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Thread: What Makes Fish Bite?

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    Agree about some things in the video (thank for sharing BTW) but my research after 40 years of using lures disagrees a bit.
    I have posted hundreds of photos of fish on crappie.com and the lures that caught them. The reasons that fish struck are open for discussion, but regardless of species, once fish are hooked, that's proof enough that various combinations of lure size, vibration, action, shape/design and color all contribute once fish are found.

    I use soft plastics as examples though I have caught 1000's of fish on most lure types and lure size ever made. Even ice fishing I've done fine using no live bait on my ice fishing lures or at any other time during the year. When the bite is really tough, what you mentioned may make a difference for stationary lures, but for slow moving lures, not so much IMO.

    BTW, your work table looks about as organized as my own.
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    Thanks for posting the video. Very well made and helps with understanding lures. Every fisherman/ fisherwoman will have their preferred lure and how to fish them. Some folks like me are always looking for a better understanding of the elusive creatures and will try almost anything to be better at it. So, from the tried and true of the older experts to the newest ideas we always appreciate anyone that helps and shares their knowledge and understanding. But as my Granddad told me, "You gotta hold your mouth right!"
    An old man in his old boat having fun!
    FISHING REPORT: čCaught two docks, 3 trees and a stump- threw them back!
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    What makes fish bite (IMHO) : hunger / anger / territorial protection
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrappiePappy View Post
    What makes fish bite (IMHO) : hunger / anger / territorial protection
    That may be, but how do you chose lures based on that? Assigning reasons/motives or emotions fish strike lures, assumes fish reason - and thereby are capable of logic or that fish get angry and are thereby emotional as seen in animals with larger and more complex brains.

    Beyond assigning the above reasons or labels for attacks on lures in particular comes the nitty gritty of what exactly was it about the lure - by way of description - when fish struck it at that moment or hour in that place. Again, experienced anglers realize the significance of a lure's size, shape, action and color - combined, that possibly helped to initiate strikes.

    A more detailed description includes a specific lure action - inherent or angler imparted; color brightness or transparency; shape such as slim, round or flat; weight - either the lure's or the weight of a sinker or jig; lure speed and the type of retrieve chosen for that lure.

    For example, a lure I would never believe capable of catching panfish would be one that was too heavy, too large, that had the wrong action no matter the retrieve or any lure worked too fast. Lure details take precedence over any generalities one may assign as to why fish strike certain lures but weren't provoked to strike others.

    BTW, let's not forget line diameter and type.

    Sure takes the guesswork out.
    Last edited by Spoonminnow; 01-14-2022 at 03:12 AM.
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    Fish do not have hands to grasp. They have a mouth and that is their only way of interacting with other creatures. Fish take things into their mouthes that are both food and non food, and learn to spit at an early age. They take items in, test them for edibility and either eject or swallow as standard operating procedure. Fish take their babies into their mouthes to protect them from being eaten by other fish. They use their mouthes to fight for territory and mates. They use their mouthes to construct nests capable of attracting a mate. Their mouth is kind of it.

    So they might bite to eat, but it could also be in reaction to a threat, or could be out of simple curiosity. Some specie will school up and usually when in a group will act similarly to the others. Either feeding, or moving over distance, or sleeping, etc all in unison. This group behavior leads to a competitive atmosphere where when several fish spot a prey item each dashes in as quickly as possible to capture it, knowing if it tastes bad they can just eject it, but if their buddy gets it they miss out.

    Crappie are a schooling fish, but can operate in an independent fashion. Fickle devils in that they can see something that appears to be edible prey item and take a pass. They are watchers, and ease in for the kill. Carefully moving so as not to disturb the prey until it is too late. Death from the murky depths.

    So our lure comes swimming by and they see it and from their they have to make a decision. Does it look edible ? Do I have to quick grab this before Little Johnny Fish Pants gets a chance ? Is this thing trying to hurt me ? Am I really hungry or am I just in the mood for a little snack ? Am I in position to actually capture the item ?

    Then there are the instinctual behaviors such as putting on weight in anticipation for the spawn. This is like a festival where they feed wildly. Then there are all the environmental influences, such as cold fronts, Moon phases, structure, water temperatures, water levels clarity and currents, lighting effects, prey items available, etc. These too will determine the willingness of a crappie to bite our lures.

    I have noticed how similar their behavior is, even from opposite sides of a large lake. Seven miles away, the fish are either biting or not. I can quickly drive over to the other end and experience the exact same result. Like a large gong has been rung announcing when to start and when to stop, and fish scattered wide and far all comply. When it is on it is on and when it is off it is off.

    Then we have patterns such as the crappie in this lake like blue and pink and in another they like red and white. This lake they bite Road Runners and in this one they refuse them. The old men I speak with all have categorized lures according to the lake they are fishing. We assume it is water clarity, or perhaps a hatch we get to match, but it could be something else entirely. I have been struggling to find universals and they just donít seem to be found.

    The solution can be easily deduced if you take the square root of stupid and divide by fickle. It is why we say the phrase- itís fishing. No computer can select the proper bait to be used at a certain time to catch large fish, or numerous fish. We develop skill sets that allow us to advantage them with regards to some aspect of their very complicated lives. If we loaded the boat every time we went we would soon tire of them. We like to best our competitors and crow about our abilities, and really like it when they other guys starts crying. I like to show my fish to my wife- lookie here baby, this is why I need all that tackle.

