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KingKarl

Eyes how important are they and why?

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Evening Fellas,

at least it is in OZ(21:36), I've been having an ongoing discussion with a fellow group of fishos and it centers around eyes on lures, the size (how big should they be?) color, style( the scared look) and position any thoughts?

Karl

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Eyes, or at least the distintion of a head, are very important on a strike. Preditors, if they a can tell where the head of the bait is, will strike it first most of the time. Anytime one fish eats another fish they do so from the head as the dorsil fins will lay down and allow the prey to be swallowed. eyes are always at the "head" of the bait.

If you run your hand up a fishes back from the tail to the head you wwill see what I mean.

Some companies have taken to putting 2 small black dots on the back of their baits as well as eyes just to cover all the bases.

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Eyes are important , but only to a point. I'm not a fish, so I cant relay what they think or even if they can think...but from my experience, the colors of the bait, the action of the bait, the sound of the bait are much more important than a small, plastic 3/8-1/4" eye. I have no doubt at all that I could pull the eyes off some lures and still catch fish.

Regarding a scared eye look, thats assuming that fish can judge an emotion (scared) from a fish's expression and form a rational thought...that would be a far, far stretch. Theres a psych term that speaks directly to when humans try to relate or place their traits, emotions and behaviors onto animals, cant recall it right now ?? Regarding how big the size of the eyes should be, I think that depends on the size of the bait or what fish you are trying to imitate, attempt to make it close to scale as possible.

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Eyes are TOTALLY irrelevant to the fish. Think about it, the most successful finess lure of our times, the Senko, has no eyes. This is a lure that is fished slow and close and the fish have forever to minutely examine it, and then they eat them. I even tried a few years ago on a gin-clear lake when the bass were being particularly picky glueing on eyes to get bites, and it made absolutely no difference. HOWEVER, don't even think about selling, loaning or even giving away a lure with no eyes. Fishermen gotta have em.

PS- Kellure, the word is anthropomorphism.

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I understand that fish don't think and that humans have the fault of trying to overlay their feelings and thoughts on everything around them.

Animals, including fish, learn by repetition and by instinct. We as animals also learn this way. eg: if you put your hand on a hot stove once you are not likely to do it again. That is instinct; there is no thought at the time of the action, it's only afterwards do we think how dumb that was.

As far as fish go, how do they "learn" that some things are edible and some things are not? Thet also learn that if they swallow a baitfish tail first they will be in trouble. Most of what they "know" comes from instinct. A "school" of fish is only a bunch of fish. :wink:

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Just as a coincidence, I fished a homemade lure today with just the white primer on & NO eyes as yet. I got the best hour of fishing ever on that home strecth of water with a total of 4 fish with one lunker. (Now why I bother painting my lures :)??)

My take is, fish strike at something that moves (enticingly to them). Action speak louder than "eyes". Some predetors will strike at their prey to paralyse/immobilise them first; so it's this first strike that we count on when fishing on lures. They may come back then & see where the eyes are to swallow it head first so as not to choke but this doesn't concern us anymore. Even on days when fish are striking short & light, we usually get them on the tail hook. They are taking cursive strike at their prey, whatever that passed in front of them will callup their instinct to strike, maybe not to eat but just to chase it away?

And like MagicBob points out, most SP grubs, worms etc got no eyes!!! to start with, yet they are effective lures.

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Eyes are not needed to catch fish, only fishermen. At times a bass will hit a lure at the same time the lure is landing on the waters surface, it's a reaction strike.

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Well, I guess it all comes down to what you believe and how confident you are using the baits you use.

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Fellas some good reponses,

like the guy's here the same points come up time and time again. Over here we have some absolute huge fish with mouths like Texan ten gallon hats, I mean these fish (cod and barra) inhale their pray, Clamp'n'crush then swallow. While trout and our native will strike'n'stun (sounds like shock 'n'owe 8O ) then come back and eat. So what difference does it make if your trolling for muskies or flippn for bass, are eyes that important then?

as trolled baits dont get stunned they keep move'n?

Karl

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Eyes are TOTALLY irrelevant to the fish. Think about it' date=' the most successful finess lure of our times, the Senko, has no eyes. This is a lure that is fished slow and close and the fish have forever to minutely examine it, and then they eat them. I even tried a few years ago on a gin-clear lake when the bass were being particularly picky glueing on eyes to get bites, and it made absolutely no difference. HOWEVER, don't even think about selling, loaning or even giving away a lure with no eyes. Fishermen gotta have em.

