Bass can be considered to be “bottom feeders”. However they are also named “opportunistic eaters” as well since they are not very picky in what they consume. The word bottom feeder is often used to describe aquatic creatures that feed on or near the bottom of a body of water. This source of water can be anything from the ocean, to a river, lake, stream or aquarium. However unlike most bottom feeders, bass do not necessarily always get their food from the bottom of the water source in which they reside. They are predators that tend to feast upon food wherever they are able to locate it. Sometimes they can be found at the surface of shallow water where minnows are. Other times they may lurk at the bottom of the surface to prey upon crayfish. They tend to ambush their prey from behind objects such as logs, rocks and plants.
Bass are more likely to bite in the rain if it is a light rain. This is because light rain tends to make fish very active. In the early seasons rain can cause warming in the water which tends to make fish more active during this time. During the hot days of summer, rain can also be used to help cool the water down which often invokes species such as the largemouth bass to become more active.
When it rains it causes insects to inhabit areas around the water, as a result of this smaller fish that eat insects may thrive to these areas, thus drawing bass to the surface of the water as well, creating a feeding frenzy for all.
Another reason bass may be more attracted to thrive upon rainy days is because they are sensitive to light. Usually when it rains the sky darkens up a bit. Bass enjoy this and are also able to sense the change in wind and sky conditions causing them to feed more during this time. For this reason it has been said that some of the best fishing can be done when a cold front is approaching. The bass love to fill up on smaller fish, insects, etc. that come alive during a light rain.
When it begins to storm however, it usually will scare fish off and it is extremely hard during this time to try and entice a bass to bite an artificial lure. After this, the fish may be unwilling to eat for the next few days.
Still, some fishermen insist on continuing to try their luck at fishing during a storm. If you are still determined to do so, it is important to use the lightest line possible as well as the smallest lure possible. This should be practiced in order to not scare away the bass even more. Fishing can often prove to be difficult in muddy conditions as well as severe thunderstorms. It can also obviously bring more potential dangers.
It is actually a myth that bass are colorblind. Fish, including the bass see through their eyes and are also able to detect color. The eyes of fish are also usually rounder than most mammals due to the refractive index of the water; focus is achieved by moving the lens in and out so as not to distort things. The bass fish’s eyesight is one of its most important senses as it helps them locate food. They are considered “sight feeders” and use their other senses as well as support for their sense of sight.
Fish eyes are designed with a cornea, an iris, pupil, lens and a retina. The process of actually turning light into images all begins at the retina. This parabolic shaped surface located at the back of the eye is where photons of light are received and then transformed into electrical impulses for interpretation by the brain. The retina contains rods and cones (the photosensitive receptors that accomplish the task of receiving light and transforming it into impulses to direct it through nerve fibers leading to the brain).
One prominent characteristic of the fish eye from the outside is its bulbous nature. The outer layer of the eye known as the cornea is a dome shaped transparent layer that is the first to receive light. With the terrestrial vertebrate eye, light travels through the air and hits the cornea. Because the air and cornea differ in density however, the light is then refracted meaning it is bent and directed into the opening known as the pupil. Water and cornea are of about equal densities, so there is often little refraction with the cornea of a fish eye.
Because these creatures inhabit the water, that absorbs, scatters and bends light to a degree that makes seeing under water difficult and also different than seeing in air, fish have evolved out of necessity and are designed with specific anatomical characteristics in the eye that help them see underwater. In water colors behave differently and are not easily differentiated as they are when seen in the air. Therefore, fish eyes to varying degrees are equipped with retinal cones that can detect different ranges of color.
It should be noted that there are two types of photo receptors on the retina of the eye. The first are rods which are sensitive to light in general, and the second are cones which are sensitive to colored light. The ratio of rods and cones varies according to a fish’s habitat. There are also different types of cones located within a fish retina and each is sensitive to a different range of color. Most fish, similar to humans have red, green and blue sensing cones however the range of each color sensed can vary. Additionally some species of fish have been found to perceive ultraviolet light and also have patterns on their bodies that can only be seen under UV light. It is presumed that this is for attracting the attention of conspecifics.
Bass are definitely said to be most active at nighttime. In the months of July and August they will often seek deep water in order to find relief from the intense heat from the sun, skiers, boaters, and swimmers. A bass; eyes take much longer to adjust to the change of lighting and it is for this reason that fishing for bass can usually be quite slow for the first few hours of darkness. However, as night falls the bass will hug the bottom of the water to better silhouette prey against the night sky. Contrast is the key in lure selection here which could explain why black lures often seem to work best at night. For bass, nighttime is when they are extremely active in feeding.
To fish for bass at night requires a heavier tackle but limits the choices of lures. Using a longer rod with a heavier frame is better as it will allow for longer casts and provide more leverage for a strong hook set on big largemouth bass. When fishing for bass at night it is also important not to use a stop and go method. This is because bass have difficulty locating the source unless they happen to be located directly underneath the lure. They also will not usually follow a sound that they are unable to locate. So this is definitely something to keep in mind when trying your chances to fish at night.
Bright lights often attract bass when it is dark outside. These types of light sources are common around boat docks and swimming areas and can often be found swimming full of bass. When fishing for bass at night it is crucial to keep track of where your rod, etc. are. Tripping over items is easier since it is harder to see. This makes fishing at night a bit more dangerous. Keeping a small flashlight on hand can help when needing to locate something or tie a lure. Becoming familiar with the area you are fishing in is also key to safety and efficiency. In the light of day it is easy to cast cover and know where it is, however at night this becomes more difficult. Familiarize yourself with the water during the day and learn where obtrusions such as rocks, etc. may be. A life jacket should always be worn at night incase you fall overboard. Its harder to swim ashore when you have no idea where that shore is located in the dark. A compass can also come in handy.
Not only do bass bite at night, they often bite more during the night. This is due to several reasons. First of all, it is cooler outside than during the day which tends to make the fish more comfortable. Second, the darkness of night gives them an advantage when hunting prey since they are able to use senses other than their sight and can also hide behind the darkness of rocks, plants, etc. and then ambush their prey with an attack. Bass also use sound as a method to locate their prey. They do this by honing in on it and then using their lateral line to “sonar” and locate the prey to hopefully make it its dinner.
Spinner baits, buzz baits and jitterbugs are great baits for fishermen to use during the nighttime as they create “sound” that the fish use to locate the bait. Black baits work best because the bass are able to locate black and/or dark colors easier against the backdrop of the sky and the moon. The fish search for shadows in the water and movement in the darkness of the night. Most fish that the bass prey upon that are silver appear to be black in the water at night, this is another reason they are more likely to bite at night as they think it’s a smaller fish that they can make into a meal.
It is common for bass to want to feed at night because the waters are quieter, calmer and lack the distant buzz of motor boats, or the splashing of enthusiastic swimmers in swimming areas in which the fish may be residing. At night these fish no longer have to deal with the hot heat of the sun beating down on them and they don’t have to be as cautious as they would during the day. The loud noisy day air is filled with a calm quiet and the faint buzzing of mosquitoes and splashing of smaller fish that seem tasty to the bass.