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Do the 'Eyes' have it? yea or nay

928 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Erie
A lot has been said about the ability of fish to identify a lure as one prey or another which leads one to believe that fish, by instinct or intelligence, can 'prefer' or target one species over another. Lure companys, (via their spokesmen), emphazize the details and comparisons of a particular brand of lure to the real thing. You may want to consider the following example before you lay down your cash based on the 'matching-philosophy' of lure fishing.

Past articles written in magazines, suggest painted eyes indicate the 'head' of a lure. This supposedly helps a fish to decide to kill it's prey(the lure), more effectively, based on it's realistic 'interpretation' of an inherent color pattern. This brings up the question of how much of one's confidence is based on good 'ol superstition, versus validation and duplicate experiences? A few definitions to keep in mind whenever you hear someone relating absolutes concerning fishing are :

Superstition- defined as, 'a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.'

Anecdote - defined as, 'a particular or detached incident or fact of an interesting nature, (but not necessarily a fact of nature).'

Eyes and other realistic lure characteristics can never be said to always make a difference in the number of strikes we get in a day. Therefore, we can never know when they really do make a difference. Senkos, for example, and most soft plastics, don't have eyes, yet beat the pants off 95% of all lure types and in a large number of situations. Realism applies to the highly imaginative in this situation.

Granted, sight and sound are important stimuli to the strike, but that which catches a fisherman, may not equate into what catches a fish. Even if a certain lure had craw b.o., gills, eyes, fins, scales and slime, I doubt the bait would be any more effective or successful than your run-of-the-mill, basic, plastic worm or creature-bait, (though it might be at the check-out counter).

Maybe a fish prefers to kill it's prey head-first, but how does it determine the 'head'? Is it the forward motion of the 'snack' or is it the larger end, that indicates 'head-and-nothing-but-the-head'?

Do fish realize, instinctively, that prey may turn around or dart in a different direction, but that the unnatural movement of any prey, moving away backwards, is not part of nature's plan of avoiding someone's digestive track,(unless you're a crawfish)? It appears that maybe 'the direction of escape' is more important, versus 'eyeballs' on a minnow or a lure. The 'head', therefore, is expected to move in the direction of an attempted escape and the profile of some baits, that may indicate the head by it plumper end, may be the easier, juicier, target. (Not always, but sometimes!)

But there is another important factor that concerns most aquatic meat-eaters. The prey they vacuum out of existence, is usually much smaller than their mouths, so taking a prey head-first for a fast kill, isn't necessary. They're not boa constrictors! Besides, underwater videos show sucked-in, small minnows escaping out the back-door through the gill plates, time after time - head first :D !

Surface detailing of the realistic-kind, became a non-issue for me after the first time I caught smallmouth on a firetiger pattern, and largemouth, on bright-red crankbaits; ditto for the successes of purple/firetail Phenom worms and bubblegum Slugos.

'Eyes' matter if you want them to matter, the same as any number of lure finishes that are confidence-based positives. The fact that our anecdotal experiences may be based on the build-up of superstitions by the pros, the lure companies that sponsor them and ourselves, is usually not considered when we dream of catching 'more and bigger'. Being in the right place, at the right time and casting one of a hundred, effective lures in a number of effective ways, usually explains the bite.

How well a particular species learns or solves problems and responds to positive or negative stimuli, often turns out to have more to do with sight, motivation and species-specific ecological adaptations than with underlying intelligence. Brain-stem thinkers don't have the capacity to analyze anything. ( If it fits (the mouth that is), you must aquit! - .) (Couldn't help myself.) :D

The grand thing about fishing is that it's 99% anecdotal and 1% real concerning successes and failures. If it weren't, we wouldn't be able to brag as much as we do about the big ones that got away or rationalize why a day was fishless. But more importantly, the clearance tables would be empty!

If it works for you .....

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I don't know

I do know - alot of lures have a "spot" on them. The theory is it gives the fish a strike area, shad have one on their sides in nature. Maybe suppose to look like an eye to scare predators, like the "eyes" on butterflies. Then again, maybe it's a target, making finding food easy for the big fish. I like some contrast on my lures. I like to put eyes on my striper spoons. If nothing else, it gives them a contrasting color.
I heard an explanation once, a striper guide's opinion on a show. He said the fish see any bait in the water column as a shad, and anything hitting the bottom as a crayfish, reguardless of the color. He was actually refering to bucktail jigs and swimming them vs. dragging or jigging them. I don't necessarily agree as I know shad are on the bottom too.
We're on the same page Mrfish. The spot breaks up a solid color pattern and contrasts with the background in an obvious way. Regardless of what a fish interprets as a swimming lure versus a bottom crawler, is probably not as important as how or how fast it moves and in what part of the water column it's moving.

Color and color patterns emphasize lure or prey location based on the sonic qualities the lure (or prey) makes and contributes to sight-feeding when the lure is within visual range.

contrast = 2 tone to me

I try to always contrast my jig heads w/bodies. Also I luv to re-paint large eyes on old beatup Castin' lures when sharpenin'/replacein' hooks on them. My favorite Rapala Ice jigs always have large eyes painted on in the center;) I think it pays off on slow movin' sight lures!

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