---------- Can Fish Hear? ----------
This is opening a can of worms. What's all this "thin wire verses heavy wire" on Spinner Baits?
I'm afraid some bubbles are going to be broken.
First understand that we have an audio engineer, a physicist and other engineers on our staff.
Because there isn't much information available, we have on going research projects on this subject.
We are not concerned about dolphins, whales or other water animals - only fish - especially fresh water game fish.
The outside research we have seen contained a lot of "assumed", "we expect", "we think", "it appears", theories. No hard facts as nobody has been in a Bass's body - nor looked threw there eyes. And you too can have a theory. We will present some facts that will help you decide.
Snakes cannot hear, but can feel vibration, especially un natural vibration such as a bull dozer traveling. They do not feed themselves by vibration - they use heat & sight.
What about fish? Well they certainly can't "hear" like we can. Can they feel vibration? We believe they do, but only of a natural type and of low frequency. They may have a mechanism to tune out or reduce the sensitivity of there receiver so natural noise such as wave action, rapids etc. are tuned out or cut down to near zero.
Here's a simple experiment you can do. Use an underwater microphone - feed it into a tape recorder - put the mike in a quiet part of water - suspend it about 1' down - do not touch the bottom or sides of course, then just talk normal or make some noise in the air. Then replay to see what picked up. You will be absolutely amazed how that quiet pool of water will record everything you said as clear or clearer than a mike in the air! Of course our lab equipment is much more complicated. We allow no lights to be on nor anyone walking etc. when a test is being run. The tape is feed into a computer to be analyzed in many parameters with our exclusive program and the results printed in color.
Can you imagine the noise transfer of setting a tackle box or net down in a aluminum boat? The confusion of loud noises created by rapids or a water fall? A boat propeller plus the exhaust noise? I have caught fish in the most turbulent rapids you could imagine. I often wondered how they can even be in it. And I've cast right in the wake of a close boat and caught walleyes immediately. The noise of the rapids sure doesn't bother fish. The pool below a falls is as hot a spot you could fish and the fish don't mind. This brings up the question: can they hear? They may feel vibration but certainly not of a large megaton - in fact it must be of a very subdued amount if any. It certainly isn't uncomfortable to them, or they would seek out a more quite area.
And now we come to Spinner bait wire. Bass or any other fish can't tell if you are using titanium or steel -- nor do they care. Do you really think that there is a vibration factor between the type of wire? And that the one amplitude is loud enough to be "heard" or "felt" with all the noise in the water? Have you heard of "Hype"? (It's right next to BS.) The next time someone tells you about their wire vibs tell them to prove it. It's the blades that produce such heavy noise that overrides the tiny wire vibs -- as well as a few B B's in a pod. That's why you don't see spinner baits with rattlers. Again the main blade overrides any small noise makers. But does it really matter? Can fish "hear"?
The wire plays a role.
It's supposedly keeps the spinner bait running up right-- if the skirt is on proper and if you added a grub on correct. Otherwise it still won't run perfectly up right -- but does it really matter? Nope, we are back to "hype". How many injured bait fish have you seen swimming up right? I sold bait fish of all kinds for many years and the injured ones always swam tipped over from a bit to completely flat (golden shiners for example) and they swam in a slight circle. You do understand that an injured bait fish is an easy meal for game fish, right? Easy to catch and taste great.
If you eliminate "Sound" how does a bass feed in muddy or real dark waters? Sight and scent (smell). Just how good is a fishes sight? Do they have super sight like a hawk? Can they detect water movement in dark water? (Made by a bait fish) Well we don't know but we do know that most fish feed primarily by sight. An old guide told me "if you can see it so can a fish" (The knot at the hook) Note: ScentHeadTM cover's the complete line knot. When using a popping plug or top water bug (fly rod) it is best when casting it out to leave it set a few seconds before working it. Why? Are the rings traveling out from the splash a signal to fish that something caused the still surface water to change? It comes back to sight again. The fly fishing trout fisherman knows all about sight and that's why they have so many patterns of dry flies. You have to match the hatch. And if your not close trout will ignore a floating fly. There is no "sound" conduct with this type fishing. I once caught a bunch of northern pike on the windward side of a lake with white caps crashing on the shore and I was using a floating surface plug right in these waves. The small amount of "noise" it created would certainly been drowned out by the waves noise and I never could figure out how they could even see the plug, but they sure did. And I was fly rodding for bass with a large floatation deer hair bug when a storm came up - one of my favorite times to catch any fish -- just before a storm. It started to rain and we couldn't get in and figuring its a small rain we stayed out. It just poured and the water was all bubbles and having nothing better to do we cast the shore line as before. The bass erupted! I have never had better fishing ever. Just cast out, you couldn't even see the bug because of the bubbles. I don't know how the bass could see it but they did and there certainly wasn't any noise connected to fishing it as the pore of the rain was overwhelming. I want to state right here - never never be on a lake when it's lightning or even a storm. Its a fact many people have been killed by lighting or their boat swamped in high winds. The example above happened on a very small lake with the tree line hiding the storm clouds until it hit.
Now lets get into smell. (Scent) Fish sure use smell. If you think otherwise how do you account for cat fish finding cheese, old meat etc. for food? The bait just lays on the bottom. No noise, no sight (nothing flashing) and they find it. Smell! And the smell of blood (plus possible sight) sure turn sharks on and piranhas also. Now lets get into detail. ScentHeadTM scent is very special - all scent is not alike. For example, lots of scents are made out of shad, crawfish, or other ground up bait fish. Here is a question for you. Suppose you have a minnow bucket with shiners and your fishing bass. There are one or two dead ones floating on top in the bucket. Do you use one of these, or do you throw them out and use a live one? There's a big differences between a wounded or a live bait and a dead one. Somehow a wounded or dieing bait put out a different smell or scent than a dead one. Fish seem to reject biting a dead minnow. If you fish crappie a fresh live minnow will out fish a dead one every time. We don't use any dead bait ground up. That's why we are special. Need more be said? ScentHeadTM BloodScentTM. Opens fishes mouth!
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