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Tally

"kill spot"

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Could someone explain how and why this spot is put on crankbaits? I see that most cranks have this, but is it that important?

thanks

Tally

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We don't have shad here and baits with the spot still catch a lot of fish. Parr marks would be more apropriate. (and work well).

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I really like the term "kill spot". That is actually what it is. From my experience I can tell you that I truely feel that the fish zeros in on this dot when it makes the hit. That is why I put mine right above the center hook. I also use a fairly large dot. From studying the way the fish are hooked on my baits, I truely believe that they target this dot.

Skeeter

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thanks, that is good enough for me. It does l make me wonder why all cranks do not have this dot. Would it be benificial to put the dot on craw colered patterns?, or is this something you put on shas imitating baits?

Tally

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Perhaps the "kill spot" is perceived by the bass as the eye of a bait fish. And from my understanding most bass prefer to swallow a large bait fish head first, which if true, could possibly explain the bass targeting the kill spot.

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I've seen some yo-zuri craw patterns with severl eye/kill dots on places other than the head of the lure lately. As for making your own craw patterns with a kill dot, why not i could not imagine it detering strikes. So if its going to get you even 1 more strike in the life of the lure why not put one on.

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I have devoured Bassing Information off of the net for years. I have like 6 Bass Magazines get delivered to my house on a monthly basis. I have also gone to countless Bass Seminars given by the pros. I know some how some way, I read or heard about the "KILL SPOT". For the life of me I cant seem to place the article, or where it was covered even though I have 5 years of magazines saved, stored and made for quick searches. The correct answer though is to immitate the Shads pattern. However in the article, tests were done and shown that Bass will consistently hit lures with a black dot on it. THey also went on to reccommend carrying a Sharpie in the boat in case you needed to add one to your crank bait that you were throwing! Again thats what I can recall, I wish I hgad more info for you though! Cody

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My flat baits are a little larger than most. Over 90% of the fish that I hook on these baits have the center hook in the mouth and the rear hook in their cheek. What I believe is happening is that the fish is hitting the dot from the side. Since the dot is above that center hook then they get that in their mouth. When I set the hook then I believe that straightens out the bait swinging the rear hook into their cheek. The hookup on these fish is real good. I can count on one hand the number of fish that I have lost on one of my crankbaits over a 4 year period. If you ask me, that is pretty darn good.

Skeeter

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Cody,

I saw one of those articles also. Guy Eaker is the one that carried the sharpie around with him. He said that a fellow told him about the kill spot. After that he said that he draws quite a number of spots on his bait to get the fish to hit it. I don't know if you should get that carried away. But I do believe that it works.

Skeeter

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I thought I recalled reading that from the "ask doc" section of bass times magazine. Doc works for berkley and they spend millions in research. Although, I have doubts as to the truth of this information.....have you ever looked through an aqua-vu at more than 20ft deep?? 8O I'm actually surprised a bass can even find a crankbait, let alone key in on a little dot and my lake is supposedly "clear"! The true test would be two identical baits, in identical colors, one with dot, one without; still a random proposition. I read about some aspiring pro who had the idea of using a crab cage with cat food to capture the local crawfish....and nets to capture the local baitfish for matching pattern schemes. As the article goes, he's supposedly been on some kind of winning streak at the lakes he fishes. I'm a match the hatch kinda guy, but I firmly believe in the reaction strike, no matter what puddle of water you wet your line in; my 2 cents. :idea: Someday, when not strapped for time tournament fishing, I'd like to post some video from underwater. It would be fun to show you views from my aqua-vu. Below the thermocline looks like 9-11....white ash and just rubble, unreal! Feels like you're part of a "jaws" film.

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Thanks guys, pretty good posts. Sometimes we do things just because everyone else does it, but we really don't have the foggiest idea why. I learned a bunch about the kill spot. Thanks for sharing.

Tally

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Ever thought about belly-buttons guys?

Actually an a$$-hole would be more accurate. I notice this one time when I was fishing for jungle perch (Hampala macrolepidota or sebarau is what we call it here). There were lots of dead bait fish on the surface with busted bellies. I netted some home for observation in my aquarium & they were attacked readily. The one to die first were the one with slightly more bloated belly & the anus was slightly protruding & reddish. They were the females that just laid their eggs or going too and they were targeted first by the sebaraus in my aquarium. The next trip out I tricked my lures with a round red sticker on the belly. And voila! a kill spot. It works for other predetory fishes here too. Works best on lures with white or chome/foiled belly.

