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O'l Robzilla

Kill Dots

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Only the bass know for sure but I've read reports of guys getting bites only after using a Sharpie to put kill dots on a bait so I put them on all my baits.  I usually put them just behind what would be the gill plate sonce that's where they are in the natural world.

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I look at them as a focal point for a bass to fixate on, located at center mass of the bait. Nothing more witch-crafty than that. 

Bass are real smart as far as fish go, but they are still a fish. I like naturalistic paint schemes, but I also like paint that exaggerates certain key features. 

I had a bait I caught a lot of fish on that was just solid white, no eyes, and one big black dot about the size of a dime on each side. I caught a lot of fish with it, but I found it so aesthetically objectionable that I painted over it. Same with the all white/red head baits, they still work as good as ever, I just hate to look at them. Isn't that silly?

So my take? Put big dots on baits that look cartoony, and small ones on realistic baits.

SS 

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I think, in a big school of shad, all the extra "eyes" makes it harder for a predator to focus on just one bait fish, or it wouldn't have survived and been pass on through the genes.

Since it is a group adaptation, a single bait fish won't have the same advantage, and might even be easier to spot.

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Yes, anglers are the only one's that call them "kill spots".  The commonly used term is "eye spots".  The theory being (as Saltshaker notes above) that a predator would get confused on which way the prey would flee.

 

I read Ralph Manns (he of many of the In-Fisherman science notes) write that there is also the possibility that since predators will try to take advantage of unaware prey, the eye spots make the prey look aware/alerted to the predator.  Only the fish know, but if true this would make baits with a spot less attractive, not more..

 

Just something to ponder.

 

Craig

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2 hours ago, saltshaker said:

...Can't imagine a Louisiana redfish having to deal with too many dangers, tho......except for us. :)

Bull sharks, too. There are always those. 
 

 

1 hour ago, clemmy said:

...the eye spots make the prey look aware/alerted to the predator.  Only the fish know, but if true this would make baits with a spot less attractive, not more...


Well, true... but that is predicated on the notion that fish are unable to distinguish a crankbait from a baitfish. I do not subscribe to that notion. 

Additionally, as has been noted, eye spots are really no good for a fish not in a school. I don't think having your tail bitten off or otherwise mangled would confer much benefit to an organism. Zebras look pretty stupid until you get a few hundred of them running together, then it makes sense. If a predator can't tell if a critter is coming or going due to markings, that is good for the SPECIES more than for the individual. So markings that break up profiles when observed in aggregations of large numbers of individuals are sorta silly when a critter is standing (or swimming) around all by its lonesome. The same principal can be applied to animals with cryptic coloration. A gaboon viper on your clean white sheets is easy to see. One in leaf litter is all but invisible. 

A big stupid dot on a bait is a trigger, and it would be very hard to convince me otherwise. I have seen too much evidence to the contrary. Triggers are all about creating contrast, weather it is auditory or visual. 

I think we evaluate fish "intelligence" from a human perspective. They do not think, reason, or infer. They DO use a system of detection we have great difficulty conceptualizing of, because it is totally alien. You will never convince me a fish mistakes a spinnerbait for a shad. What it sees a spinnerbait as is a potential opportunity that coincides in several key areas with other opportunities that fish has taken advantage of in the past.  "Things that wiggle and flash are good!" After some more experience, the fish may come to have negative associations with spinnerbaits. "Things that wiggle and flash LIKE THAT are bad!" 

I know this is getting pretty obscure, so forgive me, but I feel strongly that if we better understand the negative and positive attributes of our presentations, that in the long term we can catch a hell of a lot more fish. In clear water, a lot of the time, you are so much better off if the fish actually has a hard time seeing your bait clearly. Conversely, in water where visibility is limited, you want more definition, more contrast. Angling pressure is the wild card in those scenarios. Country-cousin fish seem to like the easy to see stuff best in any water condition. Stupid fish do seem to be getting harder and harder to find, though. 

Edited by jigginpig
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"If a predator can't tell if a critter is coming or going due to markings, that is good for the SPECIES more than for the individual. So markings that break up profiles when observed in aggregations of large numbers of individuals are sorta silly when a critter is standing (or swimming) around all by its lonesome. The same principal can be applied to animals with cryptic coloration. A gaboon viper on your clean white sheets is easy to see. One in leaf litter is all but invisible."

 

 

This I agree with. Fish develop spots for a reason as a species. There must be a survival benefit for it to evolve. That said It likely must be because it helps in reproduction , in finding food, or it helps in not getting eaten. In this case I would guess the latter. But I don't think we have evidence that it is only a benefit in schooling behavior. Your arguement that that it is a trigger for attack directly refutes your natural selection point.

 

I think you hit on where the solution might be on the contrary sides later on though:

"You will never convince me a fish mistakes a spinnerbait for a shad. What it sees a spinnerbait as is a potential opportunity that coincides in several key areas with other opportunities that fish has taken advantage of in the past.  "

 

I agree reed with this wholeheatedly! But I would go further. You would never convince me that a bass thinks a shad as a "shad". A shad just has a ton of positives reinforcements that say "good thing to eat" to a bass.

 

Kill dots may have evolved to make prey less likely to be eaten. However since prey like shad have them, it can be a positive trigger, as it is one more reinforcing thing combined with action, speed, vibration, color, etc. that makes our baits remind them of things they have found edible.

