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Argument over Bass Senses

Dear Jim,

A friend and I were arguing over bass senses. I said bass use their vision more than their lateral line. Is this true?

Brandon Sasser


Brandon:

The real fact is that, until we get to talk to a fish and ask, we will never really know that answer.

But, we know that the lateral line functions like our ears -- it senses vibrations. That equates to sound for you and I and some form of 'feel' for the fish. Sound is vibration through the air and whatever the fish senses through the lateral line is from the vibrations transmitted through the water. You know that YOU can hear underwater sounds and you can also feel a strong enough vibration coming through the water (a wave is a very low frequency vibration, for example).

All that said, let me ask you a question -- which sense do you use more: your hearing or your sight? Well, you see whatever is within the field of view of your eyes, correct? BUT, you hear EVERYTHING around you. Something makes a sound behind you; you hear it and turn around - right? So, it appears the hearing sense of hearing is used a good bit more that sight and covers a broader range at any point in time.

A fish in exceptionally muddy water probably cannot see. But, I assure you he can 'hear or feel' sounds and motion in the water. That is exactly how they find their prey in muddy water.

Go read my article 'Bassing Tactics in Muddy Waters' (www.jimporter.org/articles/article32.shtml). It may help you understand the fish and his use of sound better. And, what is says is true - I caught a ton on fish (bass, crappie, stripers) using a jig in water SO muddy, you could cut it with a knife!! It proves, unquestionably, they can feed without sight.

Jim Porter




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