Give it a try, just a round red sticker on the belly. I tried it with a friend once using the same lure & tackle and I out fish him 3 to 1. Someone can come up with a scientific explanation?

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Tally,

I have a stick bait that is a custom paint job that I use on Lake Superior. This lure has a kill spot a little deferent than a shad dot. It is an all purple lure with a yellow tail. I don?t care how many poles we set, it is always on one of the lines. We only have two lures that we will never take off and this is one. Some days we run two or more. If you look at the lure you would say it wouldn?t catch fish. But put it in the water and run it beside the boat and you will see why they can?t resist it. This is my option what is happening. (One) The brake in the contrast caches the fish?s eye. I would suggest trying deferent colors, like white or yellow some thing that stands out. I have a walleye pattern that is probably my best lure I have. It is a dark bait that has a white tail. When you run it you can see that white tail coming from a mile a way. (Two) If you go and buy some minnows, just look at them many of them will have a defect, a lump, a bump, or a color dot. When game fish are growing up the find out they cant swim in a school of bait fish and expect to catch one. They find out that they have to hone in on just one. It may be one that is all alone or one that has that sort of mark that it can hone in on.

I have given many seminars where I tell people that I love it when baitfishes are following my lure. You know what, I almost always get someone that will say, ?if you have all that baitfish following your lure how do you get the fish to eat your lure instead of one of the baitfish.? That is very easy when the game fish shows up all the baitfish take off and what is the fish going to hone in on, that is it your bait that is all alone and did not fallow all the other baitfish. That is why I always say the nice good-looking natural baits are for one thing, hooking fisherman. The ones that will catch fish have to catch the fish?s eye not yours. If you look at a fish the way fish do, they are that color for one reason camouflage. So instead of trying to reproduce a fish?s camouflage, take the key factors and work around that. Take a baby bass it has that horizontal doted line. If your fishing a clear lake paint it natural, but put the doted bass line white or yellow some thing that stands out in your lake. The line will make it mach the hatch but with a deferent twist, it will bring in fish from a farther distance and they will now see your lure. Here is another thing that I have done is paint a lure upside down. This is nothing new, what is happing is you are turning the camouflage agents the bait. If you look at a fish it is light on the bottom and dark on top. It is this way for a reason and that is if you look up the sky is light and down at the bottom of the lake it is dark. This is for camouflage from fish and birds.

So to sum your question Tally, I guess I could put in two words, (internal instinct or natural reaction).

?Sorry for the book?

-Corey Karren

Ty-Jack www.tyjack.com

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Corey,

you wouldn't happen to have a picture of the purple/yellow tail bait that you could post would you? Iif this color combo is working so well for you I would like to immitate your color sceme on a few minnow baits myself.

Being new to this I am trying to get as many ideas and pick as many brains as I can.

Thanks

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cheesehead

I will try to get some up on Monday I use this lure for Lake Trout, Salmon and Walleye. I have not used it on my lures yet. Like I said if you see the pattern, you would think it would not catch fish. So I have not had any one ask for it. All it is purple with a bright yellow tail, yellow eye with black dot.

-Corey

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Just my 2 cents here but I always believed that the dot exists on real fish (shad, bluegill, etc.) to confuse preditors.

As someone in another post mentioned, preditors usually like to eat prey head first so that all the defensive stuff (fin spikes) fold down nicely and doesn't have an opportunity to hurt the preditor.

Because of this I think the kill spot is meant (on prey fish) to confuse the preditor as to what end is what....and even make the preditor lose track of a fish in a school.

And someone else mentioned the idea that prey fish are cammo and that you don't want to match it exactly. I couldn't agree more. In my patterns I try to make the bait look as real as possible first...then use color and shape contrast to make certain aspects (often the eye) stand out from the rest of the pattern.

Anyway, just my thoughts. Best of luck

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Yes, the "kill spot" or "false-eye" is there as a last line of defense to confuse predators, I think the scientific community and some real good fishermen agree. So the question becomes, "How well does it work?

A feeding bass's lateral line picks up on a lure's vibration and zeroes in on the biggest black dot at the last possible moment to orient his usually successful attack. Does the fish succeed? Does it matter where the dot is to a big bass inhaling a lure? Has this fish learned that the false-eye simply means, soft-ray baitfish on the menu? Has he learned that if the false-eye is in the wrong place, the baitfish bites back? Obviously, when nature paints a target on a particular species, the mere fact that it has survived to the present, must mean that the shad and other species have utilized their personal target effectively.

