Motor noise effects

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Goldenshinner, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Goldenshinner

    Goldenshinner New Member

    generaly most enthusiasts localy seem to aggree that noise negatively affects the bite. the moving and jumping of spots by outboard, in the hopes of encountering more fish, would thus seem pointless if this is an effect. i have had a fair number of fish bite just after reaching a spot and casting out. but it seem more often than not there seems to be some kind of magical 45min+ cool off period before any action starts. as strange as it sounds i have even considered the extreame and investing in the ledgendary Minkota E-drive.. the all ellectric outboard. but i have met a seemingly growing number of people doing the spot jumping trying each spot for 1hr and moving(realy anoying to the dudes who are entrenched in and get their lines run over every d* night!!). do most national enthusiasts take reduced noise seriously or what?
     
  2. chris45601

    chris45601 New Member

    Messages:
    357
    State:
    ohio
    Noise, I take it very serious, I'll go hours without talking, or moving. I seen a study on the discovery channel, They where on a pontoon dock, and a man about 100 yards away hit a metal post in the water with a sledge and two people where sitting on the other side one person had a micro phone in the water, and which person heard the sound first was to raise they're hand. The person that was listening underwater heard the noise a whole 1.7 seconds earlier then the person listening through the air. So with this said, this tells me that sounds travels faster through water, and a seems to be a better conductor, So Sounds is a serious factor in fishing.
     

  3. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Yes, noise makes a difference...All fish have whhat's called a "lateral line"...It runs down the side off the fish...In a channel cat, it's the "dark meat" that runs down the side of the cat.....The lateral line picks up "low frequency" vibrations and transmits it to the brain....Low freq vibes are things like a human walking on the back of a river and things like that....It's been said that when feeding catfish in a lake/pond, the cats can detect/recognize the persons footsteps that do the normal feeding....Noise does make a difference, but cats do get "accustom" to certain noises.....Dwight
     
  4. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    I think it just kinda depends on the body of water you're fishing. If you're fishing out in the middle of nowhere in a body of water that doesn't have pleasure boaters every day or is very shallow, I think noise is of more concern. In deeper water (17-20ft) I don't think it is as critical. Also, areas of heavy boat traffic or around bridges I don't really think it matters either, the fish are used to the sounds.
     
  5. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    Chris you are right. Sound travels around seven times faster in water and travels further. Water is a better conductor of sound then air. My new boat has a stereo in it. I have never had a boat with a stereo before. A couple of weeks ago i was fishing for bait out of the boat and was doing great. I was pulling in big gills, carp and even caught a couple of unwanted channel cats. I decided to turn on the stereo for awhile and the catching ceased almost immediately. About 10 or 15 minutes after i turned off the stereo the catching started again. That was proof enough for me. I know is wasn't flatheads, but i look at it this way. The Flatheads are much smarter and are basically one big predatory sensory organ. If it scares the bait it probably does the fish that has better senses too.
     
  6. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I firmly believe in moving if I don't get hit within 30 minutes or so - this increases my catch tremendously. I very often get bit within minutes of setting up in a new spot. I don't believe that the noise of my moving and getting set up bothers the flatheads at all - in fact it might actually stir them up a bit and thereby encourage more bites. I do motor in slowly ans lower the anchor gently. And this is on a fairly small river with depths usually around 10 feet where I'm fishing.

    All that being said, though, I'm sure it depends on where you are fishing. Very shallow water fish are more spooky, and areas with more or less boat traffic are likely to have fish that are more or less sensitive.

    As for people getting their lines run over - They shouldn't be setting where a passing boat will hit them! They are creating safety hazards!
     
  7. Goldenshinner

    Goldenshinner New Member

    very interstesting. how many spots per night and how late would you fish.

    well that is a matter of opinion. in a smaller streach or a neck down area, or even on a larger river you might be forced to fish in the area that is also used by boats. were i am refering to is mainly just flathead fishermen, sometimes up to a half dozen or more might be boat fishing at some distance. but most realize or recognize and respect the fellow fishermen. especialy those limited to the shore.come on they got rights too. so give them a minute to reel in the lines before cruzing thru. might i also add that my understanding of the law in respect to right of way: the motoring boat must yield to pedestrians(fishermen) and or parked boats. that could be a ticketable offense that would affect ones automobile insurance.(at least in my state)
     
  8. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I may have misunderstood about the lines. I absolutely respect the rights of other anglers, whether on the bank or in boats. In general I believe most fishermen respect the rights of other boaters, but not the "joyriders" so much. I can't count how many times I've had folks run by within 50 feet of me when the whole river was wide open. I am lucky, though, that the places I fish for flatheads, I usually have the whole river to myself after the sun sets.

    I generally end up fishing 5 or 6 spots in the course of a night's flatheading. Some nights more, some less. Realistically, 30 minutes is probably the very minimum I stay in a spot. If I have confidence in a spot (good luck there before), then I might go an hour without a bite before I move. Also, the later it gets into the night, the less I feel like moving so I end up staying put a bit longer. Ocassionally I stay out all night, but more often I head for the landing somewhere between maybe 2 and 4 AM.

    I have gone into the logic behind frequent moves before, but I'll recap quickly: Sometimes the flatheads are out moving around a lot, and those are good times. More often, I believe, they move a little bit at dusk and then settle into comfortable spots to wait and see if the food will come to them. If you put a bait within their sensory range they'll take it. As you fish in a spot, you catch the "resident" fish fairly quickly, after that you are waiting for fish to come to you. Instead, I prefer to move to show my baits to new fish.

    I would be willing to bet that, like everything else, this varies with location. My rivers have tons of woody cover, so maybe that encourages the fish to sit and wait for food. Maybe in systems with less cover the flatheads move more often to find food?
     
