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Caleb S

Does motor noise scare fish?

22 posts in this topic

Will using my old 2 stroke to troll for eyes scare the fish? Depth of water I imagine is a factor as well. I usually use my trolling motor but when it gets windy it's nice to use the outboard if the battery goes low. Someone had told me the engine noise does not transfer into the water, true?

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Night trolling,3 people in the boat talking, radio turned up ( AC/DC was on) 70 outboard running ( 2 stroke) rod laying across the dash with rap dangeling in the water, walleye eats it. Clear water lake early June shallow water less than 10'. I don't belive it bothers them at times. I have also had eyes chase a muskie bait to the boat with Pantera CRANKED and didn't seem spooked.

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I don't think it matters as much for eyes as other species, simply because of the high rate at which they are kept. Studies for muskies at least have shown fish that are recently caught learn to avoid mains and trolling motor alike (as well as the area they were just caught in). On a heavy traffic lake though where boats are going all the time, the fish probably will ignore them.

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I don't worry about motor noise, like VahnTitrio said it is a fact of life for fish that there are going to be motors buzzing overhead. I try to keep my baits as far from the boat as possible, and make s-turns, but other than that I don't worry about it.

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I think its more important to keep other boat noise down. IE dropping stuff on the floor of the boat. A constant chugging noise of an engine I am sure they feel and hear, but its something they deal with every day. Now if you were right over the top of them and dropped a needle nose pliers on the bottom of the boat, you may spook a few.

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I agree with deitz I also think that fish knows it there but when in water you cant tell which direction the sound is coming from thats what your friend might mean by that. I try to keep my sounds to a minimum.

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Back in day fishing for crappies, we used to beat the water with an oar, and it actually got them active. We did this on many occasions and it worked or it didn't effect the bite.

G.C.

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My logic is I dont chance it. In shallow water Im as quiet as I can be and use the electric as much as possible.

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Of course it does, in shallower water. If you identify a school of fish in less than 10 feet and persist in trolling over the top of them more than twice, you've just screwed yourself over royally.

Once the shallow fish are identified, back off - drop anchor - and commence to catching.

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I think motor noise definitely spooks fish, sometimes more than others and large fish are much more wary of noise than smaller fish. That's one reason they got to be large fish. The senses of large fish are more acute and better developed and they have stronger survival instincts than smaller fish, so I avoid noise as much as possible because I'm usually after large fish. There are always days where it doesn't seem to matter, but for the most part, I hunt for fish like I hunt for deer, as quietly as possible, because I consider it really the same.

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KFK; I've always used the same comparison to hunting when I'm after big fish. Being sneaky is part of the fun:) And of course that means keeping quiet, most of the time anyway. Big difference between out chasing crappies with the kids and drifting stealthily along a shoreline tossing hexes at 5 pound rainbows...

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I am not too sure about that. Couple years ago I was visiting a Buddy up in I Falls and he took me out to one of his favorite spots. His favorite pattern there? Trolling floating Rappalas with the 70 horse motor. We picked up fish there pretty steadily for a couple hours. And yes I was really surprise that they didn't spook out.

I also remember a few years ago on URL taking the metal ice scoop and rattling it around the inside of the hole after the action died off and immediately the action picked up again. Could be they get a little curious as to what all the commotion is about.

That being said I still try to make as little noise as I can using the trolling motor, slipping the anchor silently over the side etc. Probably wasting my time, but old habits die hard.

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Upnorth was that rattling when you were trying for crappies. If so they don't seem to spook, and as you said they started getting active after you woke them up. Other species may get spooked, but I think crappies don't as easily. IMO.

I could not believe it when they beat the water with an oar, but it worked.

G.C.

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Gary, yes we were trying to get the Crappies back on the bite and it did work.

The motor trolling in the shallow water for Walleyes really surprised me tho.

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i have a 9.9 hp motor with a 12 ft boat and i have used the motor to back troll in less thatn 10 feet of water and have caught 30+ walleyes doing it so i dont think it matters boat if i drop my cell in the boat and it hits the floor then i think it might effect some fish but not all

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I don't think sound by itself will spook fish too much. Like us they may make a motion as if they've been startled but this only occurs when a sudden unexpected sound occurs. I think what will spook fish more is the movement from the boat. That's why I think planer boards and long lining can be effective. The fish hear the boat coming from a long way away. Much farther than we would in our world but don't get bothered by it until the boat itself looms overhead. That's when they spread out away from the boat.

Conversely, a boat sitting still at anchor may not spook fish but in fact may attract them. The shade a boat creates on a sunny day might just be the ticket on occasion.

Bob

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I've caught too many fish in the spring using the 70 horse and a sock in less than 10 vertical jigging or lindying and have noticed a positive reaction from walleyes and crappies in the winter when a sled, wheeler or truck went by. That said, I still get on the kids when they stomp in the boat or on the floor of the house. I'm fairly certain it's not the fish it's irritating.

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Noise can be a factor, always wise to keep it down in shallow water.

Shadows spook fish for sure at night, more so than direct light. I am vigilant as to how my shadows lay on my desired fishing area..be it the boat or my shadow from shore, even moon shadows matter..it spooks walleyes.

I believe it is a deference response to predators like fish eating birds learned while young and hangs in there even on sumo sized walleye.

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Water clarity probly has something to do with spooking fish, I believe that noise is more of a concern in clear water than dark/dingy water.

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In the fish house a couple years ago, we had a decent walleye bite going in 11 feet during a fish house party. Every time someone would finish a beer, they would stomp on the can (and I mean Stomp) to crush it, and then we'd get another walleye. This went on for about 3 hours, partly during daylight and partly after dark. Didn't seem to spook the fish at all. We've also drilled holes with the auger while looking at fish down another hole in 12 feet of water, and the fish don't even flinch when the auger goes through the bottom of the ice.

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I know pike don't care in the winter. Drill a hole, toss a sucker down and set up the tipup and while taking 2 steps from it - it goes off. 3lb pike!

Bass in clear shallow water spook.

I only fish eyes in the winter, but I try to keep the light low and noise to a minimum. I have had a nice walter hang out under my ice house. I put a crappie minnow down and with in inches below the hole he attacked it. Them crazy mille lacs eyes I tell ya.

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