Where does all this leave the lure-maker? I'll go out on a limb here and say that usually a kill spot somewhere on a lure will help more than hurt. At least until the day when they'll hit anything that doesn't have a kill spot...

:lol: Dean

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Purely based on days of observation via aqua-vu, the thing that sticks out on any prey fish is the eye and the sides. Most eyes have a chartreuse-gold appearance that seems to glow and that's what I pick out at depth. Of course, this perception could have to do with the red/green light from the camera, I can't be certain. The point I was trying to stress but did not do successfully was that I live on a supposedly clear lake and I have to tell ya just how much suspended sediment and material there is in the water. It's like a snowstorm or sandstorm! In a swimming pool, you can see from one end to the other, but in a natural environment, you can't see more than 10 ft on a good day, and it all depends on depth and turbidity of water. There was a good article in bassmaster about triggering vs. attracting qualities (Sept, 2004 pgs. 56-60). In that line of thinking with a twist here...the slower you move your lure, the better look a fish gets, the more natural it must appear because the higher probability a fish will pick out any/all flaws your bait has and the more triggering qualities it must posess. The faster your bait moves, the less natural it has to be and the more attracting qualities it must have. To me, a kill spot is an attracting quality, not a triggering quality. Let's back up and review/summarize the article. Attracting qualities are: large size, bright colors, mechanical action, and unnatural noises; triggering qualities are: small size, natural colors and flash, random action, natural sounds. My cliche' for this is: are you fishing loud and proud or supple and natural? At any rate, the kill spot helps with "reaction bites" because it's an additional attraction quality on a reaction type bait. Consequently, if you were cranking your lure slowly, it would present as a flaw on the lure because it is not natural. So you have to ask yourself, am I fishing fast, deflecting off of obstacles in hopes of a reaction bite? Am I cranking extremely slow in hopes of duplicating forage bass are feeding on? Is it a mixture of both? Again, based on observation, I've come to realize that even my slowest retrieves with a 4.3:1 reel are rather fast in the fish world and that's my theory as to why the kill spot works and you see them on all the baits. Crankbaits are a mixture of attracting and triggering qualities but I think they lean more towards attracting no matter how natural they look because it takes EXTREME patience and concentration to work a crankbait very slowly and very slowly to us is still fast in the fish world. Don't believe me? Jump in the swimming pool, pond, lake, or river, and have somebody crank a bait over your head from a distance and try to catch it or do what I did, watch the lure on camera! Just as a few side notes...fish become conditioned to baits and any different bait, be it color or other aspect, presents a higher percentage you'll fool them, every water has a different quality of water clarity, every water has its own forage to emulate, and finally....lucky craft has produced more smaller baits recently than larger baits; given their fairly natural finishes, you have to ask yourself "why?" while keeping in mind that larger bold chartreuse cranks still hold their own in major tournaments. Are you fishing loud and proud or supple and natural?

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Here is another thing that I will add, it is proven the color you paint your lure is generally not the color the fish in seeing underwater. Here is a book that I recommend reading. ?What Fish See.? Understanding optics and color shifts for designing lures and flies By: Colin J. Kageyama. This is an excellent book and a must for lure builders. You can get it at http://www.thornebros.com/muskie/books_videos/books.html .

Someone brought up that looking through an aqua-vu the key thing he seen was the eye. This is light gathering from your infrared LED?s and reflecting like when you drive at night and see deer or raccoon eyes. Their eyes are deferent from humans their eye will gather more light so that the fish can see in the dark. The under water camera is just catching that reflection.

Also someone brought up slower baits have to look more real. In my opinion I don?t think so. I think when you slowdown your presentation, the key is making the fish think it is live and real. How many people have seen bass or bigger fish in an aquarium with baitfish swimming around? That baitfish will swim as far away and as fast as it can when a bigger fish comes close. So say we are fishing for bass and you are running a crank bait real slow and a bass comes up to your bait that fish will pickup that it is not natural for it not to try to getaway before the color will give it away. If anything I believe that the non-natural color will help! Saying that is might think it is some thing that it has not seen before. You know what killed the cat. I also believe if you get the fishes attention like that you have a real good chance you can get that fish to eat. Just keep changing direction of your bait and speeding up your lure every once in awhile. Also I have never see one lonely baitfish also swim in a straight-line. Just like it you?re fishing a plastic worm on a dead stick that is not going to out perform one that is moving natural. I have never seen a night crawler yellow or some of the colors we have today and we work them slow.

I hope this helps somebody. I know it is not 100% accurate if I were I would have gills. :wink::lol::lol:

Thanks

-Corey

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