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Fishing knowldge - Have you been overlooking a great way to catch fish?

By Fishing your way, May 11 2014 09:48AM

Let me introduce you to the science part...

'Most animals are capable of acquiring, storing and using information about the landscapes they inhabit. Knowledge of the environment can potentially reduce uncertainty about the location and availability of resources, and even allow for the anticipation of danger'. Lake dwelling fish have no migratory path to follow and usually (except flooding) live out their life in one lake.

Breaking that down... Fish, and particularly a carp, function according to a memory-based movement pattern. Think about your own lake... Where are the carp usually seen in the morning and where are they usually seen in the evening? Has it ever struck you that it seems to be the same each day (except with severe weather changes) and even then you begin to notice where the fish go on these days?

Fish have Memory!

After a very short amount of time fish learn the landscape of their lake. They know where the deep water and shallow water is, where the sun strikes the lake in the morning, where it’s warmest when the wind blows, where there is a safe place to chill out to not get caught, which bushes drop food and attract the insects they like. They also learn that particular areas are dangerous, or particular foods are dangerous. Although fish might not figure this out immediately and some take a whole season, a fish has a basic memory is designed for survival.

If watching underwater videos has taught you anything about fishing, the camera itself is something to remember. Team Korda, clearly pointed out how weary carp were to the introduction of the camera into the lake. Carp have a memory-based movement pattern and the camera was not part of their memory base as it was not a part of their known landscape – "potential danger and be careful" is the survival instinct. It is only after time and by feeding without any negative experience that a new memory trace is learnt by the carp. The memory trace was strengthened over time during filming and the carp became more likely to be caught because they learned that the camera and bait in that area was not a threat.

So without banging on and on, how does this help you? Well the above should have you thinking already and all good anglers already think in a way like this. That’s why concepts like pre-baiting make total sense; memory trace of free and safe food.

The over-looked fishing spot I have found so successful is the near margin, fishing pretty much at your feet or the near bank. Why is it that most anglers go for the far chuck and usually totally ignore the close margin? If everyone fished far out what does that do for the memory-based movement pattern of fish? If people rarely fish at the near margin what does that do for the memory-based movement pattern? And what if anglers throw their bait in after a session, or the bailiffs feed pellet in the evening by scooping from a bucket? Free food, safe food, near a feature like a bank where they feel comfortable... what do you think that is doing for the fishes memory?

It’s not supposed to be rocket science, yet I only see top anglers adopting this approach. You can catch from most places on a lake - you’ll just catch more from some places than others, places the fish feel safe in. Make sure you have a pair of Polarised glasses on so you can see deeper into the water and take a look in the near margin. When I arrive to fish I always throw a handful of bait into the near margin on a few spots. I’ll check them every 30 minutes and if the bait goes, fish are seen or the bottom clouds up then that’s where one of my rods will go straight away. Can you see why this makes sense?

At the least, be aware that fish have this memory-based movement pattern and if you’re not catching fish then think about the above. I hope this helps or perhaps was just food for thought... either way, good luck on the water.

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