John's Journal...


Why Old Baits Catch Bass Today

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Keith Jones, director of fish research for the Pure Fishing Laboratory in Spirit Lake, Click to enlargeIowa, has been studying bass for over 16 years. He’s an expert in the field of bass behavior. Jones’ scientific research involves finding out what factors will make bass attack lures and baits.

If a bass can remember its encounter with a particular lure as this research at Pure Fishing tends to show, we now can understand how a hot and highly-productive lure one year may not catch as many bass the next year. If in the third year, a large number of anglers fish that same lure in the same area, then that lure’s ability to catch bass decreases. “Let’s look at a worst-case scenario,” Jones says. “Fishermen want to know if a generation of bass has seen a particular lure and wised-up to it, then how long Click to enlargebefore that entire generation of bass is replaced by another generation that has never seen the lure? The longest documented lifespan of a bass is 20 years, and this was an exceptional bass. However, the average lifespan of a bass is 10 years or less. I believe that 99.9% of all bass in a particular body of water will die within 10 years. Then you can fish with a lure the bass haven’t ever seen, and it can be as productive as the first time it was ever used.

Click to enlargeBut, a more-realistic evaluation of when a lure can become effective after the bass have already seen it may be within three to five years. The lure the bass haven’t seen in awhile generating more strikes than the hottest new lures that the bass see every day makes biological sense. In other words, the more frequently a lure is fished in a population of bass, the less likely the bass are to continue to hit that same lure. Any time you introduce a lure that the bass haven’t seen before, even if it’s an old lure, the more likely the bass are to strike that lure.”


Check back each day this week for more about BASS BEHAVIOR WITH DR. KEITH JONES

Day 1: How Bass Learn
Day 2: The Lure Test
Day 3: The Lure Test Continued
Day 4: Why Old Baits Catch Bass Today
Day 5: Why Aren’t Old Lures Reintroduced?



Entry 344, Day 4