My Facebook pages

Robert Montgomery

Why We Fish

Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies

Pippa's Canine Corner 

 

 

This area does not yet contain any content.
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Get Updates! and Search
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.

 

 

 

 

Entries in bass (34)

Monday
Jul252016

Bass or Carp, Which Species Is Smarter?

 

If you're an angler who believes that sometimes you get "outsmarted" by those wily ol' bass, I have some bad news for you.

Carp are even "smarter." That's right.  The bottom feeder disrespected by so many is no dummy.

"From my years of experience in observing bass in the laboratory, I would have to rank them around the middle of the intelligence range: definitely smarter than trout (at least hatchery trout) but dumber than carp (no insult intended — carp are smarter than you think!)," said Dr. Keith Jones, who has long studied fish behavior for Berkley.

*    *    *    *

"The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are indeed among the smartest freshwater fishes, if not THE smartest," said another source. " They learn well for fish. They have the longest complex learning retention of all fishes tested."

Seriously, though, it's impossible to measure fish "intelligence" in any way comparable to the way that it is measured in humans. Rather, we watch how they behave in nature, and, more importantly, in laboratories and just their response to various stimuli.

As I reveal in Better Bass Fishing, you’re just outsmarting yourself if you try to “out-think” bass. Yes, bass are capable of learned behavior. But they definitely aren’t the “Einsteins” of the fish world. Carp and bluegill rank higher in laboratory tests. Most importantly, though, bass (and other fish species) don’t “think” and they aren’t “smart.”

Rather, bass are selective as to food, cover, and water, and, each spring, they are driven by the biological imperative to spawn.

Those anglers who are smart enough to recognize those needs and respond accordingly, are the ones who catch the most and largest bass.  They look for water and cover that they have learned is attractive to bass during each season of the year. They learn the migration routes that fish take to those locations. They observe what bass are feeding on and try to offer baits that are similar in appearance.

Although bass are not smart, they do seem to learn to avoid some baits. That why new baits--- and new colors, to a lesser degree--- seem to produce better than older styles. For a while. We saw it happen with buzzbaits in the 1980s and soft jerkbaits in the 1990s. Now, it's happening with swimbaits.

(Check out all my books here.)

*    *    *    *

And here's an interesting take from the World Fishing Network:

The IQ of fish varies greatly depending on the species. It varies even further depending on individuals within any given species. Anglers need to look at the species that they are targeting for known traits and advantages that could make them more difficult to catch.

Fish can learn to avoid specific lures and noises made by anglers. In order to continue to be successful, anglers need to try new lures and colors on a regular basis. An effort should also be made to fish new areas and to make as little noise as possible.

Fish intelligence is hereditary and they can be bred to be easier to catch. Anglers should care take when harvesting fish in order to avoid selectively breeding intelligence. Smaller fish, whether intelligent or not, haven't had the chance to learn to avoid lures. Therefore, they make a better choice for harvesting.

Whether you are catching fish or not, it is unlikely that they are outsmarting you. Their intelligence is very limited. You just need to work around what they may have learned.

Where do carp and bass rank in intelligence on a planet with more than 30,000 species of fish in our ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans? We'll likely never know that.

But some scientists suspect that the top of the class are of the marine variety.

"In general, cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, and rays) have higher brain-to-body mass ratios than bony fishes, as well as most cold-blooded vertebrates. And manta rays have the largest brain size of any cartilaginous fish, although we don't know why," reports one website.

"What we do know, though, is that they're very curious. They also somehow perceive humans as 'special.' Along with marine mammals, they are among the very few animals known to seek out human contact for reasons other than food. Some of them have even been known to let humans ride on them. Preliminary evidence even suggest that they could recognize themselves in mirrors, putting them in an extremely small group of animals."

And Thom Demas, curator of fishes at the Tennessee Aquarium shared this interesting observation on the same site:

"I don’t know that there is a clear answer to this question but here is a personal experience from my time working with fishes.  The common hogfish, Lachnolaimus maximus, has proven over the years to be a very aware and observant fish. 

"I have kept many of them and while I have never looked into brain to body percentage for this animal, it clearly displays behavior that seems just a bit above that of many other fish I have worked with

"From observing my daily work (the hogfish was doing the observing) to following me around (moving in the tank to be nearest me--- presumably because of curiosity).  I know, you think it probably just wanted food and that’s what I thought. 

One day I fed the fish until it would no longer eat and then went back to my work.  I recall seeing that fish follow me around with a piece of food hanging from its mouth and more on the bottom of the tank being ignored; that convinced me there was more going on. 

I had one that would allow you to 'pet' it while on SCUBA in the water with it.  Many fish are evolved to display lots of complex behaviors or accomplish many things we could interpret as smart but the common hogfish will always be one of the smartest fish in my book!"