PS- Kellure, the word is anthropomorphism.[/quote']

Magic, I have to disagree with your use of "TOTALLY".

If in fact eyes were not important to some fish why would they have spots that replicate eyes on other less important parts of their body? False eyes are a turth of nature as an attempt to cause the preditor to strike a tail instead of a head.

Never say never..........

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Eyes are not necessary, but neither are quality hooks or (more than one hook for that matter) to catch fish. In fact neither are lures..just use a net, dynamite or speargun.

Actually I have read several studies involving eyes. One of the studies also tried different eye colors. The research proved that eyes are important and do make a difference. Yellow eyes were #1, red #2.

Of course fish can be caught without them, but aren't we here to make the best baits, that hopefully catch the most fish in the most effeceint way?

In the new BASS times newsletter is an article on a 4 eye lure. It is a large swimbait and they have found that they are catching many small fish because the bass think it may be two fish instead of one because of the eyes.

Also, I saw a post the other day on scent and its importance. Some said that it makes no difference at all, well maybe you should do some research first. The guys at Berkley lures did. They took a Rapala cut out a section replaced it with sponge, soaked it with scent and had much better results. In fact, one bass hit the same lure 12 times in row.

Think about this, have you ever ordered a meal from a menu without seeing or smelling food, yes. But how much different is the experience if you are at a nice resteraunt where all of your senses are stimulated? If the place looks nice, the food smells great, the chairs are real comfy, and the service is excellent, then you are probably gonna go all out for the fillet or prime rib!

The point is, the more senses you appeal to, the more chance you have of getting that weary fish to commit.

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Nothing like a good debate, but you guys are kinda overthinking this. First, a bass can pretty well figure out which end to eat from the direction the prey is moving. If its not moving they just grab it as is. There is no reason to think they need any other visual cues as to which end goes first. Nor is there any research (by an independent scholarly study) that I'm aware of that shows a preference for which end gamefish capture their prey from. They will probably turn their prey if it doesn't go down the way they're trying to swallow it. Fish are really not all that bright. Lure manufacturers are useless as a source of impartial information. What do you think they are going to say - "Oh it really doesn't matter what color, taste, smell, eyes, etc...... catching fish is really just because of the angler's skill you don't need our special lures with special eyes." Right. Still as I said don't try to sell, loan, or give away a lure without eyes, even to me, because I don't even try to be logical all the time.

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I said eyes are not needed to catch fish, but I do paint eyes on all my baits. Why? because I like the way dotted eyes look on a bait. Bass are predators like cats, they react on instinct. If you wiggle your fingers under the covers a kitten will pounce and attempt to kill. If a lure wiggle past a bass it will hit it (not every time) but if the fish feels the bait is not eatable then its spit out. Just an opinion, not based on any facts just observation.

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I think it depends on the type of lure and the type of bait you are trying to imitate. Shad have large eyes. If you are doing shad baits, I think it makes a difference. You also have to consider the position of the eyes and how the lure runs. Eyes on top of a plug that is used on top really does not make sense as the fish never see the top of the plug. All in all, if it gives the fisherman more confidence in the lure, it will catch better.

Andrew

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Nothing like a good debate, but you guys are kinda overthinking this. First, a bass can pretty well figure out which end to eat from the direction the prey is moving. If its not moving they just grab it as is. There is no reason to think they need any other visual cues as to which end goes first. Nor is there any research (by an independent scholarly study) that I'm aware of that shows a preference for which end gamefish capture their prey from. They will probably turn their prey if it doesn't go down the way they're trying to swallow it. Fish are really not all that bright. Lure manufacturers are useless as a source of impartial information. What do you think they are going to say - "Oh it really doesn't matter what color, taste, smell, eyes, etc...... catching fish is really just because of the angler's skill you don't need our special lures with special eyes." Right. Still as I said don't try to sell, loan, or give away a lure without eyes, even to me, because I don't even try to be logical all the time.

Magic,

You da man! My only thought is "totally"?

Do they help? Yeah.

Are they required? No.

Never say never...........

Let's go fish.

J.E.

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Well let's keep this going. :twisted: Has anyone who smokes(cough cough) noticed that when you throw your butt in the water a bass will sometimes come up and take it?

