Habitualization: The ability of living things to adapt to their environment to feed, reproduce and avoid danger.
Fish are smarter than you think and no one thinking otherwise has ever fished for habitualized fish. They are in our most popular lakes and ponds where extreme fishing pressure exists. These water bodies usually have easy access, are close to large urban areas offering picnic areas, camping, swimming and power boating.
In this environment, the angler is just another predator that fish learn to avoid, no different from the Osprey and Otter. Human activity also creates opportunities for fish otherwise not available.
Swimming areas become feeding stations whenever busy docks become shelter and powerboat waves dislodge shore food. Some species do better in these environments than others. Catfish, Walleye, Brook Trout and Pike tend to habitualize slowly and fished out easily. Species like Perch, Bluegill, Black Crappy, Lake Whitefish, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Small-mouth Bass tend to habitualize faster and are smart enough to avoid being be fished out.
These fish are smart and are able to recognize danger and have the memory to avoid it. The factors that mitigate the survival of some and the disappearance of others can be a hot debate of those of knowledge. Myself I do not think its brain size I would be more inclined to think it would more likely the sensitivity of the senses.
All fish share the same senses including electroreception that I believe plays a key role in avoiding danger although different fish have different levels of discrimination. The harder to catch group will have the most discriminative electro-receptiveness able to detect the smallest electric field from the smallest hook.
See: Finally! Proof of Magneto-reception in Fish. Cells containing Magnetite found in Rainbow Trout.
Back in the 60’s, a 10 acre gravel pit stocked with Lake Erie Yellow Perch was our fishing hole, swimming hole and local all-time teenage hangout. Here we could catch Perch up to eight inches with regularity and sometimes even get our limit of 30 fish.
It wasn’t until I bought a snorkeling mask and flippers that I realized there were Perch in that pit over 13 inches. 3 lb. plus Perch in an old Southern Ontario Gravel pit. They would hang around the swimming area showing no fear of humans whatsoever feeding on the shrimp and insect larva kicked up by the swimmers.
I was 16 at the time, a live bait dealer, taxidermist, and guide. Completely obsessed with all forms of sport fishing. I had to have some of these fish for the wall. Sadly, it never happened. No matter what I tried, they would never bite.
Snorkeling with the fish I could hand feed them but as soon as I added a hook they would avoid it. Decades later I realized that it was the faint electric field of the hook those fish recognized as danger.
Over the years, I have had similar encounters with Bluegill, Black Crappy, Small Mouth Bass, Brown and Rainbow Trout and most recently with Lake Trout. All these fish species showing the same ability to recognize the hook. This is electro-reception at its finest. The electric field of a small hook is so faint yet these species could discriminate it from the stronger electric field of live bait. Fascinating stuff!
MONSTER PIKE AND MUSKY
I have heard from divers inspecting dam structure have visual encounters of Pike and Musky the size of humans. Some of the divers were spooked as the curious fish made them very nervous due to their size and lack of fear of humans. Like Big Foot sightings without evidence, it is only an eyewitness account without evidence, but not all can be exaggerating. If it is true, my guess is these fish too have learned to avoid the hook to get so big.
THE WORLD FAMOUS BOW RIVER
A great example of habitualized fish a little closer to home is the Bow River here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Bow is a world famous trout stream reportedly the most challenging anywhere. Here there are thousands of trout for every kilometer of river but they are very hard to catch.
For decades now, anglers have been using brass beads and lead wire on their flies. Although the TDS of the river is very low about 150 PPM the combination of brass and steel with or without lead creates a weird electric field fish recognize as danger. Some of the top Bow anglers have abandoned the brass and lead and had instant improved success. Dry flies do not have an electric field; the floatant applied to the fly does not let an electric field form.
Migratory fish are beyond a doubt the fastest habitualized fish of all time.
Two friends and I, traveled to a Vancouver Island river reported to have a decent Steelhead run. After a 2-hour boat ride and a 20-minute hike, we found ourselves at the top of a 30-foot rock face I immediately determined I was too old and fat to navigate.
Below was a gin clear run with about a dozen chrome bar Steelhead holding in a loose school. As the lads a third my age, descended the cliff I settled in to watch the show. Both buds were using a white foam dink style float with pencil lead weights and a soft plastic worm. Both had cast and both had fish on straight away. As the fish were fighting the school was agitated several fish followed the fighting fish a bit but the school was in turmoil.
After a quick photo, both fish were released and slowly swam back to the school that was now back to its original location. As the lads resumed casting the Steelhead would avoid the bobber moving out of the way each time it drifted by. The anglers below had no idea this was happening but I could see it as clear as day from above. After a few more casts the fish dispersed downstream, probably back to the salt water only a few hundred meters away.
I had witnessed an entire school of Steelhead habitualized in front of my eyes in a half an hour. This is an example of visual habituation since the TDS of this river would be less than 50 PPM an electric field would take a day or more to form. These fish recognized the danger visually either the float, the weight, the worm or all of the above and deliberately moved to avoid it.
Ice fishing will habitualize fish as winter progresses, especially if most anglers fish the same area using the same gear. When this happens anglers write it off as very slow fishing. The fish are there but not biting.
The telltale sign of habitualized fish is when fish come in then put the brakes on flicking their tail toward the bait turning side ways to expose the lateral line to the echo of the mini shock wave. By doing this fish can discriminate variations in the echo to sense the line, bait or lure. If the electric field of the hook or lure is detected you won’t even get this action. The fish avoid it altogether.
If the fish you are targeting are this habitualized to sport fishing, move and get out of there. I will always try the deepest water, closest to any structure. Choose areas with no or little evidence of fishing, at least there you will have a better chance for success.
See; Finding The Fish Using the Coriolis Effect
WANT TO BELIEVE?
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
Hendrick Casimir a famous physicist conducted experiments proving the existence of electric fields naturally occurring in every environment in every element even in complete vacuums. You can find the results of these experiments by searching the Casimir Effect.
When you search electro-reception, you will find very narrow-minded people of knowledge claiming that the only fish with electro-reception are sharks and rays, electric eels and elephant fish. These morons of science have never slid an Electron Fish Attractor on their line, which would create some head scratching.
Tricks you can try to fool habitualized fish
In situations where habitualized fish are the target there are a few tricks you can try but remember these fish are smart and the best you will do is a fish or two before they realize the trap and quickly avoid it.
- Use the appropriate Electron Fish Attractor.
The higher negative electron field will attract and consume the negative ion field of steel. For some hard-core physics research electron attractor.
- Where legal, use live bait, the high electric field of a struggling minnow will override the very faint electric field of the hook. This is not a foolproof system all the time but worth a try.
- Scents are also worth a try, most are oil based and will prevent any electrical field from forming. This strategy works best in water with very low TDS; fish here are used to food with a very low electric field. In water with higher TDS, a bait without an electric field is as distasteful to fish as the wrong electric field.
Remember do not get any scent on the Electron Attractors.
- Dry flies and fly poppers coated in floatant have no or very little electric field.
The floatant does not let a field form.
- Fast trolling using the Electron seems to be the most consistent way of fooling habitualized fish. Do not give the fish time to inspect it; they will sense the Electron and position to intercept it.
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