Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Fishing Forum
      Are lures we cast really 'natural'?     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

senkosam
member (16)member
 
03/02/2021 04:52AM  
For years I thought fish 'thought' the lures I caught them on 'fooled' them into 'believing' they represented some prey animal.

 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
QueticoMike
distinguished member(5229)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/02/2021 06:26AM  
The Zulu rig looks like a natural dying bait fish when twitched and paused. The closest thing I have ever seen to a real dying bait fish. Looks natural to me.
 
JimLahey
 
03/02/2021 08:27AM  
senkosam: "Are lures we cast really 'natural'?"

No. For a fish, if it moves - it's food.

Also this is a little known fact, but fish don't have hands. So when they see something that peaks their interest and they want to pick it up, well they got one option.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1057)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/02/2021 09:01AM  
JimLahey: "senkosam: "Are lures we cast really 'natural'?"

No. For a fish, if it moves - it's food.


Also this is a little known fact, but fish don't have hands. So when they see something that peaks their interest and they want to pick it up, well they got one option."


Amen to all that.

OP, I'm sorry but you're overthinking this. They're fish. They have only a tiny fraction of the brain mass of a similar sized bird. If you can find them, put your bait near them, and avoid spooking them, I don't care what color it is you've got a decent shot.

In my opinion color really only matters to the extent that the lure is even visible. For example, bright colors might help in really dirty water. Or, if you're fishing super deep for lake trout, the Purpledescent tail dancer is a great bait. Why? Not because the baitfish down there are purple. It's because water completely absorbs different colors at different depths, and purple is one that stays visible deepest. Combine that with rattle and wobble that attract/annoy the fish, and you've got a great combo.
 
senkosam
member (16)member
 
03/02/2021 09:06AM  
" looks like a natural dying bait fish" and "Looks natural to me" are human 'labels' I'm talking about. Granted, those ideas may pertain to fish strikes, but for my money the basics of lure action, size, shape and presentation narrow it down - especially lure action. If a fish bites this lure, what was it 'thinking' - a clear soft plastic mini stick wacky rigged.?




or any of these:


After fish strike, I keep a photo journal and note the action of each lure that did well. I have no doubt they will do well in the future regardless of color and size changes. It's like knowing a chemical formula and what it is.



'Combination' is the word of the day ! When we fish, we search for the 'combination' of factors that not only help us find fish but which lures and presentations that get fish to bite. For example:
Fish were absent in one location and structure type. Time to fish another. Fish weren't hitting spinnerbaits. Time to try bottom lures. What bottom lures?
Maybe skirted jigs or Texas rigged worms. Great ! - the combination of where and what to use paid off. (note: neither of those lures are 'natural' in appearance or action.)
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1057)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/02/2021 09:26AM  
senkosam: "If a fish bites this lure, what was it 'thinking' - a clear soft plastic mini stick wacky rigged.?"

That's my whole point though. The fish wasn't "thinking."

Let's say I'm familiar with your body of work, senkosam. Different username but the photos are a dead giveaway. In my opinion you are just wayyyy overanalyzing this game. But whatever floats yer canoe!
 
senkosam
member (16)member
 
03/02/2021 09:30AM  
thegildedgopher: "senkosam: "If a fish bites this lure, what was it 'thinking' - a clear soft plastic mini stick wacky rigged.?"


That's my whole point though. The fish wasn't "thinking."


Let's say I'm familiar with your body of work, senkosam. Different username but the photos are a dead giveaway. In my opinion you are just wayyyy overanalyzing this game. But whatever floats yer canoe!"


I never implied that fish think or are capable. You did by agreeing with the statement that fish think a lure represents prey. Lure action is more accurate and basic.

Actually my post simplifies lure choice. I fish with someone that only fishes one lure anytime we fish. He catches almost as many fish as I do as compared to my large experimental selection of fun-to-fish modified lures. I can close my eyes and pick out any one of my lures that did well knowing they'll do well once I find fish.

Not much overanalyzing if you get my drift.

(my other user names on other forums: saltystick and spoonminnow)
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13685)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
03/02/2021 09:32AM  
Every time I use a Zara Super Spook lure to catch a huge smallmouth bass I ask this question. Why on earth would a fish hit this lure? It darts left, then right, all the way back to me. Nothing does that in nature. But there I am holding another 18” bass in my hand for a picture. I wonder if the get mad at it because it’s so erratic and think it’s a threat, or want to protect there area? A Mepps in-line spinner lure also comes to mind. It has flash, vibration, big Squirrel tail and a treble hook, sounds tasty to me, NOT. But I have had two 100 fish days in the BWCA using nothing but Mepps spinners. Go figure.
 
senkosam
member (16)member
 
03/02/2021 09:47AM  
Bravo Savage ! A great example! Reminds me also of two others: the buzz bait and the giant willow leaf spinnerbait that looks like a disco strobe light flashing through the water - both using 'steady retrieves'.