Wednesday
Jun152016

PC War on Fisheries Continues With Bill to Eradicate Bass in California Delta

The attempt by bureaucrats to politicize fish and wildlife management to appease pressure groups and avoid dealing with the real issues continues in Washington, D.C. and California with Senate Bill 1894, which would mandate eradication of  nonnative bass and stripers from the California Delta, where they have been established for more than a century.

As in the Northwest (See PC Insanity Infects Management of Fish, Wildlife; Our Outdoor Heritage at Risk), these popular sport fish are being blamed for the demise of native salmon and other species. The reality is dams, pumps, irrigation, and development are the real reasons. Nonnative species thrive in these altered habitats, while natives decline.

Please sign the petition to get this provision of the "drought" bill removed:

Purposely hidden in section 202 of the 147 page bill SB 1894 is the planned eradication of nonnative species in the California Delta and its tributaries to include largemouth, smallmouth, striped bass, crappie and catfish. The inclusion of these species in this bill MUST be removed. They are being made the scapegoats for the demise of the salmon and Delta smelt when in fact the pumps are the largest non discriminate predator in the Delta.

This eradication mandate will decimate the natural balance that has existed for 140 years, while doing NOTHING for the drought that is what the bill is supposed to address. It will decimate sport fishing on the California Delta, as well as adversely affect many businesses that rely on income directly generated from Delta fishing, i.e., bait and tackle stores, hotels, restaurants, tackle manufacturers etc.

Sunday
Jun122016

How Fast Is Too Fast When Retrieving an Artificial Bait?

Bass aren’t the fastest fish in the world. But no matter how quickly you retrieve that crankbait or topwater, you can’t get it away from them--- if they want it.

That’s because even the fastest reels are capable of retrieving baits at only 3 or 4 miles per hour. A bass, meanwhile, can swim in bursts of 12 to 18 miles per hour.

Most of the time, they don’t, not even when they’re feeding. Three to 4 miles an hour likely is more common. That’s because bass are pot-bellied, ambush predators. Much of the time, they would rather chow down on a slow-moving worm or injured minnow. Walleye are much the same way.

The key to success when you’re out fishing is not to know how fast a bass or other species can swim, but how fast it is willing to swim. Experiment with speed until you find the right one.

Knowing your reel’s “speed” is important for this. One reel can look almost exactly like another but be faster or slower.

“Speed” refers to the amount of line retrieved in one full turn of the handle. A fast reel (7.0:1 gear ratio) can take in 30 to 31 inches of line per turn, while a slower one (5.0:1) only 20 or 22.

If you’re fishing with a crankbait, you might think that you want a faster reel, but probably you don’t, says Jeremy Sweet of Shimano. That’s because fast reels are used mostly when fishing soft plastics, to take up slack line quickly before the hook set or to get the bait back to the boat in a hurry after it is out of the strike zone.

Although not always, slower reels usually are better for faster-moving crankbaits. For one thing, they allow time for the baits to go to their proper depths. For another, they encourage more erratic, lifelike action.

*   *   *   *

Here are estimated top speeds of other common freshwater species according to various internet sources: rainbow trout 23 mph, catfish 15 mph, northern pike 11 mph.

*   *   *   *

With many salt-water species, you do want a speedy retrieve. That’s because tuna, wahoo, dorado (dolphin), billfish, and others are roving hunters that chase down their prey.

No one knows for certain how fast the fastest fish can swim. But experts estimate that a leaping sailfish can hit 68 miles per hour, based on the fact that it can strip out 100 yards of line in 3 seconds.

Other speed demons include the swordfish (60 mph), marlin (50), and wahoo (47).

Not surprisingly, the flounder is one of the slowest in the ocean, poking along at 2.4 mph, about the same as an eel.

And in case you’re wondering: the flying fish can reach gliding speeds of 35 miles per hour.

Friday
Jun102016

PC Insanity Infects Management of Fish, Wildlife; Our Outdoor Heritage at Risk

As it has with every other aspect of society, Political Correctness insanity brought to us by the Democratic Left has infected natural resources management. As a consequence,  fish and wildlife now are becoming tools to use for political gain instead of being managing for public good.

In the West, Washington and Oregon wildlife agencies have bowed to pressure from the feds and special interest groups, removing creel limits on bass in several rivers and likely destroying world-class fisheries in the process.

The argument is that these fish contribute to the continued demise of native salmon/steelhead/trout fisheries. In fact, evidence is scant. The real reasons are loss of habitat and alteration of their cold-water environment to one that more favors  bass, catfish, and walleye.

And bass, even though legally introduced more than a century ago by the feds and/or with government approval, are "nonnative."

