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Why Worm?

2430 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  oldschool
I saw this question on Bassmasters Board and just about no one answered it there but I thought it was an interesting topic and I thought it may open up an interesting discussion here :)

I will quote the question posed:

My Question is :

Why Do they know to eat it ? Meaning I have never seen a Real Worm in the Water Naturally. I mean Do Bass Eat this Plastic out of Instinct ? and if So does that mean there are really many worms coming up from the bottom of our lakes ? or do they just come into a lake by Rain Run OFFS ?

So what do yall think?
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Here was how I replied to this question:

Well, to the angler the plastic worm looks like just a worm but truth of the matter is that to the bass, its not imitating a worm. Its imitating many different bottom dwelling creatures. As one person already said, it could be immitating eels if indeed that body of water has them. It can also be imitating leaches. Another thing it could apear to be to the bass are small fish that stay near the bottom called Darters. It could also be immitating many of the different types of amphibians that exist in many of our lakes and ponds. These are only a handful of creatures that plastic worms can appear to be to the bass.

Good Fishin, Jared
Id love to hear everyone elses opinions and views.

imonembad said:
I'd love to hear Arkie's explanation!!! :D
Me too! :) I actually learned about the Darters from him, if I recall correctly ;-)
That's always an intriguing topic. I wrote a ton on it before Bassmaster wiped all those articles out. I rarely contribute there now.

In short most probably signal SALAMANDER and the kill instinct. Bass hate those egg eaters. They'll kill it even if stuffed with shad.

If you use a natural color imitating current crayfish colors (fishing it on bottom) or shad (darter gliding), a bass isn't going to ignore it. If swimming it over weeds it would easily resemble a newly hatched water snake. Bass will eat all they can find. There are extra long juvenile fish species like chain pickerel a worm can imitate.

The subtle sounds (vibrations) they make more closely imitate sound from prey, so that disarms their security alarm.

A reason baitfish and panfish congregate in feeder creeks after a heavy rain is to feed on insects, earthworms, frogs, crayfish, minnows being washed down from under rocks and forest debris. A 6" paddle, curly or ribbon tailed worm swimming downstream out of new water is prime prey.

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Humans eat McDonalds when they're hungry- because it resembles real food. Deja doodoo. ;D
LOL Steel
Bass are predators. They'll eat anything that looks alive and is big enough to fit in their mouth.

Let's put it this way.. let's say everyday around the same time you have breakfast, lunch and dinner. But one day while walking somebody offers you a candy bar you've never tried before. You don't turn down the candy bar because it's not part of your meal plan do you? Even though you dont actually recognize the candy, you do recognize that it is food.

We're not so different, us humans and bass.  ;D

By the way I love a nice worm for a snack!  :D
They are predators, but there are several reasons they don't always ignore a lure. For instance, a spawn bed male doesn't normally eat what comes around the eggs or fry. He is on a mission to protect, not eat. Most of the time they have gently lipped a lizard or hard floating minnow, just enough to take it away from the nest, dropping it. Many hooksets are actually exterior snaggings around spawn beds. He might swat it to try just killing it. Hunger is probably a moderately powerful reason to attack since they only feed once up to twice a day when really active. In cold water they eat once every 18-30 hours or so because it takes longer to digest food. Reaction (surprise) bites might be the most powerful force. Territorial instinct is another. A bass might be full of food but can't tolerate a bream hanging around its ambush spot. A bass might bite out of curiosity, anger, or maybe greed to keep other bass from eating a potential meal. For all those reasons, and maybe more, they eat most anything that moves that at all resembles something they've eaten before, and can get inside their mouth. Remember the internet photos of the catfish that got a basketball stuck in its mouth?

There was a guy here that demonstrated the effectiveness of a topwater that began as a beer can. The lure worked but his price was $30. The project died.

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Plastic worms offer several profiles to bass and can be presented from top to bottom. Nothing in the lure arsenal is more versatile, comes in more sizes and shape or colors that soft plastic worms. I believe the question why does a bass eat something that does not look like a real worm can be answered by understanding the basses behavior. The answer lies in the basic behavior of bass and why they are so eager at times to strike at a wide variety of lures, which in term makes them the sport fish they are. Bass are opportunist and ambush feeders by nature. They are built to make short fast burst of speed and make sharp turns, to be able to grab creatures that come within their striking window. Bass are not always waiting for something to swim by to eat, they are neutral about 60 percent of the time, just resting. The plastic worm is an easy target of opportunity that is moving in a manner that represent life to the bass. If the bass happen to be feeding on prey that the worm represents in color, profile or movement, the bass may eat it There are lots of bottom dwelling creatures that bass eat like suckers, sculpin, darner nymphs, crawdads, tadpoles, eels, salamanders, that move along the bottom or through the water column. Plus bass area predator that is just curious at times and territorial at other times.
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