 

So I think both can be true, and thus we are on the same side of the discussion.

 

craig

Edited by clemmy
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On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 10:07 AM, O'l Robzilla said:

Hey all. What are most of your ideas about kill Dots? My personal preference is, I don't think I like them any bigger than the eye of the bait. But in nature they come in all sizes. What is your preference and preferred spot you like to put them?

I experimented around with kill (eye) dots on shad pattern rattle baits a lot last summer when the largemouth were feeding heavily on shad.  Casting the same size, style, weight and pattern on identical rod/reel setups I found that the dot did make a difference.  With a dot I got  more hits than without.  I tried stripes and other detail the same way and found that a simple black dot about the size of the eye and at about eye level was the most important (productive) detail I could add, or not add.  It didn't seem to matter if the dot was just behind the gill or centered or at the tail just as long as it was there.  No science involved, all trial and error...just saying. 

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I believe in and try to mimic what's in nature. Most dots are about the eye size or a tad bit smaller. Level or just higher then the eye. 

Another is the tab on the gill plate as in a red ear bream/shellcracker. Thats their spot, not very large compared to a given fish size respectively. Even tho around here they get to a pretty good size.

So....yes I like them. I like them at the size that is in nature which is equal to the bait size and the species that I'm mimicking. Do I feel that I get more hits because of them? Dunno, most has dots on them because that's what's in nature. Don't think that and bigger dots makes bigger fish....I don't think so. JMO

Dale

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i think we over think it...fish are not people   they are fish to think like one you most be one...its like the saying that fish get use to seen the same bait and get shy and wont bite it so throw my bait ..i remember all the pros talking that crap and most still do....i guess to prove that wrong bass dont eat bluegills any more because they see them all the time.....i have baits with dots and without  both work just as good..its more of a look to the person...your head and eyes are use to seeing a dot .it makes the bait look better..but as far catching more fish not for me..its the same... a bass will hit whats is in its kill zone if its feeding..dot or no dot it will eat.....

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@ Fishon-son, if I'm painting a scheme from what is in nature. I had nothing to do with the dot or not. I'm just putting on something that's in nature. None of my poor brain is involved other trying to recreate it.

What I'm saying is what the predators see in nature they are more likely to attack, I also believe in a reflex strike. It all depends on their mood, just like us. I've seen them stalk and I've seen a very fast reflex turn and hit. I've seen them swim away. 

I guess it's up to the fish. Good luck/tight line no matter which.

Dale

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I understand what your point is Dink Master. This is just a thought. Why then, when using a crank a lot of fish has the rear hook in the mouth first, primary hook up. Usually the other(s) hook have just hooked up somewhere.

To me a faster moving lure gets hit anywhere, normally from behind or side. The bait fish will be turned head first after being stunned then taken down head first in nature. A tight line interferes with a head strike in most cases. Slow moving baits, now that a different story, normally sucked in.

What the heck, I'll keep on putting dots on baits that are there in nature and every once in a while go crazy and paint abstract schemes. If I'm catching fish I don't care until I look at the bait that caught it. 8O

Dale

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2 hours ago, mark poulson said:

Thanks for sharing Dink Master.

If you snell your hooks, you'll find it increases your hookups, too.

 

Mark how is that? is it related to hook angle? just wondering the reasoning behind snelling in this instance.

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Very interesting read. ..

 

My only comment on the drum is that doesn't explain the leopard puppies we see in NC with 20 or more spots.  I've seen adult drum with multiple spots.

 

Fwiw, imho, the kill dot simply creates added contrast to assist the predator in seeing the bait so they can react.

 

Unless we want to add the concept of "intelligent  design" where the great "Is" (keeping it secular here) gave shad to largemouth and added the dots to help the bass see lunch. ....

Edited by uncustered
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41 minutes ago, robn510 said:

Mark how is that? is it related to hook angle? just wondering the reasoning behind snelling in this instance.

 

When you pull on the line of a properly snelled hook it pulls the hook point toward the fishes mouth. Ar least that's how it was explained to me.

Ben

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12 minutes ago, RayburnGuy said:

 

When you pull on the line of a properly snelled hook it pulls the hook point toward the fishes mouth. Ar least that's how it was explained to me.

Ben

That one I hadn't heard. ...

I thought you snelled a hook to put the connection between line and hook on the hook shafts to protect it from fish teeths.....

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A snelled hook is more apt to protect the knot from a heavy slip sinker than from the teeth of  a bass. Your much more likely to lose a fish because of abrasion to the line than harm to the knot. Especially on deeply hooked fish. By snelling a hook it places the knot down on the shank where a slip sinker can't be banging into it and cause any harm to the knot.

To turn the point of the hook into the fish the line has to first be passed through the eye of the hook on the same side as the point. When the line tightens it gives the hook a sort of cam action that pushes the business end in the opposite direction the of the eye and toward the fish.

Ben

p.s. Sorry for the hijack Rob.

Edited by RayburnGuy
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Snelling - I agree with Ben.  A correctly snelled hook with the line entering the hook eye on the side of the hook tine will cam upward on the hookset, usually hooking a bass in the roof of the mouth which is the surest area for catching it.  I snell straight shank hooks but not offset worm hooks.  Is there an increased percentage of good hookups with snelling?  Probably helps a few percent but frankly, I rarely lose a fish on plastic baits so to me it's not a big thing.

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