For today's PC crowd, nothing makes these fish more offensive and in need of elimination. Never mind the hypocrisy that illegal immigrants are a protected class by these same people.

In Florida, meanwhile, compassionate PC's are readying their torches and pitchforks to go after the state if it should dare to have a second hunt to protect people, pets, and property from an out-of-control bear population.

My vote for the most idiotic PC insanity to date, however, goes to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who wants to spend millions of dollars in public funds to perform vasectomies on bucks to control a deer population that has exploded from 24 in 2008 to nearly 1,000 today. Just last year, a deer broke through a strip-mall window and bled to death inside. Others have gored pets and bolted into traffic, colliding with city buses, police cars and private vehicles.

Wildlife biologists say the plan won't work. De Blasio insists that he knows better than the scientists. And, yes, there's hypocrisy here too. Remember "manmade climate change," one of the basic tenets of Leftist ideology?  The true believers insist that "the science is settled" and "97 percent of scientists agree" regarding the cause of climate change.

Of course, neither is true. But the point is the PC crazies will use science when it meets their needs and ignore it when it doesn't. (They also intentionally attempt to confuse the issue, making it appear as if their opponents deny climate change is occurring, when that is not the case at all. The argument is over whether manmade activities are contributing, and, if so, how much.)

Here is what  wildlife biologist Dr. Paul Curtis of Cornell University told The New York Post about de Blasio's plan:“This proposal has no chance of success whatsoever.”

First, if the local bucks are shooting blanks, does would keep going into heat all through fall and winter, right on up to early spring. That would attract still-potent males from many miles around, with some possibly even crossing the Delaware from New Jersey to get some action.

But “it won’t even get to that point,” Curtis said, “because I think it would be extremely difficult to get even 50 percent of the bucks” in order to sterilize them. Even a few intact bucks can keep the herd growing exponentially.

Also, the Post added, "Snipped bucks would be sterile but still have a strong sex drive. So during an extended rutting season, there would be more perilous encounters with humans as the mad-with-lust bucks heedlessly run around looking for mates."

Read more about the insanity here.

Of course, the logical solution is to bring in expert archers to cull the population. Backyard Bow Pro in North Carolina provides such services, with the venison donated to local food pantries.

But logic has no place where animal rights activists are concerned, and they are firmly entrenched in the big cities. In 14 of them, they recently  celebrated National Animal Rights Day.

These are the people who want to stop us from fishing and hunting. Their tactics and campaigns aren't always aimed directly at our outdoor heritage, but that's where they are leading. Their ultimate goal is to stop use of animals entirely, including for medical research, food, and even as pets.

They aren't yet going after hunting and fishing with a national campaign. But they're trying their best to shut them down, a little at a time, in the states. In Maine they tried, and failed, to stop a bear hunt. Now they're focused on Florida.

That's why it's so important for states to follow the lead of Texas, and guarantee the right to fish and hunt in their constitutions.  Nineteen of them now have done so, 18 since 1996.

In November, citizens of Indiana and Kansas will vote on amendments to protect the right to fish and hunt, while a North Carolina proposal still must be approved by the state senate before it becomes a ballot initiative.

Meanwhile in New York City, de Blasio said that performing vasectomies on male deer is the preferred option because it is easy to perform.

"That's absolutely false," said biologist Curtis, who has done buck vasectomies. "They do not respond well to immobilization drugs. It is far more stressful on the animals.

But facts and logic mean little to de Blasio and true believers whose dream is to give legal rights to animals as part of their PC paradise.

And that includes making fishing and hunting illegal.

Friday
Oct022015

Better Bass Fishing Provides a Look at the 'Big Picture' of Bass Fishing

In addition to how-to information, it reveals secrets for becoming a better bass angler through scientific knowledge on bass biology and the effects of weather, as well as helpful logistical instruction on equipment and techniques. Better Bass Fishing encourages a thoughtful approach to fishing and the realization that success is tied to more than just using the right bait.

 

Senior Writer Robert Montgomery credits the opportunities and experiences provided him by BASS for much of the angling expertise that he shares with readers in his new book, Better Bass Fishing --- Secrets from the Headwaters. “I’ve learned from the best,” he says of his 25 years as a senior writer for Bassmaster magazine.

In addition to revealing information provided him by the pros and some of the country’s best guides, Montgomery also offers tips and insights from some of BASS’s own, including founder Ray Scott.

Scott details the power of provocation for angling success, while Dave Precht, editor-in-chief of Bassmaster, reveals the importance of determining the proper retrieve.

In the Biology and Behavior chapter, Montgomery says that Bassmaster and BASS Times “provide the most up-to-date information on bass biology and behavior, as well as new strategies for catching them (bass).” He adds that many of today’s young pros say that they grew up reading Bassmaster, “and the knowledge they gained from the magazine was critical to their success.”