Anglers are always trying to figure out why game fish act the way they do. Almost every one that throws a line in the water has a theory involving wind direction, cloud cover, water temperature, water ph, moon phase, or dozens of other ideas. But the number one influencing game fish is food.
A game fish will go out of its way to find food. It will endure water temperature well outside of its range if it ensures food. Fish will even venture into water well outside its ph range, and it will also go into waters with practically no dissolved oxygen as long as it has a sure possibility for food that it wants.
Although every fish has a preference of what food it wants to eat, those foods may not be available for that fish at that time so the fish has to learn to be an opportunist. This mean it must do what it has to in order to get food. This explains why the diet of a lot of game fish changes their diet several times over the course of a year; it all depends on the abundance of particular food available. So to catch food you must learn to change you lure and presentation to match the diet of the fish at that particular time.
In most cases it is not necessary to use a lure that look exactly like the food the fish are eating at that time. But it really helps if the lure you are using is of some of a resemblance of the food that the fish are eating at that time. Difference of food available will also explain why fish behave so different in other bodies of water. In example walleyes in a lake where perch are the primary food do most of their feeding on deep structures, because that's where most of the perch are found. But where shad or ciscoes are the main food, walleye spend most of their time cruising the open water.
Common feeding behaviors differ from fish to fish. In example the Muskie are ambush predators which mean they lie in a dense cover waiting for their prey to pass by then all of the sudden strike with a sudden burst of speed. After the Muskie strikes it returns to its hiding spot to digest its food. One other feeding behavior that is very unique is that of a catfish. The channel catfish is what you would call a scavenger. This fish will comb the bottom of any body of water where it lives to find any kind of food it can eat. Not only does the catfish eat live bait it will also eat dead rotten organic bait.
These are some of the feeding habits of the game fish around the US You can use this information in your quest for the next big one! Good Luck!!
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