There is nothing like the ferocious scene of a Largemouth Bass taking a lure or bait and jumping from shallow water, taking some air and shaking its head, letting you know there is a fight and it’s on. Largemouth Bass can be attracted to different colors and can sense vibrations in the water that will bring them to the edge of a lake to lie waiting in the weeds, ready to strike, what could be their next dinner. Are Largemouth Bass Attracted to Sound?
Largemouth Bass have 2 sensors for investigating acoustical disturbances. One in its inner ear & another in the lateral line on its body. Both work off each other to hear & feel vibrations. Despite a Bass’s lack of hearing high frequencies, its curious nature attracts it to all & any kind of sound.
The senses of smell and hearing are important weapons to let the fish know that food is around. Once a Largemouth Bass is alerted to the potential food, it can get closer to investigate and uses its taste or smell to decide whether to eat it or not.
Can Fish Hear Sound
Fish can hear but have no ear openings on the outside of their bodies. They have heard parts that are located in their heads that can pick up sound vibrations. Also, a fish can sense movement in the water with the Lateral Lines that run down each side of its body. Sharks, which are fish, also have keen abilities. that can pick up disturbances in the water from far away. Depending on the species of fish, they may have a number of acoustical adaptations. These adaptations all depend on the Fish’s habitat.
People hear by detecting sound vibrations. Our ears and brain translate vibrations into sounds and language. Fish hear, but their “ears” are on the inside. Bony fishes detect vibrations through their “earstones” called otoliths. Both people and fish use parts of their ears to help them with balance.
Being solitary, predators or prey, nocturnal or diurnal, shallow or deep, near the shore or deep in the ocean, migratory or sedentary fish are equipped over time for survival through evolution. Regardless of the complex reasons they can most scientists agree that fish can hear a sound. Some fish make sounds that humans can hear out of water or other fish can hear underwater. Some of these sounds, predatory fish use to hunt them down and eat them.
Some fish have what’s called a Swim Bladder that keeps the fish buoyant in water and also acts as an acoustical impedance differential in the body that can serve as a pressure gradient sensor. If something falls in the water and makes a splash near the shoreline the Lateral Line will detect the vibration that is made by the disturbance. In some fishes the swim bladder ties into the inner ‘ears’ of the fish by way of a set of bones similar to our own middle ear bones. When the Swim Bladder fills with air it will vibrate across the muscle producing a low-pitch drumming. This can happen as fast as 200 times per second or faster than Humminbird flaps its wings.
How Do Fish Hear
According to Bass Bioligist Dr. Jones, a says that bass have just a moderate sense of hearing, especially at 100 to 200 cycles per second. Humans can detect sounds from 20 to 20,000 cycles per second, but bass are petty deaf at over 500 hz, Jones says. This means that they don’t hear high frequency sounds. Still, Largemouth bass do use their hearing to hunt. Shaking a worm puts off vibrations that displace water. Those waves are felt by the lateral line, not heard by the bass.
He believes that Largemouth Bass pick up a vibration in water rather than hear sounds in the water. The kind of frequency that a movement from a rubber worm puts out one the shore in shallow water. They wouldn’t be attracted to the same frequencies of a medal and beads in water. Bass is extremely curious and uses the mouth as a human would use their hands. Even unnatural sounds that come from artificial crankbait, a sound unfamiliar to a Bass’s habitat won’t matter.
Largemouth Bass is opportunistic feeders. Preferring to lie in wait under a canopy of cover for the next meal to swim by, these fish possess heightened senses that are fine-tuned for efficiency. Many baits on the market today incorporate sound in the lure especially appealing for Bass. These include Crankbaits with internal rattles, flipping jigs with affixed noise chambers, or even high-frequency sound-producing blades attached to spinnerbaits.
Lots of Pro Anglers rely on sound-producing lures to attract Largemouth Bass and even doctor their lures to raise the decibels for more noise. There are certain times when the extra sound will benefit the fishing, especially under heavy cover or dark muddy water. Vision dramatically decreases in this dark and weed-choked underwater, meaning bass will rely on their inner ear and lateral line to alert them to prey. What the pros recommend is to make more noise. Exaggerating lure movement. Once you find a sound that Bass hit on. Try and mimic what they hear as you would color that they are hitting on.
Frequencies that Attract Fish
Largemouth Bass have just a moderate sense of hearing, especially at 100 to 200 cycles per second. Humans can detect sounds from 20 to 20,000 cycles per second, but bass are nearly deaf at over 500 Which means that they don’t hear high-frequency sounds. Still, bass uses their hearing to hunt.
When sound is produced, it travels in waves and is measured in terms of frequency (hertz) and intensity (decibels). The distance and speed sound travels are based on the medium (air or water) in which it originates. Sound travels thru the water at approximately 5,000 feet per second while sound travels thru the air at approximately 1,125 feet per second.
All Lures produce sound. Whether it’s a rattling worm weight that sends out high-pitched frequencies or a wobbling Crankbait that produces detectable vibrations throughout the water column, most sounds will be picked up by the fish’s lateral line or inner ear.
Research studies say that walleye hear underwater sound waves in the range of 100 to 2,000 hertz (cycles per second.) It’s thought that most rattling lures or noisy crankbaits fall into this range and will be heard or felt. As a comparison, largemouth bass can hear frequencies in the range of 100 to 600 hertz.
The key is to experiment just as you would experiment with color in water conditions. Go with what you are successful with. Many biologists questioned whether fish could use noises to locate prey or lures that they imitate. They feel fish receive all directional information from their lateral lines, which detect only low-frequency sounds and pressure waves that are created by possible prey which gets the Largemouth’s attention.
Sound waves move underneath the water so fast that researchers feel Bass reacts to vibrations through their Lateral Lines. Rattling lures and noisy top-water baits likely draw their attention and bass may move closer out of interest or curiosity. But game fish probably don’t strike until they see baits, sense them at short ranges, and/or touch and taste them up close before deciding to strike.
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