How Fish Use Their Other Senses!**

Fish Use All Their Senses to Stay out of Your Net!

As I mentioned last time, fish have 4 senses to our 5.  Unfortunately, they do a great job of staying off your dinner table by using those 4 senses very effectively!

How Fish See

Fish see colors!  Biologists have proven that fish see :

  • red
  • yellow
  • blue
  • green

Many articles encourage anglers to wear bland, solid colors (think: beige). Now, lots of anglers don’t believe that fish see color.  You can read about the pros and cons here.

Did you know that “if you can see fish … they can see you!?   Thank goodness, there are some limits to their eyesight.

What are the Limits to a Fish’s Sight?

Light only travels so far into water. The sun’s rays stop brightening the water at about 25 feet.  From that point on, objects just seem to be dark shapes.

A fish’s ability to see in water less than 25 feet is affected by various factors.  Is the water muddy or clear?  How far are the objects away from the fish?  Is light reflecting off of the object?

Fish  aren’t too far up the food chain but they certainly recognize the shapes and smells of the things on which they feed!

A Fish’s Sense of Smell

Of all the things I’ve learned about fish and their senses, I think this was the most surprising.  Fish have a killer sense of smell!

Fish can smell odors hundreds of yards away.  The smells that turn them off the most are:

  • gasoline
  • nicotine
  • human scent
  • oily substances

To put things another way, fish can smell these “stinky” substances if they are only 1 part in 80 million parts of water!  That is some serious nose action!

How can you rid yourself of your human scent?  Use a ‘good scent’ or a fish soap that removes your smell!  In a pinch, you can rub your hands together with sand — it absorbs smells.

Special Circumstances

Not all fish have the same level of sniffing.  Predator fish (muskie, pike, bass, and others) rely on their sense of sight more than their sense of smell — to find a ‘meal deal!’

Scavengers (carp, catfish, trout, …), rely more on their sense of smell, rather than their sight — when checking over the buffet choices!


** Some word changes made for clarity.


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  1. Wow this really takes me back, like your blog design too. Is it Drupal?

  2. Dear Free,

    No, the theme is Quentin. Thanks for stopping by and hope you will come again soon!


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