(man I wish there were bold, italic, underline tools on this forum)
 
03/02/2021 10:09AM  
The way I see it, fish are more like AI software than human intelligence. There are certain triggers that get a response, without any more reasoning or depth than that. Food or threat, what's the response for a fish? They either snap at it, ignore it, or run away. So there is very little "recognition" there. They notice something that triggers their instincts, like a flash, flicker, or sound and they react. That's all it is, an instinctual response to a trigger.

What we as fishermen are doing, is replicating those triggers. It's like saying key words when you call a 1 800 number to speak to a real person or make a payment. You don't have to have a natural presentation, you just need to replicate that trigger in a way that is noticeable enough to attract their attention but not too "flashy" so it doesn't scare off the fish.
 
senkosam
member (16)member
 
03/02/2021 10:29AM  
Wow - excellent A1t2o !
Triggers are key when choosing which lures to try. I think of it as whatever about a lure that 'incites' the bite is what I want to try . This link to a recent post will show the progression of my lure craft and design discoveries over the years. Heck, it makes winter a lot more easy to take when playing with lure ideas - many of which just popped up on the spur of the moment.

How many of you make your own lures or modify those already owned?
 
QueticoMike
distinguished member(5229)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/02/2021 11:12AM  
I'm just saying I have seen dying bait before and I have seen dying bait get eaten. All of this happened in nature. Which looked natural to me. A fish sees a dying or injured bait fish and their nature tells them to eat it. One thing I do know, this lure and presentation has worked better than any other I have ever used. If it works, stick with it with no matter the reason fish have for wanting to eat it. To each their own. Good luck this year!
 
senkosam
member (16)member
 
03/02/2021 12:10PM  
" If it works, stick with it with no matter the reason fish have for wanting to eat it."

No better advice IMO.
One thing of note: lure craft and design are offshoots of fishing that have been dominated by major lure companies. The designers knew what would sell though maybe not necessarily what would get strikes. When Uncle Josh came out with the pork frog trailer, the name never made much sense but the combination of skirted jig and trailer caught thousands of fish. Some thought the salty fat and tough skin contributed; others maintained in fishing media that the lure represented a crawfish to bass. Again, media hype that meant nothing to bass.

Once Uncle Josh stopped selling the 'frog', I knew I had to copy them in three sizes using plaster of Paris for the mold, other trailers not available at the time.


I found out it caught as many fish as the original, that the strikes were just as hard and without the pig skin and fat. Who knew a bass would strike something so unnatural in appearance and action !

Side note: We routinely retrieve a spinnerbait using a steady retrieve. Well last year just by chance as I was retrieving the combo in for another cast, I noticed the flutter of the delta shaped flaps. In shallow water near weed edges, I used the jig & trailer like that of a spinnerbait's steady retrieve and caught bass.

Another observation: the lure was lying on bottom after a 20' cast and I forgot it was there while I had lunch. As soon as the trolling motor moved the boat - BANG - fish on! Rod was almost dragged overboard. Who knows how long that fish 'babysat my bait' before deciding to pounce once the lure started being dragged less than a foot. LOL
 
seekadventure
member (12)member
 
03/02/2021 12:58PM  
As others have eluted to, its not cognitive thinking that the fish is doing. That's what we as fishermen and fisherwomen have to see past. What fish are doing is reacting to instincts and trained behavior. If a fish doesn't react to a dyeing minnow fast enough, well another fish will get it. Its learned that its a quick reaction that gets a full belly, not stop and analyze what it is. For instance, if you had your back to me and I called your name, and before you turned to look at me I had thrown a ball at your head. You turn and look and see something coming at you, what do you do? You probably duck so it misses you, right? You don't analyze to see if its a baseball or just a soft harmless foam ball. All we as fisherman are trying to do is get that fish to react to its instincts. Something that looks unnatural to us can still trigger the reaction just as a harmless foam ball flying at your head can trigger yours. To Qmikes point, the baits that can mimic weak/dying prey tend to have better success as it is learned that these are easy meals, so instinctively they react to it quickly before other competition can get to it. I think having other competition in the vicinity is almost as important as the lure you are presenting

Another commenter eluted to curiosity. Now I do think this does come in to play. A fish sees something that it cant figure out, so it investigates it by putting it in its mouth. This I feel is really only effective with finesse presentations. I would say this may be the cause of less than 10% of strikes (based on my observations sight fishing) and typically it is a quick intake and spit out, several times in quick succession.

