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Publication: Bass Matters
A Bass\' Sense of Sight

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><> ><>       BASS MATTERS - January 25, 2006        ><> ><> 

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Comment The Post Below...

Hello Anglers,

When fishing live baits for bass remember not to set the 
hook until you can feel the fish. Too often people see 
their cork go under and set the hook. Slack will be taken 
up by the hook set and then the bass can feel resistance 
and spit out your bait.

Remember you can comment on any story or read comments   
by visiting: Bass Matters Blog

Enjoy a week of fishing!
email Brock

A Bass' Sense Of Sight
By Leo Watson

A bass' sense of sight is obviously a primary influence in 
its behavior. Without good eye sight, bass would have a very 
short life span. There have been extensive studies done to 
determine just how well a bass can see, whether they see in 
color or black and white, and whether they see better at 
night or during the day. Tackle companies, as well as 
biologists, and fisherman alike have an extreme interest in 
the answers to these questions. 

Eye sight plays an important role in the daily activities of 
all predator fish. In most situations and conditions, sight 
is the dominant sense used in seeking and selecting food. 
The photo sensory cells in a bass’ retina consist of cones 
( for color vision ) and rods ( for black, white and shades 
of gray vision ). The bass' eyes can receive five times more 
light than the human eye. This allows them to distinguish 
shapes, sizes, movements and color patterns the human eye 
can't! Bass do this under varying water clarity and light 
conditions! Bass do not have eyelids so they can not blink 
or close their eyes. 


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What they do have is a black pigment ( not present in the 
human eye ) that shades the photosensitive cells of the 
retina, which allows them to see well in extremely bright 
conditions with no discomfort. This dispels the conception 
that bright lights hurt the bass' eyes Even though they are 
supposed to have a fixed focus pupil, bass have the ability 
to adjust their eyes to varying light conditions. The lens 
of the eye moves back and forth to change the roundness of 
the eyeball itself. By doing so this influences the amount 
of light entering the eye. Even though bass can spend a 
great deal of time in the sun without discomfort, they will 
often use a shady spot for ambushing prey. In fact, a feed-
ing bass will do just that! 

The visual acuity of the bass increases approximately three 
fold when looking into bright areas from shady ones. Forage 
moving about in the bright sunlight have trouble seeing bass 
in the shade, but the reverse is not  true. The smart and 
crafty bass positions itself to take advantage of its super-
ior vision. The bass has an extremely wide field of vision, 
a full 180 degrees for each eye. This allows them binocular 
vision in front and slightly upwards due to the overlap of 
the 180 degrees of sight with each eye. The bass is most 
effective at striking its prey and lures in their binocular 
zone. The only blind areas for the bass exist from his side 
fins back and under its belly. Research has shown that a 
bass' vision increases with age. 

A bass' eyes will continue to grow throughout its life 
regardless of its body growth. This could very well be 
another reason that lunker size bass are so difficult to 
fool with artificial baits.  The bass’ eyes are equipped for 
both day and night time vision. During the daylight, the 
cones in the retina move forward and the rods move backwards. 
At night the movement is reversed and they use their rods 
for black and white vision.  Periods when light level 
changes, such as dusk and dawn are interesting times. A 
human's eyes adjust to the change quite a bit quicker than 
those of a bass. It only takes about 30 minutes for most 
human's eyes to adjust to these changes.


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The bass is far less fortunate. At dusk the rods in the bass' 
eye move forward in the retina for after dark vision.  It 
takes almost two hours for the bass' eyes to fully adjust for 
night vision. At about two hours before first light, the 
change back to daylight mode begins. Contrary to what most 
during anglers have been taught, fishing maybe extremely 
slow during the first two hours of dark and the last two 
hours prior to daylight.  

Color vision is very important to the life of a bass. Most 
bass rely on their color vision for feeding, self defense 
and for spawning signals. Tests have shown that bass have 
excellent color vision and can easily distinguish between 
closely related colors. According to research studies, they 
can also tell the difference between different shades of the 
same color. In closing this article, I hope I have shed some 
light on the bass' sense of sight. Hopefully I have dispelled 
some previous myths. This information should help all to 
better understand how the bass' sight works.

        GopherCentral's Question of the Week

Do you believe that the US should be in the business of 
nation building?

Question of the Week

                  FISHING JOKES CORNER

Two men take a wrong turn and walk into a room in the San 
Francisco City Hall. A man walks up to them, says a lot of 
junk, and finally declares, "I now pronounce you spouse 
and spouse."

One man looks at the other and tells the Justice of the 
Peace, "We just came in here to get fishing licenses!" 

Questions? Comments? email: Email brock
END OF BASS MATTERS - http://www.gophercentral.com
Copyright 2006 by PENN LLC. All rights reserved. 

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