  9. chris45601

    chris45601 New Member

    Messages:
    357
    State:
    ohio
    Yes from my understanding, That is what attracts the Flathead to the fish moving in a distressed motion. That is Really beautifully put.
     
  10. big-muddy

    big-muddy New Member

    Messages:
    1,834
    State:
    norfolk, va
    Sounds travels over water better too. you can be on a boat on one side of a lake and hear people talking in another boat on the other side of the lake.
     
  11. ldw45

    ldw45 Member

    Messages:
    487
    State:
    Illinois
    I agree with your conclusions. A few of my favorite places to fish have been places with considerable traffic. One in particular seemed to always produce more bites just after a boat had gone through. Was shallow water.....4' or so. I never did figure that one out unless it was the traffic that was stirring up the bait fish in the area.
     
  12. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Its probably to circumstantial to draw finite conclusions on.In my experience noise has different effects but the primary point is how the noise is made.If you have a constant background noise like living next to a hiway or by an airport or train station then the noise "recedes" from your conscious awareness.Having worked on different Army installations in my career, the biologists were always amazed that deer,elk, antelope and a host of other animals lived quite comfortably in the major impact areas ,where all the major weapons systems were fired on a daily basis.To them it was background noise and quite normal.AT FT Hood Texas, the cattle grazed down range while tanks were firing all around them.SO for us to say categorically that noise spooks fish might only be partially true.On a major lake like Santee or the James river where high boat traffic is normal the fish still bite.On the James when a barge passes the fish often pick up feeding, probably because of the huge propeller wash that stirs up the bottom and shoreline.I also witnessed this same thing on Ky Lake when those barges go by.I would bet the fish recognize those engine sounds as a food bell going off.Now if you crank up and roar into the shallows on a quite cove or lake you will probably spook fish no doubt about it.The guides on Santee generally give a spot an hour and move but then everyone is moving at Santee all the time so I think the fish just see it as background noise.Now at night when things get quiet it might be different,yet I caught my personal best Labor Day, anchored right next to the canal as boats paraded by all night.Again that is normal down there.I actually believe the fish get to learn that the pings from a fish finder may signal danger more than the engine.One of the premier guides at Santee cranks up his aux 10hp motor to attract stripers,Calls it his 3000$ fish caller.Said it was hard to explain to his wife why he needed it!!!!:smile2::big_smile:
     
  13. kkyyoottee

    kkyyoottee New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Iowa
    We have two boats one is a bass buggy made out of plastic and the other is a semi V aluimiun and when fishing for bait my wife trys to be quiet but she usually ends up banging , dropping something. Now this hole we fish in you can see the gills. A bang on the metal they run for cover and takes a few minutes to come back. She bangs on the plastic they do a tail spin and stay right there. Dont know why but just something I have noticed.
     
  14. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    when fishing on the colorado river here by yuma, az, i've noticed if i get to a spot while still light and have my radio on low, fish still bite. but if get there after dark and turn it on, nothing will bite. mainly skiers and partiers during daytime though so guess they are used to it. now another lake i fish is shallow. drop or bang something in boat, and i'll guarantee you won't get a bite for at least 30 minutes or longer.
    gary
     
  15. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    I read of a tracking study done on flatheads. They caught 20 fish between 5 and 45lbs and put radio tags on them so they could come back out and track their movements on the river with a boat and antenna set up. One of the more interesting findings of the study was that as the boat came near the radio tagged flathead it would move away from the boat. They didn't like the motor noise. The article didn't say so but I suspect that the river wasn't heavily pressured by boats. On the other hand fishing under dams with lots of white water or fishing under bridges with lots of traffic the fish are not so noise sensitive. As long as you aren't blaring a radio stomping around in your boat. Normal conversation should be OK in those areas. But on a lonely dark stretch with no light or noise you should take a cue and do the same. Those fish are not used to noise.
     
  16. SUNDROP

    SUNDROP New Member

    Messages:
    395
    State:
    Washington
    Sounds is a big factor. Above water sounds have less effect but remember that acoustically anything in the BASS (not the fish) tonal range is "felt" not truly heard, so it carries through solid objects and is projected underwater by the hull of the boat and the lines running in the water as well .
    I also think bait type has alot to do with locating the fish. Live bait needs to be presented close to the active fish, but stink baits tend to draw fish in from a longer distance if they are actively feeding. I also beleive stink baits tend to lure smaller fish because they are more willing to cover more ground to find small amounts of food where the big boys prefer to cruise structure or lay and wait for a passer by...
     
  17. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    i find flatheads will hold tight when in cover even around noise. just a couple weeks ago we made several passes over a shallow water hump 10-15ft looking at it on the depth finder. decided to fish that hump. dropped the anchors and before we could get all the rods out we had a 20 lb flat on. i have also drug my anchors threw there living room in high winds and pull back re anchor and go back to catching them. im not saying they dont hear the noise but they do seem to hold tight to me. blues well thats a different story to me. i took like to move around alot. no true time settings for me...just a gut feeling...its time to move!..lol.
     
  18. josh caudill

    josh caudill New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    kentucky,hartford
    I have got a little radio i jam out to while im fishing and i still catch nice fish. this may sound funny but i have had better luck with the radio on than with it off. I give each spot about an hour to a hour and a half and then move i must be lucky lol.
     
  19. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Messages:
    636
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    That's a great idea!! I've just been using mine as a "shallow water cover finder",
     
  20. steemboatwv

    steemboatwv New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    west virginia
    I'm not sure if i believe noise affects them badly in the rivers, when we have rows of barges running the river we get more fish than when its quiet and settled. now in lakes i believe it makes a difference though.