So to summarize IMO, when a fish strikes a lure it hasn't thought and processed what is saw and determined it to look enough like food to eat. Instead, a natural instinctive trigger was tripped that had the fish attacking whatever it saw/felt/heard to get an easy meal before its competition.
 
THEGrandRapids
distinguished member (241)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/02/2021 01:21PM  
I think you are over and under analyzing the question- only looking at it as 1 dimensional.

Do the lures "look" natural? pretty close, but I think your point is that items that catch fish can be quite different in visual appearance to anything that is out there, but those lures are mimicking nature, and I'd say mainly in their vibration. I don't think fish can see very far in the water, but a majority depend on their lateral lines to detect "movement, vibration and pressure gradients", something we can't do, except for the old timers that can feel storms coming. You haven't explored the question deep enough, and I think came up short. Do fish strike for food and predatory reflexes? Yes, but its because those items do mimic nature, just may not mimic what you see with your eyes.
 
mgraber
distinguished member(1184)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/02/2021 01:49PM  
THEGrandRapids: "I think you are over and under analyzing the question- only looking at it as 1 dimensional.


Do the lures "look" natural? pretty close, but I think your point is that items that catch fish can be quite different in visual appearance to anything that is out there, but those lures are mimicking nature, and I'd say mainly in their vibration. I don't think fish can see very far in the water, but a majority depend on their lateral lines to detect "movement, vibration and pressure gradients", something we can't do, except for the old timers that can feel storms coming. You haven't explored the question deep enough, and I think came up short. Do fish strike for food and predatory reflexes? Yes, but its because those items do mimic nature, just may not mimic what you see with your eyes. "


Agreed. Fish can use sight, taste, smell, vibration sensed by lateral line, or any combination of these. They can react from a desire to feed, curiosity, or a defensive/ territorial response. They have little ability to analyze or even remember for very long, so some of it is a mystery for sure, but it is definitely somewhat genetic. They can definitely "learn" to eat new foods, but this takes experimentation by the fish. A lure might only have to trigger one of the senses to get a response as they likely don't think "well, the vibration feels like something alive that might be tasty, but what is that thing spinning on that shaft?" Or, "I'm kinda worried about those sharp things trailing off the back". You are talking about a VERY simple animal that reacts to a variety of stimuli for a variety of reasons. How do you know the in line spinner doesn't put out vibrations that mimic a live fish or at least trigger that response because it is close enough? So, to answer your question, I would say sometimes yes, and sometimes no, but even when it is a no there may be something non obvious about it that triggers a natural response.
 
senkosam
member (16)member
 
03/02/2021 04:30PM  
Okay guys - time to 'simplify' lure choices and the reason for using them them.
I hope all of you looked at my posted via the link:
How many of you make your own lures or modify those already owned?
LOOK AT THOSE LURES - CAREFULLY - THAT CAUGHT FISH FROM THE FIRST DAY AND EVER SINCE !!!

Alright now, consider NOT what each lure represents - i.e. food or some prey animal or that they were struck simply out of curiosity (i.e. a taste test), but rather, that EACH HAS A SIGNATURE ACTION COUPLED WITH A UNIQUE PROFILE.

Take the craw claw hybrid pictured for example. I couldn't give a d*** what is looks like to a fish but rather that the design is similar to the pork frog with its flat body and subtlety flapping FLAT tails. Turned out to be a killer bait that can be reproduced in different sizes and colors ! ACTION/PROFILE PERIOD!

The only reason I have for wondering why good lures catch fish consistently is so I can reproduce the action/ profiles and stock them for future use.

Here's another thing not touched on by anyone: PRESENTATION
How many of you have used the various presentations associated with the plastic worm? Texas rig, drop shot, shaky head, Ned rig, Carolina rig and others. Why chose one and not the others. Isn't it what each rig causes a lure to do as well as where to use them in the water column?

Let me repeat : You chose one for WHAT IT CAUSE THE LURE TO DO -SIMPLE AS THAT! not what lure represents prey-wise, (though some might think (label) the presentation and lure combination as an ANIMAL SIMULATION first just to justify using it.

I don't justify the use of certain lures other than a lure's unique action and profile provokes fish to become aggressive enough to strike. That's it folks in a nut shell. Fish ain't that complex a creature and in fact: simple is as simple does.
 
03/02/2021 05:49PM  
a lot of lures claim to imitate a dying baitfish , but yet when we buy/fish with live bait everyone wants the liveliest bait , Hmmmm
 
casualbriday
senior member (69)senior membersenior member
 
03/03/2021 05:44AM  
shock: "a lot of lures claim to imitate a dying baitfish , but yet when we buy/fish with live bait everyone wants the liveliest bait , Hmmmm"

Uh, because of what happens when they get a hook stuck through them?