    My guess is that fish are so dumb that our application of logic and reason cannot stoop low enough to be of any significant value. I have met some really dumb fellers that could get close, but usually humans are no match, and are left to ponder the question- why ?
    Thank you Crappie.com
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    Poetic, but how do you chose & use lures based on all that?
    Can one lure in one color work 100% of the time when fish are found biting? (ahhh - yes, for sure)
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    The question was a philosophical one, and I shared some insights.

    My limited experience has shown me that any choice I make is simply a guess. Not even sure the choice much matters once I have found aggressive fish. Yesterday hundreds and hundreds of fish saw my trolled display and for some reason chose to simply let all ten jigs just go by. Save for one really dumb one.

    For every fish that bites, there were many others that had already chose not to bite. We kid ourselves when we think that a lure that appeals to one fish appeals to all the fish. I mean just because I caught a fish on this lure, does not mean that all the other fish will also want it. Crap shoot. Catch two fish on that lure and we are getting closer. Catch five fish and we have a pattern. Catch five fish every time we go and we got a confidence lure. Fish with our confidence lure and donít catch anything at all, and we choose to decide the fish just arenít biting today.

    I might choose a lure with a chartreuse tail and set out several of that fashion. However all I am really doing is hoping fish will see it and decide to attack. If they refuse it is generally accepted practice to swap out for another color. Maybe that will work and maybe it will not. Maybe I need to change something else instead. Now begins the process of me choosing, guessing really, as to what will make a fish bite. Find it and I am the hero, not find it and I say the fish just arenít biting today. Could be myriad reasons why.

    Could be the fish are simply tired of eating shad and are focussing on grass shrimp because there was a huge hatching or some such activity going on, only I am completely unawares. I just explain my failure with the old- they arenít biting excuse- but in fact they are actively and aggressively feeding. I can sit in my boat and go through a complicated selection process, allow that chartreuse lure to beguile me all over again, and catch squat diddly.

    So lure selection is really a guessing game we play, until we are able to develop a small selection of confidence lures. Dialing them in. What makes the fish strike those lures and avoid the others is a mystery. Nimrod can fill the boat using his confidence pure, but it doesnít perform the same from my boat. I canít dangle it with equal efficiency and grace.

    So what makes a fish bite a lureÖÖwho really knows. Complicated beyond my ability to reason anything more than an educated guess. Too many factors in play. Basically though we assume it is because that fish saw that lure as food or a threat. The only two reasons why he would choose to engulf it.
    Thank you Crappie.com
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    Basically though we assume it is because that fish saw that lure as food or a threat

    Of course you know what they say about that those that ass-u-me.

    The only reason I swap lures is for variety - not because fish stopped biting them for whatever reason/excuse one may give. The only guesses I make are in regard to possible fish holding areas in a water. In order to up the odds of finding fish - starting with baitfish locations - is to know waters fished over time. This involves discovering a multitude of facts about a lake or pond that may differ widely from one another. It includes:

    knowing everything about the bottom in all parts of the lake such as depths in feet (shallows vs deep areas), flats, humps, points, steep shorelines, bottom composition, weed areas, inflow streams/ old channels, old rock walls, stumps, etc. The only way to do this is with sonar and traveling to various parts of the lake or pond, constantly making mental notes of what is found.

    seasonality -
    fish locate in different areas depending on the season and avoid the same areas for the same reason.No guess work when it comes to choosing the right lures, used the right way - trolling generally being least productive. The areas those lures are cast are as important as the lures chosen which goes back to - knowing thy water especially when a water is a mile or more in any direction.

    Having confidence in any lure simply means fish were caught on it and nothing more; losing confidence in a lure is just as uninformative. If a lure statistically proves itself - even during only one outing - the lure is now a classic in one's tackle box meaning the odds are very high it can and will catch fish when taking into consideration various fish locations.

    Lure color is the least significant factor when choosing lures and I've proven many times that clear soft plastic does as well as opaque colors of any brightness. Color brightness along with flash is something I consider importanct when I want the lure to stand out and to emphasize a lures action as a whole or just the tail.

    The whole point of using lures is discovering what each is capable of when it is used in one or different ways and in different situations. Statistics speak loudest when assessing the value of a lure. In fact results over time do not and can not disprove the value of a lure that has proven itself year after year by consistently catching fish and in different waters no less.

    As to what fish are supposedly feeding on at the time, lure choices never need take that into consideration. Higher activity equates to more sensitivity to moving objects, whether alive or appearing so - even regarding the unnatural way lures are prone to moving.

    Find fish/catch fish may seem simplistic but when all the above are taken into consideration, it doesn't take a genius to catch fish while at the same time excluding all of the noise/claims why and what fish strike.

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    My wife and I just like to go fishin when we can and when the weather and our age allows. We fish from bank and my we have some good times and some bad days as well.
    I am on C.C.Com every day and I love all the information on baits and styles that I read about, maybe I live vicariously through all of you and I thank you for that.

    In my mind I want all of the baits I read about but my wallet always says whoa!When I was younger I spent way too much and as I'm older I likely spend to little but you know what? We have fun!

    My wife always is catching more than I while fishing the same way(she fishes 2 poles and I just 1).
    I can't consume and retain all the info I read on here but my goodness I do enjoy it.

    Differing opinions are always great but at the end of the day always appreciate the connection we have here and walk away as friends.

    Alan
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