Bass fish, referring here specifically to the largemouth and smallmouth bass, are a cagey and perceptive prey. They possess the same five senses as man, sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste plus a sixth, the lateral line, a series of sensitive nerve endings that stretch from just behind the gill to the tail.
In bass fishing there is no such thing as certainty as much lies beyond our control. This may be why so many of us are drawn to it, as it closely resembles a game of chance. However, one can improve their catch rate by understanding that a bass "is what it is".
It is a biological creature that must function within a defined physical structure which it can not change. It must do what nature designed it to do according to its biological and chemical makeup and its instinctual reaction to the environment in which it lives.
Consequently, it will never behave randomly. So there is established a probability of behavior in given situations. To become a better angler we will do well to learn and understand this "probability of behavior".
Our understanding of the sensory terms that govern the behavior of bass can well determine how skilled a bass fisherman we become. If we are aware of the what, when, where and why of bass habits through an understanding of the sensory terms that govern the behavior of bass, we can more effectively direct our fishing efforts and time.
We'll know what it can sense in its habitat, how it uses its senses of sight, hearing and smell, combined with its lateral line, to feed, avoid danger, reproduce and even react to fishing lures. We will be able to locate bass at given times of the year and under different weather conditions. If you can't find them, you can't catch them!
A bass' anatomy, combined with its six senses makes it one of the top predators in our lakes and rivers and a very difficult prey for man to catch. When you hunt it know that it can see you, hear you and even feel your presence through its lateral line. It's even capable of smelling and tasting you!
Bass Sense of Eyesight Eyesight, the primary sense of largemouth and smallmouth bass. They use it to identify danger and locate and catch their prey. Your lures and your presentations better be good enough to fool them.
Bass Lateral Line Lateral lines alert bass to the presence of prey. Even in muddy or dark water a bass can attack prey using only its lateral line. Vibrating lures can fool them, maybe.
Bass Hearing To catch a bass it must see your lure but Largemouth and smallmouth bass may well hear it before they see it! That's where acoustic lures come in.
Bass Sense of Smell A bass can smell a thousand times better than a dog, which smells a thousand times better than humans. How do they use this to feed and also avoid our lures?
Largemouth Habitat Learn what constitutes good largemouth bass habitat and you'll know where old "bucketmouth" usually hangs out.