For an enthusiastic spinner, fishing is a process of unlimited search: analysis of information sources, selection of gear and lures, finding a good fishing place, casting, provoking a predator to attack, hooking, fishing, and finally, discussing impressions. Each of us, voluntarily or involuntarily, pays more attention to this or that stage, perhaps someone has other approaches. Finding a fishing place is a matter of experience, casting, hooking, and fishing is a matter of technology, but the choice of gear and bait, as well as the search for its most suitable game, is a field of activity where there is the greatest scope for experimentation and creative search. Of course, the result will be more significant if the search is carried out not out of the blue, but on the basis of knowledge about the behavior of fish and the parameters of baits.
My daily activities are related to scientific research, so everything that happens during fishing is subjected to a thorough analysis, since the thoughtless use of bait usually leads to a waste of time. To avoid this and understand some of the winning points of bait, we studied in laboratory and natural conditions the vibrations that create baits in water, and revealed very interesting facts, which I wanted to share with our colleagues first of all.
First, a little theory
It is well known that a fish sees and hears. Fish do not have an outer and middle ear, but there is an inner one located in the region of the gill covers. The width of the spectrum of sound vibrations that are perceived by the inner ear depends not only on the environment, but also on the type of fish. Studies by ichthyologists show that most predators, on average, distinguish sound vibrations in the range from 20 to 1000 hertz. For example, chub, perch and asp – up to 2000 hertz, pike perch – from 20 to 600 hertz, pike – up to 1200 hertz. The catfish has a fairly sharp ear, he hears sound vibrations with a frequency of up to 13,000 hertz due to the special structure of the inner ear. In addition to the inner ear, the fish also have a side line, with the help of which the fish senses low-frequency sound waves from 1 to 200 hertz. When comparing these values, it is seen that in the range from 20 to 200 hertz, the fish hears and feels vibrations.
To find out from what distance the fish begins to respond to sounds is quite difficult. It depends on the conditions of propagation of vibrations and the type of fish. Theoretically and experimentally, it can be established that, on average, fish begin to respond to bait fluctuations from 10-15 meters. It is obvious that the fish first hears and feels the bait, and then begins to see it. In addition to the fluctuations of your bait in water, a sufficiently large number of other fluctuations, including noise. Therefore, the fish first establishes the direction of arrival of the oscillation, and then begins to identify the object that emits them as they approach it. The process of visual identification begins later. The idea that a predator rushes to any sound and attacking, looking for edible prey, is a delusion. The experience of many fishers suggests that in many cases the attack of a predator is provoked by a desire to protect their territory from a stranger. However, there are times when a predator does not react to the bait in any way, no matter how you provoke it.
There is a simple explanation for this. The fish distinguishes and instinctively remembers the set of vibrations that both prey and rivals (enemies) create. Thus, there is a range of oscillations that can either scare away or attract fish and provoke an attack. The predator disregards many vibrations due to the fact that they are not interesting to him at a given time or he simply does not hear them. There is always uncertainty in the behavior of fish, but the easier it is for us to plan our actions, including the choice of bait from a fishing box, the more we know about the facts on which the reaction of the fish depends. For example, changes associated with changing the time of day or fishing season affect the entire underwater life, and the predator gets used to these periodic cycles, changing its priorities, and we have to pick up the bait every time.
The average distance from which a fish begins to identify the bait in water by means of sight is 5 meters. Like the rumor, the light spectrum that the fish sees depends on the species, but all types of fish distinguish the outline of the bait. This fact is very important. If you didn’t frighten off the fish before by unsuccessful posting (for example, asp or chub), then with repeated posting it has the opportunity to recognize a fake using all the senses. The simple conclusion is obvious here. It is better to provoke the fish to attack before it can use all the senses. That is, before she can make out the bait.
Quite a lot has already been said about the colors of baits, and still is an occasion for debate and reasoning. Few of us know what colors a predator generally sees, which we hunt in specific conditions of light and transparency of water. Sometimes the huge variety of proposed bait colorings for us, fishers, is more significant than for the fish itself. Years of experience show that the best property of a bait is its ability to reflect sunlight (create glare). This ability is more versatile than color, since glare is clearly visible even in troubled waters. The specificity of the oscillations of the bait is designed to attract and retain the attention of a predator, and provoke an attack. That's where you need to start picking up the bait.
Most wobblers look like different fish. However, there are those that resemble other small animals – mice, frogs or crayfish. Others attract fish with play and colors, and generally do not resemble any creature the predator encounters. Since we found out that it is better to provoke a predator to attack even before he sees the bait, it makes sense to talk about the vibrations created by the bait, which the fish detect much earlier.
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