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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BigTex and I had this conversation and I would like to know what you all think. I believe that bass are able to tell the difference between a plastic lizard and worm, or a plastic crawdad, etc. However, he believes that they do not, and that fish do not hit a certain lure on a certain day, but will hit another lure because of how the lure is presented the bass.

Furthermore, he believes that a bass will not "learn" to stay away from certain lures as it grows, matures, and is caught repeatedly.

What do you all think?

Why is that bass will hit a lizard when you throw it, but it will not hit a crawdad imitation?
 

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The advice I can give regarding this subject is to go out and fish DURING THE SPAWN. This is the only time where you can observe the behavior of a bass for an extended period of time (or if Jared can dig out the article he wrote about the aquarium bass he observed, GREAT read) First thing I will mention, is that if you throw any kind of worm imitation into a bass's bed, chances are that bass will not attack, unless it poses a serious threat (like if you disrupt the middle of the bed where the eggs are) however the SECOND a lizard or craw is thrown into the very middle of a bed, chances are it will get IMMEDIATE attention. That being said, the times that lure will NOT get attention is if that bass has been caught on it numerous times in the past. If you catch a bass 3, 4, 5 times on the same lure, it will not give that lure a LOOK nomatter WHAT its doing to the bed. That is the best way that I have proven to MYSELF that bass ABSOLUTELY can learn to stay away from lures. I live on a farm pond about 20 acres, with some very large bass, and in my short time on this earth I have spent more time on bedfish than just about any person i meet. I look forward to the spawn every year, because i truly believe it is the absolutel best time to learn about bass and bass behavior. I have certain fish that spawn in the same area every year, and I have marked a few (harmlessly) and if I catch one bass day in, and day out, constantly on the same lure, and then go back to the SAME bass even a year later, or 5 years later, with the same lure... that bass wont even give it a sniff. This proves to me that bass can learn to stay away from lures in their life. I cannot tell you how many composition books I have filled with notes.
 

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Mike, I agree 100%. Bass can learn to distinguish artificial from natural, but will always occasionally fall for the reaction bite no matter how old or experienced. I've opened tons of bass stomachs, and over the years find they contain only one species of prey, be it a crawfish, brean, shad, or whatever. They go hunting for whatever is easiest to catch any given feeding moment. If turned onto crawfish, they ignore baitfish imitators, except to the reaction bite. The reason they hit lizards on spawn beds is those mosr closely resemble salamanders, which they HATE with a passion due to their aggressive egg eating habit.They hit them with KILL on mind. Other baits might get carefully lipped just enough to move them away from the bed.

Jim
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But can a bass distinguish the difference between a worm, a lizard, and crawdad, as it pertains to plastics?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes i believe it can distinguish the profile size but not whether it is a lizard or worm, but that is not what I was talking about.  I was saying no matter what plastic that you are using you could provoke a bass to take it due to the proper presentation, vibration,and color.  It doesn't, IMO, matter whether it is a lizard, brush hog, worm, etc.... you can still make that bass bite.I seriously doubt that any bass feels obligated to identify his food.
If the food menu of a bass consists of 357 items, it's important to realize that all 357 items
had to be seized and eaten for the first time, without any history or recognition. The proof is in the pudding,
most of the stuff we throw at bass doesn't look like anything from planet Earth...doesn't have to.
Think about when someone offers you a taste of something you've never had before.  You assess the meal.  How's it look?  Smell?  Any appealing characteristics?  Just because you never had it before doesn't mean you won't try it if it meets your assessment criteria. These things are based on profile.  I don't think a bass will go up to a bait and think hey thats a lizard, I wanted a worm.  LOL


As far as a bass being caught 3,4,5 times and then not take a lure shows my point to an extent.  The bass must not have been too smart to take it this many times. Now, I never said a bass was completely stupid but they sure are not as smart as some people think. Sooner or later the bass that has been caught on a particular lure a couple times will in time forget about it and when the opportinuity presents itself properly it will take that same bait again.  I have done this so many times.
 

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Dont quote me on this BUT I THINK I read somewhere that a bass can remember lures for about 1 month before he forgets.. I do not know if this is true or not, but I believe I read that somewhere.

I know I have caught the same bass numerous of times in the pond Dennis and I fish alot at, on the same color and same soft plastic bait. ( within the same month.. ( sometimes the same day )

So, that may blow what I read out of the water huh....
 

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I'm sure all of us have become disappointed after spending good money on the hottest lure, only for 10,000 other anglers to throw it too, and eventuyally almost no bass bite it no matter how well presented. That's why I hang onto old classics like a Lucky 13 and Heddon River Runts. The older they are the less likely any bass alive has seen them. For years around here I encouraged folks to just pull a 6" plastic worm through spawn beds and they would catch nce bass. While that worked for many years, it stopped working. Bass treat them differently from lizards. They attack lizards to kill, while just butting Sweet Beavers and plastic minnows away the way they do panfish, swatting jigs, and lipping worms away from the bed. Lizard type baits simply work best because the lizard so closely resembles a salamanderl. I've stood on the shoreline and watched bedding bass for a long time. They have different strategies for different invaders. They ignore snakes, as snakes never bother beds directly but might come right up on a bed only to be escorted away. The bass turns and watches a snake passing by, that's about all. I've read lots of white papers in Fisheries journal that mostly agree a bass has a sophisticated sense of sight, able to correctly respond to objects as small as one fish egg in gravel. I doubt I could spot one egg in a pile of gravel. I've hunted for crayfish countless hours and can't number how many times a good one was right under my hand, but couldn't see past the camoflage. A bass can spot it. So I'm a firm believer in trying to discover what a bass wants today and match that look as closely as possible. I know not to swim a crayfish imitator 10' off bottom, as a very inexperienced bass would just know that ain't natural. But if I use a shad imitator I stand a chance of convincing a bass midway up the water column.

Jim
 
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