article (I think it was Lee Sisson) would run his outboard through an area and it would turn the bite on because it stirred up the bottom.

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From what I've heard fish don't associate the noise of an outboard motor with danger because nothing bad happens to them when they hear that sound and it actually may help them for a couple seconds to ambush prey by stirring mud, knocking craws loose from weeds or trees etc. The pulses of a trolling do seem to have a negative impact on fish biting.

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Ive been fishing the colorado river here in parker az for many years. and during the summer the fishing gets real tough due to all the recreational boaters out on the water. Things change when all them party people leave.

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It seems I do better when there is little or no traffic on the pond. Does that prove anything?

Not likely, because the traffic, be it other fishermen, joy riders, or jet skis prevent me from fishing some of my favorite spots. It certainly changes the way I fish the pond, and that will change my results. It doesn't necessarily prove the reduced production is that the traffic has reduced or turned off the bite.

In the situation described in the starting post, my opinion is that if the fish are there, the traffic does not bother them. If the traffic annoyed them, they'd skedaddle outta there. That they stay shows they have become accustomed to it, or that it simply doesn't affect them in the first place.

Heck, some fish take up residence beneath and around busy docks where there is plenty of boating traffic and unnatural commotion. Floating docks clank and squeak from wind, waves and people walking on them, yet the fish stay. Boaters clunk coolers, and other gear on the dock, yet they stay.

But, a fish that is accustomed to peace and quiet in their haunts are probably startled by the rare boat that buzzes by. The question then is, for how long does it put them off?

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It seems I do better when there is little or no traffic on the pond. Does that prove anything?

Not likely, because the traffic, be it other fishermen, joy riders, or jet skis prevent me from fishing some of my favorite spots. It certainly changes the way I fish the pond, and that will change my results. It doesn't necessarily prove the reduced production is that the traffic has reduced or turned off the bite.

In the situation described in the starting post, my opinion is that if the fish are there, the traffic does not bother them. If the traffic annoyed them, they'd skedaddle outta there. That they stay shows they have become accustomed to it, or that it simply doesn't affect them in the first place.

Heck, some fish take up residence beneath and around busy docks where there is plenty of boating traffic and unnatural commotion. Floating docks clank and squeak from wind, waves and people walking on them, yet the fish stay. Boaters clunk coolers, and other gear on the dock, yet they stay.

But, a fish that is accustomed to peace and quiet in their haunts are probably startled by the rare boat that buzzes by. The question then is, for how long does it put them off?

I think you are probably right. If there is normally traffic they are most likely use to it and only scatter momentarily. I caught a bass about 4-5 min. after a boat idled by, which got me to thinking about it. But some places I fish are dead end oil field cuts that most boats don't go in. Maybe I'll try drifting up to them next time and see if any difference.

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