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Well let's keep this going. :twisted: Has anyone who smokes(cough cough) noticed that sometimes you throw your butt in the water a bass will sometimes come up and take it?

Litterbug..................... :lol:

Pssstttt. get a patent on your Winston's!

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If eyes are not important why do some fish have fake eye spots near their tails?

If color is not important why do most bait fish have color patterns to camoflague them from preditors, even changing with conditions and seasons?

There is obviously a visual factor to the prey/preditor relationship, therefore it is possilbe to explot this fact to elict desired actions from the preditor.

I do not think it is as easy as to do as most people think.

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Water Clarity!

I dont believe anyone has mentioned this as of yet. When the water is muddy I dont believe it would matter. Get the Chartreuse out.... However slightly stained to clear and it may make a difference. Cold water jerk baiting with pauses of almost a minute, might give a fish a chance to look things over. As far as worms,I have never seen a worm with eyes anyway.... However I think there may be something to it for cranks and jerkbaits in clearer water. Burning a rattle trap.... I dont know that a fish would be able to make the spot or eyes out at that speed anyway. It is a confidence thing..but the shad definately have eyes...so why not try to match the hatch.

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This "fake eye" stuff keeps coming up and my observation on it is two-fold. 1. Most of the fish I konw of that have fake eyes are reef fish and not prey to any of the fish that most of us make lures for. 2. Even if they were common prey the notion that their purpose is to trick predators is simply guess-work. They could just as easily serve a reproductive function or an interspecies ID function.

As for lure color we should save that for another discussion as the original question was "How important are eyes and why".

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My point was that if the conditions exist where a bass can barely see the bait...why bother...however I would disagree in clearer water and slow moving baits or paused baits. Of course then again....you have the lateral line thingy...which should be left for another discussion as well. But it all does tie together in your discussion of eyes and whether or not they are necessary. Can a Bass see? Or are their predatory skills all based on reaction to sound and use of lateral lines? Color choices definately make a difference......especially on pressured fish.This tells us they use sight as an influence... No doubt about it. So why couldnt something as simple as eyes make a difference?

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Interesting and enlightening topic, I enjoy these discussions.

I am of the mind-set that eyes are fishermen catchers more so than fish catchers. Many of use have used a bait that after catching lots of fish the eyes get knocked off but it still catches just as many fish as before. We continue to use it because it works. If conventional wisdom says that fish key in on the eyes of prey then these lures we have used should not work, right? I believe that the action of the bait, running depth, and color (something they can see based upon water clarity and prefered forage) are far more important than eye color or size.

Some fish do appear to have "false eyes" on their tail area but I think we may be adding in a "human" dimension to this. Some fish that exhibit this trait also may have multiple "eyes" located all over their bodies, such as a red fish does.

When using eyes on a bait I like to use sizes and colors that compliment the color pattern and size of the bait itself. Like already stated, fishermen expect the baits they buy to have eyes on them and for them to look a certain way.

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Remember this also. Most of the fish you catch are NOT hungry, they are striking out of reaction.

I have talked with Ken Cook, Bass Pro and Biologist and he can give you the metabolism rates etc. for the water temp and prove that most bass only need to eat every few days.

Reacting to something in their environment that is not normally there (ie a bubblegum worm??) has nothing to do with eating.

I think a lot of what goes into lure making, coloring and selling has more to do with catching fishermen than fish.

Of course...all my cranks have eyes so... :wink:

Jim

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Just to make this discussion practical rather than theoretical here's what I do. First I believe the real importance of eyes is to fishermen not fish. With that in mind there are several pssibilities. Most of the baits I make lately are larger realistic trout baits so I go for super realistic eyes (I have even cut them from photos and glued them to the back of clear plastic domed eyes) in shape and color and then make them a little larger than reality to emphasize them. I know this contradicts my belief that fish don't care, but if fishermen do then why not emphasize them for a little extra dose of confidence.

Then there are the fancy paint jobs that are not as realistic. Then its cool to maybe add some expression like angry narrow eyes or big wide frightened eyes. An extra hit of bright colors doesn't hurt here.

Finally there's the really wild intense color schemes. Big bright and anywhere you want to put them. Top, side or bottom.

I guess my point is that knowing they don't matter to the fish doesn't keep me from using them on lures, and as a matter of fact it actually allows me to be more creative because if they don't matter then I can do whatever I feel like.

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