I always go to the senko and ned rigged TRD as prime examples. They're not shaped like anything, really, but they catch a ton of bass if correctly presented (and neds are pretty good for stream trout, too). Fish will eat if the lure indicates that it might be food (through profile, size, and color, but also motion, smell and vibration) and also (via the same cues) doesn't indicate that anything about it is likely to be harmful. Or the same cues indicate that it's a threat to their bed if spawning.

Quetico Mike is right about the way that the zulus (and really any weedless, weightless fluke pattern or "soft jerk bait" in the 3.5-6" range) move when twitched, though. I'm partial to "outfitter brand" (cabela's and scheels) ones that have a skinny tail with a big paddle at the end. Their level of durability leaves a lot to be desired but I've gotten some vicious strikes compared to a straight or forked tail model. I generally like elaztech (the sawtooth worms are one of my favorite texas rig plastics), but for weightless, weedless presentation I like conventional plastic to get access to more of the water column
 
senkosam
member (16)member
 
03/03/2021 06:22AM  
When it comes to soft plastics, I've found that these lure actions rule:

tail flutter (curl tail, thin delta shaped tails, thin straight tail)

stick tip-twitch (no action imparted) (Senko and my mini-sticks wacky rigged)

Body wobble /paddle tail wag (swimbaits)

darting/paused/ rod tip action (flukes jerked)

body/ tail whip/ rod tip action (Kut Tail worms and tapered body worm with straight tails)

whip on bottom/ rod tip action (T-rigged plastic worms)

horizontal tail flap / rod tip action (my claw grubs and pork frog copies))

slight up & down body flex action (drop shot Slider worms or any straight thin worm with straight tails)



 
PineKnot
distinguished member(1862)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/04/2021 11:00AM  
I've caught more big smallies over the years using a 1/4 oz or 3/8 oz chartreuse spinnerbait with chrome tandem willow blades. It is my most-used lure for the morning and evening hours anytime of year. I usually bubble it just under the surface or on the surface. I fish this method by casting right on the shoreline and bringing it back to the canoe with a steady retrieve. Usually, if I don't get a strike within the first 15 feet or so from splashdown, I won't get one till the next cast. And I can cover a lot of shoreline in a short period of time...

Now I've watched this lure in the water. It doesn't look like anything natural, but smallies hit it....alot. Largemouth and pike too. But why? I think the thing just pisses them off when they're hungry....or is there another reason?
 
QueticoMike
distinguished member(5229)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/05/2021 06:00AM  
PineKnot: "I've caught more big smallies over the years using a 1/4 oz or 3/8 oz chartreuse spinnerbait with chrome tandem willow blades. It is my most-used lure for the morning and evening hours anytime of year. I usually bubble it just under the surface or on the surface. I fish this method by casting right on the shoreline and bringing it back to the canoe with a steady retrieve. Usually, if I don't get a strike within the first 15 feet or so from splashdown, I won't get one till the next cast. And I can cover a lot of shoreline in a short period of time...


Now I've watched this lure in the water. It doesn't look like anything natural, but smallies hit it....alot. Largemouth and pike too. But why? I think the thing just pisses them off when they're hungry....or is there another reason?
"


To a not so intelligent fish the spinner bait does look like a bait fish with the jig head and flowing skirt. The flash of the blades resembles the flash of a bait fish. The vibration that it gives off is picked up by their lateral lines and they detect these vibrations as the bait fish's movement.
 
Speckled
distinguished member (253)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/05/2021 10:18AM  
QueticoMike: "PineKnot: "I've caught more big smallies over the years using a 1/4 oz or 3/8 oz chartreuse spinnerbait with chrome tandem willow blades. It is my most-used lure for the morning and evening hours anytime of year. I usually bubble it just under the surface or on the surface. I fish this method by casting right on the shoreline and bringing it back to the canoe with a steady retrieve. Usually, if I don't get a strike within the first 15 feet or so from splashdown, I won't get one till the next cast. And I can cover a lot of shoreline in a short period of time...



Now I've watched this lure in the water. It doesn't look like anything natural, but smallies hit it....alot. Largemouth and pike too. But why? I think the thing just pisses them off when they're hungry....or is there another reason?
"



To a not so intelligent fish the spinner bait does look like a bait fish with the jig head and flowing skirt. The flash of the blades resembles the flash of a bait fish. The vibration that it gives off is picked up by their lateral lines and they detect these vibrations as the bait fish's movement."


This is where i'm at with it. While we look at it and believe it doesn't look anyting like food for a fish. The fish do see it was food. It's a lateral line, movement and vibration thing they sense. Not visual. Someone else said it in either this thread or one of the others. If it moves, its food.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next