When I went fishing with my grandfather as a young boy, I remember the one warning he always gave me and that was to keep my feet still. As a man of few words, he also told me to be quiet and not talk. Both warnings supposedly were meant to not scare away the fish.
We would always anchor out in his pond around a couple of the same stickups in the water. To say that was his favorite spot to fish was an understatement. His pond was about four to five acres but every time I went fishing with Granddaddy, we went to that same spot and each time he would tell me not to move my feet and to be quite.
His boat was a homemade wooden boat, and moving feet did not make the loud sounds that a more modern aluminum boat would make. It did not matter to him what the boat was made of, just be quiet. I have often wondered if the moving of my feet or talking affected those bluegills laying around those stickups eating those red worms.
As I have gotten older and have spent many hours fishing for all types of fish, I have determined that talking does not impact the fish (I take my grandchildren fishing a lot) and was only done by my Granddaddy to quiet my annoying chatter. However, I have determined over the years as an angler that sound in the water does impact fish.
Those sounds can be good or bad depending on how the fish interprets the sound. Fish can feel things moving in the water, they can feel water pressure changes (barometric pressure) and they feel vibrations in the water. Depending on many things, including the size of the fish interpreting the sounds, the fish may react in different ways.
Anglers have for many years known that some sounds can attract fish to a lure. Topwater plugs, for instance, attract by both sound, shape and possibly color. Noise made by topwater plugs like those that snap, crackle and pop will certainly attract fish like largemouth bass. Crankbaits, for several years, have been made to run silently or noisy by placing ball bearings or BBs inside the lure.
Most lures today employ sight and sound (vibrations) to attract gamefish. Those sounds are made in an attempt to attract fish to the lure and entice a strike. Fish hear sound much differently than humans.
They receive sound through their lateral line, through their inner ears and through their swim bladder. The lateral line can detect sound vibrations. The inner ear can sense high-frequency sounds and the swim bladder can produce and receive sound.
Most anglers have heard much about the lateral line and how important the lateral line is to attracting fish but have heard very little about the importance of the inner ear and the swim bladder. Anglers have been introduced to lures and techniques that primarily impact the lateral line in fish.
Whether it is BBs in lures, rattles placed in plastic worms, clackers on buzzbaits or glass beads used with a Carolina rig those techniques create noises that impact the lateral line to attract fish to a certain lure. In recent years a new technology was developed to attract fish to the lure using a smart chip in the lure.
That technology is called Electronic Baitfish Sounds (EBS) and was developed by Livingston Lures. EBS is based on the natural and instinctive feeding attraction for fish. Where most traditional lures rely only on sight and vibrations, the EBS technology creates the natural sounds made up of vibrations that real baitfish make. According to Livingston Lures, “Sensing sound in the water is one of the most important attributes a fish has to locate food or to keep from becoming food and is missing as a true aspect of replicating a real baitfish with an artificial lure.”
EBS technology uses natural sounds obtained from university studies and research programs and has embedded those sounds in a smart chip in the internal chamber of each of their lures. The sounds in the smart chip are activated while the lure is in the water but turned off when out of the water. Livingston Lures has focused their lure development on how and what fish hear rather than on conventional lure designs that rely on sight and vibrations.
Livingston Lures has a full line of their lures with the EBS technology. I admit that I have not tried their lures (they are a little more expensive than other crankbaits) but the research and technology make sense. An EBS lure was used by a fellow Alabamian to win the Super Bowl of bass fishing, the Bassmaster Classic so you might want to give the ABS technology a try.
As I am writing this article, I could not help but wonder what my granddaddy would have thought of this new technology. Anything that made noise to him was harmful to fishing, so I guess he would have passed on the EBS technology. Now, if that smart chip could have been placed in my mouth and stopped me from talking, he might have been interested.
Good fishing and see you next week.
Outdoors columnist Bobby Peoples can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.